SWAKOPMUND - The concept of sustainable utilisation of marine resources remains key, but the optimal exploitation of the blue ocean economy needs collective collaboration between Namibian and international stakeholders in exploring this untapped gem.
This is according to the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau who was speaking at a blue economy workshop hosted yesterday by the University of Namibia (Unam) in Swakopmund.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss how the blue ocean economy can promote economic growth, social inclusion, poverty eradication and create employment through sustainable utilisation of marine resources and marine renewable energy.
Blue economy includes all economic activities in the ocean. These include fisheries, marine mining, marine energy, maritime transport, marine and coastal tourism, and also emerging areas such as marine biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and under-utilised marine resources such as seaweed.
According to Esau, blue economy is a concept that seeks to integrate sustainability, economic development and social inclusion as enshrined in Namibia’s constitution.
This collaboration from all key sectors as well as international partners are key in Namibia’s quest to tap from this resource, observed the minister.
Hence, he says that there is a need to integrate all aspects of ocean use, to look at ocean as one indivisible entity, and to coordinate all activities in a sustainable and synergistic way. “The social inclusion aspect of blue economy has largely been ignored. When we talk about sustainability of ocean resources, we largely mean that the resources should continue to be available for economic development,” Esau said.
He explained that this aspect, if tapped, could address poverty and unemployment, especially within marginalised communities as it taps into ocean tourism, while at the same time generates much needed revenue for government. “President Hage Geingob often reminds us that economic growth, if not shared, is not sustainable. In terms of international policy framework, blue economy is part of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.”
“At national level, our national development plan, NDP5, has dedicated a specific chapter on blue economy, with clearly defined desired outcomes and indicators. So, let us work together to develop skills for an inclusive blue economy, for the benefit of all Namibians,” he said.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-05-21 09:53:28 4 months ago