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Green Economy In Blue World

A nationwide campaign of Bahria University to promote blue economy

And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful. — (Holy Quran)

The objective of ‘Green Economy in a Blue World’ is to analyze the challenges and opportunities of a potential transition towards a green economy in key sectors heavily linked to the marine and coastal environment – the blue world that requires a green transition and will highlight several transformative actions to accelerate transition to ocean sustainability. The key sectors include fisheries, transport (shipping), tourism (coastal), energy, marine mineral resources, and ocean nutrient pollution.

Ocean is the new economic frontier. It holds the promise of immense resource wealth and great potential for boosting economic growth, employment and innovation and increasingly recognized as indispensable for addressing many of the global challenges facing the planet in the decades to come, from world food security and climate change to the provision of energy, natural resources and improved medical care. While the potential of ocean to meet these challenges is huge but our ocean is under the stress from over exploitation, pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change. Realizing the full potential of the ocean will therefore demand responsible sustainable approaches to its economic development.

Estimated Global Blue Growth Until 2030 Global Ocean Asset Value

Blue economy is an efficient, sustainable and wise use of oceans and other water resources for the economic development of a country. Pakistan’s blue economic growth is heavily dependent on lively hood, aquatic life, agriculture, biotechnology, energy, health, employment and the ocean ecosystem as its activities stared from the socio-economic activities, development to environmental degradation and optimizing the benefits which may be derived from marine resources. Any country or region targets its long-term success through the wellbeing of its citizens and the mankind preserving the environment. As the blue economy is widely linked with the marine transport (imports & exports) and there exist an upward pressure on shipping via ports due to low cost of transportation so, our ports (existing & up-coming Gwadar Port after the CPEC) face serious threats of environmental pollution in the form of Oil Sills, Industrial Dump, Disposable objects etc creating irreplaceably loss to the ecosystems like fisheries causing unemployment in fishing industry too.

To counter and minimize the effects of water pollution in the form of oil spills in the ports and rivers of Pakistan there is a strong need to create wild life Friendly Environment by either systemized plantation of Mangrove trees through employing the skilled workforce for its maintenance (which also creates local employment) as Mangroves are excellent in sinking carbon, fully developed mangroves protect coastal areas from storms and tsunamis.

Commercially important fishes and crustaceans spend part or all of their lives in mangroves, which also provide a home to many terrestrial animals, Mangroves also produce three tons of organic matter per acre a year; protect shorelines from winds, waves and erosion and provide lumber, firewood, charcoal, tannins, medicines, and food. It is highly stable plant and can also be exported that contributes revenue too.

 

Marine ecosystems are multitrillion-dollar assets linked to sectors such as tourism, coastal defense, fisheries and water purification services. To cope up the challenges of Blue Economy we need to adopt some action plan, which is divided into four key actions:

  1. Land-Based Pollution Control Actions that includes pollution control of rivers entering the sea, strict control of industrial pollution source discharge, completion of illegal and unreasonable clean-up of sewage outlets, promotion of agricultural, rural and urban pollution prevention and control and reduction of land-based pollutants into the sea.
  2. The Marine Pollution Control Actions which includes marine aquaculture pollution control, ship and port pollution control, carrying out comprehensive improvement of fishing port environment, marine garbage pollution prevention and establishing a division of responsibilities and coordination mechanism for land and sea planning.
  3. The Ecological Protection and Restoration includes ecological protection of coastal zones, comprehensive regulation and restoration of estuaries and bays, comprehensive management and restoration of coastal and shoreline, and conservation of marine living resources.
  4. Environmental Risk Prevention achieved by the implementation of marine oil spill risk prevention; marine ecological disaster warning and emergency response. Therefore, it is the compulsory need of time to counter this untapped sector of Pakistan so that we can take the benefits out of it and contributes for our country.

Let’s Not Repeat The Mistakes We Made On Land, START THINKING BLUE!

Ms. Urooj Aijaz, Ms. Madiha Kamal (Faculty H&SS Dept) & Umme-Aimen (Student of BS-Economics), Bahria University Karachi

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