Q. Oceans are the major sources for multiple living and non-living resources that are useful for the growth of blue economy. In this light discuss the concept of Blue economy and its importance for India.
Structure of the answer:
- Introduction (Blue economy)
- Ocean as the source for various resources
- Importance of blue economy
- Final analysis
The concept of blue economy was given by Gunter Pauli. It is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs and ocean ecosystem health. Thus, it advocates the greening of ocean development for purposes of higher productivity and at same time conserving ocean’s health.
The oceans are the sources for various resources such as follows:
- Oceans contain several varieties of fishes and sea weeds that have tremendous potential to be used for industrial and human activities.
- Minerals derived from the oceans include Petroleum gas, shale gas, Magnesium, Sulphur, Poly-metallic nodules that are useful for industrial usage.
- Maritime Transport constitute over 80% of international trade and commerce.
- Ocean and coastal tourism are important source for job creation and economic growth.
- Tides in ocean release a lot of renewable energy that can be used to operate a turbine and produce electricity. For ex.-
- Further, oceans are an important carbon sink (blue carbon) and that can help mitigate climate change.
In light of above, the importance of blue economy for India is as follows:
- Blue economy presents India with an opportunity to meet its national socio-economic objectives as well as strengthen connectivity with neighbors.
- Blue Economy can help in livelihood generation, achieving energy security, building ecological resilience and improving living standards of coastal communities.
- Blue economy can reinforce and strengthen efforts of Indian government to achieve the SDGs of hunger and poverty eradication by 2030.
- Further, marine services sector could serve as the backbone of Indian economy and help it become 10 trillion-dollar economy by 2022.
- Moreover, international practice of the countries such as Australia, China, Mauritius is also suggestive of the fact that of use of ocean/ blue economy for meeting their development objectives.
Thus, India and world as a whole should look to adopt the Gandhian approach of balancing economic benefits derived from blue economy for meeting the broader goals of growth, employment generation, equity and protection of environment.