Sustainable Ocean for All

Harnessing the Benefits of Sustainable Ocean Economies for Developing Countries

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Adopting more sustainable ways of managing the ocean is a global priority: protecting its health will bring benefits to all. Developing countries face specific challenges, as many depend heavily on ocean-based industries and are overly exposed to the consequences of ocean degradation. Enhancing their access to science, policy advice and financing would allow them to tap better into the opportunities of a more sustainable ocean economy, including more decent jobs, cleaner energy, improved food security and enhanced resilience, while contributing to the protection of the world’s ocean.

This report provides policy makers in developing countries, as well as their development co-operation partners with a wealth of fresh evidence on (i) the latest trends in selected ocean-based industries; (ii) policy instruments, including economic incentives, to promote ocean sustainability in various contexts; (iii) the first review of development finance and development co-operation practices in support of more sustainable ocean economies, including a discussion of how development co-operation can help re-orient private finance towards sustainability.


Developing countries and the ocean economy: Key trends

This chapter provides an overview of selected trends in the ocean economy in developing countries, based in part on new OECD experimental ocean-based industries datasets. The following sectors of particular interest to developing countries are introduced and include marine fishing and aquaculture, coastal and marine tourism, extractive industries (e.g. oil and gas, sea-bed mining), transport and logistics industries (freight and passenger transport), shipbuilding industries, renewable energy and marine biotechnologies. All these economic activities bring long-term sustainability challenges. In view of the COVID-19 crisis’ enduring economic impacts on the ocean economy, the evidence provided here should contribute to providing a useful baseline for purposes of tracking the positioning of some countries and planning for recovery and new developments. As OECD measurement activities continue in partnership with the international community and ocean industry players, additional and improved economic evidence will be developed.



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