Sustainable Blue Economy is gaining attention among donors


The protection of the oceans and their sustainable use in developing countries is becoming the focus of international donors. German companies can help solve the problems.

The protection of the oceans and their sustainable use in developing countries is becoming the focus of international donors. German companies can help solve the problems.  

Building fishing ports in Indonesia, improving waste disposal in Ghana or promoting sustainable tourism in Cape Verde - donor countries finance a wide range of ocean-related projects in developing and emerging countries. The goal: to use the economic potential of the sea for local people and protect the oceans. 

What is the blue economy? 

The blue economy or ocean economy includes all economic activities of ocean-based industries as well as all natural assets and ecosystem services that the sea provides. This includes very diverse industries such as shipping, fishing, fish processing, offshore wind power, marine biotechnology and tourism. This also includes areas related to ocean protection, such as waste and wastewater management. 

The sea plays an important role, particularly in the economies of developing and emerging countries. It creates sources of income locally and secures the livelihoods of many people. Coastal tourism and fishing are among the most economically relevant sectors for many countries. 

Donors are investing in a sustainable blue economy 

With the United Nations' (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 14, "Life Below Water", the international community has committed itself to protecting the oceans. Donor institutions and countries have also recognized the potential of the oceans for the economic development of many countries and want to promote the sustainable use of marine resources. 

The latest figures from the OECD show a significant decline in official development assistance (ODA) for the maritime economy: in 2021, international donors spent 2.6 billion US dollars (US$) - in the previous year it was 3.5 billion US$. But recent developments at the international level suggest that the issue is becoming more of a focus for international donors. 

A series of international conferences focused on ocean conservation took place in 2022 and 2023. The international community has adopted agreements to protect maritime ecosystems, preserve marine biodiversity and limit harmful fishing subsidies . At the Our Ocean conference in Panama in March 2023, states and private actors also pledged US$ 22 billion for the oceans. 

Donors are increasingly taking into account not only the economic potential of the sea for the local population, but also sustainability aspects. Its investments and activities are focused on three sectors: 

1. Maritime transport 

2. Marine protection 

3. fishing 

Bilateral donors are important financiers of the blue economy 

Bilateral donor countries account for the lion's share of ODA for the maritime economy. In 2021, they contributed US$2 billion - more than 75 percent of global marine development cooperation. Japan, Germany and France are traditionally important bilateral donors to the blue economy. 

The French Development Agency ( AFD ) supports, among other things, the fishing sector in Indonesia with almost 99 million euros. The Indonesian government wants to use the money to modernize four fishing ports in order to increase efficiency and sustainability. 

For Germany, the KfW Development Bank plays a central role in promoting the blue economy in developing countries. For example, KfW supports Tunisia with coastal protection . The financed measures aim to prevent salinization of soil and water resources as well as coastal erosion through appropriate infrastructure. 

The Norwegian Development Agency ( Norad ) also has an extensive marine portfolio with a focus on fisheries and aquaculture . 

Multilateral development banks are also investing in the marine economy and marine conservation. This is the case with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( EBRD ) with a 70 million euro project to decarbonize the maritime sector in Turkey. 

Business opportunities for German companies in the maritime industry 

The sustainable blue economy offers business potential for German companies. When planning and implementing marine-related projects, donor organizations often put the required construction, delivery and consulting services out to international tender. This could be the construction of port facilities or the delivery of goods such as fishing equipment. Consulting services, for example on sustainable fishing or economic development in coastal regions, are also in demand. 

The fight against plastic is central to healthy oceans and offers contract opportunities 

Combating marine pollution is of great importance for the health of the oceans. The cause of the pollution is the often lack of environmentally friendly wastewater and waste disposal in many countries. Plastics make up the majority of waste that ends up in the ocean. 

Donors therefore also finance many projects in the area of waste management and circular economy on land, with the aim of reducing marine pollution, particularly from plastic waste. Order opportunities may arise, especially for German companies that are leaders in environmental technologies such as recycling

Original Article here: GTAI