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India: Charting under-charted waters by Sumita Misra June 07,2019   |  Source: The Economic Times

The concept of the Blue Economy (BE) dates back to 1994, when entrepreneur and sustainability champion Gunter Pauli introduced it at the UN. It assumed importance after the UN Third Earth Summit Conference at Rio in 2012 focused on expanding the green economy to BE.

BE comprises the entire ecosystem of ocean resources, and seeks to establish close linkages between oceans, economic growth and environmental sustainability. It focuses on a more sustainable model of development by leveraging the marine sector, with emphasis on innovation, local and low-cost technologies, spatial planning, renewables and community participation — all the while addressing the threat posed by climate change. Globally, BE is expected to grow at double the rate of the rest of the world economy. The ocean industry’s value added is expected to touch $3 trillion by 2030. To reap these benefits, India must develop a sustainable policy for both upstream and downstream activities.

India was among the first countries to create a governmental institution —Department of Ocean Development under the earth sciences ministry — in 1981. However, over the years, while significant research has been conducted, there has been a lack of policy thrust and coherence. With a coastline spanning 7,517 km, serviced

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