Creating a sustainable Blue Economy is the defining challenge of the Baltic Sea Region. We need to raise the bar on our collective ambitions — in government, civil society, and the private sector. That is why WWF, in its report All Hands on Deck
, is calling for the adoption of a new set of Principles for a Sustainable Blue Economy
as the region’s chart to a prosperous future.
Imagine a Blue Economy
that actually helps bring the Baltic Sea back to health, by fitting within the boundaries of the sea’s ecosystems, accelerating the adoption of clean technologies and renewable energy, and creating circular material flows. Imagine that this process creates new jobs and economic opportunities. Imagine that every possible stakeholder gets involved, including government, business, academia, civil society groups, and individual citizens.
We believe this vision is achievable – and worth the effort
. In pure economic terms, we know that creating a sustainable Blue Economy will provide thousands of new jobs and billions in additional income, and that citizens around the Baltic Sea are willing to make the necessary investment to restore the Baltic Sea back to health.
We believe that adoption of the Principles for a Sustainable Blue Economy
leads to a number of specific actions that need to be taken. Once we are clear about what a sustainable Blue Economy looks like, we then need to set clear goals and targets that align with that vision. We also need to transform these goals and targets into concrete actions, within and across economic sectors, and along entire value chains.
Truly Integrated Maritime Policies, adequate economic and legislative incentives, supportive public and private financial and investment flows, as well as successful implementation of ecosystem-based Maritime Spatial Planning are all important means to help us get there.
Last but not least
, the Blue Economy can only be sustainable when we also succeed in creating a sustainable economy on land – that is, an economy that restores, protects and maintains diverse, productive and resilience ecosystems, and that is based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows.
WWF urges public, private and civil society actors
to use the Principles for a Sustainable Blue Economy
as a lens through which to define what a sustainable Blue Economy in the Baltic Sea region is; assess whether our actions are taking us in the right direction; and set sail for a more prosperous future, for people and nature alike.
We need to change course - it’s time for “all hands on deck!”