Private Sector Commits to ‘Blue Economy’ for the Coral Triangle
Companies from the seafood, tourism, shipping, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors were among the several key business players in the region that were recognized for their environmentally-responsible business practices.
“More and more businesses are beginning to recognize that economic growth at the expense of the environment is a thing of the past,” says Dr. Lida Pet-Soede, WWF Coral Triangle Global Initiative Program Leader.
“The examples we’ve seen in this year’s forum, and the past forums for that matter, are proof that profit and sustainability can and should come together—and this is in essence what a Blue Economy is all about,” added Pet-Soede.
The Blue Economy concept—a marine-specific interpretation of the more widely-known Green Economy—took center stage during the forum, where distinguished speakers including Shanti Poesposoetjipto, President Commissioner of PT Samudera Indonesia, Aditya Utama Surono, Director of Sustainability of Anova Asia, Florendo Maranan, Executive Director of the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation, and Handry Satriago, CEO of General Electric Indonesia gave notable examples of business initiatives that allowed for profit growth, while ensuring the welfare of the natural resources and local communities.
Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Gunter Pauli, initiator and author of The Blue Economy, first introduced the Blue Economy concept in 2004, which encourages people to manage resources efficiently through innovations and technologies that create zero waste products.
One of the innovative commitments recognized at the forum was the public-private partnership between the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Solomon Islands Telecom for their Mobile Inshore Fisheries Data Collection Platform. This will be the first-ever consolidated way of gathering inshore fisheries data, which will wirelessly link mobile devices used by inshore fishers and fish vendors to a central server housed and managed in the Ministry.
“Many inspiring initiatives from a number of business sectors already exist in the Coral Triangle. They all need to be scaled up and replicated in other parts of the region,” says Dr. Pet-Soede.
“This will entail strong leadership and the right enabling conditions from governments, backed-up by a consumer segment clamoring for responsibly-sourced products and services,” adds Dr. Pet-Soede.
“We have a long way to go but through platforms such as the Coral Triangle Regional Business Forum, we can expect only great and bigger things to come.”
The 3rd Coral Triangle Regional Business Forum was hosted this year by the Indonesian Government and organized by the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security, the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, WWF, the Coral Triangle Centre, and Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN), with the support of USAID.
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