Blue Economy and Sustainable Development

Summary and Expectations

Ocean observations play a key role in supporting the sustainability imperatives surrounding a growing blue economy. As the breadth and volume of institutional and commercial activities linked to the ocean rise, so too does the need for observational capacity to describe, understand and forecast the ocean. Demonstrating the scientific, social and economic value derived from sustained observations will be essential to making the case for the public and commercial investments needed. Three elements will be addressed during the session: The linkage between ocean observations and sustainable development, with illustrations from different perspectives; Socio-economic value coming from these observations, with lessons learned since the last OceanObs a decade ago (can we better quantify the impacts or is this getting even more complex?); and finally most importantly the ‘so what?’ question: is measuring the value from ocean observations making any difference? Many new requirements for sustainable development of the marine environment remain poorly funded. Are socioeconomic studies impacting programmes in positive ways? What can we do to improve impact?

Expected Outcomes/Recommendations

  • Fostering transdisciplinary research – active cooperation between economists, other social scientists and the ocean scientific communities.
  • Mapping ocean observations’ value chains in cooperation with interested data repositories, as to inform practitioners and policy-makers with original evidence-based analysis on the growing links between ocean observations and many sectors of the economy.
  • Establishing a catalogue of case studies of the socioeconomic benefits of ocean observations, measurement and forecasting, so that they can be readily accessed, grouped and extracted.