A new study has identified ocean finance as key to overcome challenges associated with ocean conservation and sustainability, and move towards a sustainable ocean economy that, as the High-Level Panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy (SOE) states “balances the needs of people, planet and prosperity.”
The study – conducted by an international team of researchers, including EfD’s Prof Wisdom Akpalu, and published in Nature Communications – highlights the immense and increasing value of the ocean economy, which includes fishing, shipping, offshore wind, maritime and coastal tourism, and marine biotechnology. It was estimated to around USD 1.5 trillion in 2010, and before the COVID-19 pandemic, was projected to increase to USD 3 trillion in 2030.
Calls for increased investments
Yet, the ocean is threatened by over-fishing, pollution, and other destructive practices that threaten its sustainability, with adverse consequences on ocean-based economic activities, as well as the resilience of ecosystems and humans to future global change.
The report calls for increased financial capital investment from private and public sectors (including governments, corporations, multilateral development banks, ODA agencies) to help close financing gaps and secure the funds required to support actions geared towards achieving a healthy ocean, which is key to fostering a sustainable ocean economy.
EfD researcher Prof Wisdom Akpalu, who is Director for ENRRI EfD-Ghana, is a co-author of the report.
Towards a sustainable ocean economy
“The ocean and its resources are critical to the sustenance and very lives of many Ghanaians. By identifying another way in which we can promote oceans governance and other actions that support the sustainability of our oceans, this report is a valuable contribution to the country’s marine sector, Prof Akpalu said.”
“For the ocean economy to be sustainable, ocean finance has to be adequate and directed towards sustainable use and governance of the ocean and its resources,” the report concludes.
The report, which was published on June 8 to coincide with World Oceans Day 2021, involved a research team that includes authors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Sweden, UK, and the USA.
Facts, ocean finance
Ocean finance deals with the demand for, and supply of financial capital for investing in ocean-related economic activities and governance. For the ocean economy to be sustainable, ocean finance has to be directed toward sustainable use and governance of the ocean and its resources. Key elements of financing a Sustainable Ocean Economy, SOE, include generating, investing, aligning, and accounting for financial capital. This encompasses local, national, and international level financial instruments that are provided by, and/or accessed by individuals, public and private companies, governments, and other non-governmental/inter-governmental institutions.
By: Vicentia Quartey