The oceans are rapidly gaining attention as the future driver of global economic growth. As is sometimes wrongly assumed, however, the oceans are not blank spaces and are a place of culture, traditions, and human-natural relationships well beyond commercial use. The 'Blue Economy' is currently the most widely used term in policy plans and frameworks for future ocean development, and these plans will likely guide investments at regional and very local scales in the decades to come. Drawing from past evidence of ocean use and management, I argue that a focus on social equity, beyond environmental sustainability and economic viability, will be key to ensuring that future oceans indeed provide benefits to the marginalized and vulnerable communities that the UN Sustainable Development Goals are chiefly intended to serve. This means not only establishing new ocean sectors more equitably and sustainably, but transforming ones that are already essential but must do better.
Speaker: Andres Cisneros, Research Associate, University of British Columbia
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