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Blue Economy: A Pathway for Sustainable Growth in Bangladesh

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United Nations Headquarters

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New York, NY 10017

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UNGA Side Event on Blue Economy: A Pathway for Sustainable Growth in Bangladesh

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The concept of a “blue economy” emerged in 2012 as countries around the world grappled with the twin trends of accelerating growth in the ocean economy and changes in the underlying ecosystems. The blue economy concept is shorthand for policies that promote sustainable development of the ocean economy, where economic growth does not reduce the aggregate natural capital, and conservation of ecological commons contributes to poverty reduction. Such policies are commonly described as those that enhance simultaneously the three dimensions of ocean use embodied in the sustainable development paradigm: social, environmental, and economic. However, even as a number of national blue economy strategies have been prepared over the last five years, the definition of the concept has continued to fluctuate among different countrie.

This event aims to synthesize current theory and practice of the blue economy concept to govern economic activity linked to the ocean, and to provide a framework for the Government of Bangladesh to analyze its potential. With the peaceful resolution of maritime boundary disputes with its neighbors in 2012 and 2014, the Government has recently defined the ocean space under its jurisdiction. The country’s sovereign ocean area is now on par with its land area, and if the 32 percent of the country’s terrestrial area which is defined by interaction with the sea is included, blue spaces would exceed land.

For this reason, the Government has prioritized the use of blue spaces as a key source of future growth. However, questions remain about how to embark on a policy planning process to achieve Bangladesh’s blue economy aspirations, including measures of the current economic uses of the ocean space, the identification of clear targets for sustainable growth of use of this space, and a policy pathway to get there.

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United Nations Headquarters

New York

New York, NY 10017

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