Updated: Mar 31
Blue’ is the new ‘Green’. This could possibly be the new approach to sustainability, taking into account the importance that the oceans represent both from an environmental, economic and social point of view. Not by chance, our Planet Earth is also known as the ‘Blue Planet’ hosting oceans for more than 70% of its surface. Thus, a special event was co-organised by the Centre Scientifique de Monaco (Monaco Scientific Centre), the most important research centre in Monaco, and the Fondation MERI, major South American philanthropy body focused on science and education for environmental preservation. The outcome of the first edition of the Blue Economy Roundtable was produced on the 22nd March 2023 at the Yacht Club of Monaco (YCM) to which MONACŒCOART® had the pleasure to participate. Main theme of the two-day workshop “Fishing: Challenges and Opportunities for Ocean Sustainability”. A core topic developed on various working groups gathered both at the International Hydrographic Organisation and at the YCM within the Monaco Ocean Week, promoted by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
All participants (forty-seven members) reported their conclusions by assigned team through a peer-to-peer approach in the presence of H.E. Abdallah Moksit, the Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC, top-level scientific forum on global climate issues. In His keynote speech, His Excellency pointed out the importance to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to the issues under consideration. Thanks to the scientific contribution we have now a clearer idea of what awaits us in the future increasingly characterised by losses and damages we have to face accordingly. As reiterated, taking action can really make the difference involving the way of conceiving the economy that must be completely changed to ensure living conditions on our Planet. Climate justice and resilience will be on the spotlight of future actions to inspire decision makers in their crucial tasks.
The Monaco Scientific Centre has been fostering a multi-sectorial debate since 2010, playing a pioneering role in this new research model, as highlighted by Professor Denis Allemand, Scientific director of the CSM. In this footstep, the Roundtable was made of members with various backgrounds: natural sciences, social sciences, finance, industry and political decision-making. Dr Nathalie Hilmi, expert in Macroeconomics and International Finance & Head of the Environmental Economics Department at CSM, underlined the prior role of Blue Economy to encourage a fully sustainable use of oceans, carriers of vital biodiversity, to comply with an eco-responsible industrial use of marine resources to implement the economic growth, fair businesses and new job opportunities.
The Roundtable is therefore giving life to a particularly meaningful think tank. Francisca Cortes Solari, President of MERI Foundation, philanthropist, conservationist and entrepreneur, underlined how the meeting of different knowledge, both scientific and social, can allow to examine the issues from different points of view aiming to innovate through relevant actions towards human development, in the view of COP28 and COP30.
The cross-examination debate developed through five axes of interest: 1. Overfishing and its effects on biodiversity; 2. Marine Protected Areas as a tool for the control and conservation of biomass: solutions and governance; 3. Towards a sustainable economy: how to reconcile the market and marine ecosystem services; 4. Ocean Literacy: how to address the gap in decision makers common understanding of the oceans; 5. The role of financial markets and carbon credits.
Photos >> Working groups presenting their insights: Towards a sustainable economy how to reconcile the market and marine ecosystem services (left side); Environmental Education: Ocean Literacy introduced by Dr Pernille Schnoor, Senior Researcher at World Maritime University (right side) - (Yacht Club de Monaco, 22nd March 2023) © Maurice Abbati MOEA
Decarbonisation, a more sustainable management of fishing, marine nature preservation and new aquaculture farms to feed the human population without destroying ecosystems are among the pillars of the new Blue Economy. According to the latest IPCC report, in fact, seafood can provide up to 20% of the world’s protein supply in developing coastal countries. At the same time, the ocean life is a true carbon-capture driving force able to storage about 95% of the terrestrial carbon dioxide, contributing significantly to climate mitigation. The growing need to feed the world population, estimated at 9.5 billion people by 2050, has to minimise its impacts on valuable ocean biodiversity. This is the big challenge each of us has to tackle. ***
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing