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Establishing blue economy status and the way forward in Malaysia

Stakeholders Consultation Workshop on the Preparation of the State of the Oceans and Coasts (SOC) Report: Focusing on the Blue Economy

2 November 2017
Kuala Lumpur

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The above forum was held at MIMA in cooperation with the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) and collaborative efforts with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). PEMSEA is an intergovernmental organisation operating in East Asia to foster and sustain healthy and resilient oceans, coasts, communities, and economies across the region.

The region is the centre of marine biodiversity globally and crucial for economic growth. It is home to more than 30 percent of the world’s critical ecosystems i.e., coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds. It also serves as a major tourist destination, fishing grounds, and as a conduit for world trade through ports and shipping activities, as well as a source for offshore oil and gas. Overall, the ocean economy is projected to contribute to between 3 to 19 percent of the GDP of each country in the region.

The region however, faces increasing issues and threats to the survival of its ecosystems and biodiversity as well as those related to poverty alleviation, climate change, and food, water and energy security. In accordance with the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), various measures and strategies are being put into place by governments and international organisations in the region towards achieving sustainable coasts and oceans.

One such effort is the formulation of the programme on SOC in the region (2017-2018) to address sustainable blue economy development. This initiative aims to make an assessment of ocean economy, ecosystem services and investment opportunities for sustainable blue economy development. The assessment aims to strengthen understanding of the role of the ocean and its contribution to national economies, impacts of human activities on ocean health and sustainability, potential areas for investments in environmentally-sound technologies and infrastructure, and the interventions and innovative mechanisms needed to respond to the changing environments and climate.

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       During the meeting  

 

Malaysia is one of the countries benefiting from the initiative which is presently in progress. This was the third such Stakeholders Consultative Workshop organised by MIMA since the end of 2016. Representatives from relevant government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and academe participated. In a nutshell, the contribution of the ocean economy to the nation’s GDP is projected to be at about 23 percent with a 4 percent share of the total employment in the ocean economy.

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Stakeholders engaged on addressing blue eocnomy status and development

 

The ultimate aspiration is to pave the way and fulfil national obligations under the UN SDGs Targets, Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the APEC Ocean-related Ministerial targets, and other international conventions and agreements. The development of a National SOC that focuses on the blue economy will contribute towards building a comprehensive picture of its development in the country and in region. 

As a follow-up to this Consultative Workshop discussions will be highlighted at the regional level at the upcoming Regional Blue Economy Forum in Bangkok from 14-15 November 2017. The forum will focus on the state of ocean health and progress in valuing the ocean economy at the national and regional level, as well as the crucial marine ecosystems services on which societies depend. Blue economy initiatives, innovations, policies and mechanisms towards realising a sustainable blue economy development in the region will also be discussed. 

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