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India and France Adopt Road Map on ‘Blue Economy’, Ocean Governance

  • Published
    22nd Feb, 2022
Context

India and France have adopted a road map on the ‘blue economy’ and ocean governance to enhance partnership for the exploitation and preservation of marine resources through economic, infrastructure and scientific cooperation.

Road map on the ‘blue economy’ and ocean governance:

  • Setting up an India-France partnership on the blue economy and ocean governance

India and France plan to set up an India-France partnership on the blue economy and ocean governance whose scope will encompass maritime trade, fisheries, ocean observation, marine biodiversity, marine protected areas, renewable marine energy, etc.

  • Institutional pillar: forging a common vision of ocean governance based on the rule of law

As part of this, India and France plan to organise an annual bilateral dialogue on the blue economy and ocean governance. The dialogue will play a driving role in the formulation, organisation and follow-up of cooperation projects in the four pillars of the partnership:

    • Institutional,
    • Economic,
    • Infrastructures,
    • Scientific and academic.
  • Economic pillar: making the blue economy a source of sustainable growth

India and France will prioritize the blue economy in the expansion of their economic exchanges. They will facilitate contacts between economic actors, business leaders, and maritime clusters in the two countries, as well as cross-border investments and visa issuance to blue economy entrepreneurs.

  • Infrastructure pillar: Cooperating on sustainable and resilient coastal and waterways infrastructure

India is looking to develop its ports, with a focus on environmentally friendly infrastructure, such as eco-fishing ports. In this regard, both sides will encourage knowledge and methodology sharing

  • Scientific and academic pillar: Better knowledge of the ocean to innovate and protect

Research in marine science and technology is indispensable for monitoring, protecting, and sustainably using marine living and non-living resources and biodiversity of the seas and the ocean, both sides will enhance their scientific cooperation as well as exchanges of students and researchers. 

Meaning of the term “Blue Economy”:

  • Blue economy' is the integration of ocean economy development with values of social inclusion and environmental sustainability, along with dynamic and innovative business models.
  • For India, however, blue economy extends beyond being merely an economic and environmental proposition. It presents India with an unprecedented opportunity to meet its national objectives, strengthen connectivity with neighbours, and exert influence in the surrounding regions.

Introduction on oceans and Blue Economy:

  • Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97% of the Earth’s water, and represent 99% of the living area on the planet
  • Oceans are claimed to be ‘last frontiers’ of growth and development, but the immense potential that the Oceans present remains to be tapped fully
  • However, this potential needs to be harnessed in a balanced manner, where the preservation and health of Oceans are given their due importance, along with adherence to the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 14 that states “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  • The Ocean based Blue Economy is the next sunrise issue for development – "The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs".
  • Blue Economy is based on the idea to use locally available resources and employ renewable inputs.
  • Marine based economic development will reduce environmental risks and mitigate ecological challenges. As a result, the optimized and responsible resource utilization will enable to achieve balanced socio­economic development
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