Blue Economy policy consultations on the go

19 October 2021 | Economics

[email protected]

WALVIS BAY

Consultative workshops with various stakeholders for the development of Namibia's sustainable Blue Economy policy are taking place across the country.

The workshops are hosted for stakeholders to give their input on the draft policy.

Walvis Bay recently hosted such a workshop following a similar workshop in 2019.

“The desired outcome is for Namibia to implement a Blue Economy governance and management system that sustainably maximises economic benefits from marine resources and ensures equitable marine wealth distribution to all Namibians,” said Graca D’Almeida, a member of the Blue Economy Committee.

She encouraged interested parties to participate, share ideas and information on new technologies and innovations, and recommend long-term strategies on Blue Economy policy.

Thereafter, the various teams will come together to integrate the inputs and validate the report.

“After validation of the report, it will go to the ministerial committee and then to cabinet for approval.

We expect the process to be concluded within this current financial year,” D’Almeida said.

Principles

“The Blue Economy concept seeks to ensure sustainable, and integrated development of our ocean economy. It is anchored in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No 14 on Life below Water.

“Although Blue Economy is principally about the ocean, it includes inland waters such as lakes and rivers,” D’Almeida pointed out.

Blue Economy differs from ocean economy in that it must include the three pillars of blue economy, namely environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social inclusion.

D’Almeida emphasised that the Blue Economy concept is important to Namibia since we are blessed with abundant aquatic resources from which the people can benefit.

“To fully utilise these resources, we need to manage the environment sustainably to ensure that future generations also benefit from these resources. In Namibia, Blue Economy includes fisheries, marine mining, marine and coastal tourism, maritime transport, and coastal infrastructure such as ports, towns and coastal industries.”

She stated that the Blue Economy concept is underutilised in Namibia due to lack of coordination.

“The policy is also aimed at achieving an integrated approach amongst all the stakeholders. There is also a lot of research and development required to fully maximise the Blue Economy, such as carbon aspects, bioprospecting technology that need to be put in place.”

The economic valuation of these resources is needed to be determine what the country can get out of them. This will require a tremendous number of investments, especially in newly identified areas to ensure that they are developed.

The plan is to make the draft policy available on the ministry of fisheries’ website.

Written inputs can also be sent to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] by the end of October 2021.

Other consultative workshops will take place at Rundu on 18 October and Katima Mulilo on 20 October.

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