Ministry of 'Blue Economy' inevitable : MoS, External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs
Technology For You , Jan 21, 2020
V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Govt of India, acknowledged that a Ministry of Blue Economy is inevitable going by the importance it has for economic growth here in New Delhi on 17th January.
He further said that this needs to be backed by the goal of achieving an all-inclusive and sustainable development, which is possible though fostering and developing blue growth in the country.
Muraleedharan added that Blue Economy is one of the most important areas of cooperation where countries of South Asia, Pacific Island Developing and the West, have developed national strategies and maritime agendas to develop Blue Economy. We need to learn from global best practices to harness the resources for economic and social development in sustainable manner, he said.
Muraleedharan highlighting the importance of Blue Economy said India and international community need to leverage the benefits of blue economy in efficient way. “The success will lie in connecting the dots for economic prosperity while preserving common ocean wealth and heritage for future generations,” he said.
Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI, said, “Oceans are the next frontier of global growth. The benefits of Blue Economy to India is immense as India has a coastline of over 7500 kms. With this huge coastline, sky is the limit.”
Amb Rajiv Bhatia, Chair, FICCI Core Group on Blue Economy, said, “Informed and purposeful pro-activism is needed to assist our coastal states with best global practices in technology, management and investments. FICCI has the role to be the bridge builder between sources of foreign technology and those who need in the Indian coastal areas.
FICCI-KAS report on ‘Blue Economy – Global Best Practices’ was also released during the event.
Highlights of the report:
The report presents a set of recommendations pertaining to strategic, institutional and sectoral aspects as well as industry engagement.
The Blue Economy strategy of India should have three critical ingredients:
- Economic growth balanced by sustainable development;
- A Public Private Partnership (PPP) encompassing governments at the Centre and state levels as well as
- Business and Industry and Civil Society; and,
- Essentially a multi-disciplinary approach covering all relevant stakeholders.
- In order to implement the desired strategy, the country may, in the medium term, need a full-fledged Ministry of Blue Economy
- However, as an immediate measure, the Government is urged to design and establish an effective institutional mechanism for coordination and leadership, covering all relevant authorities and stakeholders
- Create a new Blue Economy Policy Unit for external dialogue and cooperation projects and consider locating it in the Ministry of External Affairs
- Launch a new ‘India Blue Economy Forum’ comprising representatives of Government, Business and private sector experts, for sustained dialogue and follow-up, while ensuring that it functions as a collective public-private partnership enterprise and serves as a bridge linking all the relevant stakeholders. It could be anchored in an appropriate institution or organization such as FICCI
- Nurture, in a practical and sustained manner, India’s multifaceted ties with relevant multilateral and regional organizations
- A national Blue Economy accounting system should be developed to obtain a holistic understanding and value of various sectors to provide robust policy prescriptions.
- Undertake focused studies on the sub-sectors of the Blue Economy such as marine leisure industry, role of Industry 4.0 technologies, smart river management, marine biotechnology, offshore renewable energy and fisheries related sectors
- Engage IITs and other institutions to encourage innovation to support the Blue Economy
- Explore and popularize the concept of Green and Blue Bonds
- Create Blue Economy Atlas as a valuable business tool for all coastal states and island territories of India
- While commercial deep sea mining may not take place in the near future, preparations for legal and contractual formalities should be undertaken
- On the policy aspect, India should support signing of exploitation contracts when the term of current exploration contracts come to an end. Upon signing of the first exploitation contract it becomes obligatory to set up the commercial arm of the International Seabed Authority, namely, the Enterprise. The main function of the Enterprise is to begin seabed mineral exploitation in the reserved areas, simultaneously, with other contractors
- India should explore the possibilities of joint venture operations with the Enterprise, the commercial arm of the International Seabed Authority, as soon as it is established
- India should be prepared to play a proactive role in the Governing Board of the Enterprise, when established
- India should also be prepared to seek representation in the Economic and Planning Commission of the ISA once established
- India should explore partnerships and collaborative ventures relating to lifting, transportation, extractive metallurgy, environmental impact assessment, and restoration techniques
- India should also explore business opportunities in the area of transportation of materials recovered from deep-seabed, port facilities and storage facilities. It could also devise collaborations with South Africa, Mauritius and Seychelles in infrastructure and logistics arrangements that may be required
- Indian authorities and industry should plan careful and focused expansion of capacities, both through the capture and culture route to take advantage of the expanding demand supply gap, which would need an additional global production of over 30 MMTs by 2030
- Capacity expansion must be pursued with sustainability by paying special attention to ecosystem driven approaches to fish stock management, less polluting feed/disease control methods, high value culture varieties and avoidance of gene pool contamination
- Adopt measures to reduce wastage through the entire supply chain from catch to plate
- Introduce better quality assurance and certification system, including hygiene and cold supply chains
- Promote research in marine biotechnology, especially marine metabolites
- Greater emphasis on improving coastal and marine tourism infrastructure, including connectivity, quality accommodation, hygiene and security
- Initiate pilot projects for introducing and promoting ecosystem based marine spatial planning, which in due course could be extended to larger ocean spaces
- Adopt proactive measures to reduce marine litter, which also offers business opportunities