NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
official media partner of national maritime foundation
By Sea and Coast | 04/05/2021

Securing the Blue Economy

A webinar on Securing the Blue Economy was organised by FICCI on 23rd of April, 2021 with Society for Aerospace Maritime and Defence Studies (SAMDeS) as the knowledge partner. The webinar being rich in expertise and experience was graced by naval chiefs, naval officers of high repute, and maritime experts across the globe. The presence of Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy; Admiral Sir George Zambellas DSC, FRAeS (Retd), Former 1st Sea Lord, & Chief of the Naval Staff, Royal Navy; Admiral K Kawano. (Retd), Former Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, SDF, Japan; Admiral Scott Harbison Swift (Retd), Former Commander, Pacific Fleet United States along with Admiral RK Dhowan, Former Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy, Chairperson, SAMDeS, VAdm G Ashok Kumar, Cmde. Sujeet Samaddar, VAdm RAM Rothberg, and other distinguished dignitaries verily showcased the naval and maritime finesse the event possessed.

The webinar was categorised into five sessions with a panel discussion on collaborating for secure safe and sustainable oceans and two technical sessions emphasising on leveraging the technologies for harnessing and securing the Blue Economy, each with their respective domain experts.

Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM (Retd.), Founder and Chairperson, SAMDeS, Former CNS, Indian Navy & Chairman National Maritime Foundation being an evangelist on Blue Economy and sessions chair on the panel discussion stressed upon the need to secure and harness the Blue Economy through his enriching words. 

Our Blue planet the Earth has a dominance of the maritime domain, with over 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by water, nearly 80% of the world population living within 200 nautical miles from the coast and about 90% of the world trade transiting by the sea. Oceans are therefore central to life on Earth. They are rich in oil and mineral resources, they are the suppliers of Oxygen, absorbers of Carbon dioxide, a virtual heat sink, rich in biodiversity and have emerged as the global economic highways for transit of seaborne trade. With depletion of resources on land, humankind has turned towards the sea for resources and there is a misperception that oceans have an unending resource base and are an infinite sink, but nothing could be further away from reality. Over the past few decades, we are witnessing pollution of the seas and contamination of the natural marine habitat, resulting in an adverse impact of climate change on the oceans. Studies have indicated that almost 80% of pollutants in the oceans emanate from land and if the current rate of pollution continues in a few decades we will have more plastic in the oceans than fish.

The concept of Blue Economy has emerged as a new paradigm and I would like to define harnessing the Blue Economy as Economic Development of all our maritime interests but by efficient utilisation of marine resources, with minimum impact on the environment to ensure sustainable development of the oceans.

While there are an ocean of opportunities to harness the Blue Economy there is a need to provide a safe, secure and stable environment in the maritime domain which can only be provided by comprehensive maritime security co-operation between the maritime forces of the region.