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Ocean in Peril: UNCTAD Calls For Urgent Action on a Global Blue Deal to Safeguard Our Planet's Future

UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Manuel Moreno calls for urgent actions on Global Blue Deal in order to protect our planet's future.

Vivek Singh
UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Manuel Moreno (Photo Courtesy: UNCTAD)
UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Manuel Moreno (Photo Courtesy: UNCTAD)

The ocean may help developing nations through enormous opportunities by creating inventive and robust economies. On the other hand, pollution, climate change, and overfishing endanger nearly the three billion people whose livelihoods depend on it.

As per UNCTAD’s Trade and Environment Review 2023, which was released on Monday by the UN Trade and Development body UNCTAD assess the way in which human activity and numerous global crises have had a substantial impact on seafood, fishing, coastal tourism, shipping, and other industries. The report analyses the $3 to $6 billion global ocean economy.

The research, which was unveiled at the third UN Trade Forum in Geneva, asks for a “Blue Deal" to utilise the ocean sustainably.

The UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Manuel Moreno says that there are numerous prospects in the maritime economy. In order to conserve the ocean's resources and reap its benefits, we must find the appropriate balance.

The alternatives to plastics and seaweed farming are the two particularly promising industries for sustainable development says the research.

The global market for seaweed is expected to grow steadily over the coming years. Seaweed is a highly versatile and sustainable resource, with applications across a range of industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, cosmetics, and energy. The global seaweed market was valued at around $10.4 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 9% during the forecast period (2021-2026), driven by increasing demand for natural and plant-based products, and growing awareness of the health benefits of seaweed.

In the pharmaceutical industry, seaweed extracts are used for their immunomodulatory and antiviral properties, while in the agriculture industry, seaweed is used as a natural fertilizer and soil conditioner.

The growing demand for seaweed-based products is driving innovation and investment in the industry, with new technologies and processing methods being developed to streamline production and increase efficiency. However, sustainability and environmental concerns around seaweed farming and harvesting practices remain a challenge for the industry.

In 2020, the global market for plastic alternatives reached $388 billion, which is only a third of the market for plastics derived from fossil fuels. The report urges businesses and governments to increase funding for research and development in the rapidly developing sustainable ocean economy sectors.

It exhorts businesses to make investments in developing nations to boost their technology, talent, and productivity so that both can benefit from sustainable marine development.

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