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International Workshop on Blue Economy

More than 72% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans and seas – much of which remain either under explored or, unexplored. Oceans and seas constitute over 95% of the biosphere. In the “Blue Planet”, water sustains life and living as also provides resources that directly contribute to human society e.g. marine transport, production of raw materials, fisheries, leisure activities, etc. Marine life and oceans/ seas continue to support human lives by generating oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, recycling nutrients and regulating global climate. Sustainable oceans and seas are increasingly essential for protecting livelihood of billions of people, ensuring food security, sustaining economic growth. 80% of global trade is conducted through maritime water. For instance, most of Bangladesh’s foreign trade worth US$ 65 billion is carried out through maritime shipping.

The oceans and seas constitute critical ‘global commons’. This is as much as for the coastal countries as also for the countries without access to seas. In the context of emerging construct of ‘blue economy’, it is increasingly recognized that in many ways the marine resources hold significance for a great majority of countries and of global population. Specific maritime economic activities and their value chains under Blue Economy entails accomplishing a range of framework conditions i.e. adequate infrastructure, including transport infrastructure, highly skilled human resource with access to low-skilled workers, public acceptance, a solid national/international legal framework regarding international waters, good governance at local and regional levels.

Yet, conservation, protection and a balanced exploration of marine resources face deepening climate change, economic and financial uncertainty as also a growing demand for natural resources. This appears to be deepening as the global population, changing nature of economic activities and demand over natural resource-base keep growing throughout the 21st century. Most projections suggest that global population is likely to reach 9 billion by 2050 and around 11 billion by the end of 2100 AD, only by which time global population growth is likely to plateau.

In responding to the complex challenges and likely uncertainties while striving to attain sustainable development, an integrated response would be needed. As the most-recently concluded discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the agreed set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets suggest, the issues impacting on oceans and seas should factor in ongoing and expected transformation of the global business and economy.

It is also recognised that many of the littoral and coastal States – having a majority of global coastal populace lag in respect of social and economic development. Some of these coastal countries face existential threats even. Ocean health and productivity are recognised as a key element of the universal and cross-cutting global agenda in eradicating poverty, strengthening food and resource security and building resistance to climate change. Therefore, the difficult circumstances and unique needs of these countries need special attention.

While the global community is faced with much of promise juxtaposed by challenges, advancing science-technology-innovation offer many ways to protect and sustainably develop marine resources e.g. bio-prospecting, mining of seabed mineral resources, etc. What is largely required is adequate analysis of marine affairs and marine resources and creating an adequate evidence-base and scientific assessment of the changes in many of the seas. Lack of comparable evidence base or, critical assessment or, knowledge about the base and the ongoing changes in respect of ocean acidification, marine pollution, etc. in the unexplored seas and coastal areas e.g. the Bay of Bengal often hinder conservation and optimal exploitation of economic potential by the coastal countries. This, in turn, constrains the ability for these countries to beneficially tap range of maritime economic activities. It is needless to underline that successful rolling out of maritime economic activities would positively impact on the entire portfolio of all maritime activities e.g. fishing, shipping, ship-building, tourism, renewable energy, marine mineral, maritime monitoring and surveillance. Therefore, there is a growing need to deepen efforts to attain critical international/global targets in regard to fisheries, aquaculture, habitat protection, pollution reduction, etc.


To promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities in the marine economic activities and inland of the countries along the Indian Ocean belt, particularly the Bay of Bengal, over short, medium and long term time frame.

Discussions would be aimed at mapping the works already done and also further works that need to be undertaken to secure inclusive and balanced promotion, protection and conservation of the marine resources.

International Workshop on Blue Economy

1 – 2 September 2014; Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka




 1 September 2014

Working Session – I: Ocean resources for sustainable development [1100 – 1330 hrs]

Moderator       : Md. Khurshed Alam, (Bangladesh) – setting the context


I. Mineral Resources of Deep Sea – Dr. Herman Kudrass (Germany)

II. Fisheries Management, Blue Growth and Natural Resources- Mr. Arni M Mathiesen (FAO)

III. Science and evidence: what we know; and need to know: focus Bay of Bengal- Dr.Prasanna Kumar (India)

IV. Blue Economy: promising new sectors of ocean energy and blue biotechnology- Mr. Johannes Gille (The Netherlands)

Designated discussants

Dr. Kawser Ahmed (Bangladesh)

Mr. Philippe Michaud (Seychelles)

Ms. Lilybeth Deapera (The Philippines)

Dr. Craig A.  Meisner (World Fish Centre, Bangladesh)

Mr. Riaz Hamidullah (Bangladesh)

Open discussion

Wrap up comments by Presenters        

Final remarks by Moderator

Working Session – II Access to acquire ocean resources [1430 – 1630 hrs]

Moderator       : H. E. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne (Sri Lanka).


I. Ocean Science: witness to human impacts on ocean and contributor to sustainable blue growthMr. Wenxi Zhu (UNESCO/ IOC)

II. The Role of science and technology in development of Blue Economy: Chinese Marine Perspective-Mr. Lei Bo (China)

III. UNCLOS: the Framework for Sustainable Ocean-Based Economy-Mr. Francois Bailet (UN DOALOS).

IV. How can Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) contribute to sustainable development? -Mr. Joacim Johannesson  (Sweden)

Designated discussants

Dr. S. Subasinghe (Sri Lanka)

H. E. Mr. M. Seebah ( Mauritius)

Dr. Jaya Josie (South Africa)

Mr. N.R. Ramesh (India)

Mohammad Musa (Bangladesh)

Open discussion

Wrap up comments by Presenters                    

Final remarks by Moderator

1630 – 1645 hrs: Tea break

1645 – 1700 hrs.:        Summary of discussion

1700 hrs             :        Adjournment of the proceeding

2 September 2014

Working Session – III Turning Ocean resources for prosperous future [1000 – 1200 hrs]

Moderator       : Dr. Mat Vanderklift  (Australia) – setting the context


I: Perspectives of sustainable blue economy – Prof. Dr. Chanwahn Kim (Republic of Korea)

II: Green Economy for Oceans and SIDS – Mr. Alberto Pacheco Capella (UNEP)

III: Catalyzing markets towards a sustainable blue economy – Mr. Jose Padilla (UNDP)

Designated discussants

Mr. Jim Bigus (USA)

Dr. Sultan Ahmed (Bangladesh)

                        Mr. Hwang Kee-hyung (Republic of Korea)

Amb. Nelson Ndirangu( Kenya)

Md. Zahedur Rahman Chowdhury (Bangladesh)

Mr. Haji Mohammadi (Iran)

Open discussion

Wrap up comments by Presenters

Concluding session [1200 – 1330 hrs]


Chair:                          H.E. Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP, Hon. Foreign Minister                                                    (Bangladesh)

Moderator:                  Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque  Foreign Secretary (Bangladesh)

Presentation of reports of the Working Sessions

Introduction and consideration of the (draft) outcome document: Way        Forward

Closing remarks by H.E Foreign Minister, Bangladesh (Chair)



Closure of the Workshop

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