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A Sustainable and Equitable Blue Recovery to the COVID-19 Crisis

A healthy ocean is the foundation for vibrant economies. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, ocean-based industries were estimated to contribute 2.5 percent of world gross value added and over 31 million direct full-time jobs. However, as governments seek to reset and rebuild following the pandemic, the ocean economy has been overlooked in stimulus measures, especially when one considers the pandemic’s devastating impacts on workers and sectors. There is an unprecedented opportunity, through global stimulus and recovery responses to the pandemic, to reset and rebuild economic activities in ways that will ensure a more sustainable, equitable and resilient ocean economy fit for everyone’s future. 

This new Ocean Panel-commissioned report, ‘A Sustainable & Equitable Blue Recovery to the COVID-19 Crisis’, offers a timely and practical roadmap featuring five priority blue stimulus opportunities that are ripe for immediate investment of stimulus funding. For policy and financial decisionmakers these are ready-made solutions to unlock much-needed relief and resilience and build a fair and just sustainable ocean economy fit for everyone’s future. 

The Special Report, ‘A Sustainable and Equitable Blue Recovery to the COVID-19 Crisis’ launched digitally on 16 September 2020. In the WRI 'Big Ideas into Action' podcast, 'What is a Sustainable Ocean Economy?', the Ocean Panel co-chairs, Erna Solberg (Prime Minister of Norway) and Tommy Remengesau Jr. (President of Palau), as well as the authors discuss the findings of the report. Read more in the WRI blog post by the report’s lead authors,  ‘Using the Ocean As a Tool for Global Economic Recovery’ or see the video series featured on Twitter which highlights the key messages of the report.




A Sustainable and Equitable Blue Recovery to the COVID-19 Crisis

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Summary for Decision-makers - A Sustainable and Equitable
Blue Recovery to the COVID-19 Crisis

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5 Priority Opportunities for a Blue Stimulus

This report proposes a set of five priority opportunities for governments to consider for the immediate investment of stimulus funds to support a ‘sustainable and equitable blue recovery’ from the COVID-19 crisis. These mutually beneficial, no-regrets ‘blue stimulus’ opportunities, identified on the basis of criteria, are particularly relevant at this time for their potential to deliver short-term economic, social (health) and environmental benefits for affected communities and sectors, while building longer-term social, economic and ecological resilience.

  • Invest in coastal and marine ecosystem restoration and protection

  • Invest in sewerage and wastewater infrastructure for coastal communities

  • Invest in sustainable community-led non-fed marine aquaculture (mariculture)

  • Incentivise zero-emission marine transport

  • Incentivise sustainable ocean-based renewable energy