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Building a Sustainable Blue Economy – Davos 2023 Session Recap
The ocean is the planet’s biggest carbon sink, which supports 90% of global trade and the livelihoods of billions of people around the world. Climate change, plastic pollution, overfishing and other stresses pose unprecedented threats, making it incumbent on business to take action and find ways to protect ocean environments and create sustainable jobs in the blue economy.
“It's really imperative that we find this balance of using the ocean to our advantage but also protecting it, not just for ourselves currently, but for future generations,” said Brooke Hadeed, one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. She was speaking at a panel session on Thursday 19th January in Davos.
Ocean 20: Building a Sustainable Blue Economy panellists in conversation at Davos 2023
CREDIT: World Economic Forum
The threat is particularly stark for the lives and livelihoods of communities in countries and small-island states facing the everyday consequences of the climate crisis, such as coral reefs, mangroves and sea meadows dying, rising sea levels and increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events.
But while coastal communities are most impacted, the challenge is universal, and there are signs of positive momentum towards the preservation of ocean ecosystems and an increase in economic sustainability.
“We're starting to see real understanding of the ocean/climate nexus now, and the climate finance needle moving in the direction of the sustainable blue economy,” said Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean.
But the challenge ahead cannot be underestimated. A multilateral approach is needed, which includes transformational finance, cooperation and agreement on international standards and action, and education programmes to better understand how to protect, restore and sustain precious ocean ecosystems. And, most importantly, urgent action is needed to address climate change.
DP World understands the value of the natural world and supports local action programmes to help preserve local ocean ecosystems.
For example, DP World Yarimca is working alongside Istanbul University and the Marine Life Conservation Society on the Yellow Coral Conservation Project, which aims to reverse the damage to the Yellow Coral through restoration work, close monitoring techniques and replanting.
We are also conducting research to find ways to restore oyster habitats in the UAE, for example, as decades of coastal development has caused populations to decline.
Healthy oyster beds are amazing natural marine filters, which could re-generate the oxygen-depleted waters of the Arabian Gulf, increase marine biodiversity and fish populations, and create new opportunities for sustainable blue economy jobs and ecotourism.