A G20 vision for the commons of the ocean
GS 2 Agreements Involving India &/or Affecting India’s Interests
- India’s G20 presidency would play a crucial role in promoting individual and collective actions that facilitate the transition to a sustainable blue economy.
G20 countries & significance of oceans
- The G20 nations account for approximately 45 percent of the world’s coastlines and more than 21 percent of the exclusive economic zones (EEZs).
The oceans are
- repositories of global biodiversity,
- crucial regulators of global weather and climate, and
- contributors to the economic prosperity of billions of coastal residents.
- The term “blue economy” encompasses not only ocean-dependent economic growth, but also inclusive social development and environmental and ecological security.
G20 & initiatives for blue economy:
- Over the past decade, the G20 forum has discussed a number of ocean-specific issues. Among these are the
- G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter,
- Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, and
- Coral Research and Development Accelerator Platform.
- At the Ocean 20 launch in Bali in 2022, holistic blue economy discussions were initiated.
Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group:
- As part of India’s G20 Presidency, the Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group has identified the blue economy as a key priority area (ECSWG).
- The first meeting of the ECSWG marks the beginning of constructive discussions for a sustainable future within the G20 countries, under the leadership of India’s G20 presidency.
- This strategy is consistent with the Prime Minister’s call for the global adoption of a “Lifestyle for the Environment” that promotes mindful use over mindless consumption patterns.
- The objective is to promote the adoption of high-level principles that guide sustainable and equitable economic development through the ocean and its resources, while addressing climate change and other environmental challenges simultaneously.
- The G20 is comprised of a diverse group of nations with diverse national circumstances. Several G20 members have released their blue economy development and/or expansion strategies. This forum provides an excellent opportunity to establish effective communication with all stakeholders in order to share best practises, foster collaborations for scientific and technological advancements, promote public-private partnerships, and develop innovative blue finance mechanisms.
Threats & responsibility:
- Intensifying extreme weather events, ocean acidification, and sea level rise pose a threat to countries’ ambitious efforts to grow their blue economies.
- Increasing marine pollution, excessive resource extraction, and unplanned urbanisation also pose significant threats to ocean, coastal, and marine ecosystems, as well as biodiversity.
- Due to the inherent interconnectedness of oceans, activities occurring in one region of the world may have global repercussions.
- Therefore, all nations are responsible for their protection, conservation, and sustainable utilisation.
- Effective and efficient ocean and blue economy governance is also a significant challenge, as the blue economy involves a variety of stakeholders and affects a number of other sectors of the national economy.
|India’s initiatives the development of blue economy
• The Indian government has launched bold initiatives to foster the growth of a blue economy.
• The Sagarmala initiative encourages port-driven growth.
• Shipbuilding is encouraged by the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy.
• The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana promotes a “blue revolution” through the responsible and sustainable development of the fisheries industry.
• The Sagar Manthan dashboard provides real-time vessel tracking.
• The Deep Ocean Mission investigates deep-sea resources in the EEZ and continental shelf, as well as develops the technology necessary to exploit them.
• India adopted the Coastal Regulation Zone notification in order to classify and better manage coastal regions, as well as protect ecologically sensitive coastal and marine areas, including ecosystems.
•As the 2018 host of World Environment Day, the Indian prime minister issued a clarion call for the elimination of single-use plastic.
• In 2022, the international community united in support of a multilateral treaty to combat plastic pollution.
• In the same year, India amended the Plastic Waste Management Rules to prohibit certain single-use plastic items and introduced policies for extended producer responsibility in waste management to combat plastic pollution in the marine environment.
- India’s commitment to prioritising oceans and the blue economy during its G20 presidency would ensure the continuation of discussions on this vital topic and pave the way for future G20 presidency terms.
- The outcomes of this forum should inform other interconnected international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, etc.
- Ocean stewardship is an investment that will provide for future generations. One Earth, One Family, One Future must unite the global community for the health of our ocean commons.
Daily Mains Question
[Q] Under India’s G20 Presidency, the blue economy is identified as a key priority area. Elucidate. Highlight initiatives for the development of India’s blue economy.