One Drop Is Enough To Make a Ripple: The Blue Economy
At a time where the effects of climate change are being felt it calls upon for conservation of not only the green economy but with equal measure the blue economy as they supplement each other.
Blue economy has a major role in humanity’s future as it offers sustainable development. It comprises of oceans, seas, lakes and rivers whereby it stands at 64% in Africa, close to 200 million Africans depend on it for their food and nutritional security thus providing income to 10 million people. African population that reside along the coastal areas are over the years increasing which is resulting to increasing pressure on the marine resources.
There is need to effectively exploit and manage these resources so as to protect them as well as upgrade peoples living standards through the creation of jobs through optimizing marine environments, fisheries, transportation, aquaculture, tourism, energy and mining. It is also worth noting that 90% of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted via sea which in turn generates income to particular individuals.
Over the years there have been various challenges that have been experienced in the quest to exploit the marine resources, such as over fishing (illegal, unreported and unregulated), unsustainable fishing practices, trafficking of people, illegal narcotics and weapons and also pollution. There is need to empower the communities living along the coastal areas as well as those engaging in economic activities along blue economy areas because failure to which 40% of surface water is likely to be lost by 2050.
In a bid to protect these vulnerable areas there is need to create awareness and for that reason African leaders adopted the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIM) in 2014 at the 22nd session of the Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, which aims to harness the Blue Economy. That alone is not enough and there has been increased effort to improve on the fishing methods as well as introduction of modern fishing gear that will see increase in biodiversity of marine life. Also there is a proposal to ensure that our education system includes aspects of blue economy which will ensure that the young are sensitized on how to exploit and manage the blue economy effectively. Other efforts that are being put in place are to ensure that there are proper laws in place to govern deep sea fishing.
One drop is enough to make a ripple, and each of our actions goes a long way to ensure the sustainability of the Blue Economy. A story is told of a former slave from Ghana who went to toil as a slave in a foreign country. On his way back home he brought with him the cocoa plant, that was the beginning and like they say the rest is history and his story has indeed made history. Today Ghana is one of the top exporters of cocoa with which the world gets to experience all the melting moments that come with chocolate. That simple act has served generations and more to come – generational thinking more so the ripple effect of the drop.
Effective management and exploitation of blue economy will see an increase in the GPD that is contributed by aquatic resources as well as that of agriculture which stand at 1.26% and 6% respectively.