Understanding the Blue Economy: How to Build Up to the Benefits

Understanding blue economy – If we look at it, it turns out that Indonesia is a maritime country. The term maritime country refers to a country that has a larger water territory than its land area. At this time, maybe the term maritime is not a new thing for you. However, what about the maritime economy or the blue economy? Maybe some of you don’t really know the term.

Although basically a blue economy is a term you may have heard of, not everyone can really know what a blue economy is. So, what exactly is the blue economy?

So, to answer your sense of ignorance, of course the explanation of the blue economy in this article can help you.

Understanding the Blue Economy

The first thing we will discuss together is the meaning of the blue economy. The term blue economy has actually been around for decades, but for now this term may still sound so foreign to some people.

In simple terms, the blue economy is about activities that can generate a profit that will be owned or carried out by local residents and are not limited by natural resources. For example, the blue economy is not only limited to the fisheries and aquaculture sector, but can also be developed into the aspects of tourism, transportation and mining.

However, the emphasis is not on large or external investment scale. However, it is more local in nature with the aim that it can be directly felt by the surrounding community. Even so, it should be noted that the blue economy does not mean the local economy.

That means being able to export, good development, technology base but it still has to be carried out and continued to the local community. Each country has a different meaning and there are several countries that are not sustainable or have marine areas but are not blue.

In addition, the blue economy can also be defined as all economic activities that take place in the maritime area. Blue economy activities themselves are currently carried out by many archipelagic countries and countries that have a large ocean area.

according to the World Bank, the blue economy is the utilization of marine resources that are environmentally sound that can be used to support economic growth, welfare and livelihoods as well as the preservation of marine ecosystems. The blue economy also includes quite a number of sectors in it.

Starting from fisheries, renewable energy, tourism, water transportation, waste management, and climate change mitigation. If some of these sectors can be managed with a sustainable concept, then each of these sectors will certainly be able to help create a more prosperous country.

How to Build a Blue Economy After the Covid-19 Pandemic

As we know, there is almost no economic aspect that can survive the Covid-19 crisis. Many disruptions that have occurred in large sectors such as airlines, restaurants and sports which are widely discussed are experiencing the impact of Covide-19. Apart from that, the blue economy also has an effect on Covid-19.

This is evident from the existence of maritime logistics activities which have decreased by 30 percent due to Covid-19. Fishing activity in the areas of China and West Africa has also decreased quite drastically, namely 80 percent due to lockdowns and reduced demand for seafood products.

All countries that have a dependence on the maritime sector and coastal tourism have at least closed their borders. At the national level, Covid-19 was able to cause a loss of US$7.4 billion for the tourism industry, thus posing a real threat to 75 million jobs.

However, over time there has been a Covid-19 stimulus package designed to be able to restore the industry on a land basis and the community can also find ways to make the transition process to a greener operational mechanism. But a bluer operational method has yet to be considered. In fact, if we look back at the many great opportunities available in the sea and coastal areas.

There are several ways to rebuild the blue economy impacted by Covid-19 so that it can bounce back. So, here are some ways that can be used to make the blue economy rise in a sustainable manner.

1. Making Blue Tourism Even Bluer

It cannot be denied that before the Covid-19 pandemic, marine tourism globally was estimated to be able to have a value of US$390 billion and provide significant support to the country’s GDP. Millions of people depend on marine tourism and have an interest in marine health that cannot be ignored during a pandemic.

Recovery funds can prevent workers from being laid off by the process of creating jobs to be able to restore coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangrove forests given the high returns from coastal ecosystems for blue tourism.

Similar nature-based job creation programs have also been developed during the Great Depression. For example, the Civilian Conservation Corps in the US Stimulus Fund can also provide jobs such as renovating unoccupied hotels to raise sustainability standards.

For example, the provision of drinking water taps as a form of reducing plastic waste as well as water management systems and staff training processes to diversify their expertise.

2. Reducing Emissions from the Logistics Sector

Maritime logistics is capable of transporting around 90 percent of cargo worldwide. Ocean traffic is one of the biggest emitters of carbon and other air pollutants. The International Maritime Organization has provided a mandate for action to reduce logistics emissions by around 50 percent by 2050.

The reduction in the frequency of logistics activities during the Covid-19 pandemic provided an invaluable opportunity to achieve the set targets. Where ships that are not currently in operation can be upgraded to be more efficient in using fuel so as to produce fewer emissions.

Shipyards that tend to be quiet can also help with the renewal process of tools used to gain political support to meet future demand for zero-emission ships.

This appears to have great opportunities in Asia, as China, South Korea and Japan represent at least more than 95 percent of the world’s shipbuilding industry by tonnage calculation. All assistance that is specifically allocated to accelerate the development of decarbonization of the logistics industry must also include opportunities to electrify ports and the availability of fuel that does not produce emissions.

3. Avoid Catching Too Big Fish After Covid-19

In contrast to other types of investment, marine resources have actually increased quite significantly during difficult times. For example, during World War II, many fishing vessels had to stop operating.

Where this action is able to make fish populations such as cod also increase drastically. In addition, during the Covid-19 pandemic it also provided many benefits to the fisheries sector. When humans are able to restrain their desire for excessive fishing activities, it also has a significant positive impact.

In fact, humans must also start using fisheries science in the process of designing fishing protocols more intelligently so they can better maximize the long-term benefits of the advantages that began to emerge during the Covid-19 pandemic.

4. Providing Support to Seafarers

Ships are certainly a work environment that is considered to be a big challenge during the Covid-19 pandemic. Where seafarers who are more vulnerable, such as working in the logistics and fisheries industries, will have an important role for society.

Examples include supermarket employees and drivers delivering goods in the blue economy. One form of effort that can be made to activate some of these sectors is by conducting rapid tests and swab tests for crew members and the idea is that seafarers will be able to return to their homes more safely and properly after doing the fishing profession for one month.

Crew members should also be given access to more secure communication channels to be able to communicate with their families back home. In the fishing industry, it turns out that better communication could have a sizable advantage in the fight against slavery at sea.

5. Maintaining the Existence of Marine Plants

If you look at it, there are only about 7.4 percent of the ocean that can be protected. The existence of marine parks will provide many benefits for marine biodiversity and be able to help increase livestock fish populations which in turn will also provide other additional benefits such as increasing the regional fisheries sector, creating jobs in the tourism sector and increasing the potential to absorb greater carbon emissions.

However, several parties have for now provided suggestions to open marine parks to the fishing industry due to Covid-19. This win is not a choice that is considered wise enough.

This is because marine parks are a form of long-term investment that takes decades to develop and can even be easily damaged in a relatively short time. Not only changing the future of fishermen, but closing the marine park can also be a big blow to blue tourism in a sustainable manner.

6. Utilizing the Sea to Meet World Food Needs

Scientists estimate that the fulfillment of nutrition for 845 people in the world will be threatened when seafood stocks decrease. Where the challenges will be even more severe when the Covid-19 pandemic begins.

For example, there is disruption to the seafood trade and work networks. We can reduce the impact of Covid-19 on the food security system by utilizing stimulus funds that are used for the process of developing aquaculture or marine agriculture which is expected to provide nutrition for local people from vulnerable groups while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Investments like this can take as an example the agricultural sector which is considered to be very environmentally friendly and able to improve nutritional status.

7. Digitize the Ocean

One way to accelerate blue economic growth due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is to invest in stimulus for marine technology. This method is claimed to be able to help us in the monitoring process and better understand the oceans with more efficient and more effective methods.

For example, the fisheries observer program can assist the marine industry in carrying out the process of collecting data that is very necessary in order to increase catches, enforce laws and protect species that are included in the temporarily endangered group when it is stopped due to Covid-19.

An electronic monitoring system based on artificial intelligence is claimed to be able to contribute to the data collection process. In addition, we can also take advantage of various other opportunities.

For example, such as improving the interpretation of satellite data with the support of sophisticated machine learning and drones to be able to limit illegal fishing activities in areas where entry into conventional marine patrol areas has been reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic to connecting fishermen through sustainable practices with consumers with take advantage of the application when restaurants and markets are closed.

Benefits of Doing Blue Economy Development

After knowing how to rebuild the blue economy after the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course there are several benefits to be achieved from blue economy development actions.

The benefits of developing a blue economy are the preservation of marine biodiversity and marine and coastal ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods, especially for people who live in coastal areas.

It cannot be denied that Indonesia has considerable potential to be able to carry out a blue economy recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only that, the impetus for transition from extractive efforts can also provide added value and productivity.

The blue economy will become a space for creating various kinds of innovations and new creativity. Both in existing sectors and sectors that are still in the development stage.

Therefore the existence of a blue economy can be a driving wheel for increasing welfare that is increasingly inclusive. Indonesia’s transition to a blue economy is also expected to be able to become a model for developing marine-based industries in a sustainable manner and reduce economic dependence on the extractive sector.

It is hoped that the preparation of the Blue Economy Development Framework can also provide support for a more integrated and more comprehensive approach so as to make the blue economy more enhanced which covers various sectors and across behaviours.

Therefore the development of a blue economy requires synergy between actors and sectors in order to be able to deal with various kinds of opportunities and challenges to achieve a balance between conservation and utilization of marine and coastal resources to create welfare that is more sustainable and more inclusive.

Well, that’s the summary of the blue economy. From the explanation above, we know that the existence of a blue economy is really needed. Especially after Covid-19, of course, special efforts are needed to improve the blue economy.

From all the discussion above, it can be said that the blue economy really helps the economy of a country, including Indonesia. After reading this article to the end, I hope all the material above is useful and adds to your insight.

Leave a Comment