Policy brief : sustainable blue economy

Posted on 02 August 2023

BUILDING THE CASE FOR A SUSTAINABLE BLUE ECONOMY
THE OCEAN HAS GREAT VALUE

The Ocean provides ecosystem goods and services that support the well-being and prosperity of millions of people, particularly coastal communities, throughout the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. Tropical coastal ecosystems in particular, such as coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds, are some of the planet’s most productive ecosystems, providing important breeding and feeding grounds for fisheries and other species, protecting coastal populations from storms, acting as carbon sinks and securing livelihood and economic opportunities.

Calculated as a contribution to the national economy, the annual “gross marine product” of the Western Indian Ocean region (WIO) has been estimated to be worth at least US$20.8 billion/yr. with the total ocean asset base conservatively estimated to be around US$333.8 billion (WWF 2017).