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Blue Economy

The Blue Economy describes the sustainable use and conservation of aquatic resources in both marine and freshwater environments. This includes oceans and seas, coastlines and banks, lakes, rivers and groundwater. It comprises activities that exploit aquatic resources (fisheries, mining, petroleum, biotechnologies, etc.) or use aquatic environments (maritime transport, coastal tourism, etc.), once they are done in an integrated, fair and circular manner. These activities help to improve the health of aquatic ecosystems by establishing protective and restorative measures. 
The Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa (SRO-EA), through its Cluster on Sub-Regional Initiatives, provides policy and technical support to governments and regional organizations working towards a thriving and sustainable Blue Economy in Eastern Africa. In 2016, SRO-EA led the production of the Blue Economy Policy Handbook for Africa, an essential tool for developing strategic policy frameworks for the sustainable use and management of aquatic resources. The Handbook’s methodology has been leveraged for the Blue Economy strategies in Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, and regionally by the Indian Ocean Commission, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the African Union. 
Most recently, SRO-EA’s support has focused on valuing the full socio-economic and ecological potential of the African Blue Economy. This includes developing a Blue Economy Valuation Toolkit (BEVTK) with an operational manual and testing it in three country contexts: coastal state (Djibouti), land-locked state (Rwanda), and island-state (Seychelles).
Fast Facts
  • The global ocean economy is worth around US$1.5 trillion each year.
  • Eastern African economies earn well over US$10 billion each year from the Blue Economy. We are working to get a better estimate.
  • Africa loses $1.3 billion annually to illegal fishing, mainly in West Africa (ODI).
  • Leveraging estimates from WWF, Eastern African economies may be losing US$104-260 million each year to illegal fisheries.
Research and Publications  
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