3rd March, Mumbai: India has taken on the presidency of the G20, a global forum for economic cooperation and policy coordination. One of its areas of focus is the “blue economy,” which refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, job creation, and ecosystem health.
India has a long coastline of over 7,500 km and an exclusive economic zone of 2.2 million sq. km, making it uniquely situated for the development of its blue economy. The country has made significant progress in sectors like fisheries, shipping, and tourism, with initiatives like the Sagarmala program and the National Fisheries Policy promoting sustainable development.
As the G20 presidency, India has the opportunity to lead the global discussion on the blue economy and promote sustainable ocean-based economic activities. This is particularly important given the crucial role of oceans in global food security, energy production, and climate regulation.
One priority could be promoting sustainable fishing practices, given that over 80% of the world’s fish stocks are fully exploited, over-exploited, or depleted. India could lead efforts to promote sustainable practices like using selective fishing gear and reducing by-catch.
Another focus could be promoting sustainable shipping practices. Shipping is critical for global trade but has a significant environmental footprint. India could promote sustainable shipping practices like using cleaner fuels and improving vessel efficiency.
Finally, India could promote the development of ocean-based renewable energy. Sources like wind, waves, and tides offer significant opportunities for sustainable power generation. India could lead efforts to promote the development of offshore wind farms or the deployment of wave energy devices.
In conclusion, as India takes on the G20 presidency, it has the opportunity to promote sustainable ocean-based economic activities and lead efforts to protect and conserve marine ecosystems. By focusing on the blue economy, India can demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and lead the global effort to create a more sustainable future.