The “Blue Economy” is an increasingly popular concept as a strategy for safeguarding the world’s oceans and water resources. It may emerge when economic activity is in balance with the long-term capacity of ocean ecosystems to support the activity in a sustainable manner.

The concept of the Blue Economy suggests the inherent conflicts between growth and development, and protection of ocean resources. The inherent conflicts require solutions to embrace the opportunities associated with the ocean economy while recognising and addressing its threats.

The potential solutions on a global scale are advocated by the United Nations in their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the identification of the scope and boundaries of the Blue Economy in line with the SDGs is vague—even challenging.

Associate Professor Ki-Hoon Lee from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, along with colleagues, Junsung Noh and Jong Seong Khim examined the scientific evidence of the association between the Blue Economy and the SDGs, and relevance of stakeholders.

The authors found that the Blue Economy is highly associated with SDGs 14 (Life below water), 15 (Life on land), 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the goals).

They also found that stakeholders prefer SDG 3 (Good health and wellbeing) and SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) in the Blue Economy context.

The concept of the Blue Economy and its link to the SDGs offers a way to develop locally grounded but globally scaled directions. Prof. Lee is Deputy Leader of Program 5 Sustainable Offshore  Development, Australian Blue Economy CRC.

Please click here to read the full paper “The Blue Economy and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals: Challenges and opportunities” written by Ki-Hoon Lee, Junsung Noh and Jong Seong Khim.