South Africa’s blue economy: Towards Economic Growth?
North-West University, South Africa
The oceans and seas are affected negatively by overfishing, water pollution, carbon as well as ocean acidification to name hence it is important to ensure the sustainable use of the marine life which will contribute positively towards inclusivity and economic growth.
The blue environment provides vast opportunities for growth. South Africa is exploring its Blue Economy through Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy. This programme is in line with the National Development Plan 2030. The programme is inspired by Malaysian Big Fast Results methodology. Although the programme intends to create an inclusive oceans economy through creation of jobs, reducing poverty, inequality and to also improve the economic growth of South Africa; there are challenges and limitations that could hinder the progress of the programme.
Blue Economy is projected to contribute positively to all African member states, to eradicate poverty, to create employment as well as to improve the well-being of Africans in the provision of good healthcare services. In addition, the economic growth of Africa will improve to contribute positively towards Africa’s international trade, as it conducted by seas and oceans. South Africa’ blue economy approach is thus far showing signs of positive contribution which the rest of the continent can emulate and leverage for the betterment of the continent as a whole.
Blue Economy is a good initiative to sustain the ecology and contribute positively in the economy of a country. Being an inclusive approach; everyone can get an opportunity to participate in the economy. It will decrease youth unemployment hence it is paramount for Africa, as it is rising, to implement and monitor the Blue Economy initiative.
Blue Economy will contribute positively towards the rising of Africa. It has contributed positively towards the economy of South Africa by creating 521 jobs which increased by 23% from the baseline of 2012. South Africa’s success through the implementation of Blue Economy can provide lesson for Africa to rise through the implementation of Blue Economy.
A Blue Economy for Women's Economic Empowerment
1Centre for Gender and African Studies University of Free State; 2Democracy Governance and Service Delivery Research Programme Human Science Research Council South Africa
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) committed itself to a framework of gender equality through advancing women’s economic empowerment through the Blue Economy (IORA, 2016). At the heart of sustainable development for the IORA countries is the need to facilitate women’s economic empowerment, drawing on the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The vehicle through which to facilitate women’s economic empowerment in IORA is the key sectors of the Blue Economy. To this effect, the notions of both the Blue Economy and Women’s Economic Empowerment are cross-cutting issues that inform IORA’s 2017 – 2021 Action Plan. Although women have played an important economic role in the Indian Ocean for generations, they face a multitude of barriers to full economic inclusion in the Indian Ocean’s Blue Economy. In this article we explore the Blue Economy as a vehicle for women’s economic empowerment. Drawing on a three-pronged approach – incorporating a policy and literature review; elite interviews; and secondary data analysis of available data – we highlight the necessity for sufficient data from all member states to understand the participation rate of women in key Blue Economy sectors in order to facilitate women’s economic empowerment through the Blue Economy. We engage in a gendered policy analysis to determine the extent of women’s inclusion in the Indian Ocean’s Blue Economy sectors and make specific recommendations to facilitate an enabling environment and creative policy thinking and development for women’s economic empowerment through the Blue Economy.
Blue Economy pathways across the Seven Seas
Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, The
The Blue Economy as concept and practice have produced a diverse body of scholarly contribution, often with competing views, over the last couple of years. Despite this emerging body of literature, there is ambiguity about what the Blue Economy is, how it came about, and what it captures, given the evolution of practices. Described at large, as an innovative and inclusive sustainable development model, by policy-making institutions, the variances in theme are important to note. The Global South aims to address inequality, poverty and political marginalisation with this new blue outline. In contrast the Global North brief, is economic growth in an environmentally friendly manner, taking into account a few regional exceptions. Thus, most scholars echo the original sustainability promise as promoted by many developmental practitioners on the eve of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for a Sustainable Development from 2021 – 2030. Yet, some view this concept as a re-labelling exercise, a disguised form of resource plundering, alternatively ocean grabbing, or maybe even using a new label for old issues, to mask accountability. All in the name of sustainability with an inclusive conscience, parties keep on adding blue labels to strengthen their arguments. Some to brighten up the leading notion of a sustainable and transformational development framework within the ocean spaces. For others to gain or to regain blue spaces for their own agenda. It seems that regional powers, policy makers, development practitioners, green-blue activists, civic groups, business and academia, are all now ending up at the sustainable ocean development crossroads of the seven seas. Most scholars, define and use the term ‘sustainability’ within the context of the traditional three intertwined pillars, namely: social, economic and environmental. Therefore, any claim of ‘true sustainability’, should according to the literature, at least have these three components. Two additional elements surface in Blue Economy literature, identifying the relevance (and requirement) to be more space and place specific within a sustainable transformation context. Consequently, the addition of a cultural and a political component emerge as part of the Blue Economy frame. Thus, the Blue Economy is an extension of the Green Economy, but showcases more components to operationalise sustainable transformation. With many different discourses at play, the Blue Economy is therefore more than just the adaptation of the Green Economy to make ocean-based projects sustainable. Certain literature, may have some wordplay between similar concepts such as ‘community’ versus ‘social’ sustainability. An argument can be made, that such concepts are inclusive and will entertain ‘cultural’ sustainability as well, with limited justification for a separate classification. The same claim can be made regarding the classification of ‘political’ sustainability as a distinct component. Given this line of thought, the purpose of the paper will be to critique and list the identified core elements (together with the different lenses and enabling drivers identified) to make the case for inclusion of cultural and political components. The objective is to present a literature review that will give a better understanding of the current academic debate and discourses. How did the concept develop over time and what is the current research debate shaped by diverse stakeholders? In summary, the paper is about how the Blue Economy is defined in the emerging literature as well as the ‘blue economy discourses’ that can be considered as potential pathways towards just sustainable development?
Blue Justice For Small-Scale Fishers In The Blue Economy.
University of Western Cape, South Africa
This paper situates the concept of blue justice in the broader political, economic and ecological debates in the ocean spaces. Critically unpack the notions of sustainability, blue economy, and space for small-scale fisheries in the UN-FAO, development agencies, World Bank, Governments, Regional bodies, Big International conservation NGOs and Philanthropies are all supporting this new development agenda of Sustainable Blue Economy – of foreign direct investments in extractive industries such as oil, gas, minerals, and fisheries development through fast tracking aquaculture growth from establishing hatcheries to investing in fish farming production and markets and claiming large areas of the ocean space for protected areas. More and more we see the strong link between the UN-SDGs and blue growth/blue economy with a focus on large scale investments of the oceans and sustainability is situated within the privatisation of oceans space, the promotion of elite/adventure tourism and a resurgence of fortress-conservation. Although at the soul of the SDGs is human rights, decent life, transnational equitable partnerships –and for small-scale fisheries (SSF) the SDG goals of no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality, life below the ocean, life on above the ocean and life on land (next to the ocean, lake, and rivers) are all important and necessary but not sufficient as how do these goals address the power, class differentiation and inequalities within coastal communities.
Social justice as a human rights narrative strongly influenced the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security known as the VGGT and Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty (SSF guidelines) and became key international advocacy instruments for SSF on the global platform but in reality there is a lack of implementation of the guidelines in national policies. UN-FAO shift in focus away from the implementation of SSF Guidelines and VGGT towards the new development agenda of Sustainable Blue Economy.
Since, changes in the marine ecosystem are largely influenced by the political positions or decisions, and it is difficult to divorce some of the environmental decisions from the broader political and economic spaces. Critical scholarship is using a political economic and ecological lens to situate the ocean, coastal, blue grabbing narratives and to highlight tenure, access and livelihoods issues and challenges facing SSF. This ‘grabbing’ narrative has mainly been argued in academic forums and papers and has not gained much traction in social movements and community based organisations – why is this the case?
Case studies in South Africa (Buffelsjagbaai and Isimangaliso Wetland Park) Tanzania (Mtwara Marine Park and Paje Seaweed farmers of Zanzibar), and Ghana (Keta Lagoon Salt Mining) will show how SSF are now competing and marginalised with their Governments adoption of Blue Growth/Economy policies, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Rights-based fisheries – resulting in loss of land, livelihoods, access and criminalising livelihoods. Here, States play a key role in force removals of small-scale fishers livelihoods, introducing rights based fisheries, permits, licensing, levies, declaring MPAs without consulting small-scale fishers. How then do we create meaningful space for small-scale fisheries in a Sustainable Blue Economy? Moreover why do small-scale fisheries need to justify their space, place and livelihoods in the Blue Economy?
Blue Diplomacy: What is Diplomacy Adding to the Blue Economy Discourse?
ISS-Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, The
Economic diplomacy is an old practice of states and companies that receives intermittent attention from scholars. Despite claims that economic diplomacy may not work, be hard to trace, or not bring concrete results, the practice continues to be implemented comprehensively. The forms, the sectors, and the focus Economic diplomacy used vary by state and context. Through its practice, countries promote their companies, attract investments, increase their trade relations and build country images that are shared widely. Meanwhile, the use of economic diplomacy also shapes discourses in the negotiations, trade fairs, training courses and other ways, by which countries build their image in the international arena. While economic diplomacy is a practice in different sectors, a recent study has shown that it is also a common practice in the maritime industry, especially in the internationalisation process of port authorities. That is also the case for shaping the image of countries, such as small islands embedded in the new discourse of the Blue Economy.
The question is, how can diplomacy add to the Blue economy discourse. It relates to it from the beginning, since the Blue Economy discourse emerged at a diplomatic conference, at the Rio+20, in 2012. Yet, the impact of using economic diplomacy in the Blue Economy framework has not been investigated by scholarship. How countries are shaping their international image in that framework and what is the impact of that. This paper brings up more questions than answers as this is a new field. It questions how is diplomacy shaping the discourses on the Blue economy and whether forming it at the UN level is having any impact on the ground.