India’s population is set to surpass China and become the world’s most populous country. Finding available land to sustain several hundred million more Indians is challenging. With vast natural resources within its grasp, India is poised to find the key to its development in the ocean. But uncontrolled production surge in the Indian Ocean will lead to depleting fish stocks and more pollution unless holistic management regimes are put in place to govern the uptake of resources. Cooperation between coastal and maritime nations is crucial.
Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg has launched an international high-level panel that will work towards a more sustainable ocean economy. The panel will promote global cooperation on how to keep our oceans clean and healthy. It also opts to increase an international understanding of how sustainable use of the oceans are essential in covering our needs in the future.
The blue economy is an important part of Norway’s foreign and developmental policies. Internationally, Norway is in the forefront in oil, gas, shipping and offshore, along with major fisheries and aquaculture industries. Several programs that works to prevent blue economy pollution is launched. One of them is a NOK 150 million programme to combat marine litter and microplastics in development countries’ oceans. Norway’s expertise in the ocean economy can be shared with other nations, and engage a global dialogue on how to make our future more sustainable.
Other coastal states have been invited to participate in Solberg’s panel, along with key stakeholders from the civil society, researchers, and ocean industries representatives.
In 2019, the sixth “Our Ocean” conference will be hosted in Norway. The panel will present its final report the same year.