Technology is a very fascinating economic activity. Nowadays, everything digital occupies a relevant place. In the big tech and crypto world, everyone uses the code of zeros and ones. But is that enough to live? Don’t we also need other things that bring us humanity? I think so. I think there is a world beyond the internet. A world full of nature, art, culture, love and friendship. A world that gives us unique and unprecedented experiences. A world that cannot be simplified with zeros and ones. A world worth discovering.
Today I am going to talk about a different economy: the blue economy. What’s that? well it is the ocean-based economy, that great unknown that covers 70% of our planet and that gives us half the oxygen we breathe. Yes, the same one that we are ruthlessly contaminating and exploiting.
Well, it turns out that the ocean is a source of enormous wealth. According to BBC World, if it were a country, it would be the seventh most powerful in the world, and it would be in the G7 club. Not bad, right? The ocean generates between 3 and 6 trillion dollars a year, thanks to activities such as maritime transport, fishing, tourism or renewable energy.
But not everything is rosy. The ocean is also suffering from climate change, overfishing and habitat destruction. For this reason, experts tell us that we must take care of it and protect it, because ours depends on its health. The next time you look at the sea, think that it is not only beautiful, but also very valuable. He definitely deserves our respect and attention.
According to BBC World, the father of this idea is the Belgian economist Gunter Pauli, which in 2009 published a book called “The Blue Economy”, where it presented 100 sustainable innovations that could create more than 100 million jobs. For example, using orange peels to make paper, or growing mushrooms with coffee grounds.
Pauli has rebelled against the green economy, which he says only benefits the rich who can afford green products. “Everything that is green is expensive, it is impossible”, says. For this reason, it sought a more inclusive and efficient alternative, which was recognized by the UN in 2012.
The idea is to take advantage of what you have. Apparently, Gunter Pauli is not satisfied with describing the world’s problems, but rather seeks practical and sustainable solutions. Pauli works with what is there, be it in the sea, on land or in the air. For example, in Argentina he uses slaughterhouse waste to feed fly larvae, which are then eaten by fish. Or, on Rapa Nui, an island that depends on external energy, he uses kites to generate wind power 24 hours a day.
The attitude of the blue economy is pragmatic. It proposes specific projects that improve people’s lives and the environment. This blue economy is a different way of acting, of seeing solutions where others see problems.
As we well know, the sea is a source of wealth and well-being for many people who depend on it and its resources. But the call is that we cannot continue exploiting the sea without taking care of it. For this reason, the recommendation is to practice the sustainable blue economy, which consists of taking advantage of the benefits of the sea without damaging or polluting it. Thus, we can have clean water, fresh food, renewable energy and algae gas, among other things.
According to BBC Mundo, some Latin American countries are already doing it, such as Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica, which have a very advanced ocean vision. But not all those who work with the sea are sustainable: there are fishermen, tourists and shipowners who do not respect the environment and put the future of the planet at risk. For this reason, the effort is aimed at educating them and making them aware that the sea is our friend and we must treat it well.
What really is the blue economy? But don’t expect an easy answer, because in a world riddled with fads, labels, catchphrases, and identity politics, it turns out that there is no universal definition of what a concept means.
Depending on who you ask, they will tell you one thing or another. Some will focus on sustainability and care for the environment, others on business opportunities and economic growth, others on ways of life and cultures linked to the ocean, and others on innovation and the use of marine resources.
It seems that there are as many visions of the blue economy as there are drops of water in the sea. Will it be possible to agree one day? Or, rather, will it be possible to do it before the sea turns red from exploiting it so much?
Sounds good right? But where does the money come from to make this idea a reality? Well then, there are various sources of funding for sustainable blue economy projects. One of them is private and public investments, which can come from companies, governments or banks interested in supporting initiatives that generate economic, social and environmental benefits. Another source is green funds, which are financial mechanisms that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. And another source is international organizations, such as UNDP.
But not everything goes in the blue economy. It is not about exploiting the ocean without criteria or responsibility. That’s why, work is underway to make clear the distinction between the sustainable blue economy and the one that is not. But obviously it’s not easy.
With the money available, projects such as tourism that regenerates the environment, energy obtained from the wind or the use of algae for food and as raw material for medicines could be promoted. Or also projects such as the one that helps and supports small-scale artisanal fishing communities to create marine areas for sustainable fishing. In this way, fishermen can request that an area be marked as sustainable fishing, escaping the control of intermediaries and generating employment in the community. It is true, not everything is big tech, crypto and the internet. The world is big.
Disclaimer: The information and/or opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views or editorial line of Cointelegraph. The information presented here should not be taken as financial advice or investment recommendation. All investment and commercial movement involve risks and it is the responsibility of each person to do their due research before making an investment decision.
It may interest you: