The Blue Economy Will Become Bayelsa’s Next Economic Frontier – Gov. Diri’s SSA on Tourism

The Blue Economy Will Become Bayelsa’s Next Economic Frontier – Gov. Diri’s SSA on Tourism

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism and Publisher of the Blue Economy Online Magazine, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has expressed the hope that the emerging Blue Economy will become the next economic frontier for Bayelsa state because it holds great potential for wealth creation, economic growth, employment, and innovation

Dr. Kiyaramo applauded Governor Douye Diri’s plan to establish a new Ministry of Blue Economy in his second term in office, reiterating that investing in the maritime sector would undoubtedly place Bayelsa strategically to benefit from blue growth opportunities.

Speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State Capital City on Tuesday, Dr. Kiyaramo however, expressed worry that though the oceans, seas and coastal areas contribute to food security and poverty eradication, yet, the oceans have come under severe threats by human activities, saying that economic gains have been rather given preference at the expense of environmental degradation.

The Publisher pointed out that such threats are detrimental to the planet because of the attendant long-term repercussions which demand urgent collective action to protect the oceans and the people who depend on them for livelihood, informing that acidification, pollution, ocean warming, eutrophication and fishery collapse, are examples of the consequences on the marine ecosystems.

He enumerated some key points of the emerging Blue Economy concept including sustainable fishing, ocean health, aquatic wildlife, and stopping pollution, reiterating that the Blue Economy is expected to promote economic growth, social inclusion, and preservation or improvement of livelihoods with a view to ensuring the environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas.

According to the governor’s aide, the Sustainable Development Goal 14, which is labelled as “Life Below Water,” talks about conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, while demanding international cooperation to get back the oceans balance.

Dr. Kiyaramo noted that achieving SDG Goal 14 requires universal action to protect the planet and calls for the implementation of relevant international conventions and legal framework, saying that though some progress has been made in this regard, the targets by 2030 still remain a long way off, pointing to the need for more collective action today.

“Furthermore, coastal and marine tourism is the largest business within ocean related activities in terms of employment. The oceans and seas are a key source of food, energy, and minerals and are being used more and more for multiple sectorial activities. Common examples are fisheries and aquaculture and processing and trade of these resources.

“Maritime transport also plays a big role in the globalized market in the form of containerships, tankers, and ports for the vessels. The Blue Economy has the power to achieve better governance of marine ecosystems, lower emissions, just health standards, and become a player in fighting climate change. In recent years, other emerging sectors within the energy sector have also grown exponentially, as the oceans have become popular sites for renewable energy.

It would be recalled that for the past few years, the use of the term “Blue Economy” has increased and has been used by the United Nations (UN) European Union (EU), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank to explain the nexus between sustainability, economics and the ocean. In fact, the UN notes that the Blue Economy is exactly what is needed to implement SDG 14, Life Below Water.

“Blue economy” is an economic term linked to exploitation and conservation of the maritime environment and is sometimes used as a synonym for “sustainable ocean-based economy.

This is backed up by scientific findings, which show that the earth’s resources are limited and that greenhouse gases are damaging the planet. Pollution, unsustainable fishing, habitat destruction, etc., also harm marine life, and these threats are increasing day by day.

This highlights the importance of global cooperation across borders and sectors, indicating that governments, organizations and decision makers need to join forces to ensure that their policies won’t undermine each other in the use of the seas, oceans and coastal areas.

Research indicates that 40% of the world’s population live near coastal areas, while more than 3 billion people utilize the oceans for their livelihood, and 80% of world trade is achieved using the sea routes.


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