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Budget 2024: Blue Economy 2.0; Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman States climate-friendly Approach

The Blue Economy, which harnesses the potential of oceans, seas and coastal areas, emerges as a key area of focus in discussions surrounding sustainable development

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced news plans for the inauguration of Blue Economy 2.0 during her interim budget speech today, this scheme is to promote climate- resilient activities and sustainable development in coastal areas. The focus will be on  restoration and adaptation measures, including the expansion of coastal aqua culture and mariculture, adopting an integrated band multi- sectoral approach. The Blue Economy, which harnesses the potential of oceans, seas and coastal areas, has emerged as a key area of focus in discussions surrounding sustainable development. With marine ecosystems facing unprecedented threats from climate change, pollution, and overexploitation, there is an urgent need for coordinated action to safeguard the health and resilience of ocean resources.

Minister Sitharaman’s statements signals the government’s commitment to addressing these challenges and unlocking the economic potential of the Blue Economy. By promoting climate-resilient activities, the Blue Economy 2.0 scheme aims to build resilience against the impacts of climate change while fostering sustainable growth in coastal regions.

“For promoting climate resilient activities for blue economy 2.0, a scheme for restoration and adaptation measures and coastal aquaculture and mariculture with integrated and multi-sectoral approach will be introduced ,” she said.

The program’s main components are adaptation and restoration initiatives, which include rehabilitating damaged coastal habitats and putting adaptation plans into place to lessen the consequences of extreme weather and sea level rise. These initiatives are essential for maintaining the ecosystem services that maritime ecosystems provide, safeguarding coastal communities, and preserving biodiversity.

Furthermore, the Blue Economy 2.0 plan would prioritise the growth of mariculture and coastal aquaculture, both of which are essential for satisfying the world’s rising seafood demand and easing the strain on wild fish supplies. The programme intends to ensure the long-term viability of marine resources while fostering sustainable aquaculture techniques and integrating them with other industries like tourism and renewable energy. This will open up economic prospects for coastal communities.

Crucially, the integrated and multi-sectoral approach adopted by the Blue Economy 2.0 scheme recognises the interconnectedness of various sectors and the need for coordinated action across government departments, industries, and civil society. By fostering collaboration and partnership, the scheme seeks to harness the collective efforts of stakeholders to achieve sustainable development goals in coastal areas.

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