Report of APEC Blue Economy Forum ——Promoting the Green Growth of the Marine Economy
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1. Introduction The 2010 APEC Leaders' Declaration emphasized that both economic growth and environmental sustainability should be advanced in a holistic manner, and progress toward a green economy should be accelerated in APEC economies. Green Growth has been emphasized in the leaders’declaration as one of the parts of the Growth Strategy which will be implemented out to 2015 in APEC region. Under the Green Growth agenda, the economics will facilitate the diffusion of environment-friendly technologies, including through ECOTECH and capacity building activities.
In the Asia-Pacific region, marine based industrial development and growth is exerting enormous driving force to the social-economic development in recent years. To promote the APEC marine economy increasing, the economics should ensure the sustainable development of the Asia-pacific oceans, seas, and coasts, including their resources, and the conservation of the marine environment.
Compared to marine economy, Blue Economy is a wider concept, and has more development connotation. It emphasizes on the sustainable development of the ocean, the coordination of marine ecology, economy and society, the expansion of marine industry extension, and the development of the ocean and the land as a whole.
To promote the Green Growth in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthen the economical technology cooperation and capacity building, and secure the sustainable development of the ocean and its resources, on November 5th, 2011, the APEC Blue Economy Forum, with the banner of Promoting the Green Growth of the Blue Economy was held in Xiamen.
2. Highlight 2.1 Session 1:Concept and pattern on Blue economy (BE) development Prof. Wen Quan (PRC) gave a comprehensive overview of several of the key initiatives driving the interest in the BE and setting the context of economic evolution from the production to the low carbon and now the ecological economy – a mix of blue and green- turquoise perhaps? The blue economy now turns away from Blind economic growth which depletes sustainable natural capital. The new approach emphasises Land and Sea Integration, Principal Functional Zoning (PFZ) regulation and coordination of activities, assembly of industry and addressing “black holes” and ineffectiveness. Wen predicted the dawn of a blue industry revolution, based on innovation and development of bi-medical products, food, seawater use and renewable energy development. The context of the Millenium Assessment indicates the oceans have 55% of total carbon capture among with 50-70% of carbon capture is in sediments and hence the value of coastal ecosystem services of $2,500 billions across land and sea.
The principles that have emerged from trans-boundary and straddling stocks and high seas stocks were presented by Prof. Gordon R. Munro (Canada). The degree of cooperation between nations become evident in games among the different players, with non-cooperative approaches creating the “prisoner’s dilemma” and the potential for black economic growth- diminishing natural environmental capital in reduced fish stocks and foregoing annual fishery rents. Cooperation is a pre-requisite for sustainable economic and environmentally sustainable growth. He emphasised that cooperative management of internationally shared fish stocks is, not merely desirable, but essential, if these resources are to make a positive contribution to the green growth of the marine economy, over time and warned that non-cooperative management could lead to black growth. A stable cooperation, in his opinion, relies on two conditions; Individual Rationality and time consistency. For meeting the Individual Rationality condition demands compliance among players, suppression of “free riding” and willingness to use transfers. To meet the condition of time consistency, the capacity for “resiliency” –ability to absorb unpredictable shocks – economic, political and, most importantly, environmental, such as the impact of climate regime shifts, should be built.
Dr. Alejandro DeMaio-Sukic, (Canada) outlined the methodology issue that have been investigated by Canada in recent years following initial studies in past decades. The limitations of input/output (I/O) models are less that total economic value (TEV) and trends are desirable also. The issues of data availability and consistency have recognised the following issues: sector definitions, no single data source, confidentiality, emerging technologies and non market measurement, data accurancy including double counting. The marine transport sector has both shipping services and shipping (with own account issues) and engineering and marine construction categories illustrate NAICS coding issue. Research to date has built up the core of what is known, identifying problematic areas.
Prof. Kedong Yin (PRC) explained the background to the development of econometrics and how this tool can be used in the analysis of the marine economy. The three blue economy areas in China (Shandong, Zhejiang Zhoushan and Guangdong) are an opportunity for such research techniques.
Prof. Jintin Sun (PRC) examined patterns and approaches in BE development in China. He introduced the pattern of a trinity of land-sea integration of natural resources, marine industry and geographical location in Shandong, the pattern with breakthroughs in both port development and shipping with stronger scientific support in Zhejiang and the pattern of intregrated development and regional co-operation in Guangdong. He further elaborated that four basic measures been taken to develop the BE in Shandong, including the optimization of land-sea spatial planning and integrating land-sea infrastructure development; the development of modern industrial system and priority industrial clusters; further implementation of ocean development by relying on science and education and improvement of marine eco-civilization and, the advancement of reform and opening and the improvement of relevant guarantee measures.
Developments in Indonesia’s marine economy were presented by Dr. Agus Heri Purnomo (Indonesia). The land to sea has been termed the “minipolitan” approach, and innovation in the use of bio-products in the aquaculture sector. Under a “Techno-bluepreneurship”, which is a minimum-waste entrepreneurship development approach, several innovative projects in maggot technology (fish food from palm industry waste), fish processing technology (fish and chitin), marine biotechnology (bio-chemicals) and waste utilization technology are being developed.
2.2 Session 2: Ecosystem health and the green growth of the marine economy The second session papers covered a wide range of aspects of the environment and the marine and blue economy. The Chairman, McIlgorm (Australia) suggested these all had a common objective of increasing the values of the environment and of the economy through management. The activities in the ocean require intervention to address the external impacts of human activities.
Firstly, Prof. Kameya (Peru) illustrated a mature integrated marine management system, developed from fishery science and monitoring requirements and now using technology can ensure that economic and social benefits are realised within the existing complex oceanography of the offshore Peruvian region (includes El Nino/La Nina etc). This uses remote technology to contribute to blue economic outcomes through sustainable fisheries.
The paper from Dr. Liang Yongfang(Chinese Taipei) illustrated the regional challenges that occurred in the areas of dense population and the economic decisions and trade offs that have to be made by local government. Marine parks, sensitive areas and highly valued wetland areas, increase all values through their protection. Direct action to reduce fishing efforts illustrates the need for environmental impacts assessment and costly structural economic remedies to gain more environmental sustainable outcomes. Fisheries data is important in this process as it is the important component for government agencies to make both environmental and economically beneficial policies. Chinese Taipei is having a new sector. The vision for the next “golden decade” is “from ocean to wetland”, akin to land- ocean integration.
Ecosystem services (ESS) link nature, humans' science and management according to Dr. Liu Zhenghua (PRC, AMSD). Importantly ESS enables “wiser evaluation”. The ESS process is to reveal the value of our ecological base. Dr. Liu illustrate the concept of ESS with the development of the wetland system in the Wuyuan Bay in Xiamen.
Prof. Wang Xiaohui (PRC) illustrated not only just the links between the environment and the marine economy, but also described the case study from the Bohia Sea area. This shows the reality of the pollution externality imposed on the sea with the need to balance the economic growth and environmental assessment. This inevitably requires a “collaboration among agencies” approach. Basic industry economic statistics underpin the understanding of the economic activity. A broader land-ocean framework to improve environment performance will benefit from such data.
A pilot exercise to develop a marine economy satellite account approach was outlined by Dr. Lopez Dee (Philippines). The progress is considerable at a nation level and this study represents a new institutional pathway of central government statistical agencies measuring the marine economy. The funding of this, and other environmental accounting initiatives, is vulnerable and the blue economy benefits need to merit additional exercises in environmental accounting.
The whole marine and environmental management interface was seen in Dr. Cheung’s (Canada) presentation appealed to recognize the impacts of climate change and their rent altering implications. Research presented indicated global areas will be adversely impacted by Climate Change and hence adaptation costs will be required in some global areas (eg. West Africa). A proposal of “transfers” to ensure equity illustrated the need for economic mechanisms to apply adjustment in the economic/environmental interface. The 300 million poor of Southeast Asia, earning less than US$2/day, could equally be due to some transfers in respect of their environment and habitat loss. Some of these issues may be part of the World Bank’s wealth account approach in upcoming projects. The presentations and questions, comments and discussion led to a set of conclusions incorporating both Forum sessions, as to the proposed research and development needs of the Blue Economy.
2.3 Overall conclusions from the Blue Economy Forum The concept of blue economy should be further defined and an agreement is needed for the development of a common terminology. There are various patterns in the development of the Blue economy and best practices may be developed and disseminated. The presentations and participants identified the need to have further research into the area as follow: 1.consistency in the measurement of the marine economy and to further define the emerging blue economy; 2.land and sea integrated approach to economy and environmental sustainability, including case studies; 3.value of marine eco-system services and the extent to which these are compromised by industries externalising their production costs into the environment; 4.adequacy of current institutional arrangements which need to be augmented to meet the challenges of the blue economy, including land and sea integration; 5.enhancement of the institutional maintenance arrangements for marine economy data, possibly using satellite accounts; and 6.global response to assist poor communities to adapt to large scale ecosystem and climate changes, including transfer payments from those economically benefitting from depleting global environmental stocks.
 An economic zone which covers production and trade centres for marine and fisheries commodities and related services.