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Toward a blue economy: a pathway for Bangladesh’s sustainable growth

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

This report aims to synthesize the current theory and practice of the blue economy concept to govern economic activity linked to the ocean, and to provide a framework for the Government of Bangladesh to analyze its potential. With the peaceful resolution of maritime boundary disputes with its neighbors in 2012 and 2014, the Government has recently defined the ocean space under its jurisdiction and prioritized its use as a key source of future economic growth. The Government has prioritized the use of these spaces as a key source of future growth. However, a number of questions remain in embarking on a policy planning process to achieve Bangladesh’s blue economy aspirations, including measures of the current economic uses of the ocean space, the identification of clear targets for sustainable growth of the use of this space, and a policy pathway to get there. Described as an economic frontier, the term “ocean economy” applies collectively to ocean based industry activities and the assets, goods, and services of marine ecosystems. Ocean ecosystems provide the natural capital inputs that combine with produced and human capital to underpin the ocean economy. The concept of a “blue economy” emerged in 2012 as countries around the world have grappled with the twin trends of accelerating growth in the ocean economy and change in the underlying ecosystems. A “blue economy” aims for a balance between economic opportunities and the environmental limitations of using the ocean to generate wealth. Few documents exist to describe how countries can transition their ocean economies toward a blue economy, despite much discussion since 2012. This report fills that gap by offering a conceptual framework to guide policy-makers in Bangladesh in proposing specific reforms, by illustrating the economic activities of the ocean economy together with the underlying natural capital, as well as other types of capital. The framework suggests entry points for policy reforms to change the flow of inputs from ocean ecosystems to the ocean economy over time, or conversely to reduce outputs from economic activity (such as pollution) that may impact the functioning of ocean ecosystems. The report also synthesizes principles that may help guide such policy reforms. Most importantly, the report summarizes the information base needed for the Government of Bangladesh to set realistic targets for a blue economy development pathway and monitor progress.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWashington, DC, USA
PublisherWorld Bank
Commissioning bodyWorld Bank
Number of pages109
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018

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