Economic growth must be achieved in a sustainable manner
It is encouraging to see Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urge cooperation in order to develop a unified, sustainable blue economic belt, and all stakeholders -- particularly the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states -- would do well to get on board.
In recent times, the blue economy, which is an emerging concept that encourages better management of our ocean or “blue” resources, has been identified as a key strategic and inclusive model that coastal states can adopt in order to better facilitate sustainable economic growth trajectories.
To that end, while it is encouraging that Bangladesh recognizes the benefits of employing such strategies to sustain and even accelerate its already impressive economic ascent, what remains to be seen is whether, as a nation, we can successfully formulate and implement the plans required for this to happen, which will also require cooperation with other regional states sharing the marine resources.
With world leaders recognizing that economic growth must be achieved in a sustainable manner -- the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) being the obvious indicator and SDG 14 urging to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development” -- Bangladesh must not lag behind in keeping up with the rest of the world.
Indeed, as the PM has noted, there remain great opportunities to accelerate the sustainable development process through the blue economy approach, which can aid in tackling the challenges related to poverty, food insecurity, energy crisis, and ecological imbalance, while also creating significant employment opportunities.