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An Integrated Approach to a ‘Blue Economy’

Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) Mr Andrew Tan called for an integrated approach bringing together science, research, technology and multiple relevant disciplines to understand the various eco-systems within the oceans and uncover more of a link between land and sea and how each affects the other.

Mr Tan's speech also underlined four principles to ensure an enduring Blue Economy that fulfils the twin goals of growth and sustainability. The four goals were good governance, long-term vision, good execution, and strong partnerships.

He said “Many of us are familiar with concepts such as “sustainable development” and the “Green Economy”. Less familiar are concepts such as the “Blue Economy”, especially where it applies to the management of our ocean resources. 

singapore ship

“Blue Economy”, is better explained as a “ sustainable ocean economy growing when economic activity is in balance with the vision of ocean ecosystems to support this activity and remain healthy and resilient.”

Mr Tan said that many of the challenges confronting the oceans also present opportunities for governments, businesses and communities to offer new solutions, leverage on new and emerging technologies and innovative partnerships. Platforms such as the Sustainable Ocean Summit, and NGOs such the World Ocean Council, can provide the bases for the generation of new ideas and approaches based on win-win partnerships and collaborations. 

In regards to Singapore, he said that  like many other countries, we have to balance our growth with preserving the environment. Long before the term sustainable development became popular, “our founding prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, believed that the only way Singapore could survive was to differentiate itself from the region, by being a first world “oasis” in a then third world region. “

To spur the industry, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has invested S$100 million in the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MGSI) comprising the Green Shipping, Green Port and Green Technology programme. The Initiative seeks to reduce the environmental impact of shipping activities around our port, by providing incentives to companies that adopt clean and green shipping practices over and above the minimum requirements set by the IMO. 

Mr Tan said, "Singapore will do its part to support the global Blue Economy as a port city with a long maritime heritage. We believe that an integrated approach is necessary for good ocean governance."

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