Workshops spotlight development of blue economy in East Asia hinh anh 1Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Tuan delivered a speech at a session of the 5th East Asian Seas Congress. (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) - The growth potential of shipping, port and oil and gas industries , their economic contributions to world trade, opportunities available in each sector, and areas for further development were the focus of discussion at a workshop on “Maritime sector’s contributions to a blue economy for the seas of East Asia” organised in the central city of Da Nang on November 18.

As part of the 5th East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress, the workshop also looked into how these subsectors of the maritime industry are able to balance the increasing demand for its services with environmental sustainability.

Panelists held that the maritime transport sector is considered as a major contributor to blue economy in the East Asian Seas region and has been recognised as the backbone to world trade and globalisation.

An increase in world trade means increasing demands for the maritime transport and its related services. Thus, the maritime sector is now fac ing the challenge of how to advance the growth potential of the maritime economy while minimi s ing environmental impact s of its activities.

In response to the call to mainstream sustainability criteria into planning processes, policies and investment strategies, the workshop was designed to develop a roadmap which will promote the development of a blue economy in the EAS region through a sustainable maritime transport system that enables the growth of the maritime economy while protecting the marine environment.

Also on November 18, a roundtable themed “Investing in a blue economy for conservation and impact” was held with the aim of updating participants on the current investment landscape of integrated coastal management (ICM) in East Asia and various investment models being applied in fisheries and other coastal sectors.

Panelists agreed that more investment is needed to protect and enhance critical ecosystem services while contributing to sustainable development and growth of a blue economy. There is no shortage of investment capital, but investors frequently cite difficulties in sourcing high-quality investable deals as an important factor in preventing them from actively participating in ICM-related sectors. At the workshop, representatives from the World Bank and Da Nang city introduced specific coastal investment projects at various stages.

Earlier, participants attended a plenary session where Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Tuan presented the city’s strategy to develop a blue economy based on building an environmentally-friendly city.

Accordingly, Da Nang has implemented communication activities to raise public awareness of environmental protection and tighten state management in environmental protection and urban management.

The city has also build mechanisms and policies on the environmental industry, developed plans for environmental services, produced green products and restored the environment in addition to working out plans for clean energy resources, encouraging its enterprises to use clean fuel and integrating environmental protection into socio-economic development plans.

Tuan revealed that the ICM programme has made significant contributions to the efficient management of resources and the environment in coastal areas of Da Nang. Since the launch of the ICM programme, the city has defined disasters as one of the serious threats to its development and conducted various action programmes to reduce disaster risks, including the establishment of a steering committee for response to climate change.

The same day, a Senior Government Officials’ Meeting convened with the attendance of representatives from 12 member nations of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA). The meeting reviewed the final preparations, including the agenda, documents, procedures and related issues, for the 5th Ministerial Forum slated for November 20.

Meanwhile, PEMSEA chaired a Special East Asian Seas Council Meeting where members of its executive board, representatives of the PEMSEA member states, partners and donors deliberated the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) beyond 2015.-VNA