Blue Biotrade: Harnessing marine trade to support ecological sustainability and economic equity

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November 2018
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

This report looks at the emerging concept of “Blue BioTrade”— a new tool to promote sustainability and equity focused on marine-based products and services. It describes how the application of the Blue BioTrade concept can promote sustainable and equitable economic sectors and value chains that rely on marine and coastal resources, and includes a proposal for implementing a Blue BioTrade approach. 

The report argues that expanding Blue BioTrade will require clear guidelines expressly tailored to the marine and coastal environment, as both the governance arrangements and ecological characteristics of oceans very different from land-based economic sectors, and that four industries should be regarded as priorities for Blue BioTrade: (i) fisheries and aquaculture; (ii) marine-based pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; (iii) marine and coastal tourism, and (iv) carbon capture and sequestration.

Leveraging Blue BioTrade principles can enhance both the economic value of natural capital, which supports food production, tourism, and a range of other economic activities, as well as the noneconomic benefits of ecosystem services, including water-quality maintenance, carbon sequestration, shoreline stabilization and disaster mitigation, scenic beauty, and the cultural worth of traditional livelihoods. Blue BioTrade focuses on the interconnected values and benefits of ecologically healthy, well-managed marine and coastal habitats to achieve sustainability and enhance economic efficiency.

Fisheries, Tourism