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UNCTAD Proposes Sustainable Ocean Economy Classification


The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released a publication that presents a sustainable ocean economy classification for tradable goods and services, applicable to any country at any time. The classification system aims to enhance understanding of ocean-based economic sectors and address data scarcity that can hinder accurate assessments of these sectors.

Oceans account for 80% of the planet’s biodiversity, absorb half of global carbon emissions, and make major contributions to food security and livelihoods. To date, most SDG 14 (life below water) initiatives have focused on sustainable ocean ecosystems and management, but there has been limited work on identification of ocean-based sectors or assessments of the economic relevance of oceans. Over 80% of global trade “is carried out at sea,” and oceans support a wide range of economic activities and industries. Only a few international or regional initiatives have tried to measure or map the ocean economy, and few countries collect data that cover ocean-based sectors. This UNCTAD publication titled, ‘Towards a Harmonized International Trade Classification for the Development of Sustainable Ocean-based Economies,’ fills information and data gaps in trade in ocean-based sectors, and aims to facilitate “integrated actions that promote sustainable ocean-based economies” within and across […]

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