Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme

An initiative of the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh

Policy Support and Institutional Arrangements for Blue Economy of Bangladesh

The Blue Economy is a catch-all term that is used to describe a wide variety of development approaches and priorities in the ocean and coastal areas, and it seeks to promote economic growth, social inclusion, and improvement of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability. To harness the full potential of the Blue Economy to achieve the SDGs, the Bangladesh government needs policy support and policy development ideas and suggestions from the relevant stakeholders of the country. Thus, a roundtable policy dialogue titled ‘Institutionalization of the Blue Economy in Bangladesh’ was held at the Carnival Hall of the Bangabandhu International Conference Center, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka at the initiative of the General Economics Division, Bangladesh Planning Commission of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh where senior officials from different ministries of the government, armed forces, ports authority and research institutions related to the Blue Economy, eminent professors and researchers of different universities, and individuals working in various private and international organizations participated. In the consultative policy dialogue, various activities related to the Blue Economy were divided into eight (8) major thematic areas (Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture, Marine Energy, Marine Biotechnology and Therapeutics, Marine Tourism, Ship and Port Management, Ocean Governance, Marine Finance, and Satellite Oceanography and ICT). The stakeholders participating in the dialogue discussed in detail the present role and prospects of the thematic areas that were further divided into 19 research sectors (for example, Marine Fisheries, Tuna Fisheries, Mariculture, Seaweed Cultivation, Pearl Cultivation, Renewable Energy, Non-Renewable Energy, Energy Mix, Ship Transport, Shipbuilding, Ship Recycling, Deep Sea Port, Marine Spatial Planning, Coastal, and Marine Tourism, etc.) related to the Blue Economy growth and development of Bangladesh. The participants criticized that so far, various activities of the Blue Economy have been conducted fragmentally under different ministries of the Government of Bangladesh, however, no remarkable growth is noticeable. There is a long discussion on what are the obstacles to sustainable growth and development of the Blue Economy and the ways to overcome them. In the dialogue, in-depth explanations and analyzes were given on how the potential of the Blue Economy in Bangladesh can be institutionalized for national progress. Presently, in Bangladesh,  16 ministries are working on different areas of the blue economy in a very uncoordinated manner. Most participants agreed to what Dr. Kawser proposed  to institutionalize the blue economy. Different opinions from different corners came out in the discussions but the discussants came to a single conclusion that the institutionalization could be done in a variety of ways- either by establishing a new ministry, a new department under an existing ministry, a separate commission, or a separate council based on their advantages and disadvantages. In his presentation, Dr. Kawser showed how the blue economy was  being managed globally and he suggested that in Bangladesh, it would be better if General Economics Division (GED) of Planning Commission came forward  to establish a Blue Economy Wing at GED. The GED’s role would be somewhat overarching and  I would be responsible for formulation and development of the Blue EEconomy-relatedstrategies, policies, action plans etc and the implementing ministries or organisations would follow the sstrategy plans, and policies developed by GED. Now the GED is playing the same overarching role in its Delta Wing for the implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.


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