Headline: Sustainable Blue Recovery: Fostering Resilience for Marine Regions

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a significant loss of human life and degradation of public health and has increased food and nutritional insecurity and poverty. The pandemic has also had devastating impacts on maritime economies, coastal communities and livelihoods, and on institutions and processes that govern ocean use and conservation (Northrop et al., 2020). While some pandemic-related containment measures are being phased out in some parts of the world, many countries remain in a state of ongoing crisis. The negative impacts of the pandemic are particularly pronounced in developing countries, many of which face pre-existing vulnerabilities to the effects of climate change, natural disasters, and economic shocks (Mead, 2021). The global pandemic has reinforced structural vulnerabilities rooted in an overdependence on select economic sectors (e.g., tourism and fisheries), fiscal deficits and public dept levels, as well as constraints in the mobilization of public and private financial resources (OECD, 2021a; Tokunaga et al., 2021; UNCTAD, 2021). Considering the different crises the world is faced with, socio-economic recovery efforts in response to the Covid-19 pandemic should not further amplify but help to combat climate change, the degradation of ecosystems, and the accelerating loss of biodiversity. At least 10 % of the total recovery spending so far have mixed or negative implications on the environment (OECD, 2021b). Currently, the share of Official Development Assistance (ODA) dedicated to sustainable ocean economies accounts for less than 1 % of global ODA (OECD, 2021c). Given the scarcity of funding for sustainable ocean economies, it is crucial to ensure investments work towards achieving multiple benefits related to society and the environment. This policy brief provides the following recommendations to move from short-term emergency action to fostering long-term recovery across three key areas: (1) sustainable blue recovery for livelihoods and ocean health, (2) regional coordination and cooperation, and (3) ocean finance and funding.

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von Pogrell, L., Thiele, T., Unger, S., Neumann, B., Weiand, L., Tortora, P., Cremers, K., Rochette, J., Wright, G., & Müller, A.(2022). Sustainable Blue Recovery: Fostering Resilience for Marine Regions. Potsdam, Berlin, Paris: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS); Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI); TMG - ThinkTank for Sustainability (TMG).

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Ocean Governance Marine Regions Forum