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Nigeria on the right path to sustainable blue economy, says Pauli

By  Gbenga Akinfenwa
27 August 2023   |   4:15 am
The creation of the Blue Economy ministry has the potential of creating the needed impetus to ensure a sustainable future and comprehensive approach that seeks to balance economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity within the context of ocean-based industries in Nigeria.

The creation of the Blue Economy ministry has the potential of creating the needed impetus to ensure a sustainable future and comprehensive approach that seeks to balance economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity within the context of ocean-based industries in Nigeria.

  
Founder of the Global Blue Economy Movement, Professor Gunter Pauli, made this assertion in a letter to the Minister of Marine and the Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola.

Pauli said with the new ministry and the country’s abundant maritime resources and potential, Nigeria would make giant strides in its Blue Economy journey.
  
Professor Pauli is a luminary in the realm of sustainable development, heralding the concept of the Blue Economy and advocating for innovative solutions that align economic prosperity with environmental stewardship, whose expertise can provide invaluable guidance and insights for Nigeria.
 
 His trailblazing work has led to the establishment of the Zero Emissions Research Initiative, a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to emulate natural systems to create self-sustaining industrial processes with zero emissions. The Blue Economy, which he authored and has been translated into over 50 languages, was first presented in 2009 to the Governing Council of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
  
While describing the establishment of the ministry as great news, Professor Pauli said it is important to have a dedicated policy maker in the executive branch to ensure that the opportunities the Blue Economy offers are indeed coming to fruition.

“Over the past years I have assisted numerous governments from Morocco to Argentina, from the islands in the Pacific Ocean to the cities around the Mediterranean with a dedicated strategy to secure implementation of The Blue Economy, both with investments and with education.

  
“The world is not in need of more analysis, which all too often leads to paralysis. The world needs executives in business and government that can turn opportunities into facts that change statistics.
  
“We need Ministers of your stature, experience, the personal will and perseverance to put Nigeria on a path of growth using its available resources. We have experience in providing both the short term results with quick actions on the ground, as well as structural shifts in the economy that will secure a considerable increase in growth and wealth, especially in the local communities.
  
“When in 1992, we observed the drama of dynamite fishing in Tanzania (Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Island), we designed an economic activity that diverted fishermen away from this destructive fishing technique. We introduced seaweed farming, in need of protective coral reefs.

“Today, seaweed farming employs 17,000 women with all produce exported to the USA, creating jobs and income. Dynamite fishing stopped, since the revenues from seaweed outpaced the fish catch. Six months after the start of the project, we had the first harvest!” he said.
  
Professor Pauli noted that with the right partnership, potential business opportunities will be opened to local councils, investors and entrepreneurs’ windows of opportunities, with which the right skills development programmes can turn into an engine of growth.