Sweden’s deputy prime minister calls for fair and environmentally sustainable blue economy at IIED London meeting

Press release, 25 February 2019
Sweden’s deputy prime minister, Isabella Lövin, called for urgency to do more to protect the world’s oceans and ensure an inclusive and equitable blue economy, at a meeting in London today (25 February).

At the Towards an inclusive blue economy’ event, organised by IIED, policymakers, representatives of small-scale fisheries, leading experts and organisations are looking at a range of issues key to the ocean.

These include how the high seas are governed, fiscal policies including subsidies and governance related to marine and coastal ecosystems and the true economic value of small-scale fisheries – an issue that is underestimated when calculating economic worth, which has implications for the environment, poverty and development.

Isabella Lövin, Minister for Environment and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Sweden, said in a recorded speech: “Despite the huge leaps forward in global awareness and climate challenges in how we treat our oceans, the urgency to do more has never been more acute.

"The focus of IIED's conference is highly relevant. Achieving an inclusive and sustainable blue economy is critical for livelihoods, food security, biodiversity and carbon sequestration among other things, and plays a key role in the realisation of the whole 2030 Agenda. Globally, Sweden supports the promotion of an inclusive, sustainable blue economy. We must all stretch ourselves now, beyond what we achieved yesterday. We need to talk, not only about what we could do tomorrow, but what we will start doing today.”

IIED director Andrew Norton said: “The world has the opportunity to make sure that the blue economy will benefit all, rather than going down the path of ever more destruction of nature and livelihoods.

"Technological advancements mean that more of the ocean is being exploited and climate change is adding to the damage being done to precious ecosystems. It is vital that any policies and investments, from fishing to mining and other forms of commercial exploitation of the ocean, meet the needs of vulnerable people and do not damage the marine life on which we all depend.”

The two-day meeting, from 25-26 February, is part of IIED’s wider project work on moving Towards an inclusive blue economy.

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED head of media, on +44 (0)7557 658 482 or email beth.herzfeld@iied.org

Notes to editors

  • Towards an inclusive blue economy is a SIDA-funded programme
  • The opening panel and other key elements, including discussions and speeches, will be livestreamed throughout the conference and will be available via IIED's Facebook page
  • For further background on some of the issues, see: ‘Subsidy reform and distributive justice in fisheries’, ‘Fair fishing: supporting inclusive fiscal reform in fisheries’, and ‘No hidden catch - Mainstreaming values of small-scale fisheries in national accounts'
  • IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world's most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them – from village councils to international conventions.
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