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FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Asia and the Pacific's Blue Growth Initiative

The world’s marine and freshwater ecosystems – the Blue World – provide essential ecosystem services, biodiversity, food and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people. The concept of a "blue economy" came out of the 2012 Rio+20 Conference. It is based on the premise that healthy and sustainable ocean ecosystems are more productive and a must for sustainable ocean-based economies.

The goal of this regional initiative is to achieve sustainable use of living aquatic resources and sustainable growth of regional aquaculture to enhance food and nutrition security through meeting increasing  regional and world demand for fish, aid poverty alleviation and encourage economic development in the region.

Asia and the Pacific's Blue Growth Initiative: SDG 14 and Blue Growth Working Together toward Sustainable Fisheries

The important work of FAO in fisheries and aquaculture is making a significant contribution to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the targets set by the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the World Food Summit, in particular SDG 14 "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development". It also makes a strong contribution to achieving SDG 1 and 2 (End Poverty and Zero Hunger) as well as SDGs 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13 and 15.

Fish and other aquatic animals have traditionally been an important source of food in the Asia-Pacific region. Overall, fisheries and aquaculture provide 24 kg per capita – ranging as high as 185 kg per capita – of food fish for people in Asia in 2016 (global average 20 kg).With rapid development of aquaculture, and improved management and efficiency of capture fisheries, total production of fish and aquatic animals from RAP countries reached about 122 million tonnes in 2016, a 30-fold increase since 1986, which is over 71 percent of the global fish and aquatic animal production.

Within the socioeconomic context of the region, it is of great importance to achieve sustainable development and resilience of the fisheries and aquaculture sector through Blue Growth, which will contribute to achieving the SDGs related to food security, poverty alleviation, conservation of aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity and overall human wellbeing in the Asia-Pacific region. With the endorsement of member countries, the FAO regional office is pursuing a Regional Initiative on Blue Growth (RI-BG).

Through the RI-BG, FAO is supporting its member countries across a range of outcomes that will:

i) strengthen the enabling environment and governance for sustainable growth of aquaculture, sustainable capture fisheries and conservation of marine and inland water ecosystems and aquatic biodiversity;

ii) improve efficiency and sustainable growth of aquaculture through innovative production and managerial systems, technologies and practices;

iii) promote sustainable capture fisheries and protection of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services through combating IUU fishing and conservation and enhancement of habitat and living aquatic resources;

iv) develop inclusive and gender sensitive equitable aquaculture and fisheries value chain; and

v) Increase resilience of farmers and fishers in adapting to climate change impacts and coping with natural and socioeconomic risks.