What the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi is all about

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi. PHOTO| PSCU

Kenya will for the next three days host the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, a high-level meeting that is expected to be a game changer in the country and across the globe.

At least 10 Heads of State and government, heads of international organisations and over 10,000 participants from various countries have registered for the conference being held at the Kenyatta International Conventional Centre (KICC).

While the importance of the event cannot be understated, what most people are asking is “what is blue economy?”

Blue economy is the sustainable use of oceans, lakes, seas and rivers for economic growth, improved livelihoods and creation of jobs.

At the three-day conference, stakeholders will be deliberating on the opportunities and the challenges which the Blue Economy concept presents.

The conference is also expected to capture concrete commitments and practical actions that can be taken to help the world transition to the blue economy.

“Simply put, it (Blue Economy) is the utilisation of ocean resources for human benefit in a manner that sustains the overall ocean resource base into perpetuity,” the UNDP describes blue economy on its website.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), there are two elements for the Blue Economy.

Speaking at the event President Uhuru Kenyatta said: “We have convened at the Blue Economy Conference to commit to innovative and transformative ways of using and sustaining our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers.”

He added: “Unless our environmental riches are protected, there can be no lasting prosperity for any of us.”

The event, which is the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy, is scheduled to go on until Wednesday, November 28.

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