The Business in the Blue Economy conference, hosted by the Marine Natural Capital Forum Scotland (MNCFS), and held on the beautiful University of St Andrews campus, provided some great insights into marine and land-based approaches to natural capital. Presentations and panel sessions explored the latest policy and research supporting the delivery of Scotland’s Blue Economy with discussions on the benefits, challenges, the data, the science and the strategy, and ways to stimulate investment in marine nature.

A summary of the presentations is available here:

Business in the Blue Economy Conference Summary

Kindly sponsored by Howell Marine Consulting

The Background

Scotland’s natural wealth, although vast with 18,743km of coastline and a marine area of 617,000km2, has seen a dramatic decline in its biodiversity coinciding with increased demand for marine products, energy and transport. The Blue Economy Vision, the Scottish Government’s long-term ambition for Scotland’s blue economy to 2045, details six outcomes to ensure the industry’s shared stewardship of the marine environment supports ecosystem health, improved livelihoods, economic prosperity, social inclusion and wellbeing.

International communities and governments are responding to the United Nations Global Biodiversity Targets to “protect 30% of the land and water that are crucial for biodiversity by 2030”, embedding targets into policy to drive markets to deliver improvements in nature through operations and supply chains and promote sustainable consumption patterns.

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) supports efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health, creating opportunities for business to contribute to improved conditions for oceans.

What is the Blue Economy?

Scotland’s blue economy includes:

• The marine, coastal and the inter-linked freshwater environment of Scotland

• The different marine and maritime sectors it supports, and

• The people connected to it

• The legislation, policies, programmes and international commitments that determine its management

• The scientific data and information for evidence-informed policy development

The blue economy approach recognises that “our economies, livelihoods and well-being all depend on our most precious asset: Nature”, where natural capital provides a flow of benefits to people and the economy.

From The Blue Economy Vision – Scottish Government’s long-term ambition for Scotland’s blue economy to 2045. Published Spring 2022 https://www.gov.scot/publications/blue-economy-vision-scotland/

Phase 1 publication for implementation https://www.gov.scot/publications/delivering-scotlands-blue-economy-approach/

Images from NatureScot https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturescot/

Main image from pxhere.com