Why does Soclimpact focus on Blue Economy sectors?
Blue Growth is a long-term EU strategy that supports sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors. Indeed, seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation, jobs and growth. The strategy also aims at removing those barriers and market and non-market failures that constrain innovation and investment in the marine-maritime context. Under this approach, the European Commission initiated several successful facilitating or ‘enabling’ actions. Despite the advances, further growth is possible in several areas which are highlighted within the strategy.
The strategy focuses on five main blue economy sectors:
- Coastal and Maritime tourism
- Marine biotechnology
- Renewable energy
- Mineral resources
and highlights the relevance of other blue sectors for more value and jobs:
- Maritime transport
- Shipbuilding and repair
- Offshore Oil & Gas
The creation of a European islands network (Cyprus, Malta, Baltic islands (Übersetzun, Fehmarn, Rügen, Usedom), Balearic, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Crete, Azores, Madeira, Canary, Martinique and Guadalupe) and of a common Blue Growth framework to work on the adaptation to Climate Change (CC), not only provides evidence-based information to facilitate decision-making processes at a regional level, but also generates scientific feedback to complement and nourish actual projections for Europe. The islands participating in Soclimpact come from several sea basins:
- Atlantic Ocean
- Arctic Ocean
- Mediterranean Sea
- Baltic Sea
- North Sea
- Outermost Regions
Islands are vulnerable territories and many risks can damage islands, which are fragile territories in the face of climatic hazards. In the Soclimpact project, risks are defined as the interaction of vulnerability, exposure and hazard (GIZ, 2017). The sectorial composition of islands allows us to understand the complex relations of some relevant Blue Economy activities, and many key sustainability research areas, like Environmental quality, water consumption, waste management, governance structures, renewable energy sources, economic development and wealth inequality. For this reason, islands and archipelagos are considered as optimal climate change labs to generate in depth studies on Blue Economy sectors with relatively easy replicability potential to mainland. Moreover, European islands are very diverse, and need very different mitigation/adaptation packages, which contribute to enrich their replicability.
The Soclimpact project focuses on four blue economy sectors: Coastal and Maritime Tourism, Aquaculture, Maritime Transport and Marine Energy.