UN SDSN Blue Growth Initiative: Call for Collaboration
The IPCC 2018 Report warns that exceeding 1.5°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels will lead to unprecedented effects in terms of health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth. This will be catastrophic for our seas and oceans, which are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. Two essential components to provide knowledge, legal certainty and security in the blue economy are the following: ensuring marine knowledge to improve access to information about the sea; and enforcing maritime spatial planning to ensure an efficient, sustainable, job-based and inclusive management of activities at sea.
As a response to the climate crisis and its effect on Marine Ecosystems and Coastal Populations, SDSN Greece and SDSN Black Sea bring together two Initiatives (4-Seas Initiative, Global Roundtable for Sustainable Shipping and Ports), the newly formed Global Maritime Accelerator and several research projects (1, 2) to accelerate science driven blue growth and the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) in the Euro-Asian Seas and beyond. The new initiative aims to bring together in an interdisciplinary framework the work of SDSN National and Regional Networks that is related to Blue Growth. It will introduce a regular annual report on Technological, Economic and Social Transition Pathways of accelerating the systemic transformation required for the implementation of Agenda 2030 in our Seas and Oceans, including Science-Technology and Innovation-Policy interface agenda setting, model design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The proposed SDSN Blue Growth Initiative will build on research and demonstration projects, developed by a consortium and its collaborators world-wide, and will create an SDSN high-level working group, which will work on the Science-Policy interface related to Blue Growth, as well as on producing an SDSN Blue Growth annual report.
The initiative focuses primarily on SDGs 14 (Life below water) and 13 (Climate action). Being mainly an environmental initiative, it also addresses the other two related goals, SDG6 (Clean water and sanitation) and SDG15 (Life on land). The societal aspects of the impacts of this initiative are also significant, especially the impact on the first two SDGs (No poverty and Zero hunger), since successful implementation of the blue growth concept can provide solutions to these problems. The pandemic has highlighted the necessity to focus on SDG3 to ensure Good health and well-being. The Blue Growth initiative also includes aspects that are relevant to clean energy production (SDG7) and the improvement of everyday life in sustainable cities (SDG11). Simultaneously, the initiative enhances its economic dimensions through the implementation of SDGs 8, 9 and 12. The goals of the initiative will be achieved through close cooperation, as described in SDG17 (Partnership for the goals).
The IntelComp (Horizon 2020) Project, titled “A Competitive Intelligence Cloud/HPC Platform for AI-based STI Policy Making”, will support the SDSN Blue Growth Initiative through a dedicated case study on Sustainable European and Asian Seas and Oceans. IntelComp sets out to build an innovative Cloud Platform that will offer Artificial Intelligence-based services to public administrators and policy makers across Europe for data- and evidence-driven policy design and implementation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy. Large STI datasets are processed on High Performance Computing (HPC) environments that are part of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative. Public administration at all geographical and organizational levels, STI stakeholders and civil society produce a great amount of dynamic, multilingual and heterogeneous data (e.g., national STI strategies, plans and work programmes, calls, projects, reports, scientific publications, patents, dissemination articles, etc.), so understanding and analyzing this data is crucial for evidence-based policy making.
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