OECD Ocean

Ocean economy and developing countries

More than three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, the vast majority in developing countries. In many of those, ocean-based industries such as tourism and fisheries are key sources of income and jobs. Too often, however, these have expanded without sufficient consideration for environmental and social sustainability, creating low paying jobs and leading to environmental degradation. These sectors are also affected by climate change, ocean pollution and overfishing. Finally, the rise of new activities --such as offshore wind energy, growing aquaculture and marine biotechnologies-- is accelerating the growth of the ocean economy.

How can developing countries assess the related risks and opportunities? How can they make the ocean economy a catalyst for long-term, inclusive and sustainable development?

By creating a space for policy dialogue based on fresh evidence, the Sustainable Ocean for All initiative supports the transition to a truly sustainable global ocean economy, in a way that benefits the poorest and most vulnerable countries, including small island developing states.

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Data platform on development finance for the sustainable ocean economy

As part of the Sustainable Ocean for All initiative, the OECD quantifies and tracks global development finance related to the ocean economy, and provides estimates of the share that enhances sustainability. These estimates are produced through a dedicated methodology and are based on statistical data from the OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS). This platform makes estimates accessible for the 2010-19 period, unless otherwise specified. In addition to global trends, it allows to easily visualise and download development finance flows for the ocean economy at a granular level.

This platform includes estimates on:

  • Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the ocean economy;
  • ODA for the sustainable ocean economy;
  • ODA for land-based activities that reduce negative impacts on the ocean;
  • ODA to reduce plastic pollution and to improve solid waste management more broadly;
  • Private finance mobilised via ODA for the ocean economy;
  • Private philanthropy for the ocean economy.

Further resources

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