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The Ocean Conference, New York, 5-9 June 2017

The Ocean Conference
New York, USA
5-9 June 2017

The Blue Economy is essential to the future welfare and prosperity of humankind. It is a key source of food, energy, minerals, health, leisure and transport upon which hundreds of millions of people depend. However, the maritime industry landscape is poised to undergo a profound transition. Long considered the traditional domain of shipping, fishing and - since the 1960s - offshore oil and gas, new activities are emerging that are reshaping and diversifying maritime industries.  The ocean is under stress from over-exploitation, pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change. Realising the full potential of the ocean will therefore demand responsible, sustainable approaches to its economic development.

During the last few years, the "ocean economy" has garnered attention and moved up the international policy agenda. At the 14th IORA Ministerial Meeting in Perth, Australia, on 9 October 2014, the Blue Economy was recognised as a priority focus area by IORA Member States.  Since 2014, several capacity building programmes have been carried out covering a wide range of areas, includinginter alia: fisheries and aquaculture; seafood processing, handing and storage; seafood quality and safety; seaport and shipping; maritime connectivity; and ocean forecasting.

The First IORA Ministerial Blue Economy Conference (BEC) was held in Mauritius on 3 September 2015 where the Blue Economy Declaration was adopted. Reflecting on the global trends, this Declaration seeks to harness oceans and maritime resources to drive economic growth, job creation and innovation, while safeguarding sustainability and environmental protection. In addition, Indonesia also hosted the Second IORA Ministerial Blue Economy Conference (BEC-II) on 08 - 10 May 2017 in Jakarta, which resulted in the adoption of the Jakarta Declaration as the way-forward for the implementation of the IORA Action Plan and the sustainable development of the Blue Economy.

In the margin of the United Nations Ocean Conference, which will be held from the 5 to 9 June 2017 in New York, IORA is collaborating with its Member States to organise threeside events at the UN headquarters, covering various aspects of the Blue Economy. The Government of Seychelles in collaboration with the Indian Ocean Rim Association will be hosting a side event on "Partnerships for Blue Economy - the Indian Ocean Experience" which will be held on the 6 June 2017.  The Chair of IORA, Republic of Indonesia will be hosting two side events: The first one will which will be held on 6 June 2017 will address "Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Transnational Organisation Crime in Fisheries Industries" and the second event which will be held on 08 June 2017 will address the "Challenges in fighting Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing".

In order to boost the long-term development prospects of emerging ocean industries and their contribution to growth and employment, while managing the ocean in responsible, sustainable ways, IORA will be putting forward voluntary commitments in the margin of the conference that are geared at driving implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 and its associated targets. IORA hopes that by 2030, it will increase the economic benefits of Small Islands Developing States and least developing countries from sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

IORA's Voluntarily Commitments:

  • Pilot Project on Oyster (Crassostrea spp.) Culture


  • IORA Training Programme on Enhancing Sustainable Port Services and Management in the Indian Ocean Region for Improved Maritime Connectivity


  • IORA Workshop on Regional strategy to address issues of sustainable management and development of fisheries resources in the Indian Ocean rim region


  • Blue Economy Handbook


With the new challenges that the Blue Economy sector is facing, IORA is striving to promote this important sector as a driver for sustainable development; research and development; investment, technology transfer, with capacity building being crucial in exploring the full potential of the oceans for the socio-economic benefit of the region. IORA strongly believes that a coordinated and inclusive approach towards better harnessing our ocean's wealth and resources will be a major ground-breaking step towards the sustainable development of the Indian Ocean; it will further strengthen and create common ground for regional and global economic cooperation.  

Concept Note