A joint position paper has been prepared and signed by 19 environmental NGOs as a reaction to the recent European Commission’s Communication on Blue Growth, which ‘drives forward the Commission’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) and launches a process which will place the blue economy firmly on the agenda of Member States, regions, enterprise and civil society.

The position paper was signed by: MIO-ECSDE, SEAS AT RISK, OALITION CLEAN BALTIC, BLACK SEA NGO NETWORK, OCEANA, BIRD LIFE INTERNATIONAL,FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE, DPPVN, MEDSOS, U MARINU, MEDITERRANEAN, MEDASSET, THE NORTH SEA FOUNDATION, EEB, LEVENDE HAV, MARINE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, SEA FIRST and ECOVITAE.

With this position paper, the NGOs wish to express their concerns regarding some of the priorities set in the Blue Growth strategy and to contribute alternative ideas in shaping a truly sustainable blue economy.
‘We call in particular upon Ministers and policy makers to fully enshrine Good Environmental Status by 2020 and the precautionary principle as prerequisites for the Integrated Maritime Policy and a blue growth agenda in the Limassol Declaration, and to recognise the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as the overarching framework for future development.’

Invigorating a Blue Economy is a good idea, but should not be based on the exploitation of non-renewable marine resources, as it has been done with the terrestrial ones. Technology and efficiency gains must not be outstripped by growth – focus on sustainable economic activities that meet the needs of current and future generations, rather than on growth for the sake of growth. Already we are beyond the planetary boundaries, “using the capital” of the future generations.