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Blue economy should prioritise rights of coastal people, experts say

Published : Tuesday, 1 December, 2020 at 7:23 PM  Count : 427

An independent virtual tribunal of experts on Tuesday opined that Bangladesh should prioritise in protecting rights of coastal people dependent on coastal resources and ensuring protection of marine biodiversity and ecology during implementation of the programmes relevant with ‘Blue Economy’.

The ‘Independent People’s Tribunal on Implications of Blue Economy in Bangladesh’, a panel of international activists, experts, and representatives from different global and local networks, made the urge including demands for impact assessment studies of Blue Economy related projects.

Bangladesh’s COAST Trust Deputy Executive Director Sanat Kumar Bhowmik and General Secretary of Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) of India M.J. Vijayan moderated the tribunal, a press release of the organizers said.

Though Blue Economy has been emerging and projected as the Sustainable Economic Growth model, the tribunal finds that ‘Blue Economic models’ as the extension of the Neoliberal paradigm in South and Southeast Asia.

Indian expert A. Gandimathi presented a study on the blue economy titled “The Blue Economy in Bangladesh: Exploring the Socio-Economic Political and Ecological Implications on the Coastal Communities”.

The study identifies three reasons that have made the BE model a neoliberal model. The three reasons are- ecological externalities such as loss of biodiversity as an inevitable consequence of the exploitation of coastal and marine resources, exclusion of Marine and Coastal Communities from their habitats, governance, and user rights on marine and coastal commons, and resulting in loss of livelihoods by allowing oceans and coasts as open access systems.

She also told that if Bangladesh implements the Blue Economy appropriately, it will be huge opportunity for the coastal communities.

General Secretary of World Forum of Fisherfolk People (WFFP) Nadine Nembhard, International Planning Committee (IPC) for Fisheries Working Group’s M. Naseegh, Executive Director of COAST Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chairperson of National Fisherfolk Forum (India) Narendra Patil also delivered speeches in the programme.

People of different professionals from Cox’s Bazar presented their recent situation to the tribunal.


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