Why does Soclimpact focus on Blue Economy sectors?
Blue Growth is a long-term EU strategy that supports sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors. Indeed, seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation, jobs and growth. The strategy also aims at removing those barriers and market and non-market failures that constrain innovation and investment in the marine-maritime context. Under this approach, the European Commission initiated several successful facilitating or ‘enabling’ actions. Despite the advances, further growth is possible in several areas which are highlighted within the strategy.
The strategy focuses on five main blue economy sectors:
- Coastal and Maritime tourism
- Marine biotechnology
- Renewable energy
- Mineral resources
and highlights the relevance of other blue sectors for more value and jobs:
- Maritime transport
- Shipbuilding and repair
- Offshore Oil & Gas
Soclimpact projects proposes the creation of a European islands network and a common Blue Growth framework to work on the adaptation to Climate Change (CC), which not only provides evidence-based information to facilitate decision-making processes at regional level, but also generates downscaled information to complement and nourish actual projections for Europe.
The islands participating in Soclimpact come from several sea basins:
- Atlantic Ocean
- Arctic Ocean
- Mediterranean Sea
- Baltic Sea
- North Sea
- Outermost Regions
These are vulnerable and fragile territories in the face of climatic hazards. Moreover, their sectoral composition allows to understand the complex relations of some relevant Blue Economy activities, and many key sustainability research areas, like Environmental quality, water consumption, waste management, governance structures, renewable energy sources, economic development and wealth inequality. For this reason, islands and archipelagos are considered as optimal climate change labs to generate in depth studies on Blue Economy sectors with relatively easy replicability potential to mainland. Moreover, European islands are very diverse, and need very different mitigation/adaptation packages, which contribute to enrich their replicability.
Given the expertise of the project partners, and the impossibility to cover all the blue economy activities, Soclimpact project focuses on four sectors: Tourism, Aquaculture, Maritime Transport and Energy. Nevertheless it is worth noting that in the socio-economic modelling phase of the project, the subsequent effects on the rest of the economy of the islands and Europe will be included.