Themed Blue oceans blooms blue economy the second National Symposium on Marine Environment was held during 18-19 November, 2015 at the Sri Lanka Foundation in Colombo 7. The symposium was organized by the Marine Environment Protection Authority of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
“The Sky is blue, the ocean is blue. Do not mess. Leave it blue” appealed Dr Ananda Mallawatantri, the Keynote speaker during his speech at the inauguration of the symposium. Titled as Marine Protection for the Blue Ocean that Blooms Blue Economy his address comprised of four sections: Ocean Resources use, Blue/Green Economy, Sri Lankan Context and potential approach and elements.
Following an overview of Ocean resource use, Dr Mallawatantri presented the elements of Blue Economy and sectors of Green Economy and also showed the different views on these two topics. He also discussed in detail the strengths, opportunities and challenges of blue oceans towards blue economy in Sri Lanka.
Summing up, Dr Mallawatrantri highlighted the main steps of preparing for a Blue Ocean that Blooms Blue Economy as Characterization of the ecological and political/diplomatic processes related to Blue Ocean, Generating additional information needed for policy, institutional and implementation and Implementation via a Multi-agency platform.
The symposium was attended by over 200 delegates from 20 institutions including the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Department, Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau, Gem & Jewelry Authority, Central Engineering Bureau, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Police, Sri Lanka Coast Guard, IUCN and Universities.
In conjunction with the symposium a proactive group “Sri Lanka Coastal and Marine Science Forum” was formed with IUCN as a council member to take the innovative research and development forward in Sri Lanka where special emphasis will be paid to the Extended Economic Zone (EEZ) of Sri Lanka which is about eight times of the land area. The EEZ is comprised of valuable marine and geological resources and sustainable management of EEZ is the key to Blue Economy in Sri Lanka.
Blue Economy concept is catching up in the region where it is very much linked all most all Sustainable Development Goals and demand that countries take a note of the ocean resources while using them in a sustainable way using scientific guiding principles.