22 February, 2024

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Why Sri Lanka Needs A Presidential Secretariat On Blue Economy Or National Center For Ocean Resources Analysis

By Ayesh Indranath Ranawaka

Ayesh Indranath Ranawaka

Our economy is a vast treasure trove for ocean resources, and there is a lots of untapped resources we can maximize on. But the percentage that is contributed to our country’s GDP via marine activities is not as it should be. The concept of *“Blue Economy”* embraces Sri Lanka’s 530,684 square kilometers of territorial waters and its vivid natural resources for sustainable economic development. As an island nation, it is time that Sri Lanka, like many other countries, too adopts the *Blue Economy* concept alongside the Green Economy concept that is already in place to achieve sustainable economic development and we all aware, no 14 of the UN sustainable development goals is Life Below Water which is clearly indicated in the budget 2023.

The components of the Blue Economy include Fisheries & Nutrient cycling, Marine Tourism, Sea Transportation, Ocean Energy, Co2 Capture and storage, and waste management and extraction of minerals. All of these components aim to explore ocean resources. However, Sri Lanka, despite the fact that it is an island, has yet to establish a genuine effort for Ocean Resources. Thus, it is about time such an institute is established and we would like to propose a Presidential Secretariat or National Center for Ocean Resources Analysis on the *Blue Economy.*

Sri Lanka is in dire need for a multidisciplinary research-based center dedicated to ocean resource management and to formulate business modules for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), in addition to giving advice on policy development.

One of the main reasons we stress the importance of bringing all of it under one roof is that, if not, the subject is divided among various ministries. Various subjects that should be under one roof are often under different ministries and, in order to avoid overlapping, the Presidential Secretariat / National Center would be ideal. We are looking for a proper system for everything regarding the ocean, in order to link them. They will do the necessary research and then present a paper to the relevant ministries for them to proceed with. Furthermore, the secretariat/ Center would have to address the international links. When various different ministries handle subjects that should rightfully be handled under one ministry, the approach made to international arenas is often convoluted. It does not do for different ministries to take different approaches when it comes to international links. As a country, we must have one methodology to run as one. A presidential Secretariat for Ocean Resources *(Blue Economy)* or National Center for Ocean Resources Analysis would be ideal in this case, because all approaches regarding ocean resources will be done by one organization.

Many other coastal countries have established separate departments for the *blue economy* and some with separate Ministries .

Therefore,We strongly recommend the Government to consider for a positive outcome that follows the path of our recommendation by establishing a presidential Secretariat for Ocean Resources *(Blue Economy)* or National Center for Ocean Resources Analysis. The scalability and the required coordination of the solutions/activities for the advancement of economic development are better managed under one roof, enhancing the stakeholder and the FDI opportunities .

Due to the present financial constraints of the country ,we quantify the above and suggest that affiliation of an existing Think Tank with the Presidential Climate change secretariat continued for a period of approximately six months during which the perceived revenue from their activities gaining traction enables the transformation of the entity to a separate body under SDG14.

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Latest comments

  • 1
    0

    “However, Sri Lanka, despite the fact that it is an island, has yet to establish a genuine effort for Ocean Resource”
    Let’s get real. Most of these “ocean resources” are fish. Dead fish. The vast majority of fishermen aren’t Buddhist . It isn’t logical to put a Buddha statue over a pile of dead fish. That’s the real reason why we don’t do enough to exploit the ocean, whereas the Chinese, Japanese, and Europeans come here in droves to do it.

    • 0
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      OC
      .
      It is certainly true that a negative mindset can hold us back and prevent us from making progress. It is also true that clinging to the status quo can be a hindrance to growth and development. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to underdevelopment, including economic, social, and political issues.
      .
      Buddhism teaches that suffering arises from attachment and craving, and that the path to happiness and well-being lies in letting go of these attachments and learning to live in the present moment. While understanding and practicing Buddhism can certainly help individuals to overcome negative thinking and develop a more positive mindset, it is important to recognize that it is just one factor among many that can influence our ability to grow and progress.

      • 2
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        HT,
        Muslims get around the ethical problem of interest by giving it a different name. SL Buddhists could do something similar for the ethical problem of killing fish. It all depends on the clergy’s mindset (they didn’t object to killing humans). Thailand is more than 90% Buddhist, yet the Thais eat everything from scorpions to barracuda.

  • 0
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    The government of Sri Lanka should consider establishing a presidential secretariat or national center for ocean resources analysis to manage and develop the country’s “blue economy.” This organization would have a multidisciplinary focus and be responsible for conducting research, providing advice on policy development, and fostering foreign direct investment in ocean-related industries. Coordinating the efforts of different agencies and ministries under one roof can help to avoid duplication of effort and ensure that the country is taking a cohesive approach to the development of the blue economy. Additionally, having a single entity responsible for international outreach can help to streamline the country’s interactions with other nations on ocean-related issues. However, it will be important to carefully consider the costs and potential challenges of such an organization, as well as how it will fit into the overall governance structure of the country.

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