The United Nations (UN) reached an agreement on March 4 to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity from areas outside the jurisdictions of countries. “The agreement to protect marine biodiversity in international waters aims to ensure a healthier, more resilient and more productive ocean,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The so-called “Treaty of the High Seas” aims to protect 30% of the oceans and was achieved after almost two decades of negotiations, on a date very close to World Water Day, celebrated today (22). For the Secretary-General, the set of guidelines is an essential means to achieve the ocean-related goals that make up the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and aims to protect one-third of the world’s biodiversity, on land and sea, by 2030.

According to the UN, 80% of goods traded globally are transported on ships, and from 2023 to 2027, global maritime trade is expected to grow by an average of 2.1%. This percentage is even higher in developing countries.

Blue Amazon and the Economy of the Sea The Interministerial Commission for the Resources of the Sea (CIRM) estimates that the sea generates R$ 2 trillion per year to Brazil, which represents 19% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The calculation considers oil and gas production, defense, Brazilian ports, maritime transport, the naval industry, mineral extraction, as well as oil, tourism, fishing, popular festivals linked to the sea and marine cuisine.

The Blue Amazon is a source of food, energy and mineral resources, as well as being the main route for foreign trade. Data from the National Waterway Transport Agency show that the port sector moved, in 2022, more than 1.2 billion tons, an amount that represents the second largest movement in Brazilian port history.

The Bay of All Saints and the Economy of the Sea Addressing the economic aspects of the Blue Amazon, the Academy of Engineering of Bahia held, on March 7, in the auditorium of the Command of the 2nd Naval District (Com2°DN), in Salvador, a series of lectures with the theme “The Bay of All Saints in the Economy of the Sea of Brazil”.

The event, which brought together approximately 80 people, including teachers, businessmen, soamarinos and members of the maritime community, served to present the window of opportunity that is open for economic activities linked to the sea.
The first speaker was Dr. Joaci Fonseca de Góes, President of the Geographic and Historical Institute of Bahia, who highlighted, in his presentation, that the Bay of All Saints (BTS) is the largest bay in Brazil and has enormous economic possibilities. “This beautiful bay has a historical matrix that no bay in the world has. We have to think about all the potentialities beyond tourism. There is a sea of economic opportunity,” he said.

Joaci Góes said that it is necessary to have a concrete proposal for a strategic plan for the sustainable development of the recôncavo region of Bahia and BTS to reheat the region in the environmental, social and economic scenarios. “We have to have a global look at urban and regional development and the strengthening of maritime transport, tourism, fishing, our marinas and water sports. It’s the job of all those who deal with maritime issues.”

With the title “The contribution of the Brazilian Navy (MB) to the development of the Economy of the Sea”, Vice Admiral Antonio Carlos Cambra, Commander of the 2nd Naval District, highlighted the positive externalities provided by MB and important ongoing studies, such as Marine Space Planning, the Technical Group “GDP of the Sea” and the book “Blue Economy: vector for the development of Brazil”.
Admiral Cambra also highlighted that the economic bias of the sea will be the great driver of the economy of the coastal countries. “The economy of the sea is the subject of the moment in the international system. The movement is offshore, from energy to food. The sea is the last frontier. This is the current movement of humanity.”

The last lecture, given by the director of the Worldwatch Institute (WWI) in Brazil, Eduardo Athayde, mainly addressed BTS’s environmental assets, such as wind, solar and tidal energy matrix. BTS’s transparent, deep and warm waters hold immense cultural, environmental and economic riches.

“OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] reports indicate that nine out of ten investors are interested in financing the sustainable ocean economy as food sources, offshore wind farms, mineral prospecting and zero-carbon marine fuels. Therein lies our great opportunity,” he added.