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Maritime Forum

Future of the Ocean Economy


  1. Aim: Conduct a forward-looking assessment of the ocean economy to 2030 and beyond, with particular emphasis on the development potential of emerging ocean-based industries.
  2. Scope: For practical purposes, the project divides the ocean economy into established marine activities and emerging activities. Established marine activities encompass shipping and shipbuilding, capture fisheries, traditional maritime and coastal tourism, and port facilities and handling. Emerging ocean-based industries include: Off-shore wind, tidal and wave energy, oil and gas extraction in deep-sea and other extreme locations; marine aquaculture; marine biotechnology; sea-bed mining for metals and minerals; ocean-related tourism and leisure activities; and ocean monitoring, control and surveillance.
  3. Key issues: The ocean economy’s long-term outlook and future contribution to growth and jobs. Particular attention will be devoted to emerging ocean-based activities, with respect to: risks and uncertainties surrounding future development; required progress/breakthroughs in science and technology; investment needs; environmental impacts; contribution to green growth; sectoral interdependencies, and potential synergies and negative externalities; implications for ocean management, planning and regulation; and the policy options most suited to boost their long-term development prospects and their contribution to growth and employment, while managing the ocean in responsible, sustainable ways.
  4. Management of the project: Design, co-ordination and implementation of the project will be conducted by the OECD’s International Futures Programme in the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, in co-operation with other relevant specialised OECD directorates, departments and agencies. Background papers to support the main modules of the project will be produced by OECD specialists and external experts. Strategic guidance and financial support will be provided by a Steering Group consisting of representatives of the institutions and organisations sponsoring the project.
  5. Workshops: The project will be supported by special workshops that may be co-organised and co-hosted with institutions involved in the project.
  6. Funding: The project will be financed by voluntary contributions from governments, agencies, research institutions, foundations and corporations. The budget for the project is estimated at 550 000 Euros. Resources to be supplemented by secondments of experts from participating organisations, and by financial and logistical support provided through institutions co-hosting the planned workshops.
  7. Outputs: A series of reports derived from each of the modules and the workshops associated with them; a final synthesis report; an international symposium to highlight the findings of the project, conditional on interest and availability of funding.
  8. Duration of the project: 18-24 months.
  9. Provisional timetable: Conditional on the availability of a critical mass of funding, work would begin in the first quarter of 2013. The first workshop would be held in the summer of 2013, the remainder over the period from autumn 2013 to autumn 2014. Reports on the respective modules would start to come on-stream as of autumn 2013. The final synthesis report would be produced end-2014, and the potential symposium could be held in the first quarter of 2015.

Future of the ocean economy