Member's Area
Indian Ocean Rim Association
You are here:


The Oceans cover 72% of the surface of our blue planet and constitute more than 95% of the biosphere. Oceans support all life by generating oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, recycling nutrients, and regulating the global climate and temperature. Oceans provide a substantial portion of the global population with food and livelihoods and are the means of transport for 80% of global trade. The marine and coastal environment also constitutes a key resource for the important global tourism industry and related economic employment-generating activities.

The Blue Economy was recognised as a priority at the 14th IORA Ministerial Meeting in Perth, Australia, on 9 October 2014, which captured the attention of all IORA Member States due to its growing global interest and potential. The Blue Economy is also recognised as the top priority for generating employment, food security, poverty alleviation, and ensuring sustainability in business and economic models in the Indian Ocean. Considering its wide range of valuable resources, the Blue Economy is gaining increasing interest in IORA Member States who are all committed to the development of a common vision that would make this sector a driver for balanced economic development in the Indian Ocean Rim region.

The development of the Blue Economy holds immense promise for the Indian Ocean region. The Indian Ocean is the world's preeminent seaway for trade and commerce. It is also endowed with a wealth of natural resources, which are, as yet, largely untapped. The development of the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean region is expected to yield a number of benefits for IORA Member States, including:

-   Providing a boost to coastal and national economies
-   Generating new employment, skill-sets and capacities
-   Promoting entrepreneurship in new areas of economic activity
-   Facilitating the interconnectedness of the regional economy
-   Utilising the vast, untapped potential of the Indian Ocean
-   Contributing to sustainable development and climate change mitigation

The potential of the Indian Ocean to meet the developmental needs of IORA Member States is enormous and there is cross-cutting interest in initiating projects within this objective. However, current levels of management of marine and coastal ecosystems do not inspire confidence and it is imperative that mechanisms for the protection of the ocean's biodiversity are considered simultaneously with the processing of proposals by IORA Member States for developing the blue economy.

The focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) for whom marine and coastal resources are life-lines is in consonance with the priorities highlighted in the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States held in Samoa in September 2014. The Blue Economy approach has the potential for sustainable, environment- friendly and socially inclusive development of SIDS.