The National Maritime Foundation (NMF) conducted its Annual Maritime Power Conference-2017 at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) Auditorium, Development Enclave, New Delhi, on 09-10 February 2017.
The NMF was established in 2005 to provide a common platform for discourse between maritime-related institutions, organisations and disciplines, within the country and abroad. The Foundation conducts independent academic research and provides policy-relevant recommendations to advance the nation’s maritime goals.
As a part of its charter, NMF endeavours to foster maritime awareness on contemporary issues through academic engagements and towards this end, the Foundation organises an Annual Maritime Power Conference (AMPC).
During the International Fleet Review, 2016, the Prime Minister recalled India’s vision for the Indian Ocean through ‘SAGAR’ (meaning ocean), which stands for ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’. Later, whilst inaugurating the Maritime India Summit 2016, the Prime Minister articulated his maritime vision for the nation. These events showcased India’s growing maritime power and signalled a clear intent of a resurgent maritime nation.
Taking forward the maritime vision of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the theme for the Annual Maritime Power Conference -2017 has been chosen as “The Blue Economy: Concept, Constituents and Development”.
The Blue Economy encompasses various traditional marine sectors such as fisheries and aquaculture, shipping, port infrastructure, ship building and repair, island development, seabed exploration, hydrocarbon extraction and marine tourism industry.
There are also many emerging sectors in the such as marine renewable energy, deep seabed mining, salt water desalination, marine bio-technology and provisioning specialised Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) services for the marine industry.
Innovative technologies have also created new opportunities for harnessing ocean resources and enable job creation which are vital for inclusive growth.
In order to fully harness the potential of the blue economy, India needs to envision the seas and oceans as development spaces. This involves an integrated approach towards oceanic resources comprising marine spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management.
This conference aimed to add to the understanding of the discourse on Blue Economy and intends to discuss its constituents in an attempt to develop a common understanding of the concept. It seeked to identify the opportunities and challenges with the aim of evolving concrete recommendations towards harnessing the Blue Economy, while ensuring efficient utilization of marine resources and sustained development of the oceans.