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Environmentalists reject ‘Blue Economy’ for Africa, say it’s dangerous

Environmentalists have called for the rejection of the Blue Economy concept, saying it portends great danger for Africa.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 8th School of Ecology session of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, with the theme, ‘Blue Economy Blues.

They (Environmentalists) observed that the climate crisis in which the world is engulfed is a result of a deeply flawed economic model, which sees nature as an inexhaustible source of materials including the non-renewable coal, oil and gas.

“It is based on this economic model that the Blue Economy seeks to promote more rapacious exploitation of aquatic resources.”

The session which was a combination of in-person and virtual participation had participants from across some states.

It interrogated the top-down Blue Economy concept, drew attention to the red flags tied to it and proposed as an alternate route.

Blue economy is a term relating to the exploitation and preservation of the marine environment.

They explained thatbesides the illogic of limitless aquatic resources, the economic template will open “our oceans for risky geo-engineering experiments supposedly to fight global warming.

“We do not need approaches that further compound the problems but a completely overhauled economic system that is just, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable,” they said.

While noting that Geo-engineering and similar experiments should be banned because of their high risk and potential to create unpredictable consequences, they said real solutions to climate change are those that address its root causes.

It is time for Africa to move away from a racist colonial economy to a peoples’ economy.

“Our governments should urgently set up policies/implementation measures for the management, conservation and restoration of mangroves especially in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. These policies and processes must be pro-communities and citizens led,” the communiqué read.

The environmentalists who recommended that African  governments should focus on a just transition from the dependence on fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy and just labour systems, also suggested that more research should be supported to increase knowledge on aquatic ecosystems to promote effective management.

“As a people we must recognize our aquatic ecosystems as legal entities possessing rights, rather than treating them as mere resources for appropriation, transformation and consumption,” they said.

“We should not be bystanders in processes that determine our future. We must unite, take back our lands and our oceans and hold the polluters responsible.” The speakers/instigators include founder of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nnimmo Bassey, Patrick Bond of University of the Western Cape School of Government, Bamikole Williams of Department of Fisheries Resources and Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research among others

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