Blue Economy

Bangladesh is well-equipped to tap the full potential of the United Nations High Seas Treaty for the benefit of its people and the world at large.

By Bilal Mustikhan | November 2023

Bangladesh has often been at the forefront of global discussions concerning climate change, sustainable development, and maritime affairs. Its geographical location, with the Bay of Bengal to its south, places it in a unique position to exploit the vast potential of the seas for economic growth.

The United Nations High Seas Treaty, designed to regulate the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, holds immense significance for Bangladesh. This article will delve into how this treaty benefits Bangladesh, offering a path to prosperity and environmental sustainability.

The United Nations High Seas Treaty
The United Nations High Seas Treaty, currently under negotiation, aims to establish a legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, often referred to as the “high seas.”

These high seas cover nearly two-thirds of the world’s oceans and are crucial for the survival and well-being of marine life and, consequently, the entire planet.

Marine Biodiversity Conservation
For Bangladesh, a nation with extensive maritime resources, the treaty offers an opportunity to contribute significantly to the conservation of marine biodiversity. The Bay of Bengal is a region of immense ecological importance, home to a diverse range of marine species and ecosystems.

With the high seas treaty in place, there will be a more comprehensive approach to protecting these ecosystems and preserving the marine biodiversity that supports Bangladesh’s fishing industry, an essential source of livelihood and nutrition for millions of its citizens.

Sustainable Fishing Practices
The treaty is not only about protecting marine life but also promoting sustainable fishing practices. Bangladesh’s fishing industry is one of the most crucial components of its economy. The high seas treaty will help regulate fishing activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction, ensuring that they are conducted sustainably.

This means that the valuable fish stocks in the Bay of Bengal, which Bangladesh heavily relies on, will be protected from overfishing and depletion, securing a more stable future for the fishing industry.

Economic Prosperity
One of the main goals of the high seas treaty is to ensure that the benefits of marine resources are shared fairly among all nations. Bangladesh, with its extensive maritime resources, stands to gain substantially from the equitable sharing of these resources.

Access to high seas resources can lead to increased economic prosperity, offering new opportunities for trade, investment, and employment. This prosperity can be channeled into furthering the country’s development goals and alleviating poverty.

Strengthening Blue Economy
The high seas treaty aligns with Bangladesh’s vision for a “blue economy,” a sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth. A well-regulated high seas regime ensures that the vast maritime area of the Bay of Bengal remains healthy, supporting fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, and shipping.

The treaty, by promoting the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, directly contributes to the realization of Bangladesh’s blue economy ambitions.

Read More