BD in right direction to exploit “Blue Economy”: ESCAP

Bangladesh has been moving in the right direction in exploiting “Blue Economy” and other countries should acquaint with the strategies of Bangladesh that are being implemented, a top official the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has said.

blue economyESCAP Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhter made the comments while opening a side event titled “Outcomes of regional consultations on sustainable development (SD) and the post-2015 development agenda in Asia and the Pacific” at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, reports BSS.

Organized by the Bangkok-based UN-ESCAP, the objective of the event is to share the outcomes of the various regional meetings and consultations that were convened by the ESCAP in integrating social, environmental and economic sustainability of the sustainable development process, according to a message received here today.

The ESCAP Executive Secretary presented an overview of regional consultations on the SD for the region. She also highlighted the challenges and opportunities of the Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) that expressed by the member countries at various meetings, consultations including Asia-Pacific Forum for the last couple of years.

Akhter said, based on the country-specific experiences about the challenges in SDA, the organization would come up with strategies to strengthen countries’ capabilities to respond the challenges.

Focusing on Blue Economy, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at the UN Dr. A K Abdul Momen said the Bay of Bengal connects Bangladesh with 334 million sq-km of the ocean area which warrants special attention in implementing SDA.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina already expressed her resolve to turn the Bay of Bengal into a hub for sustainable economic development and thus the prosperity of the country and detailed out her plan to sustainably harness the marine resources.

It may be mentioned that while inaugurating an international workshop on “Blue Economy” in Dhaka last year, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Bangladesh’s commitment to conservation and balanced development of natural resources keeping integrity of environmental and biodiversity aspects while pursuing the must-needed development for the people of country.

Sheikh Hasina also called upon the regional and international communities to come up with pragmatic strategies and perspectives towards development of Blue Economy.

At the function, the Asia-Pacific countries aspired to remain at the frontline in ensuring inclusive sustainable development across the region following the spectacular achievements in fulfilling the targets in most of the MDGs.

Representatives of the ESCAP member countries including Bangladesh elaborated various aspects of SD like Blue Economy, Disaster Risk Reduction, Energy Efficiency and Sufficient Economy and country-specific experiences.

Vice-Chair of the 2015 Asia-pacific Forum on SD Vijira Narampanawa of Sri Lanka elaborated the sub-regional perspectives about the SDA.

Earlier, the visiting ESCAP Executive Secretary made a courtesy call on the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at his UN office and expressed the ESCAP’s eagerness to intensify relationship with Bangladesh in implementing SDA.