Diplomats from the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have pioneered to get the topic ‘Blue Economy’ high on the agenda in multilateral fora. Why? Because this topic entails the economic and sustainable use of the oceans, and for SIDS fuelling the Ocean’s Economy in a sustainable way is vital, particularly in light of climate change.
Despite differences among coastal and island states, they have challenges in common related to trade, sea level rising, ocean’s pollution, aquaculture, and offshore energy.
How can diplomats and ministries mitigate these shared challenges? In our training programmes on ‘Blue Diplomacy’, we provide the diplomats from different countries with the knowledge and skills needed to jointly enhance the sustainable economic development of the oceans.
Key topics that are discussed in training and practitioner meetings include:
- Economic diplomacy
- Multilateral and interdepartmental negotiation skills
- International trade over oceans (covering 80% of global trade)
- Public private partnerships
- Aquaculture and fisheries
- Tourism and state branding
- Offshore energy opportunities
By learning from each other and the Netherlands, and by looking towards new opportunities for action, the diplomats are challenged to formulate a Blue Economy strategy for SIDS.
As such, the training serves two objectives in parallel:
- Diplomats become true experts on the topic of Blue Economy; and
- They develop plans for increased regional cooperation.