Informed selfishness – Practical reflections on building a sustainable ocean economy


In September 2018, a group of 14 Heads of States and Governments from all regions of the world came together to create the High Level Panel (HLP) for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (SOE). The HLP is co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Norway and the President of Palau. Simply put, the HLP seeks to ensure a SOE worldwide. In February 2021, the #VirtualBlueDecade initiative convened a panel of ocean practitioners from both the Global South and Global North to reflect on practical ways to build a SOE.

Here, we present a summary of the key issues discussed by the panel, grouped around five topics: (i) words do initiate actions; (ii) goal setting is an important step in achieving a SOE; (iii) unsustainable practices are no longer justifiable as necessary evils for funding or obtaining social license for the transformation to a SOE; (iv) scientists must learn to communicate with policy makers; and (v) support South-South cooperation.

We conclude that to achieve a SOE, the concept of “Informed Selfishness” should be considered as a guiding principle for developing policies and implementing sustainability actions.


Link to centre authors: Blasiak, Robert
Publication info: Addo, K., Adeyemo, O., Adewumi, I., Blasiak, R., Juniper, S., Owens, D., Owens, T., Sumaila, U.. 2021. Informed selfishness – Practical reflections on building a sustainable ocean economy. Marine Policy.