Norway must ensure sustainable development in the ocean areas in cooperation with other countries. It is an ambition that Norway takes an international leadership role in important ocean issues. Norway has a strong interest in securing healthy and productive oceans. The Government has presented a report to address Norway’s interests and role in foreign and development policy.
Norway has important expertise to share with other countries and has a long tradition of marine research. Knowledge of sustainable management and resource utilization from the sea is in itself an export goods. The goal is to become the leader nation and the preferred partner for cooperation on ocean issues. Blue growth through green conversion.
Significant growth in blue industries is expected globally. The Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), in its report “The Ocean Economy in 2030”, shows that economic activity in the ocean is growing rapidly, and estimates that the marine economy will provide 40 million jobs and double its contribution to global value creation by 2030. Much of the growth is expected to come in industries where Norway already has important advantages. At the same time, developments in the global ocean economy are limited by the ongoing deterioration of the sea state. One of the great challenges of the future will be to balance the need for increased productivity with the need for stronger protection of the marine resource base. Norwegian companies are the world leader in, among other things, subsea systems, drilling technology, seismic and offshore supply vessels. To achieve the UN’s sustainability goals, an offensive management is required that facilitates new jobs and responsible exploitation of marine resources. With the Norwegian natural resources and knowledge, technology and management expertise, Norway is well equipped to meet these opportunities and challenges, with good conditions for sustainable growth and value creation in the Norwegian blue industries. There is a potential to exploit synergies and strengthen the interaction between established industries, sectors and disciplines. The state of the Norwegian sea areas is generally good. The OECD report shows that the development of the global ocean economy is limited by the ongoing deterioration of the sea state. Emissions of greenhouse gases and pollution change the oceans gradually in a way we do not know the consequences of. Due to increased CO2 emissions, the oceans become more acidic, the water gets warmer and the sea level rises. The sea and the coast are supplied with pollution and waste. Future value creation in the ocean industries assumes that we to an even greater extent ensure sustainable use of the sea and its resources. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires changes in energy production and use. It requires all industries to become more efficient and cleaner. One of the great challenges of the future will be to balance the need for increased productivity with the need for stronger protection of the marine resource base. Here Norway has a lot of expertise to share with other countries. One of the Norwegian foremost competitive advantages is the knowledgeable oil engineers, process operators, seafarers, fishermen and breeders with high operational expertise in exploiting the sea. The ability to continue to manage and utilize marine resources in a sustainable manner will be crucial for future profitable Norwegian business activity in the ocean. Furthermore, there will be a need at all times to have an updated regulatory framework and good framework conditions, closer cooperation across sectors, enhanced knowledge and expertise about the sea, development of new technologies and access to global markets.
UN Sustainability Goals ambition is that the goals will be achieved by 2030 at the latest. The sustainability targets constitute a holistic objective, and many of the sustainability goals are important for the marine industries. Sea issues are given special place in the main objective 14 to preserve and use marine and marine resources in a way that promotes sustainable development. The sustainability goal illustrates a strengthened international support for the importance of the ocean. Sustainability Objective 14’s sub-objectives emphasize sustainable management, providing maritime knowledge, preserving at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, avoiding overfishing, combating illegal fishing, reducing pollution, marine littering, and microplastic dispersal. Preventing and reducing pollution, marine littering and spreading of microplastics has been identified as an important challenge, and this is also a prerequisite for continued safe and healthy seafood.
Close cooperation and transfer of knowledge have been important for the development of the Norwegian blue industries. There may be great potential for new jobs and value creation in increasing the transfer of ideas and technology between the ocean industries. The knowledge and competence needs are partly specific to the individual industry, but there are also common challenges and potential for collaboration and transfer of expertise across. New industries, such as renewable ocean energy, mineral extraction on the seabed and harvesting biomarine resources at a lower trophic level, require considerable knowledge and innovation. mapped out the potential for synergies between the ocean industries. There is a great potential for sustainable value creation in systematising and increasing the transfer of ideas and technology between the established blue industries, and from established to new industries exploiting resources in, on and under the sea. The possibilities are assumed to be particularly large for transferring offshore technology to the other offshore industries, and especially for aquaculture.
Technological and knowledge development opens up new business opportunities, and the commercial interests associated with the use of the ocean are growing. At the same time, the marine environment is threatened by climate change, pollution and littering. A necessary foundation for future value creation and sustainable growth is therefore increased knowledge about the connections in the sea, biological diversity and the function and robustness of ecosystems. Increased business activity in the sea increases the need for better knowledge of how the different industries affect each other and the overall impact on the ecosystems. Despite considerable knowledge in marine ecosystem research and management, there is still much we do not know about our marine areas. The Government need to therefore strengthen the knowledge base on marine ecosystems and how these change as a result of increased human activity, climate change and pollution. Improved measurement technology and increased access to high-resolution marine and environmental data today opens up completely new opportunities for monitoring the state of the oceans. Digitization allows for faster data transfer and data interpretation. The Government will streamline its work on data capture through, among other things, the use of new technology and cooperation nationally and internationally. Data collected should be made available to users more quickly.
A total of twelve of the clusters in the Norwegian Innovation Cluster program have their core business associated with the ocean. Global Centers of Expertise Clusters (GCE) Blue Maritime and Subsea (now so called GCE Ocean Technology) are the most mature, largest and prominent, play an important role. These clusters have already taken an active role in contributing to value creation for their members companies through technology and skills transfer, providing new applications and synergies. Cooperation in the clusters also contributes to increased internationalization. The clusters in the Norwegian Innovation Clusters program play a key role in contributing to increased interaction between the blue industries. Cooperation in the clusters also contributes to increased internationalization and the exchange of knowledge and experience between the various members. The Government will ask that the clusters, in cooperation with the agency and the Team Norway organization, contribute to the work to identify the most important markets international (as Brazil), assist in creating good meeting places for experience exchange and support the work of Invest in Norway in the specific regions.
The Norwegian authorities conduct active and regular government bilateral dialogue with several countries where the Norwegian blue industries have significant interests and investments. Norway currently has bilateral economic commissions with a number of countries, including important port nations such as Brazil. Through bilateral government dialogues, everything is discussed from regulatory cooperation to market access issues. The collaboration helps to strengthen trade and to solve specific problems that Norwegian companies encounter in the international markets. The Government will further develop existing bilateral government dialogues, and involve the business community to identify new partner countries for closer cooperation on the maritime industry’s framework conditions. The Government, in cooperation with actors from the blue industry, wish look at possible ways to promote sustainable business development. “Global Ocean Initiative” is an input from Norwegian industry that seeks to highlight the Norwegian experience of reconciling the need for protection with sustainable growth. The initiative will be a tool for promoting Norwegian views and expertise, and thus contribute to strengthening Norway’s role as an active premise provider for sustainable business development in the ocean.