The World Bank called on Tunisia to develop a series of measures and programs as part of a roadmap for the transition to a blue economy, which provides an opportunity to achieve sustainable development and wealth creation in the country.
In a report titled “The Opportunity for Integrated and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Regions,” published on Thursday, January 26, 2023, the World Bank recommended a focus on institutional governance with participation of all stakeholders, while ensuring coordination and coherence at the public level. policies, strategies, plans and industry programs.
The International Financial Institution called for the strengthening of relevant and updated resources and financing mechanisms, as well as programs and projects of the “blue economy”.
And in this context, an in-depth analysis of the necessary financial investments for the actual development of the “blue economy” was carried out in order to identify renewable sources of financing for the “blue growth” (issuance of bonds, insurance products, public-private partnerships, and private investments), as well as the creation of an appropriate tax systems and approval of incentives for “blue” investments.
Tunisia has over 1,300 km of coastline and is home to 7.6 million people (equivalent to 66 per cent of the country’s population) whose livelihoods depend on coastal and marine resources.
Accordingly, the World Bank has calculated that the blue economy provides 14 percent of gross domestic product and represents a “right opportunity” to diversify the maritime and coastal economy.
To seize this opportunity and develop the blue economy, the World Bank emphasized the need to pay special attention to natural capital, which today shows “worrisome signs of overexploitation and deterioration, whether in the marine or terrestrial environment.” .”
Natural capital often forms the basis of all social and economic activities at sea and on land, which requires the protection of marine and coastal components by protecting them and protecting biodiversity in these two environments, and this will contribute to the sustainability and efficiency of all components of the blue economy, according to the same source .
The World Bank report highlights the need to develop the capacity of marine and coastal resources to combat climate change, which will help increase the resilience of key sectors of the blue economy, such as tourism, fisheries and aquaculture.
He also called for the prevention and control of marine and coastal pollution of all kinds, especially plastic pollution, and the development of sustainable maritime and coastal tourism that can withstand climate change.
He stated that, despite the number of existing laws regulating the maritime and coastal sector, there is a need today to strengthen the harmony between sectoral and disparate texts and fill legislative gaps in a number of areas.
For the World Bank, the ability to develop and manage knowledge in this area remains “no less important” for the development of blue economic activity in Tunisia.
He also recommended the development of practical and accessible digital and geographic information systems for all users of coastal areas and the sea, emphasizing that investing in knowledge constitutes “the fundamental basis of Tunisia’s future blue economy strategy”.
The World Bank acted as a catalyst for the PROBLUE Trust Fund to provide the second stage of technical support as part of the implementation of the roadmap for the development of the blue economy in Tunisia.
The second phase of the World Bank’s technical support to Tunisia consists of a series of analyzes and consultations on institutional policy, attracting public and private investment, and supporting practical policy dialogue with relevant actors.
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