Globally, the ocean economy has an asset base of over USD 24 trillion and generates at least USD 2.5 trillion each year from the combination of fishing and aquaculture, shipping, tourism, and other marine based activities (WWF, 2015). However, these are mere estimations given that the full potential of aquatic and marine ecosystems and associated resources is still not well understood globally and on the African continent. The lack of knowledge of blue resources at stake is a major gap hindering the sustainable harnessing of Blue Economy resources, policy development and implementation on the Blue Economy. As an example, more than 80 per cent of the oceans remain completely unmapped. This is combined with an equally poor mapping of freshwater and groundwater resources on the continent. To address this, ECA has embarked on the development of a Blue Economy valuation toolkit aimed to guide data collection and analysis for the socio-economic assessment of blue resources, including goods and services generated; which in turn is expected to provide an accurate snapshot of the potential of the Blue Economy and to help inform decision-making.
In addition, there is still lack of clear understanding of the concept and multisectoral approach of the Blue Economy by policy makers and stakeholders. ECA has played an instrumental role in the past few years in assisting member States and regional bodies in developing their first strategic policy frameworks using the methodology provided by the Blue Economy Policy Handbook for Africa (ECA flagship publication). Countries such as Seychelles have decided to fully focus on the Blue Economy to sustain their post-Covid19 recovery. Indeed, due to the vastness of its opportunities the Blue Economy represents more and more a very promising outlet to build economies back better, for sustainable growth within the context of the socio-economic crisis generated by the Covid 19 pandemic. Hence, there is need to build and develop capacities on the Blue Economy concept, approach, related policy and valuation tools to raise awareness, disseminate knowledge and enable key players to apply it through tailor-made assessments as well as policy and regulatory frameworks and action plans. This has been highlighted as a key priority at the 2019 Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts of SRO-EA and in the policy framework of Seychelles, the Indian Ocean Commission (developed with EAC support). With respect to UNIDEP, this training falls under Cluster 4 (Integrated Natural Resource Management) of the training catalogue adopted by the Technical Advisory Committee of UNIDEP and endorsed by its governing council.
The course will introduce the fundamentals of the Blue Economy valuation toolkit, its concept and approach, as well as provide a step by step guide to help stakeholders to better assess the socio-economic potential of the Blue Economy for informed decision making. The course will build on and complement the overall training on the Blue Economy provided in early 2021.
Accordingly, the course aims to provide practitioners, policymakers, statisticians and any other interested stakeholder with clear understanding of the following:
• Module 1 (1st week – whole or partial): Concept, approach, and Economic and Social components of the Blue Economy valuation toolkit
• Module 2 (2nd week – whole or partial): Environmental component of the Blue Economy valuation toolkit.
• Module 3 (3rd week – whole or partial): Learning and practical application of the valuation toolkit at country level.
At the end of the course, participants will have:
(a) An enhanced exposure to and improved understanding of the different components of the Blue Economy valuation toolkit;
(b) An increased capacity to develop in-depth assessments through the use and application of the toolkit;
(c) A strengthened knowledge of the blue potential and enhanced informed decision-making on the Blue Economy for long-term sustainable impacts on the ground.
PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH & MODE OF DELIVERY
The course will be delivered for one month including one week for the final evaluation, meaning from 4 October to 5 November 2021. The course will be moderated asynchronously on a weekly basis and participants are required to participate in the weekly on-line discussions. The lessons are designed in a way that learners are also able to self-assess their understanding through practical exercises which will be in the form of case studies that will support active learning (at least 5 for the third module). Additional resources such as bibliographies, web links and optional readings are provided for participants who wish to deepen their knowledge of the course topic.
The course will be delivered in English and French. The course is structured to run over a period of three weeks. The following fourth week will be dedicated to the final evaluation. The pedagogical team will include a Course Director, a team of moderators and Resource persons with first-hand knowledge of the historical and contemporary issues in Blue Economy in Africa. They also come with strong comparative insights from other regions of the world. In line with the IDEP pedagogical philosophy, the presentation of the course modules will combine a knowledge-building component with experience-sharing among participants.
Acceptance to the Course
Until the registration deadline, participants are accepted to the course on a rolling basis and subject to availability of slots. Please refer to the paragraph below to see priority target group. Applications must be completed exclusively on IDEP online application platform at https://www.unidep.org/?apply
Certificate of Completion
A Certificate of Completion will be issued by IDEP to all participants who successfully complete the course-related self-assessments presented for each module.
Access to internet is an essential condition for participation. The following specifications, as a minimum in terms of hardware and software, are required to take this e-Learning course, please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:
• Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X; Linux
• Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
• Adobe Acrobat Reader
o Adobe Flash Player
o Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office
o Browser: Google chrome Internet Explorer 7 or higher or Firefox 36 or higher
• Modem: 56 K
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