The world’s ocean economy is worth between USD 3 trillion and USD 6 trillion, as per UNCTAD’s Trade and Environment Review, and offers vast opportunities for developing countries to build resilience. In addition to conventional ocean-based sectors like fisheries, ports and shipping, coastal and marine tourism, etc., countries around the world are exploring new avenues for growth, including ocean-based renewable energy, deep sea exploration, underwater infrastructure, etc. This necessitates the development of a blue economy which strikes the right balance between benefitting from the ocean, and protecting its resources.
The development of blue economy raises the need for evolution of the domain of hydrography and oceanography, and its stakeholders. Hydrospatial or marine geospatial information is crucial for all activities under the umbrella of blue economy, and beyond. The development of hydrospatial infrastructures which encompass policies, technology, data, collaborations, standards, and other components for the holistic development of marine geospatial ecosystem, is imperative for this integration.
The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development aims to generate qualitative and quantitative ocean knowledge to inform the development of solutions which can help in achieving its vision of ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The development of holistic hydrospatial infrastructures considering the evolving use cases and demand will support innovation, and aid in the generation of knowledge and the development of solutions for equitable and sustainable development of the blue economy under changing environmental, social and climate conditions.
The Hydrospatial Infrastructure and Blue Economy Summit aims to define the demand for ocean knowledge and opportunities for growth in the blue economy, ideate the components of a holistic hydrospatial infrastructure for the development of integrated ocean knowledge solutions, and discuss the impact of demand-driven ocean knowledge solutions on the economy, society, and the environment. The summit will have sessions on the following topics: