From Ship to Coast: Blue Economy and Sustainable Livelihood

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On 1st October 2020, this workshop, conducted jointly by the DWIH New Delhi and the  German Maritime Museum-Leibniz Institute for Maritime History, aims to bring together researchers from India and Germany to engage them in an interdisciplinary discussion on topics concerning blue economy.


2020 was slated to be the year of the oceans, appropriately welcoming a decade that will increasingly see states attempting to create value from maritime resources.  Already, the oceans feed nearly half the world’s population and add USD 3 trillion to the economy every year. Shipping carries 90 per cent of world trade and is the most energy-efficient mode of transportation. Worldwide, ocean linked industries also create up to 31 million full-time jobs. However, a range of human behaviour continues to exacerbate damage to maritime environments, communities and actors.

Many coastal areas suffer from climate change and are under threat from pollution, as well as the over-harvesting of marine resources. Beyond the environmental imperatives it is essential for the international community to commit to an agenda that prioritizes social inclusion and economic prosperity for all. Un-regulated economic growth continues to lead to increasing inequality, elite capture, abuse of workers’ rights and the marginalisation of local communities. As ocean-based activities are an important workspace, creating jobs and opportunities in a diverse array of sectors such as shipping, tourism, cruises, fisheries and renewable energy, more attention is needed to ensure decent work, living wages and responsible production and consumption practices. By addressing these issues there is an opportunity to reap distributional benefits accruing from labour equality, improved livelihoods, and revitalization of coastal economies. Indeed, the blue economy has acquired importance in realizing almost each of the 17 sustainable development goals. As the oceans increasingly command international attention, it is imperative for scholars to examine the blue economy in the light of the SDGs. There is a need to not only raise public awareness but to also mobilize a cross-sectoral community from government, business, civil society and international organizations to fast track research in this domain.

The intention of the workshop is to identify and prioritize short-term and long-term issues and corresponding areas of research on the following themes. It is also intended to discuss, discover and amplify good practices, methods and tools for science communication. Members of the workshop will produce a future research blueprint, including one brief flagship joint report.


Exploring labour rights in the blue economy

This track will debate labour standards and welfare schemes of industries dependent on the oceans, such as fisheries, shipping, cruises, and coastal tourism. It will explore how transnational arrangements, stronger human rights regimes, supported by complementary governance frameworks can be promoted in enabling sustainable employment linked to the maritime industry.

Building a ‘community first’ approach to the blue economy

This track will explore how coastal communities can be given a concrete stake in the sustainable management of the ocean’s resources. As global exploitation and inequalities increase, this theme will look at how local jobs can be secured to improve coastal livelihoods. Furthermore, communities that are vulnerable to climate change are often the most innovative and effective in adapting to it. Hence, his track will focus on studying grass-roots efforts that respond to climate change, amplify successful local adaptation initiatives and provide a platform for job creation.

Gender and the blue economy

This session will focus on how to guarantee better equity and participation for women in the blue economy and all ocean-related activities including research, management and policy making. For example, while women play a pivotal role in fisheries, they are often found in the lowest social position. This track will examine how local policies, skill- and literacy initiatives, empowerment through technology and digital connectivity can catalyze women participation in the workforce and women led enterprises.

Preliminary agenda of the workshop

Sr. No Time (IST) Particulars
1 12:00 – 12:30 Welcome and introduction
Keynote:“The role of research in fostering sustainability in the blue economy” by Prof. Dr. Michael Flitner, Chair of the artec Sustainability Research Center, University of Bremen
2 12:30 – 13:00 Q&A and discussion on the keynote
3 13:00 – 13:30 Elevator pitch from participants
4 13:00 – 13:45 Break
5 13:45 – 14:00 Briefing for breakout sessions
6 14:00 – 15:00 Breakout session

1. Exploring labour standards in the blue economy

2. Building a ‘community first’ approach to the blue economy

3. Gender and the blue economy

8 15:00 – 15:15 Break
9 15:15 – 16:00 Presentations of the 3 groups
10 16:00 – 16:30 Summary of the presentations

Blueprint of next steps

Participants and Application details

Participants:Researchers (PhD preferred) with an interest in the topic of blue economy and sustainable livelihood from India and Germany. Participants would be selected from disciplines covering natural sciences, social sciences and humanities

Number of participants: 15

Application:  To apply for the workshop please send an email for interest of participation to and fill in your details on this link

For any queries please contact or +91 8527144653

Application deadline: 08.08.2020

About the German Maritime Museum / Leibniz Institute for Maritime History:

The German Maritime Museum / Leibniz Institute for Maritime History in Bremerhaven has set itself the task of exploring the relationship between man and sea and making it possible to experience it in exhibitions. It is one of eight Leibniz research museums in Germany and is one of the largest maritime museums in Europe. Research projects at the German Maritime Museum / Leibniz Institute for Maritime History are supported by renowned national and international funding programmes. For more information:

Event Information

October 1, 2020

Organizer: DWIH New Delhi, German Maritime Museum/ Leibniz Institute for Maritime History