The UWI-UNDP Blue Economy Think Tank

What is the Blue Economy?

Blue economy

According to the World Bank, it is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.

Activities and sectors such as tourism, fisheries, maritime transport, waste management, climate change, and renewable energy are all blue economy related.

Blue economy benefits include coastal protection, biodiversity, carbon storage, and cultural values.

The ocean is not infinite. Climate change is a serious threat to ocean health, and mankind must seek to manage in ocean resources in a healthy, ethical manner, so that it continues to be a viable support system for people, for animals, for ecosystems.

In 2017, in response to the challenges Caribbean islands are facing with sustainable use of marine resources, The UWI and UNDP formalised joint collaboration in targeted areas. By 2019, the UWI-UNDP Public Policy Think Tank for a Blue Economy (the first of its kind in the region) was established to strengthen the linkages between university research and public policy on critical matters for activating the region’s blue economy.


This collaboration builds on UNDP’s Accelerator Labs, a new way of working in development. The organisation established 60 Accelerator Labs across the world, with one in Barbados—the only one based in the Caribbean—and focuses on promoting innovation and community engagement on blue economy related sectors.

The Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies speaks about the Caribbean's regional university's partnership with the United Nations Development Programme to establish on a joint Public Policy Think Tank for a Blue Economy.