The Blue Economy is becoming an ‘El Dorado’, a new frontier for traditionally arid and water-stressed nations in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Christian Averous, Vice President of Plan Bleu.
But against the backdrop of the enormous potential represented by the Blue Economy, there are numerous challenges and critical issues that the region faces. Overfishing, water scarcity, highly salty waters, climate change, high evaporation rates, the oil industry and pollution are just some of things that place at risk the development and conservation of marine and aquatic resources in the in the Middle East and North Africa.
In addition, rapid population growth throughout the region complicates things. According to the U.S.-based Population Reference Bureau, “MENA experienced the highest rate of population growth of any region in the world over the past century” and is growing at a current rate of 2 percent per year. It’s the second-highest growth rate in the world after sub-Saharan Africa, the organisation says.
[Photo by WorldFish | Flickr]