On January 21, 2022, The Bridge Tank held the second workshop in a series of three with the mandate of the French Development Agency on blue economy in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka). Whereas the first workshop aimed at earmarking new blue economy priorities for various actors and nations in the Bay of Bengal, this second workshop: Blue Economy in the Bay of Bengal – Implementation Issues, aimed to open discussions between experts, policy makers and economic actors to identify gaps and challenges that impede a concrete and efficient implementation of blue economy value chains in the Bay of Bengal region. By linking research and operational approaches, this workshop conducted a collective inventory of data gathering and treatment systems, logistic and financial resources and gaps for sustainable blue economy activities (value chains and social and natural resilience) implementation and acceleration.
This workshop was comprised of two panels; the first panel, open to the public, was dedicated to exploring the importance of data collection towards the improvement of monitoring blue economy assets. The second panel, a closed-door round table, centered on engaging discussion between public and private entities, researchers and implementers towards the implementation of a sustainable blue economy.
Among the challenges identified, the speakers all agreed on the following 5:
- Lack of information and coordination within countries and in the region;
- Need for institutional capacity building;
- Enhance resources (fisheries) enhancement;
- Need for increasing public and private cooperation;
- Need for more regional joint research studies and projects.
Panel 1: Data collection for improved monitoring of the blue economy’s assets
- Dr. Shailesh Nayak, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), India
- Ms. Akshita Sharma, Biodiversity Portfolio Manager, AFD Delhi
- Mr. Nishan Perera, Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka
- Mr. Abu Saleh Khan, Executive Director, Institute of Water Modelling, Bangladesh
- Dr. (Mrs.) Hélène Djoufelkit, Research Director of the AFD
- Arnab Das, Director, Maritime Research Center, India
- Md. Adbul Wahab, EcoFish Team Leader, World Fish Bangladesh Wing
- Dr. (Mrs.) Chime Youdon, Associate Fellows, National Maritime Foundation, India
- Saurabh Thakur, Associate Fellows, National Maritime Foundation, India
Panel 2: National framework for improved coordination between public, private entities, researchers and implementers
- Short presentation of take-aways from experts’ workshops and objectives by Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank & Jacky Amprou, Regional Director for South-Asia, AFD
- Round table – 5 minutes pitch of projects, initiatives or solutions from each speaker
- Open discussion across panelists
Speakers and guests:
- Mr. Shri Aditya Dash, Vice Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), India
- Ms. Dharshani Lahandapura, Chairperson, The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), Sri Lanka
- Mr. Khairul Majid Mahmud, Director, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Bangladesh
- Ms. Panchali Ellepola, Project Officer, AFD Sri Lanka
- Mr. Ameya Prabhu, Vice-President, Indian Chamber of Commerce, India
- Ms. Soma Mitra-Muckerjee, Director, Head of Projects, The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India
- Mr. Pattabhi Rama Rao, Group Director, Ocean Observations, Modelling and Data Assimilation Group, Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
- Mr. Reda Souirgi, Country Director Sri Lanka, AFD
With the participation of the panelists from the panel 1.
The third and final workshop in this series will be held mid-March 2022 and will aim to identify political ambitions in the sector and willingness/possibility of regional cooperation with the contribution of the French know-how in the maritime field.