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‘Blue economy’: why we should talk about investment law

Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger

IIED Briefing, 4 pages

While ocean-related economic activities have existed since time immemorial, public debates about advancing a ‘blue economy’ have signalled new momentum for foreign investment in the sector. Technological developments have provided new openings for activities such as deep seabed mining and multinationals have identified new opportunities in fisheries, infrastructure development, renewables and coastal tourism. Each of these trends has been met with both hopes for, and concerns about, the ultimate social, environmental and economic impacts. Greater reliance on foreign investment increases the relevance of international investment law, potentially creating tensions with other rules that govern marine environments and activities. Policymakers should carefully think through these possible tensions and work to ensure policy coherence to support sustainable development.

This publication has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment programme.

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