The Blue Economy - Sustainability, Innovation and our Ocean


Course Description

Planet earth’s defining feature is the ocean and it is the reason that life exists. It produces oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide, and contributes to freshwater renewal. It connects countries and cultures and supports ecosystems that bridge national boundaries. The ocean provides important goods and services to all of society. It is a major part of the world economy, with more nations looking to the ocean as a way to enhance livelihoods and wellbeing, particularly coastal communities and island nations.  Some nations are looking at their large lakes and rivers to do the same.

The concept of the Blue Economy has evolved from the concept of the Green Economy, but with more relevance to nations that rely directly on “blue” resources for their livelihoods. The Blue Economy focuses on the innovative use of the goods and services that the ocean provides while considering the needs of local communities and ensuring that a resilient ocean can continue to provide for future generations. It requires rethinking current practices, engaging cross-sectoral and multinational collaboration, and has various crosscutting components that influence it.

Course Contents

The course is divided into two Units: 

Unit 1:  An introduction to the Blue Economy

Unit 2:  Ecosystem Services and the Blue Economy   

Target audience

The benefits of developing a sustainable Blue Economy are not only relevant to coastal and ocean nations, but also to landlocked countries who indirectly benefit from (and impact) the resources and services provided by the ocean. Over five weeks you’ll discover the potential that the Blue Economy has to drive innovative ocean engagement. Through discussion forums with experts, videos, and readings you’ll get to interact and collaborate with other learners. Our self-assessment model means you only take quizzes when you’re ready. You will also receive a certificate upon completion to verify your achievement. If you spend 4-5 hours of your time per week on this course you should be able to complete it in five weeks.

The course is designed as an introductory course to attract participants from various backgrounds, both technical and non-technical. The integrated, cross-sectoral nature of the Blue Economy provides the opportunity for new knowledge to be developed, regardless of how much or how little you may know. Additionally, this course is well aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #14 - Life Below Water, focused on conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas, and marine resources, as well as many more of the SDGs.

Outcomes of this Course

Upon completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the general concept, principles, and challenges of the Blue Economy, with examples.
  2. Recognize the importance of ecosystem services to the Blue Economy.



A certificate of completion will be awarded to participants who contribute and post two (2) forum discussions, excluding the introduction forum and pass two (2) quizzes with 70% and more.