A paper on “The importance of Sustainability for Innovative Solutions Aimed at Solving the Pollution of the Oceans” was published in the Special Issue of the JIORS (Journal of Indian Ocean Rim Studies) on Blue Economy

The concept of sustainable innovative solutions to support blue economy, key priority for IORA, has been fully embraced by the National Institution of Italy for Standardization Research and Promotion (ENR), a relevant member of the Italy-IORA committee. Thus an Italian multi-author scientific paper on sustainable development, together with CETENA S.p.A, Università degli Studi di Genova, Università degli Studi di Palermo and Augusta University (USA), has been published in the 2020 Special Issue of the JIORS. 

Authors’ contribution statements (A. Sortino, S. Vacante, A. Andò, M. Mauro, V. D’Agostino, G. De Leo, F.G. Beltrame Quattrocchi) cover blue economy at large: seen as a development of the Green Economy, the blue economy represents a valuable investment both in the short and long term and at different levels: economic, social and environmental. At the base of this vision shared by Italy and IORA is the need for maritime economic development to lead to an improvement in human well-being and social equity, while simultaneously reducing environmental risks, contributing to Europe’s decarbonisation objectives set for 2050. 

As we know, the sectors currently contributing to blue economy are fishing, aquaculture, fish processing, maritime oil and gas extraction, port activities, shipbuilding, maritime transport, coastal tourism. 

Accordingly, ENR has identified three innovative and sustainable solutions that can help address pollution of the oceans, in accordance with internationally consolidated procedures. 

1 The first solution is a combined process based on technological innovation which aims at reducing marine pollution from plastic waste. 

2 The second solution is a technological innovation for the reduction of pollutants in maritime traffic (e.g. the project TecBIA – Low Environmental Impact Technologies for the Production of Energy on Ships led by Fincantieri S.p.A., aiming to experimentally verify the sustainability of fuel cell technology for naval applications). 

3 The third is a policy innovation aimed at drafting guidelines for the acoustic impact of extraction activities related to Deep Sea Mining. ENR has carried out an Innovative Industrialization project (MIUR, 2014-2020) to support the laying out of this first technical standard on such acoustic impact. 

According to shared values between Italy and IORA members, Sustainable Development is seen as the main strength of the Blue Economy, essential to guarantee economic growth in compliance with environment protection. Such important assets led by ENR, CETENA and the above-mentioned Italian universities aim at enhancing environmental sustainability in Italy in order to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the outlook for future generations.

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