Based on qualitative and quantitative research conducted between May 2022 and October 2022, the interactive index shows which countries are progressing the fastest in global efforts to slow the effects of climate change on the marine environment, protect waters from overfishing, and tackle the challenge of accumulating plastic in the ocean.
Some of the key findings of the report are as follows:
- The United Kingdom keeps its blue leadership position for a second year. In the 2022/23 rankings, the United Kingdom retains its first-place rank (albeit with a slightly lower score than last year), thanks to its continued ocean sustainability efforts and forward motion to designate Highly Protected Marine Areas. Germany follows closely, as it did in the previous year with a strong advocacy of coastal marine conservation, which has also taken steps to hasten offshore wind energy development.
- Japan and the Netherlands are new entrants to the top 10. Overall scores for both were pulled up by their improvements in clean innovation, while the Netherlands (10th) also had solid numbers for policy and regulations. Japan (9th) replaced South Korea as the only country in the top 10 that’s not a Western economy after the latter slipped to 11th place from 10th in 2021. This year, the top 10 blue technology leaders are still all mature economies.
- Nordic countries remain in the top 10. Thanks to their rich digital technology innovation ecosystems, Denmark (3rd), Finland (4th), Sweden (7th), and Norway (8th) create a significant blue leadership block. For Sweden, this has taken on an added geopolitical dimension, as it works to mitigate the Baltic Sea pollution from the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines from Russia to Europe.
The UNDP OIC's perspectives on the game-changing potentials of ocean innovations selected and supported by UNDP are featured on page 21 of the PDF report.