Exploring The Role Of Blue Economy In Sustainable Development: A Perspective From Pakistan


  • Shahzad Ali Gill
  • Jawad Iqbal


Blue Economy, Blue Growth, Blue Tourism; Blue Finance, Sustainable Development, Sustainability, SDGs, Coastal Communities Triple Bottom Line (3BL)


Being covered by oceans around 71%, Planet Earth is a blue planet. More than three billion people depend on this natural capital for the sustenance of their lives and livelihoods. Given its twin objectives of securing growth and sustainability, the blue economy (BE) has become a pivotal policy discourse. Pakistan is a bonafide maritime nation. Despite making reasonable efforts, the country is not making headway towards sustainability. Keeping in view the country’s BE potential, the extant study aims to explore the role of BE in the sustainable development (SD) of Pakistan.


Drawing upon Triple Bottom Line (3BL) Theory, this qualitative study utilizes an interpretive paradigm to illustrate the insights of the BE experts (n=15) selected through purposive sampling. The researchers performed a thematic analysis (TA) of the primary data and discussed the identified themes.


The study confirms that the BE and SD are compounding, and Pakistan can’t afford their mutual exclusivity. While calling attention to several socio-economic, political, institutional, legal, security, and environmental challenges, the study informs that Pakistan’s geostrategic location and BE potential enables it to turn the tide towards SD. To this effect, the country needs to put in titanic efforts across all spheres to bear out its national and international commitments towards BE and SD.


The present study contributes to the budding literature on BE and SD. With an improved understanding of the nexus between BE and SD, the study stimulates advanced research and backs the national and international SD and BE policy discourse. The study also notifies the future research agenda with limitations and policy implications.