Reconciling ecology and economics: An eyewitness account of sailor Maud Fontenoy Premium

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French sailor Maud Fontenoy has observed changes in the world’s oceans: “Waste is appearing, there is a decline in the number of fish, and the coral reefs are breaking up.” Business Digest presents her eyewitness account, which conveys a sense of urgency in regards to the need to protect the oceans and environment in general. Maud advocates thoughtful growth, a new form of development that is more prudent and economically viable.

Sustainable development: a way out of the crisis
Many companies are showing a strong desire to become eco-friendly and are rethinking the way they do business without compromising their industry’s economic development and sustainability. 75% of fishing in France is small-scale and works hand-in-hand with scientists and conservationists, clearly demonstrating to the rest of the global fishing industry that it is possible to adopt more sustainable practices.

Economic transformation required

Maud highlights the progress of the bioeconomy in particular, which is based on the efficient use of biological and renewable resources from the land and sea. She also emphasizes the advances made by the circular economy, which seems to her to be one of the most promising solutions. The circular economy draws on ecosystems to develop production without destruction: “It doesn’t just recycle but regenerates too.”

10 measures to be taken quickly

1. Set up a bank to finance ecological progress.
2. Fight illegal fishing by keeping a closer check on boats that empty their cargo on French overseas islands.
3. Grant regional fishery bodies the resources to carry out their oversight duties.
4. Develop and finance experimental techniques for selective and reduced-impact fishing.
5. Encourage alternative fishing methods.
6. Do not allow any additional boats to have access to deep-sea fishing.
7. Make it obligatory for ballast water to be treated before being discharged into the sea.
8. Provide turnkey solutions to poor populations facing climate change.
9. Simplify the regulations of the buy-back system for wind and solar energy for private customers.
10. Reduce our C02 emissions by changing behavior.

Based on Ras-le-bol des écolos : pour qu’écologie rime avec économie by Maud Fontenoy (Plon, October 2013).

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