OECD Survey: Localising the Blue Economy. Towards a Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable and Circular (RISC-proof) blue economy in cities and regions (second round)
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This survey has been developed as part of the project Cities and Regions for a Blue Economy of the OECD Water Governance Programme within the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE). The project advocates for a localised approach to the blue economy in which local and national governments and stakeholders share the task of implementing a Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable and Circular (RISC-proof) blue economy, through good governance at the right scale. It involves both coastal and inland cities and regions in which a significant share of economic activity depends on oceans, seas, deltas, rivers and lakes.


The survey benefitted from input from the OECD Environment Directorate and was developed in collaboration with the following organisations:


  • To build knowledge on the scope and the state of play of the blue economy in cities and regions, including the main drivers, challenges, threats and impacts of the blue economy at local level, and formal blue economy strategies and initiatives across levels of government.
  • To identify the governance landscape of the resilient, inclusive, sustainable and circular (RISC-proof) blue economy across levels of government.
  • To inventory future priorities for the RISC-proof approach to the blue economy in cities and regions.

Target respondents:

  • Subnational governments in charge of water and blue economy or water-dependent economic activities. Respondents are officials from local and regional governments or river basin organisations. Coordination with other municipal/regional departments, specialised agencies and port authorities may be needed to respond to some questions.
  • OECD and non-OECD member countries.
  • For the purpose of this survey, in addition to coastal cities and regions, inland cities and regions whose economic activities depend on deltas, rivers and lakes are invited to respond.
  • Cities and regions of all sizes


Survey respondents are kindly invited to:

  • Provide their contact details for follow-up in case clarifications are needed
  • Try to answer all the questions in the survey, including open ones
  • Make reference to examples as often as possible
  • Provide sources including links and documents when relevant

All respondents will be acknowledged in the OECD documents and reports

If you wish to save your answers and return to the survey at a later time, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Start the survey.
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  3. Follow the instructions to save your survey.
  4. Resume the survey by clicking "Load unfinished survey" at the bottom left of the first page of the survey.


The first round of the survey (July-September 2022) collected responses from 56 cities, regions and basins and informed a policy paper presented at the OECD event Cities Going Blue at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (November 2022). 

A Synthesis Report on the Blue Economy in Cities, Regions and Basins based on the first and second round of survey responses will be launched at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (November 2023).

Please fill in the survey online by 27 April. Please address any questions or comments to oriana.romano@oecd.org and juliette.lassman@oecd.org


  • Basin organisations are specialised organisations set up by political authorities, or in response to stakeholder demands, that deal with water resource management issues in river basins, lake basins, or across important aquifers (OECD, 2016). Depending on the location, such organisations may also be called watershed, drainage or catchment management committees, authorities, etc.
  • The blue economy encompasses “all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts” (European Commission 2018), “together with the assets, goods and services provided by marine ecosystems” (OECD, 2016). It relates to the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem and health” (World Bank, 2017).
  • The circular economy is an economic paradigm that aims to prevent waste and pollution, keep resources in use for as long as possible, and transform waste into resources (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, n.d.). 
  • Water governance is the range of political, institutional and administrative rules, practices and processes (formal and informal) through which decisions are taken and implemented, stakeholders can articulate their interests and have their concerns considered, and decision-makers are held accountable for water management (OECD, 2015).
  • Water risks. The OECD (n.d.) identifies for major risks related to water: risk of too much, of too little water, of too polluted water, and of disruption to freshwater systems. In addition, the lack of access to water supply and sanitation can be considered as another water-related risk.
  • Water security is about managing water risks, including risks of water shortage, excess, pollution, and risks of undermining the resilience of freshwater systems (OECD, 2013).

For further definitions, please refer to the OECD scoping note on  Cities and Regions for a Blue Economy.