Marves – Glasgow, Unlocking investments for the development of the blue economy is a climate action priority for archipelagic and island States (AIS) Forum. Considering this, the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment of Indonesia in collaboration with UNDP Indonesia and the AIS Forum, hosted a Talk Show Session entitled ‘Blue Financing Strategies’ on Friday (05-11-2021) in Glasgow, Scotland, on the margins of the UNFCCC COP 26 meetings. Organized in the Indonesian Pavilion, this side event was the opportunity to share experiences and engage in dialogues, with perspectives from AIS Forum participating countries.
Developing strategies and tools to finance the transition to a sustainable economic model is essential if countries are to move from climate talks towards climate action. This is especially true for the transition towards a blue economy, which is still considered an emerging concept with several definitions, principles and frameworks in place.
In this session, the Honorable Eric Evelyn, Minister of Environment and Cooperatives of Saint Kitts and Nevis spoke on financing for the blue economy in Small Island States. He described the progress already made in St Kitts and Nevis, with the implementation of CREWS – the Coral Reef Early Warning System which helps them understand the biological mechanisms of the islands’ abundant oceanic resources better. However, he noted that the challenge which small island states are facing is financing projects such as CREWS. “They need investment from developed countries so that these island governments can priorities resilience and take action where it is most needed”, he stated.
The Minister noted that networking and cooperation can help the small twin island state and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to develop and implement their own nascent blue financing strategies.
He highlighted the importance of forums like these, where countries facing similar challenges can share solutions, technical expertise, and best practices. He also noted the importance of financial support from the international community and particularly, from developed nations, towards SIDS who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis.
The Blue Financing Strategic was presented by Basilio Araujo, Deputy Minister for Coordination of Maritime Sovereignty and Energy of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs of Indonesia. Deputy Basilio explained how the strategic financial framework ensures that the principles of the blue economy translate into concrete blue economic initiatives and industries.
The Blue financing strategy prioritizes sustainability principles. It helps investors channel their funding through a range of financial instruments into the sectors that will have the greatest impact in terms of sustainability.
He emphasized the need for long term investments and Blue finance that includes the range of financial instruments in developing and strengthening ocean-related sectors, abiding by principles of sustainability. As well as unlocking capital for economic and social development, a Blue Financing Strategy should support countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 13 Climate Action and SDG 14 Life Below Water.
In the Talk show which was attended by various international organizations and government representatives from member countries of COP26, Deputy Basilio also explained that as part of the blue financing strategy, Indonesia is currently developing Blue Bonds (sukuk) which are planned to be launched in 2022.
The final speaker addressed the other, equally important side of the coin: the financial mechanisms needed to bring these national strategies to life. Briony Coulson, the United Kingdom’s Head of Ocean Plastic Pollution and International Blue Finance, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, presented her country’s commitment to investing in the marine environment.
The Blue Planet Fund (BPF) is part of the UK’s pledge to provide 3 billion pounds of financing for nature as part of their International Climate Finance commitment. The BPF aims to protect and enhance marine ecosystems through conservation efforts and sustainable management of ocean resources, to reduce poverty in developing countries.
The scope of the fund includes marine biodiversity, marine pollution, climate change and sustainable seafood. Coulson highlighted that the AIS forum regions make up some of the key target geographies where the fund will invest.
Through the BPF, the UK looks forward to partnering with public and private sector initiatives to leverage additional finance to support countries sustainably develop their blue economies.
COP26 will run until November 12th in Glasgow and the ocean environment is a key focus of the discussions, particularly for island states. The AIS Forum will continue to support participating countries to develop financing instruments by emphasizing the principles of the blue economy.
This forum continues to be a concrete cooperation platform to accommodate archipelagic and island states around the world together in overcoming the challenges and problems they face, in order to be able to develop sustainable innovative solutions.
Bureau of Communications
Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment