Asia and the Pacific has some of the most diverse and productive marine areas in the world. They provide valuable ecosystem services to poor and vulnerable communities, which bring benefits such as disaster resilience, livelihoods, and food security, as well as drive economies through tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture. However, the region’s ocean ecosystems have been pushed to the brink of collapse. Half of all coral reefs have disappeared, fish stocks and marine species are in dramatic decline, the ocean is getting warmer, and sea levels are rising.
To help to mobilize and align investment to address these challenges, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Poverty-Environment Action have teamed up to prepare a joint knowledge product on financing a blue economy in Asia Pacific. The knowledge product will guide the planning and implementation of ADB’s Ocean Finance Initiative which aims to mobilize and align US$5 billion of investment to support blue economy in Asia Pacific over five years and also inform UNEP and UNDP’s blue economy work. The later includes UNEP-supported Regional Seas Programmes.
With work already underway, Poverty-Environment Action and the UNEP Finance Initiative were invited to present at an ADB staff webinar in July to review progress of the knowledge product and receive feedback from more than 80 ADB staff working on Sustainable Development and Climate Change and Finance. The webinar provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of integrating poverty environment into blue economy planning and financing and to present the UNEP Finance Initiative supported Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles.