The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today launched the Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies for the Asia and Pacific region.
“We must work toward a more resilient future, where humanity and oceans thrive together,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said at the launching programme of the action plan on the sidelines of the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors in Fiji.
“The prosperity of our region depends on healthy oceans and sustainable development,” Takehiko Nakao said.
The action plan will support the efforts of ADB’s developing member countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 14 Life Below Water.
Financing and technical assistance will be expanded for ocean health and marine economy projects to $5 billion from 2019 to 2024, including co-financing from partners.
The initiative will focus on four areas: creating inclusive livelihoods and business opportunities in sustainable tourism and fisheries; protecting and restoring coastal and marine ecosystems and key rivers; reducing land-based sources of marine pollution, including plastics, wastewater, and agricultural runoff; and improving sustainability in port and coastal infrastructure development, ADB said in a statement.
As a part of the action plan, ADB will launch the Oceans Financing Initiative to create opportunities for the private sector to invest in bankable projects that will help improve ocean health. The initiative will provide technical assistance grants and funding from ADB and other donors to reduce the technical and financial risks of projects. This will be done through instruments such as credit risk guarantees and capital market “blue bonds”.
The ADB’s Oceans Financing Initiative will be piloted in Southeast Asia in collaboration with the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund and the Republic of Korea. The World Wide Fund for Nature, a longtime partner of ADB, will support the design and implementation of the financing initiative.
Meanwhile, The ADB and Indonesia have joined forces on tackling plastic debris in the sea.
ADB Vice-President (Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development) Bambang Susantono and Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning and ADB Alternate Governor Bambang Brodjonegoro signed a letter of intent on collaboration in areas of mutual interest in this regard today.
The signing was held on the sidelines of the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB's Board of Governors in Nadi, Fiji, ADB said in a statement.
The letter of intent outlines a commitment between ADB and the National Development Planning Agency to collaborate on “South–South and Triangular Cooperation,” particularly with Pacific countries, on the reduction of marine plastic debris in Indonesia and the wider region of ASEAN and Pacific countries.
The collaboration will include technical assistance and knowledge sharing for marine plastic debris solutions, including support to enable policies and regulations, promote private sector engagement, and enhance development partnerships and financing.