Bank to spend $13.2 billion on ocean health
A US$5 billion (T$13.2 billion) action plan on ocean health and sustainable ocean economies was launched by the Asian Development Bank on Thursday, at its 52nd Annual Meeting in Fiji.
The meeting, taking place for the first time in the Pacific region, has already seen several million dollars pledged towards the fight against climate change, including a multi-million-dollar renewable energy financing project and a trust fund towards disaster resilience in partnership with Ireland.
The Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies for the Asia and Pacific region focuses on four key areas: improving business and livelihoods which depend on the ocean, also known as ‘blue economies’ like tourism and fisheries, ecosystem management, pollution control and sustainable coastal infrastructure.
The Bank's Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Bambang Susantono, launched the plan alongside Bruce Dunn, head of the bank’s Environment Thematic Group.
And in a press statement, A.D.B. President Takehiko Nakao said the entire region’s prosperity depends on healthy oceans, and sustainable development.
“We must work towards a more resilient future, where humanity and oceans thrive together,” he said.
The money will be spent in grants, concessional loans and through a new Oceans Financing Initiative, for the private sector to invest in “bankable projects” with the help of credit risk guarantees and capital market bonds.
The programme will be implemented in five different ways: by strengthen policies and regulatory frameworks, especially in pollution management; with the latest information technology to create useful systems; with knowledge sharing in this area around the region; with regional cooperation and policy based dialogue on the ocean and by including marginalised communities, youth and women.
“Whatever we do, it need to be thinking about poverty reduction. We need to be taking inclusive approaches and we need to be thinking very much about supporting gender including, youth and communities,” Mr Dunn said.
Civil society and non-government organisations will also be a large part of the conversations, while private sector will be encouraged to spend and invest in projects to do with the ocean’s health.
“We believe, through this initiative that we can support a sustainable blue future for the pacific, and for many countries around the region.”