Bridge the Blue Finance Gap: Financing sustainable ocean-based economies in emerging markets

  • June 22, 2022

  • Lisbon, Portugal

  • What:

    Official Side-Event at the UN Ocean Conference— Lisbon, Portugal

  • When:

    29 June 2022,

    10:00am - 11:15am

    Western European Summer Time (WEST)

  • Where:

    Altice Arena / Committee Room

  • Who:

    UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)


    Hashtags: #SIDS #LDCs #BlendedFinance #SaveOurOcean

    Handles: @UNCDF @UNDESA

Financing sustainable ocean-based economies in emerging markets, especially LDCs and SIDS—solutions across the investment continuum.

Oceans constitute a critical source for humankind, providing livelihoods to over 3 billion people worldwide. Yet, human activity and other stressors, including climate change, overextraction and overfishing, are putting the health and integrity of the ocean at risk, possibly leading to irreversible environmental and economic losses to those communities living in coastal areas and in Small-Island Developing States (SIDS).

Current investments are insufficient to crowd in the necessary support to drive sustainable ocean-based economies. Only an estimated USD8 billion from philanthropy and USD5 billion from Official Development Assistance (ODA) was invested in the past ten years[1] against USD174.52 billion per year projected to be needed for the health of our oceans and reach the SDG14 by 2030.[2] Both private and public investments have a role to play in protecting the health of ocean ecosystems and supporting sustainable ocean-based economies. Investors can generate both financial and development returns by fully seizing ocean-based innovative sectors: sustainable fisheries, renewables, marine biotechnology, desalination, or eco-tourism.

Financing solutions across the investment continuum ranging from traditional grants or loans, carbon markets and insurance instruments can play a vital role in support of sustainable ocean-based economies. Innovative finance is urgently needed to help LDCs and SIDS to fully tap into the benefits of sustainable ocean-based economies and build their resilience.

The 2022 UN Ocean Conference, co-hosted by Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies, laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions anchored in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This event will discuss the different types of finance needed to grow sustainable ocean-based economies in LDCs and SIDS and how various public and private capital providers in the development finance architecture can work together across the blue finance “investment continuum”.

The discussants will explore challenges and gaps for investing in blue economy activities in emerging markets, especially LDCs and SIDS, and make recommendations for how greater flows of investment finance can be unlocked.

Anders Berlin
Director, Least Developed Countries Investment Platform
UN Capital Development Fund

Dr. Eric Kwa
Special Envoy of the Prime Minister and Secretary for Department of Justice and Attorney-General
Papua New Guinea

Preeti Sinha
Executive Secretary
UN Capital Development Fund

Kevin Horsburgh
Climate Science Lead
Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Representative from Donor Government (TBC)

Representative from Asia Development Bank (TBC)

Representative from Pegasus (TBC).

[1] de Vos, K. & Hart, B. The Ocean Finance Handbook (Friends of Ocean Action, 2020).
.[2] Despina F. Johansen, Rolf A. Vestvik, The cost of saving our ocean - estimating the funding gap of sustainable development goal 14, Marine Policy, Volume 112, 2020.

Bridge the Blue Finance Gap: Financing sustainable ocean-based economies in emerging markets

29 Jun 2022 @ 10:00am - 11:15am

Official Side-Event at the UN Ocean Conference— Lisbon, Portugal