Ocean Action Hub

Oceans play a crucial role in the sustainability of human life on earth by providing provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services. However, the cumulative impacts of anthropogenic activities are increasingly impacting the oceans and the benefits they provide with annual socioeconomic costs of unsustainable ocean use now approaching $1 trillion per year.

The Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS participating in this project have Exclusive Economic Zones covering a total 4,8 million km2. They are located among the richest marine ecosystems in the world and are home to ecosystems of global importance including coral reefs, mangrove systems, seagrass beds and estuaries providing critical habitat for a variety of coastal species, including marine mammals, sea turtles and birds. For example, the mangroves of Guinea-Bissau, cover an area of about 3000 km2 and the coral reefs of Maldives cover about 4,500 km2, which represents 3 per cent of the world’s total coral reef area. However, the coastal and marine ecosystems of Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS face numerous threats including overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; climate change; habitat loss; marine pollution; poor governance and limited finance and collaboration.

While these SIDS are bound by common development constraints, adopting an inclusive sustainable Blue Economy approach can turn their most pressing challenges into development opportunities. Thus, this project aims at promoting inclusive and sustainable Blue Economy transformation in Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS with focus on improving existing Blue Economy sectors, identifying and pilot-testing new Blue Economy initiatives and consolidating the enabling environment. The proposed project interventions include: 1) Integrate regional and national blue economy policy frameworks into national development plans and budgets, across all 7 SIDS, with strong elements for safeguarding natural resources and ecosystem functions; 2) develop, test and upscale sustainable Blue Economy best practices and diversification models with strong social, economic and sustainability elements among Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS; 3) document, share and upscale innovative solutions and best practices supporting the sustainable Blue Economy transformation across Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS and beyond. The project will generate socio-economic benefits to women and youth and will empower them to participate in decision-making.

Partners: UNOPS (United Nations), Governments of Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, GEF

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