- One of ADB's newest initiatives, the Blue SEA Finance Hub will support blue projects, develop government capacities, and support ocean health SMEs in Southeast Asia.
- Financing the oceans back to health needs more than what traditional private and public sources can muster. In Southeast Asia, ADB’s new Blue SEA Finance Hub will support innovative financing approaches to developing a sustainable blue economy.
- How can we finance SDG14 innovatively and sustainably? The Blue SEA Finance Hub will support ASEAN governments and SMEs in developing innovative solutions to the region’s and the world’s ocean health challenges.
Billions of people in Asia and the Pacific, especially poor and vulnerable communities, depend on healthy ocean ecosystems for livelihoods, food, good health, and enjoyment. However, climate change, pollution, unsustainable fishing, and rapid coastal development are threatening the productivity of our oceans.
We must restore and protect our oceans now to secure the future of Asia and the Pacific, because when oceans thrive, people thrive. This requires large investments, which governments and donors cannot meet alone. Over the next few decades, investment plans for COVID-19 recovery will be critical to regional development. Investments in Southeast Asia should aim to be future-proofing and enhance the overall sustainability and resilience of the blue economy in the medium-to-long- term.
The ADB’s Indonesia Resident Mission (IRM) will host the Blue SEA Finance Hub (BSFH), an “institutional base to proactively grow the Blue Economy in ASEAN” with the involvement of several other ADB units in the Southeast Asia Department (SERD) (country office in the Philippines and resident missions in Thailand and Viet Nam, as well as the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) managed by the SERD Innovation Hub) and thematic groups within the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC) as well as external partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). To learn more about the Blue SEA Finance Hub, please visit www.adb.org/BlueSEA
We call Earth ‘The Blue Planet’ because over 70% of its surface is covered by the ocean. We humans depend on the ocean for food, for livelihoods, for transportation, and for enjoyment. But SDG-14 – Life Below Water – recognizes that the ocean is suffering.
Ocean health is feeling the detrimental consequences of decades of unabated unsustainable practices at sea and on land, like overfishing, mining, pollution, waste dumping, and human-induced climate change.
If treated like a country, the ocean would be the 7th largest economy in the world, and it offers endless economic opportunities in sectors such as sustainable tourism, food production, waste treatment, and sustainable coastal infrastructure.
However, blue infrastructure financing is a key concern for realizing the blue economy’s true potential. ADB estimates that we need more than $1.7 trillion per year for green infrastructure, in Asia-Pacific, including for ocean health --
-- and to reach this amount, we need financing from commercial and institutional finance, capital markets and public-private partnerships.
Traditional ways of raising finance cannot reach this target alone.
To develop the blue economy sustainably, we need innovative financing structures that can bring in the necessary private and public sector investments.
Unfortunately, the blue economy market has its challenges. There is no widely accepted definition of what makes an investment “blue”, and there is a lack of assurance requirements in reporting its impact.
With its biodiversity and wealth of natural resources, Southeast Asia has great potential for a vibrant blue economy.
But the waters in the region are being harmed by rapid urbanization and industrialization, unsustainable agriculture and aquaculture, and a constant increase in plastic pollution. And 6 rivers in Southeast Asia are among the most polluted in the world.
To address these challenges, and in line with both our Ocean Financing Framework and our Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies, ADB is establishing the Blue SEA Finance Hub, based in our Jakarta office.
The Blue SEA Finance Hub will help Southeast Asian governments develop and access finance for bankable ocean health projects by supporting innovative structuring of blue projects, strengthening capacities of governments, and helping SMEs in the sector scale up their business models.
The end goal of the Hub is to catalyze a pipeline of blue projects worth at least $300 million by 2024 that can attract financing from the public and private sectors.
To learn more about the Blue SEA Finance Hub, visit this website now.