The European Investment Bank (EIB) and The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced today a new partnership to support clean and sustainable ocean initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region, and to target blue economy activities, contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

According to the EIB and ADB, the institutions will finance activities aimed at promoting cleaner oceans through the reduction of land-based plastics and other pollutants discharged into the ocean, as well as projects which will improve the sustainability of all socio-economic activities that take place in oceans, or that use ocean-based resources. The institutions stated that they will target projects that reduce marine plastic pollution through integrated solid waste management projects, including recycling; follow circular economy principles, such as designing out plastic waste, and; promote clean rivers and waterways, including through improved wastewater management and inclusive sanitation.

ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono, said:

“Healthy oceans are critical to life across Asia and the Pacific, providing food security and climate resilience for hundreds of millions of people. This Memorandum of Understanding between ADB and EIB will launch a framework for cooperation on clean and sustainable oceans, helping us to expand our pipeline of ocean projects in the region and widen their impacts.”

According to the World Bank, the Blue Economy is defined as the “sustainable use of ocean resources for improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.” Blue economy-related activities include renewable energy, fisheries, maritime transport, tourism, and waste management. The EIB and ADB will target blue economy projects including sustainable fisheries management and sustainable seafood supply chains, green shipping, green ports and maritime infrastructure, and coastal protection activities, among others.

EIB Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen said:

“Oceans play a vital role in the world economy and they are also the largest carbon sink on the planet, helping to regulate the global climate. But oceans are under enormous pressure, with implications for billions of people. The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 does not weaken our commitment to address global environmental and climate challenges. As the EU climate bank, we are very proud to partner with ADB through this new Clean and Sustainable Ocean Partnership to further protect the oceans and preserve and promote the sustainable use of this precious natural resource.”