28 November 2018: The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference concluded with hundreds of pledges to advance a sustainable Blue Economy, including 62 concrete commitments related to: marine protection; plastics and waste management; maritime safety and security; fisheries development; financing; infrastructure; biodiversity and climate change; technical assistance and capacity building; private sector support; and partnerships.
The Conference, which convened from 26-28 November 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, focused on the theme, ‘The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’ Over 18,000 participants from 184 countries registered to participate in the three-day event, which was organized around nine themes: smart shipping, ports, transportation and global connectivity; employment, job creation and poverty eradication; cities, tourism, resilient coasts and infrastructure; sustainable energy, mineral resources and innovative industries; managing and sustaining marine life, conservation and sustainable economic activities; ending hunger, securing food supplies and promoting good health and sustainable fisheries; climate action, agriculture waste management and pollution-free oceans; maritime security, safety and regulatory enforcement; and people, culture, communities and societies – the inclusive blue economy.
The messages from the meeting were captured in the ‘Nairobi Statement of Intent on Advancing the Global Sustainable Blue Economy.’ In addition, participants were invited to announce “Leaders’ Commitments,” which resulted in pledges including:
- marine protection: €40 million to protect corals and reefs and €60 million for the protection of marine areas in African countries (EU);
- plastics and waste management: US$100 million earmarked for better oceans management and against dumping, and US$200 million over the next four years for the development of initiatives to combat marine litter and microplastics (Norway);
- maritime safety and security: €250 million for naval vessel replacement and the purchase of two marine patrol aircraft (Ireland);
- fisheries development: €40 million to support aquaculture value chains in African countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, EU);
- infrastructure: 600 projects leading to an investment of US$120 billion (India – Sagarmala Programme);
- biodiversity and climate change: a US$10 million investment in the Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience (Canada, together with the EU, New Zealand and Australia);
- technical assistance and capacity building: US$20 million in increased technical assistance and capacity development in small island developing States (Canada); and
- private sector support: US$150 million by the Government of Canada and the private sector to build a knowledge-based ocean economy (Canada).
A full list of commitments is included in the Annex to the IISD Reporting Services’ report on the event. The event was hosted by the Government of Kenya, with the Government of Canada and the Government of Japan as co-hosts. [Event website] [Nairobi Statement of Intent] [IISD RS coverage of the Conference]