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Financing Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Ocean Economies in Africa

February 19-23, 2018

The Savoy Hotel, Seychelles


Image by: Julien Million

The conference is to advance the agenda of maximizing finance for development in the blue economy, by optimizing the use of scarce public resources and crowding in the private sector. More specifically, the conference will aim to enhance knowledge and highlight innovative solutions on how Africa can maximize finance to support sustainable blue economy initiatives.

The sustainable development of African blue economies is a way to diversify these economies and enhance their resilience in the face of climate change. The related financing requirements are expected to far exceed the available traditional public or philanthropic financing, and the private sector could be a decisive partner to achieve these goals. The approach should be to offer the best possible value for money – drawing on private resources when they can help achieve these development goals, and reserving public financing for other sectors and services, where private sector engagement is not optimal or available.

  • The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) prominently featured the role of oceans, inland waters, and aquatic ecosystems for temperature regulation and carbon sequestration and highlighted the urgency of reversing the current trend of overexploitation and pollution to restore aquatic ecosystem services and the productive capacity of the oceans. In addition, in 2015, Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 aspirational objectives with 169 targets expected to guide actions of governments, international agencies, civil society, and other institutions over the next 15 years (2016-2030). Several SDGs are directly relevant to the sustainable development of a blue economy. One goal expressly focuses on the oceans (SDG 14 “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”).

    Building on commitments made during COP21, the World Bank’s Africa Climate Business Plan as well as the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan and African Union’s Agenda 2063, the Republic of Mauritius and the World Bank held the African Ministerial Conference on Ocean Economies and Climate Change in Mauritius on September 1-2, 2016 (the “Mauritius Conference”). During this event, Ministers and representatives of participating countries[1] acknowledged the need to deepen, strengthen and operationalize the platform that was created because of the Mauritius Conference, to develop the ocean economy in a changing climate, identify challenges and opportunities and find common solutions. Furthermore, the participants called on development partners, in particular the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to support ocean economies and the resilience of oceans and coastal areas to climate change through dialogues, and technical and financial assistance. The three institutions prepared an “African Package for Climate-Resilient Ocean Economies,” which presents a notional set of programs to develop the ocean economy in Africa in a sustainable and climate-resilient fashion, and was presented at COP22.

    Following the Mauritius Conference, the Government of the Seychelles (“GoS”) and the World Bank discussed the organization of a second conference to take place in Seychelles in early-2018. Seychelles is an appropriate host for this second conference due to its increasing visibility as an example of bold and progressive blue economy initiatives. Specifically, Seychelles has made significant progress in the areas of fisheries management, biodiversity conservation and marine spatial planning (through the innovative debt swap with The Nature Conservancy for conservation and climate adaptation), and crowding in private sector investment in support of blue economy objectives (through the SWIOFish3 project financed by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, and its support for the first ever blue bond, to be issued by the GoS).

    The “Mauritius Communiqué” was signed and endorsed by 19 countries and supported by a large number of organizations. The Communiqué and other information pertaining to the conference are available on the Mauritius Conference website.


  • TBD

  • Mr. Danny Faure, President of the Republic of Seychelles; Mr. Vincent Meriton, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles; Ms. Laura Tuck, Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank Group, Mr. Mark Lundell, Country Director, World Bank; Ms. Karin Kemper, Senior Director, Environment and Natural Resources, World Bank.  See complete list of speakers: