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Public Development Banks Pledge to Work Together for the Ocean

CARTAGENA, Colombia – Several public development banks gathered this week at the Finance in Common Summit in Cartagena, Colombia, committed to working together on a Blue Finance Roadmap to take rapid action on ocean protection and sustainable use.

Updates on this roadmap's progress will be presented at the forthcoming United Nations Ocean Conference in France in 2025. Titled “A Call to Deliver Positive Action For The Ocean”, the cooperation was launched by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), CAF - Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Germany’s KfW Development Bank and the West African Development Bank (BOAD). The initiative will help improve coordination among public development banks to align their interventions.

“The ocean /-/ supplies us with oxygen to breathe, contributes to food security, nutrition and decent jobs and livelihoods. Yet unsustainable exploitation, pollution from chemicals, plastics, and the climate crisis, with its impacts on ocean temperature and acidification, threaten marine species and ecosystems around the world,” the declaration reads. “Ocean protection and sustainable use are therefore key to achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication. The world urgently needs to address these issues and invest at scale in ocean solutions.”

In a first ever cooperation on oceans by public development banks, the Blue Finance Roadmap will bring together the know-how and experience from all of the ocean investments carried out by the participating organizations, ensure accountability, and identify remaining financing gaps and realistic funding opportunities. The cooperation should help ensure a renewed ambition by the public development banks regarding a sustainable blue economy,” the declaration reads.

Development banks can support biodiversity and a sustainable blue economy by financing ocean pollution reduction through wastewater, stormwater and solid waste infrastructure, but also when they invest in marine protected areas, eco-ports, greener shipping, renewable ocean energy, circular economy, and emerging sectors such as sustainable aquaculture including seaweed and mariculture, blue biotechnologies, ocean data, restoration, and blue carbon sequestration.

The declaration also emphasizes that public banks must adhere to the "do no harm" principle, aligning with the guidance from the UN-convened Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative and not compromising the ecosystem services of blue natural capital. Additionally, these banks are encouraged to strive for a proactive approach by "doing maximum good." This entails making significant contributions to climate action, biodiversity preservation, and the advancement of sustainable livelihoods.

Full text of the declaration is available in this link.

About the IDB 

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour. 


Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina

Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina


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