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Opinion

The UN SDGs are proud to introduce… blue finance

Blue finance is set to take off this year, buoyed by growing appetite for investments in sustainable fisheries, conservation and alternative plastics. It’s further evidence of the influence of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Blue finance is coming. That’s right. 

Green finance is well and truly here, but this year the subset that is blue finance will take root and hopefully bring with it investment products and solutions for UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 ‘Life below water’, which seeks ‘to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.’ 

In February, the Seychelles made headlines as it finalized the creation of two new marine parks in return for writing off a large part of its national debt. Much of the islands’ biodiversity is at risk because of mass coral bleaching from warming waters, as well as overfishing. 

All extractive industries, from fishing to oil exploitation, are banned in the park that surrounds the island of Aldabra and is roughly the size of Scotland. A second area around the island of Mahé has restrictions, but allows some controlled activities. 

The Nature Conservancy helped the Seychelles to structure the debt-swap for marine protection deal, in which $22 million owed to the UK, France, Belgium and Italy was bought at a discount. 

The deal highlights what financial expertise can do when it is married to the public sector and philanthropy.


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