WWF welcomes ADB’s Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies for Asia-Pacific

Posted on 02 May 2019

Denarau, Fiji, 2 May 2019 – WWF welcomes today’s announcement by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) of its Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies for Asia and the Pacific as part of its efforts to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable region.


Announced at its Annual Meeting in Fiji, ADB’s new Action Plan will expand financing and technical assistance for ocean health and marine economy projects to $5 billion from 2019 to 2024, including co-financing from partners, and focus on four areas: creating inclusive livelihoods and business opportunities in sustainable tourism and fisheries; protecting and restoring coastal and marine ecosystems and key rivers; reducing land-based sources of marine pollution, including plastics, wastewater, and agricultural runoff; and improving sustainability in port and coastal infrastructure development.


As a longtime partner of ADB, WWF will support the design and implementation of the accompanying Oceans Financing Initiative to widen opportunities for investment in bankable projects that will help improve ocean health.


WWF looks forward to helping the ADB create a mechanism to apply the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles as a guiding framework. This approach will bring much-needed funding to the region towards delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (oceans) priorities and ambitions for a sustainable blue economy,  providing social and economic benefits for current and future generations.


“If the ocean was an economy, it would be the seventh largest in the world. But the threats of climate change, plastics pollution, habitat destruction and unsustainable fishing are pushing the ocean to the edge, and we need to act now” said WWF Director General Marco Lambertini.  “We congratulate ADB - one of the world’s most important development actors - for its new Action Plan to improve ocean health and support the livelihoods, health, resiliency and food security of billions of people in the region. This is a very important development, and we are pleased to partner with the ADB for a healthy ocean, crucial to the stability of the planet and of our society.”


WWF is active in supporting sustainable coastal and marine resources management around the world, recognising that we all depend on the ocean for our health, prosperity and stability and that nowhere is this more true than for Small Island Developing States and the Pacific region. Ocean ecosystems are on the brink of collapse from poorly planned coastal infrastructure, which can add pressure to mangroves and coral reefs, as well as unsustainable fishing, climate change and pollution which collectively threaten food security, the global economy, and livelihoods, especially among millions of poor and vulnerable communities.  


WWF welcomes the ADB’s focus on supporting sustainable coastal infrastructure, addressing the crisis of plastic waste,  and protecting and restoring coastal and marine natural capital on which many millions of people in the region depend for their livelihoods and food supply. This initiative is an important plank in achieving a New Deal for Nature and People in the region.



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Notes to Editors:


The ADB announcement will be made by its President at a press conference in Fiji on Thursday, 2 May 2019 at 11am (00 hours GMT), and this WWF release is embargoed until that time.


For media queries, contact: Julien Anseau, news@wwfint.org, +65 9233 8270


About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries and territories. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit www.panda.org/news for latest news and media resources and follow us on Twitter @WWF_media
Fishermen gather in the early morning light off the coast of Donsol, Philippines.
© James Morgan / WWF