The Blue Mediterranean Partnership: a financial commitment to sustain the blue economy in the South mediterranean area
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and two of the main European financial institution such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have joined forces to build up the new Blue Mediterranean Partnership, cooperating to support the development of a sustainable blue economy in the south european region and in the Mediterranean basin.
The partners announced their new financial commitment during the COP27, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh and immediately found the political support of the European Commission, since promoting a sustainable blue economy also meets the values of the EU Green Deal supported by the european Institution and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 2030 United Nations’ Agenda.
Keeping the oceans clean and healthy is crucial for sustainable development and reducing poverty and is the main priority of the blue economy, an economic and social model whose main ambition is not just to recycle but to regenerate. The term “blue” suggests that this economic model engages all sectors that have a direct or indirect link to the oceans, such as marine energy, coastal tourism and marine biotechnology.
Knowing that the Mediterranean Sea’s ecosystem is under threat from habitat loss and degradation, overfishing, pollution and climate change EIB, EBRD and UfM decided to take action. Initially the Blue Mediterranean Partnership will mobilize public and private financing for projects in Egypt, Morocco and Jordan aiming at supporting and attracting investments in the sustainable blue economy and policy prioritizing innovation and including where possible, natural capital and nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation.
The Mediterranean Sea basin is a resource for the area and it generates more than 450 billion dollars of economic value per year, making it de facto the fifth largest economy of the region after France, Italy, Spain and Turkey and for this reason it must be protected.
“Partnerships like the Blue Mediterranean are instrumental in accelerating tangible blue economy projects, tackling environmental challenges, and maintaining economic prosperity in the Mediterranean region”, commented Werner Hoyer, EIB President.
This partnership will promote the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles (SBEFP) the world’s first global guiding framework for banks, insurers and investors aiming at financing a sustainable blue economy through the implementation of SDG 14 (Life Before Water) and establish ocean-specific standards, allowing the financial industry to mainstream sustainability of ocean-based sector.
SBEFP were developed together by the European Commission, WWF, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) and are hosted by UNEP FI as part of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative.