The Commonwealth has launched a new initiative to help ocean states cultivating and scaling-up projects that protect the marine environment whilst tackling climate change.
The Commonwealth Blue Charter Project Incubator will assist Governments in developing pilot projects that accelerate their transition to sustainable and inclusive maritime development and conservation.
The initiative was launched on the margins of the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.
The initiative is supported by an initial contribution from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, with matching commitments from various partners – currently amounting to £400,000. The incubator will be managed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in close cooperation with member countries and Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Groups.
The project aims to address the lack of financial support for ocean action worldwide. Small island and coastal states are particularly affected, with even fewer funding options for typically marginalised groups and communities.
“The ocean sustains the lives and livelihoods of billions on this planet but its core life-support functions are critically threatened by climate change, pollution and unsustainable exploitation,” said Head of Oceans and Natural Resources at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Nicholas Hardman-Mountford.
“Yet, the ocean continues to be eclipsed in climate financing discussions. SDG14 is the least funded of any of the sustainable development goals. For ocean investments to be sustainable Governments need to be supported to lead on the projects they know are most needed in their context.
“The Blue Charter Project Incubator will uniquely enable Governments to develop a pipeline of bankable projects to mobilise ocean financing where it is needed the most.”
All Commonwealth member countries will have access to the project incubator.
Among the many services it offers, the incubator aims to provide mentoring and technical support to governments on the development of ocean-related pilot projects that build social, ecological and climate resilience, while also facilitating project partnerships with non-governmental entities.
The Commonwealth is scaling up efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. During CHOGM, Heads of Governments discussed actions plans to develop new strategies to tackle the environmental crisis.
Learn more: The Commonwealth Secretariat