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Impact Investing in the Pacific Blue Economy
05:07 am GMT+12, 18/09/2020, Australia

As COVID-19 continues to send shockwaves through the global economy, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in collaboration with Inspire Impact, is hosting a landmark discussion on investment opportunities in the Pacific Blue Economy, including why the sustainable use of oceans must be central to planning for a post-pandemic recovery.  
Pacific nations - already facing over-fishing, marine pollution, coastal erosion and the effects of climate change - are now also wrestling with the impact of COVID-19, which has taken a toll on the region’s economies, especially with international tourism now at a standstill.  
 
In the face of these multiple tipping points, there are huge opportunities to invest in an impactful way in the Pacific via the Blue Economy, which at its core is about the sustainable use of ocean resources to create economic growth, prosperity and jobs, while ensuring ocean ecosystem health.
 
“While the challenges faced by the nations of the Pacific are profound, we also see immense opportunities to harness benefits that flow from the Blue Economy in a way that puts sustainability at the top of the agenda,’’ said Mike van Niekerk, Partner and Chief Impact Officer at Inspire Impact. “This event creates an avenue for matching investors that have the capital and desire to have a positive impact on environmental and social issues with like-minded investors and companies in the Pacific, helping them solve some of the challenges they face,’’ he said.   
 
The Pacific Blue Economy Roundtable, which is being held today (18 September), will see a broad discussion on the threats to ocean health including from marine pollution while also mapping out the steps needed to realize the potential of the Blue Economy and capitalize on emerging investment opportunities in sectors from aquaculture to green shipping, ports and tourism.
 
The importance of the Blue Economy cannot be overstated,” said Thomas Jacobs, IFC Country Manager - Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. ``A business as usual approach simply won’t work and risks having negative environmental and social impacts on the people of the Pacific and the oceans upon which they rely for their livelihoods. We need to move collectively to a business model and investment footing that enhances sustainability, including in sectors that rely on our oceans.’’
 
“The Blue Economy is a significant component of the economy of small island developing states in the Pacific and elsewhere, creating challenges and opportunities for investing,’’ said Paul Holthus, World Ocean Council CEO and President. `The World Ocean Council is pleased to be working with the IFC and Inspire Impact to help address advance investment in sustainable ocean and island development as part of the WOC Ocean Investment Platform and our Ocean Funds Roundtable.’’
 
It’s clear there is a growing imperative for ambitious action to mobilize capital and deliver the changes needed to combat climate change and environmental degradation.
 
`For Pacific nations scattered across an area twice the size of continental Europe, that means realizing investment opportunities that can overcome the devastating impacts of over-fishing, coastal erosion, marine pollution including litter and plastics, and unchecked development,’’ said Jacobs. ``It means embracing the Blue Economy.’’.

SOURCE: IFC/PACNEWS


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