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ADB launches healthy oceans action plan for Asia, Pacific region

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-02 22:02

NADI, Fiji -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched here on Thursday the Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies for the Asia and Pacific region.

The action plan, launched at the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB's Board of Governors in Fiji's third largest city of Nadi, will expand financing and technical assistance for ocean health and marine economy projects to 5 billion US dollars from 2019 to 2024, including cofinancing from partners.

The action plan will 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 part of the action plan, ADB will launch the Oceans Financing Initiative to create opportunities for the private sector to invest in bankable projects that will help improve ocean health. The initiative will provide technical assistance grants and funding from ADB and other donors to reduce the technical and financial risks of projects. This will be done through instruments such as credit risk guarantees and capital market "blue bonds".

ADB President Takehiko Nakao said that the prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region depends on healthy oceans and sustainable development.

He also said that they must work toward a more resilient future, where humanity and oceans thrive together.

The 52nd annual meeting of the ADB Board of Governors kicked off here on Wednesday, with the participation of finance ministers, central bank governors, government officials, private sector representatives, development partners and media from Asia and the Pacific region.

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