Blue Mediterranean Partnership steps up support for sustainable blue economy

Tue, Dec 5, 2023
By editor
4 MIN READ

Economy

BLUE Mediterranean Partnership to support transition to a sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean region; Partnership to start operating in early 2024; Partners aim to mobilise at least €1 billion in investments.


At COP28, partners and donors involved in the Blue Mediterranean Partnership reinforced their support for developing the sustainable blue economy in the southern Mediterranean region. The parties involved signed a letter of intent to make their participation in the Partnership official and to make the Partnership operational in early 2024.

The Blue Mediterranean Partnership aims to tackle the threats the Mediterranean Sea faces by coordinating the financing of blue economy projects in the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions, focusing initially on Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.


Through a new multi-donor fund managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD, the Blue Mediterranean Partnership seeks to secure additional funding from sovereign donors for project preparation and blended finance. Today in Dubai, the European Commission announced a contribution of €1 million, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) contributed SEK 75 million (€6.5 million), and the Agence Française de Développement, AFD, announced a  €2 million contribution. In the coming months, Germany and Spain are also expected to announce donations, with additional donors to follow.

The European Investment Bank, EIB, AFD, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, KfW, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, CDP, and the EBRD – will act as implementing financial institutions and cooperate to co-finance blue economy projects, which will benefit from the grants provided by the Partnership, mobilising also existing financial resources provided by the European Commission through the Neighbourhood Investment Platform and the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus, EFSD.


Lastly, the beneficiary countries (Egypt, Jordan and Morocco) will lead on identifying strategic blue economy projects in their territories, while the Union for the Mediterranean, UfM, will act as facilitator of the political and regulatory dialogue.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said: “The Mediterranean region has tremendous potential to spur economic growth if it is protected and developed sustainably. The EBRD is proud to have been entrusted to act as fund manager of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership, and our objective is now to deliver concrete results. Sustainable development and environmental protection are at the core of the EBRD’s mandate, and we will share our experience in delivering impact through environmental partnerships. None of this would be possible without the support of our donors and partners. Only by working together can we tackle challenges for the benefit of millions of people in the region.”

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “It is great news that the Blue Mediterranean Partnership is ready to start operations. The initiative is an excellent example of our commitment to restoring ocean health and fostering biodiversity and the climate resilience of Mediterranean coastal areas. Supporting the wellbeing of coastal communities and investing in the sustainable blue economy makes sense economically and is also vital in tackling global challenges like food security, nature protection and climate change.”

UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel said: “The Mediterranean region, with its beautiful coastlines and diverse ecosystems, is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, water scarcity and extreme weather events. The signing of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership is a significant milestone that reflects our shared commitment to working together, pooling resources and achieving success in addressing the climate emergency in the Mediterranean.” 

European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “We are putting the sustainable blue economy at the top of the agenda in the broader Mediterranean region. We believe this Partnership can contribute to the prosperous future of the Mediterranean countries, so that our seas can keep providing for future generations.”

Sida Director-General Jakob Granit said: “Enabling infrastructure investment in wastewater treatment, marine renewable energy and sustainable shipping that protects marine resources and creates much-needed jobs is directly in line with Sweden’s development priorities for the MENA region. Sida’s support to the Blue Mediterranean Partnership will contribute to regional economic integration and it will be an important vehicle for mobilizing climate finance to vulnerable coastal areas.”

AFD CEO Rémy Rioux said: “The Mediterranean Sea is a cradle of civilization, but also a symbol of the pressures resulting from urbanization, overexploitation, and global warming. We have a common responsibility to do more for its protection and act in a more coordinated way, with the right financial tools, and at the right scale. This is why partnerships like the BMP are so important. AFD’s contribution to the BMP is also one of the examples of France strong commitment to push an action agenda for the oceans towards the UN Ocean Conference (UNOC) organized in Nice in 2025.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of European Investment Bank (EIB).

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December 5, 2023 @ 13:53 GMT|

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