A new initiative launched in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, will support Commonwealth ocean states in cultivating and scaling-up projects that protect the marine environment while also tackling climate change.

With 47 out of 54 Commonwealth countries bordering the sea – including 25 small island developing states or ‘large ocean states’ – 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, while mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The initiative is supported by an initial contribution from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, with matching commitments from various partners, to the tune of approximately GBP 400,000 in total, with more expected in the coming year. Focusing on proof-of-concept and small-scale projects in particular, 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 dearth of financial support for ocean action worldwide, with Sustainable Development Goal 14 (‘Life Under Water’) receiving the least funding globally among all the SDGs. Small island and coastal states are particularly affected, with even fewer funding options for typically marginalised groups, including women, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities.

The full story can be read here.

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