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Blue Action Fund

Money to safeguard seas and coastlines

Protecting our marine and coastal environments is an expensive undertaking, and could cost over $ 500 billion according to some estimates. With a new trust fund, the KfW Development Bank and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have laid a cornerstone in conservation.
Mangrove forests like these on the Island of Borneo are particularly at risk. Fischer/Lineair Mangrove forests like these on the Island of Borneo are particularly at risk.

The Blue Action Fund (BAF) was set up to promote marine and coastal protection zones, environment-friendly tourism and sustainable fishing.

The BMZ has endowed the BAF with an initial € 24 million. The fund plans to expand its funding base by attracting additional investors in the coming years. Sweden has already pledged € 5 million. Markus Knigge, the BAF executive director, reports that the BMZ has earmarked an additional € 12 million for the BAF.

The first project proposals have come in, and the Blue Action Fund will begin to grant money in 2018. The Fund accepts applications from international non-governmental organisations. According to Knigge, “tested” and “scalable” projects will receive € 1 million to € 3 million pledges for pursuing their work. To be eligible, they must be part of the regional context and ideally serve as “lighthouse projects with spill-over effects”. Implementing organisations must have a local presence and field expertise, and they must involve local communities in their efforts.

Projects from all over the world can apply, though the fund will primarily focus on Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Applicants must support the UN Convention on Biodiversity, the 2030 Agenda and the BMZ’s ten-point marine conservation plan (see main article). The Blue Action Fund’s main goal is to safeguard the seas and coastlines and promote their sustainable use. It also aims to support sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities, and develop a network of protected zones. (sb)

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