On 15 January 2020, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an agreement for a new partnership to support clean and sustainable ocean initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region, and ultimately to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
Everybody already knows that Oceans are facing an increasing pollution from plastics and micro plastics, a situation which is exacerbated even further by the improper disposal of protective equipment against the COVID-19 such as masks.
World Wildlife Fund estimates now that 10 million Coronavirus protecting masks could end up in the seas each month. In addition, the discharge of untreated wastewater and other micropollutants, oil spills, overfishing, acidification, and warming are all having an increasing impact on the health of the oceans, threatening the livelihoods and well-being of the people dependent on them.
Which projects will be funded?
The two Banks will finance projects aiming to:
- Reduce marine plastic pollution through integrated solid waste management projects, including recycling,
- Follow circular economy principles, such as designing out plastic waste,
- Promote clean rivers and waterways, including through improved wastewater management and inclusive sanitation.
The partnership will also target blue economy activities with a focus on:
- Sustainable fisheries management and sustainable seafood supply chains ,
- Sustainable management, protection, and restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems and resources,
- Integrated coastal protection activities,
- Disaster risk preparedness,
- Green shipping, green ports and maritime infrastructure, with a focus on increasing safety and environmental performance.