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UNEP FI Reports

Financing a sustainable blue economy: recommended exclusions list

Based on the market-first practical guidance for financial institutions, Turning the Tide, UNEP FI’s recommended exclusions list for a sustainable blue economy provides financial institutions with an overview of activities to exclude from financing due to their damaging impact on the ocean and high risk.

Turning the Tide: How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery

A practical guide for financial institutions to lead a sustainable ocean recovery This seminal guidance is a market-first practical toolkit for financial institutions to pivot their activities towards financing a sustainable blue economy. Designed for banks, insurers and investors, the guidance outlines how to avoid and mitigate environmental and social risks and impacts, as well…

The Rising Tide: Mapping Ocean Finance for a New Decade

The Rising Tide report maps the current state of ocean finance revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean. It reveals the frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. It looks across five major ocean-linked sectors chosen for their established…

Unwrapping the risks of plastic pollution to the insurance industry

Plastic is an increasingly high-profile threat to our climate, ocean, wildlife and human health as it becomes widespread both in the ocean and on land, where it is impacting our ecosystems and threatening lives and human health. Plastics also make a direct contribution to climate change: their energy-intensive manufacture from fossil fuels, recycling and incineration…

Protecting our World Heritage, insuring a sustainable future

World Heritage Sites are recognised for their unparalleled beauty, global significance and/or biological diversity and the important economic, social and environmental benefits they provide to people. They are a source of inspiration and contribute to human well-being.  However, almost half of all natural World Heritage Sites across the globe are threatened by industrial activities and…

External Resources

Sustainable Blue Economy

Blueprint for a Climate-Smart Ocean to Meet 1.5°C
United Nations Global Compact| 2021 |This Blueprint lays out six key steps to unlock a climate-smart ocean to meet 1.5°C, from innovative ocean management and human-centred policies, to harnessing blue finance and leveraging the ocean-climate nexus in political processes. The blueprint is the outcome of the UN Global Compact Blue Road to COP 26 multi-stakeholder workstream.

Sovereign Blue Bonds: Quick Start Guide
ADB| 2021 | ADB published a comprehensive guide to developing green bonds that is also suitable for blue bonds. This quick start guide highlights frequently asked questions and provides a summarized look at pre-feasibility and first steps to develop a sovereign blue bond.

Proposing a regulatory-driven blue finance mechanism for blue economy development
ADBInstitute | 2020 | This paper provides a conceptual understanding of the concept of blue finance and explores the potential of using legal and institutional mechanisms to increase investment in ocean development programs.

Financing a sustainable ocean economy
Nature| 2021 | This paper identifies the key barriers to financing a sustainable ocean economy and suggests how to mitigate them, to incentivize the kind of public and private investments needed for topnotch science and management in support of a sustainable blue economy.

Blueprint for a living planet: Four Principles for Integrated Ocean-Climate Strategies
WWF| 2021 | This report proposes four principles to guide integrated ocean and climate action to strengthen the mitigation, adaptation and resilience potential of marine and coastal ecosystems – and everything and everyone that depends on them. It offers practical guidance to countries and partners on how to effectively address ocean and climate ambition and action in a synergistic manner.

The Second World Ocean Assessment
UN | 2021 | The Second World Ocean Assessment is the major output of the second cycle of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the States of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects. It is the newest outcome of the only integrated assessment of the world’s ocean at the global level covering environmental, economic and social aspects.

Unpacking the UNFCCC Global Stocktake for Ocean-Climate Action
ICUN | 2021 | This paper provides a broader understanding of the crucial interlinkages of the whole ocean as part of the climate system and the role of ocean, coastal and marine Nature-based Solutions as part of The Global Stocktake set out by the Paris Agreement. It explores the Global Stocktake as an avenue for information and raising the ambition of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions in relation to ocean ecosystems and climate change.

New approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU
EU | 2021 | The European Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe will define the European economy for many years, or even decades. It is hence fundamental that the EU’s blue economy meets the EU’s environmental and climate objectives. To fully embed the blue economy into the Green Deal and the recovery strategy, the Commission has adopted a new approach for a sustainable blue economy, covering oceans, seas and coasts in the EU.

Sustainability criteria for the blue economy
EU | 2021 | The need to develop and promote sustainable blue economy activities has become critical. It is necessary to develop a common understanding of the activities and practices that contribute to it at international level. This study is a contribution towards the establishment of such a common understanding by developing a set of criteria to assess the sustainability of blue economy activities.

Ocean Finance: Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Ocean Economy
High Level Panel for A Sustainable Ocean Economy | 2020 | Overview of the current ocean economy and the multiple stressors and how ocean finance can aid in changing this trajectory. Explains the barriers and opportunities in financing and how more investment is needed to transition to a sustainable ocean economy.

Unsustainable Finance in the Blue Economy: Where Does the Money Come From?
EU | 2020 | How to shift investment towards sustainable oceans this report includes insights and recommendations for policymakers and investors. Published by the European Commission, this is a must-read for investors dealing with the blue economy.

Investors and the Blue Economy
This high-impact research project measures investor interest in ocean-related investments, and opportunities around the sustainable Blue Economy. Surveying leading global investors on the ‘investability’ of ocean-related sectors, the research provides unique insight into the present and future state of investor action on SDG 14.

The EU Blue Economy Report 2020
European Commission | 2020 | The report highlights the need to preserve marine ecosystems to optimise potential benefits of ecosystem services and marine and maritime economic sectors.

The Ocean Finance Handbook
Friends of Ocean Action | 2020 | A guide that seeks to demystify the investment landscape of the sustainable blue economy.

A sustainable Ocean Economy in 2030: Opportunities and Challenges
The Economist Group | 2020 | In this report, The Economist Group’s World Ocean Initiative assesses the challenges facing key sectors in the ocean economy including seafood, shipping, tourism and renewable energy.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020
UN FAO | 2020 | This report provides technical insight and factual information on the fisheries & aquaculture sector, highlights major trends and emerging areas relevant to sustainable development.

Can Blue Bonds Finance a fish stock recovery?
Planet Tracker | 2020 | It is clear that ocean fishing is on an unsustainable course of rising demand and falling supply but could recover if the reset button is pushed. Restrictions on catch, along with a proper debt financing vehicle, would assist in creating a financially viable transition scenario to sustainable oceans. A blue bond provides a more profitable route than the business-as-usual scenario, over the long-term.


Fishing and Aquaculture

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020
UN FAO | 2020 | This report provides technical insight and factual information on the fisheries & aquaculture sector, highlights major trends and emerging areas relevant to sustainable development.

Seafood and Fish Tracker Initiative
Planet Tracker’s Seafood Tracker Initiative investigates the impact that financial institutions have in financing global wild-catch fisheries and seafood trade. Includes insightful reports on blue bonds finance, global aquaculture market trends and innovative sustainable finance solutions.

Leverage points in the financial sector for seafood sustainability
Jouffray et al., Science Advances | 2019 | Can finance contribute to seafood sustainability? As more capital enters the seafood industry, this report identifies three leverage points to redirect capital toward more sustainable practices; loan covenants, stock exchange listing rules, and shareholder activism.

Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge
UNEP FI | 2019 | Cigarette butts are one of the largest contributors to ocean pollution, causing irreversible damage to ocean wildlife. Sign the pledge and join leading financial institutions to implement tobacco-free finance policies and encourage other institutions to follow suit.

Sustainable Seafood and Responsible Investment
Aviva Investors, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership & PRI | 2018 | Looking across both wild caught and farmed fish, this report looks at why investors in the seafood businesses need to consider sustainability issues.

Empty Nets – How overfishing risks leaving investors stranded
Fish Tracker Initiative | 2017 | Identifies 228 companies listed on the world’s stock markets with exposure to seafood production. This begins the process of linking overfishing with the companies’ revenue exposure and how they are managing key risks, such as overfishing.


Nature-based Solutions

Reducing Caribbean Risk: Opportunities for Cost-Effective Mangrove Restoration and Insurance
The Nature Conservancy | 2021 | Explains the important role insurance companies play in coastal protection. Mangrove forests can help dissipate wave energy and lower flood risk. Mangroves are under threat from man-made factors and insurance can provide a unique market-based mechanism that can cost-effectively protect and restore these coastal habitats.

Insurance for Natural Infrastructure: Assessing the Feasibility of Insuring Coral Reefs in Florida and Hawaii
The Nature Conservancy | 2020 | A case of natural infrastructure in Florida and Hawai’i. Natural infrastructure like mangroves and coral reefs can reduce storm surge heights and aid in mitigating natural disasters. Parametric insurance can help provide a new source of funds to support post-event reef repair to support coastal risk reduction.



Quick Links

BlueInvest platform

The Economist World Ocean Initiative

Friends of Ocean Action

Investable Oceans

Ocean Risk Alliance ORRAA

Planet Tracker

UN Food & Agriculture Organisation – Fisheries