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Closing the blue funding gap: How can Small Island Developing States mobilise a blue innovation fund for community development?

Working paper

Image credit:Low tide activities at Port Mathurin, Rodrigues. Credit: Stéphane Bellerose/UNDP in Mauritius and Seychelles. 2019. CC BY-NC 2.0

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are, in fact, Big Ocean States (BOS). They control 30% of global oceans, meaning a sustainable blue economy is a viable path towards resilient, inclusive prosperity. However, current financial flows into the blue economy continue to support unsustainable activities and extractive industries, which can harm marine and coastal ecosystems and do not necessarily benefit local communities.

In this paper, three case studies from Mauritius and Seychelles reveal that current national policies and ecosystems are not conducive to fostering blue innovation or to supporting small-scale entrepreneurs working in ocean-related areas – limiting the ability of SIDS to participate in sustainable blue sectors.

The paper makes a case for more research on – and perspectives from – SIDS experts regarding the implementation of the blue economy, and proposes a Big Ocean States Innovation and Impact Fund (BOSIIF) as a holistic, contextually sensitive and targeted intervention.

Author: Karuna Rana

Karuna Rana presented the initial draft of this paper at the SIDS Future Forum in March 2024. Timestamp 22:03:00

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SIDS Future Forum 3