Current investments for sustainable development of the ocean economy are inadequate. In the last 10 years, a total of USD 13 billion was invested in the sustainable ocean economy through philanthropy and Overseas Development Assistance. However, a huge portion of public and private sector investments are targeted at larger-scale economic activities that are often unsustainable, countering the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG14 (Life below water).

New forms of finance are already playing a substantive role in underpinning sustainable project development and are an essential part of the emerging blue finance ‘ecosystem’. Despite this, in a world economically recovering from COVID-19, it is the redirection of mainstream finance to more sustainable development pathways that will drive forward the scale of positive change that is needed. Achieving this will require improved sustainable ocean economy policies, incentives, tools and approaches as well as proactively shared knowledge and innovation that considers environmental, social and economic risks.

This event will connect special guest speakers from around the world including Mari Pangestu, World Bank’s Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships and Ocean Panel Expert Group Co-Chair who will give the keynote speech. She will then be joined by Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment; The Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Jamaica; and Ingrid van Wees, the Vice President for Finance and Risk Management of the Asian Development Bank, to discuss the importance of ocean finance and investment into a sustainable ocean economy to set us on the path to economic recovery in a post COVID-19 world.

This event will also present key insights from the latest Blue Paper commissioned by the Ocean Panel, “Ocean Finance”, which examines how the next generation of financing mechanisms can support the sustainable ocean economy in an inclusive manner and how catalytic funds can be mobilised to finance it.


  • Mari Elka Pangestu, Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank and Co-Chair Expert Group, Ocean Panel (Keynote Speech and Panelist)
  • Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Panelist)
  • The Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service (Panelist)
  • Ingrid van Wees, Vice-President for Finance and Risk Management, Asian Development Bank (Panelist)
  • Rashid Sumaila, Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit, UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Canada (Co-lead author)
  • Anthony Cox, Deputy Director of the Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Co-lead author)
  • Louise Heaps, Head of Sustainable Blue Economy, WWF-UK (Contributing author)
  • Justin Mundy, Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute (moderator)


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Webinar: Financing for a Sustainable Ocean Economy Poster




About the Ocean Panel and Blue Papers 

The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) is a unique initiative by 14 world leaders who are building momentum for a sustainable ocean economy in which effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand. By enhancing humanity’s relationship with the ocean, bridging ocean health and wealth, working with diverse stakeholders and harnessing the latest knowledge, the Ocean Panel aims to facilitate a better, more resilient future for people and the planet.

In the spirit of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing value to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the Ocean Panel commissioned a comprehensive assessment of ocean science and knowledge that has significant policy relevance. This includes a series of 16 Blue Papers that offer a synthesis of knowledge, new thinking and perspectives, and opportunities for action that serve as inputs to the Ocean Panel’s deliberations for its forthcoming action agenda.