Solutions from ocean offer enormous potential in fighting the climate crisis. According to a recent Ocean Panel-commissioned report, the ocean could hold the key to cutting global emissions by up to 35%. However, many of these actions are chronically underfunded. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which aims to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources, is the least funded of any SDG, representing just 0.01% of all funding for development.

To unlock the ocean’s full potential, countries around the world need to shift towards sustainably managing 100% of ocean areas under their national jurisdictions. Holistic management would help ensure the long-term health and resilience of the ocean, attract investment and create jobs to the benefit of coastal communities and national economies. The challenge is that large-scale finance for these types of actions can take time to materialize and may not support smaller funding needs, such as technical and planning consultations to kick start initiatives.

The Rapid Assistance Fund will address the challenge of accessing traditional large-scale financing for sustainable ocean management. By providing expedited access to smaller amounts of funding, it will enable countries to kick-start the process of developing their Sustainable Ocean Plans. It will aim to bridge the gap between initial funding requirements and larger funding requests, supporting a timely progression toward a sustainable ocean economy.

About the Rapid Assistance Fund

Ocean Action 2030's "Rapid Assistance Fund," which will be open to applications in early January 2024, is a grant finance initiative aimed at supporting the development and implementation of national Sustainable Ocean Plans. Sustainable Ocean Plans, championed by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) are key tools in enabling national governments to build a sustainable ocean economy. These plans provide a blueprint for decision-makers to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean under their national jurisdictions, ensuring long-term economic and social development while protecting marine ecosystems

Ocean Action 2030 is a global coalition of leading public and private institutions, convened by the Ocean Panel, that are dedicated to providing technical and financial assistance to countries in developing and implementing their Sustainable Ocean Plans.

For more information about Sustainable Ocean Plans and how to develop them, see 100% Sustainable Ocean Management: An Introduction to Sustainable Ocean Plans.

Eligibility for the Fund

The Rapid Assistance Fund will be open to applications from national governments that have publicly committed to sustainably managing 100% of their ocean area under national jurisdiction, supported by Sustainable Ocean Plans, by 2030. To learn more about this integrated planning approach toward a sustainable ocean economy, please visit Ocean Action 2030.

Contact information

For further information, please reach out to Cynthia Barzuna, Director of the Ocean Action 2030 coalition.

Image by Pok Rie/Pexels