Catalysing Ocean Finance

07 Nov 2012

The world’s oceans and coastal areas are an integral part of life on earth. They are under significant threat, whether that be from pollution, overexploita­tion, habitat loss, invasive species, or climate change.


Catalysing Ocean Finance demonstrates that, far from being an intractable problem, sustainable ocean management could become a successful legacy of today’s generation of decision-makers. It shows how the challenges facing the ocean stem from widely understood market and policy failures - failures which can be addressed through the application of appropriate mixes of market and policy instruments.


Over the past twenty years, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the GEF have successfully developed a range of strategic planning tools aimed at assisting governments to put in place enabling policy environments to catalyse investment for restoring and protecting the marine environment. In several cases, catalysed public and private financial flows have exceeded the initial GEF investment several hundred times. In some cases, these instruments have helped to shift sizeable ocean industries, such as shipping and tuna fisheries, to a more environmentally sustainable path.

Catalysing Ocean Finance (Volumes I & II) takes stock of how effective these instruments have been in helping countries to address challenges facing the oceans and explore how they could be successfully scaled up. It estimates that an initial public investment – on the order of $5 billion over the next ten to twenty years – could be sufficient to catalyse several hundred billion dollars of public and private invest­ment, and thereby foster global transformation of ocean markets towards sustainability.


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Volume 1:
Transforming Markets to Restore and Protect the Global Ocean
  • Volume I explores the main causes of coastal and ocean degradation and presents a new paradigm to sustainably utilise open access resources such as the global ocean. It looks at lessons learned over the past 20 years and sets forth a road map to restore and protect our ocean for the next 20 years.
Volume II:
Methodologies and Case Studies
  • Volume II includes methodologies and tools to create enabling environments to leverage environmental investment and describes how legal frameworks can deliver financial flows and transform entire markets.
In the media
Peter Neill’s 'World Ocean Radio' COF Volume I

Peter Neill’s World Ocean Radio segment features Catalysing Ocean Finance and its wider implications for ocean governance and catalytic finance mechanisms.

Peter Neill’s 'World Ocean Radio' COF Volume II

In this radio segment, specific examples of catalytic ocean finance are illuminated.