Two-Day Forum Explores Sustainable Blue Economy in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea's abundant blue economy sector is poised to ignite a new era of sustainable growth, with a primary focus on preserving and capitalizing on the nation's extraordinary marine resources.

November 1, 2023

Panel discussion on the role of financial institutions at the first day of the Blue Finance Forum

Seru Kepa | UNDP Papua New Guinea

Stakeholders including domestic financial institutions, government officials, and micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) representatives, have converged at the Blue Finance Forum to delve into the financial and social opportunities offered by this vibrant sector.

The two-day event held in Port Moresby, has brought together this diverse stakeholders to deliberate on the vast potential of Papua New Guinea's blue economy. This sector is underscored by the significance of its marine ecosystems, including its remarkable coral reefs, which are part of the renowned Coral Triangle—a global hotspot for marine biodiversity.

Participants at the Blue Finance Forum

Clive Hawigen | UNDP Papua New Guinea

Mr. Nicholas Booth, UNDP Papua New Guinea Resident Representative, set the tone for the forum by welcoming participants and emphasizing the unique opportunity at hand. In his opening address, Mr. Booth stated, "Papua New Guinea is at a pivotal juncture, where the blue economy holds the promise of sustainable growth and the preservation of its exceptional marine ecosystems. This forum is a platform for collaboration and learning—a chance to seize the potential of PNG’s blue assets to improve the livelihoods of coastal and upstream communities."

The Blue Finance Forum is part of the "Gutpela Solwara, Gutpela Bisnis" joint program, a collaboration between UNDP and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). This partnership, working closely with the Government of Papua New Guinea, is dedicated to catalyzing a just and sustainable blue economy. The initiative is funded by the Global Fund for Coral Reefs and the Joint SDG Fund and is set to run until December 2025.

Over the course of two days, participants at the Blue Finance Forum will engage in discussions, share knowledge, and work towards actionable strategies to chart a sustainable and prosperous course for Papua New Guinea's blue economy. The growth of Micro to Small and Medium-term Enterprises (MSMEs) in the blue sector plays a vital role in catalyzing socio-economic opportunities for Papua New Guineans.

The forum represents a significant step forward in acknowledging the potential of the blue economy, not only as an economic driver but as a means to protect and preserve the country's exceptional marine biodiversity.