At the end of last week, the UK Government confirmed it had sent the first round of funding support to five global initiatives working to protect our oceans. A little over £16m was taken from the £500m Blue Planet Fund, a scheme that was established to improve marine conservation and crack down on plastic pollution.
Among the projects supported is the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), an initiative working to cut back on plastic waste in developing countries that has to date received commitments from Indonesia to reduce ‘mismanaged waste’ by 70% by 2025, and from Vietnam to cut back on marine plastic waste by 75% by 2030. Another funding recipient is the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) – a group investigating technologies to improve sewage treatment and marine conservation management in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Pacific and Southeast Asia.
The Fund sits in the UK’s overall commitment to increase internal climate finance support to a minimum of £11.6bn by 2026, as well as its ‘30by30’ target that aims to protect at least 30% of the land and at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. It also builds on the run-up to COP26, which is sparking an increased motivation from participating nations to pursue their climate goals.
“The UK is a global leader in marine protection and will continue to advocate for ambitious climate and ocean action at COP26 this year,” Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said in a statement. “Our shared ocean is a vital resource and provides habitat to precious marine life, as well as supporting the livelihoods of one in every ten people worldwide.”
“The Blue Planet Fund will support many developing countries on the front line of climate change to reduce poverty and improve the health of their seas,” he added.
The Fund is financed by the UK’s overseas aid budget, and was named after the David Attenborough-narrated BBC series on the state of our oceans.