Blue Economyr

Blue Economy

The blue economy relates to the sustainable use, management, and conservation of marine resources through activities that bring about economic development and improved the livelihoods, whilst preserving the biodiversity richness of impacted areas. The Climate Change Division at the IDBG defines as following; “a sustainable Blue (circular) Economy “is intentionally designed to create and sustain restorative, regenerative and climate resilient economic, environmental and social harmonization which safely and efficiently utilizes the resources of the land and surrounding water.”” (IDBG, 2019).


Scope of Activities

Technical Assistance

Advisory support related to subjects such as ocean conservation, ocean exploration, Blue Carbon, Sustainable Fisheries, Sustainable Aquaculture, Coastal Zone Management, Nature-based Solutions, Payment for Ecosystem Services, Eco-tourism and marine protected areas, Marine renewable energy.

Intersectoral Dialogue

Promote dialogue with regulators, capital markets and financial sector stakeholders and mobilize financing, knowledge, and networking.

Financial Instruments

Stimulate private and public funding for climate-related investment .


Where it is implemented


Marine Pollution Port Reception Facility (Clean Marine Group)


Totally Traceable Tuna (Ten Habitat)


Market-based Incentives for Responsible Fishing (Oceana)


Ayiti Blue Ocean Plastics Solution (Environmental Cleaning Solutions, S.A., and Pan American Development Foundation)

St. Lucia

Converting Sargassum into Biostimulant (Algas Organics)

Project Map

Click icon to locate all active initiatives in the region.


Why Blue Economy?

An approximate 97% of world's fisherman reside in coastal areas of developing countries and heavily depend upon marine resources for their daily sustaining livelihoods (UN). In LAC, the total population that reside in coasts is at 27% (UN Environment, 2017) and coastal tourism accounts for a US$6 billion in the Caribbean. The Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Life Below Water” (UN) identifies the importance of preserving and regenerating ocean biodiversity to secure food security and planetary boundaries. Global goods and ecosystem services provided annually by nature’s coastal areas and oceans reach an estimated worth of US$2.5 trillion (WWF, 2015). With the institutional support to scale up and implement fundamentals of the Blue Economy in LAC, the IDBG and its implementing partners aim to facilitate sustainable development and management of valuable coastal assets and preserve the region’s natural capital. The Blue Economy enables opportunities for building up capacity and strengthening regional economic, social and environmental resilience, as well as self-sufficiency for Small Island States (SIS) that are reliant on ocean resources for provision of livelihoods and sustaining GDP. In addition, the ocean space belonging to the SIS often significant dwarfs their terrestrial space and presents significant challenges and also opportunities for economic development.


Partners on the Ground


  • Stay updated on the latest trends of Green Finance

First “taxonomy” created to identify private sector solutions for investing in climate adaptation and resilience

NEW YORK, The Lightsmith Group (“Lightsmith”) today released the ASAP Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy (“ASAP Taxonomy”). This is the first peer-reviewed set of definitions and eligibility criteria specifically focused on climate adaptation solutions being offered by private sector companies. The ASAP Taxonomy was developed through the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (“ASAP”), which is supported by the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) of the Global Environment Facility, Conservation International, and the Inter-American Development Bank and IDB Lab. It builds upon existing definitions and international standards around climate finance, such as the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and the UNFCCC Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) Taxonomy, among others, in order to foster harmonization and uptake. The ASAP Taxonomy has been reviewed by a panel of global experts and is actively being applied to identify hundreds of private companies across the globe that offer climate adaptation solutions. “We need practical solutions to help us adapt to climate change now,” said Jay Koh, Managing Director of Lightsmith. A recent study by the University of Cambridge shows an additional $100 billion of global costs annually linked to extreme weather events – such as floods, heatwaves and droughts – can be expected by 2040. The UN Environment Program estimates the cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries alone could rise to $140 to $300 billion per year by 2030, and between $280 and $500 billion per year by 2050. Despite the fact that 75% of all national climate plans under the Paris Agreement reference climate adaptation, adaptation received less than 6% of the total $579 billion of climate finance in 2017/2018, with perilously little from the private sector, according to the Climate Policy Initiative. “Identifying companies that can help manage drought, flood, wildfire, supply chain disruption, disease, and other climate impacts is a critical first step to building resilience to climate,” added Koh. “Most of these companies do not call what they do ‘climate change anything’ but if we can find them, we can invest in and scale up their solutions as the challenge of climate change grows.” ASAP recognizes the important role that small and medium-size enterprises (“SMEs”) can play in supporting climate adaptation. SMEs generate at least 45% of employment and as much as 33% of GDP in developing countries. The ASAP Taxonomy offers a systematic approach to identify SMEs that produce technologies, products, and services that support adaptation to climate change (“Adaptation SMEs”) and enables investors and governments to target investment and support. “The timing of the new ASAP taxonomy is crucial. With SMEs in developing regions and especially Latin America and the Caribbean confronting both the economic fallout of the pandemic and worsening climate impacts, we should take full advantage of this new taxonomy to support them to continue to capitalize on the business opportunities to develop solutions for climate adaptation and resilience,” said Graham Watkins, Climate Change Division Chief of the Inter-American Development Bank. The ASAP Taxonomy specifically focuses on SMEs in developing countries but can be easily extended to apply to businesses of all sizes, operating in all geographies. The ASAP Taxonomy is comprised of (i) a definition of an “Adaptation SME”, (ii) eligibility criteria to determine what types of companies qualify as an “Adaptation SME”, (iii) classification systems for climate adaptation solutions, and (iv) a results framework to measure, monitor and report on climate adaptation- related outcomes. The ASAP Taxonomy can be used by investors, funders, companies, and other stakeholders to: -Identify climate adaptation investments, thereby enabling more accurate tracking and reporting; -Sets out a menu of classification approaches for categorizing, tracking, measuring and reporting climate adaptation solutions based on the technology, product, service provided; -Inform companies on how their solutions may support climate adaptation and resilience; -Provide initial guidance on approaches for measuring companies’ contributions to climate adaptation; and; -Create a framework that can be used to align climate adaptation and resilience investment strategies with international standards and definitions. “The release of ASAP Taxonomy is an important contribution to increasing private sector investment in climate change adaptation. Through a common language, the taxonomy will help classify climate adaptation business solutions and eventually support investors and SMEs understand market opportunities and track investments. The taxonomy’s focus on Adaptation SMEs will contribute to climate resilient and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Chizuru Aoki, Lead Environmental Specialist and Manager of the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund. “The ASAP Taxonomy is a significant step toward building the case for climate adaptation as an investment asset class and mobilizing much needed capital flows to adaptation-focused SMEs,” said Agustin Silvani, Senior Vice President of Conservation Finance at Conservation International (CI). “Both investors and businesses will benefit from a better understanding of the scope of climate adaptation investing. CI congratulates Lightsmith and all involved in the production of this valuable resource.” By using the ASAP taxonomy, investors, funders, companies, governments, and policymakers can enhance the supply and uptake of climate adaptation solutions globally, and especially in the places where they are needed most. The full ASAP Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy can be downloaded here.



This course provides a knowledge base on accepted good practices for the effective incorporation of biodiversity into the...


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