The Asia-Pacific Blue Economy Forum, co-hosted by the Maldives, is set to commence on Monday. The forum, a key event in the sustainable coastal development calendar, will take place from 13 to 14 May.

The forum is organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Maldives and the economic ministry, with support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom. The Climate Finance Network (CFN), a peer-to-peer network established by the UNDP with funding from the UK Government, is a key collaborator in this event. The CFN aims to identify and scale up climate finance innovations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Over 100 high-level representatives from 12 CFN countries are expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Blue Economy Forum. The meeting serves as a platform for dialogue and collaboration on sustainable coastal development strategies. It aims to foster the concept of the blue economy, which encapsulates the sustainable utilisation of coastal resources and environmental systems.

The ‘blue economy’ is a term that encompasses the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and job creation, all while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem. This concept spans a wide range of sectors, including renewable energy, fisheries, maritime transportation, climate resilience, and waste management, illustrating the breadth and depth of the forum’s discussions and initiatives.

This year, the Asia-Pacific Blue Economy Forum is making its debut in the Maldives, a significant milestone that underscores the country’s increasing prominence in the realm of sustainable coastal development. This event is a crucial step towards a sustainable future for coastal communities, not only in the Maldives but also across the Asia-Pacific region.