Initiatives to Conserve and Protect Our Oceans
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced 24 new and ongoing initiatives to conserve and protect our oceans at the 2022 Our Ocean Conference in Palau.
These initiatives, targets, and partnerships support Agency priorities and the areas of action set out by the conference that identify solutions to manage marine resources, increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change, and safeguard its health for generations to come.
Areas of activity include:
Advancing Marine Protected Areas for Communities, Ecosystems, and Climate
Mekong Delta Coastal Habitat Conservation Activity
Between 2021 and 2024 USAID will fund up to $2.9 million to mitigate threats to coastal biodiversity and fisheries and enhance resilience to climate change in the Mekong Delta by working with businesses, provincial governments, management boards, and fishing communities to test and build on new policy and financing opportunities.
Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Ocean, and Landscapes
Between 2020 and 2025, USAID will fund up to $5.5 million in the Philippines to improve natural resource governance in marine landscapes, stimulate public and private sector investments in natural resource management, and reduce environmental crimes and unsustainable practices.
Advancing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture
Distant Water Fleet Research Agenda
USAID announced approximately $500,000 in 2021 to implement a research agenda for understanding the drivers and impacts of distant water fleets on national fisheries and fisherfolk in priority geographies.
Enhanced Coastal Fisheries in Bangladesh II
USAID announced up to $10 million to help prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing from 2020–2025 in Bangladesh in the lower Meghna River ecosystem, Nijhum Dwip Marine Protected Area, and the Bay of Bengal in Cox’s Bazar District.
Feed the Future Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity
USAID awarded $17.8 million over 2021–2026 to support the Government of Ghana in improving small pelagic fisheries management and improving the socioeconomic well-being, food security, and resilience of fishermen and coastal communities.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish
USAID awarded $35 million from 2018–2023 to establish the Fish Innovation Lab to reduce poverty and improve nutrition, food security, and livelihoods in developing countries by the reliable and inclusive provision of fish through sustainable development of aquaculture and fisheries systems.
Fisheries in Humanitarian Preparedness and Response
USAID announced $7.7 million for FYs 2020–2021 for fisheries activities through ten humanitarian disaster risk reduction and emergency response awards in East Africa, and East Asia and the Pacific to address typhoon preparedness and sustainable livelihoods.
Interpol Agreement to Reduce Illegal Fishing
USAID announced $1.75 million to support INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Sub-Directorate to reduce illegal fishing and combat transnational crime from 2020–2021.
NOAA Interagency Agreement
The United States announced a $1.6 million USAID and NOAA joint effort to support Port State Measures Agreement Implementation, combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and strengthen fisheries management in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.
USAID announced an up to $15 million activity from 2021–2026 to advance sustainable coastal fisheries in 12 Pacific Island nations with specific focus on six countries: Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. It addresses the drivers of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and overfishing that are degrading coastal fisheries and biodiversity, negatively impacting community livelihoods, and threatening maritime security and sovereignty in the region.
Pacific Coastal Fisheries Management & Compliance Activity
USAID announced up to $6 million activity from 2021–2026 with The Pacific Community (SPC) to advance sustainable coastal fisheries co-management and address the drivers of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing that are degrading coastal fisheries and biodiversity and negatively impacting local livelihoods and maritime security.
Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability
USAID announced an additional year and $1 million for this 2017–2023 multi-stakeholder alliance of government, business, and civil society that facilitates learning, innovation, and collaboration to promote legal and sustainable fisheries by improving transparency in seafood supply chains.
Strengthening Natural Resource Governance in Ecuador
USAID announced $1 million from 2020–2024 for this partnership to help conserve Ecuador’s fisheries through enhanced transparency and enforcement.
USAID Sustainable Fish Asia Local Capacity Development Activity
USAID announced up to $4.5 million over four years to build the institutional capacity of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center and the Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security to improve the management of marine biodiversity and fisheries resources in the
Indo-Pacific region, of which at least $600,000 supports initiatives announced at the October 2021
USAID Sustainable Fish Asia Technical Support
USAID announced up to $9.4 million over five years to promote sustainable fisheries and marine biodiversity conservation in the Indo-Pacific, address gender inequity and forced labor concerns within regional seafood supply chains, and provide technical support services and tools to combat IUU fishing, of which at least $400,000 supports initiatives announced at the October 2021 U.S.–ASEAN Summit.
Creating Sustainable Blue Economies
NOSY MANGA Marine Ecosystems and Community Partnership
USAID announced a $6.3 million public-private partnership between USAID in Madagascar (which is contributing $2.5 million), Ocean Farmers, and Indian Ocean Trepang to create sustainable blue economies through scalable market-based aquaculture of seaweed and sea cucumber and support community-based sustainable management of marine resources.
Confronting the Ocean–Climate Crisis, or: Towards an Ocean Solution for Climate Change
Climate Change Adaptation
USAID announced up to $18.4 million to help local communities adapt to the impacts of climate change in Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2021–2026, focusing on the capacities of public and private sectors within agriculture, ﬁsheries, and tourism.
Climate Resilient Cities
USAID announced up to $15 million between 2021 and 2026 to help climate vulnerable cities in the Philippines strengthen their resilience by adapting to, mitigating, and enduring the impacts of climate change by supporting local governments and stakeholders to better understand how to use and disseminate climate information to communities.
Local Works Program in Bangladesh
USAID announced up to $6 million from 2020–2024 for the Local Works Program, which focuses on building capacity for locally-owned and locally-led development by strengthening local development actors and increasing access to local resources. The purpose of these activities is to restore, conserve, and manage the local ecosystems and natural resources of targeted geographies in Cox’s Bazar district, especially the fisher communities impacted by the Rohingya influx.
Women Shellfishers and Food Security Project
USAID announced $1.29 million from 2020–2022 to improve food security for women shellfishers in West Africa and simultaneously improve the biodiversity conservation of the ecosystems on which their livelihoods depend.
Tackling Marine Pollution
Clean Cities, Blue Oceans
USAID announced up to $48 million from 2019–2024 for the Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program to prevent ocean plastic pollution by building capacity and commitment of local institutions to reduce, reuse, and recycle and to better manage solid waste in riverine and coastal cities. This program works in 25 cities in seven countries, ranging from large countries to small island states.
Plastics Solution Alliance
USAID announced $900,000 in support of the Plastics Solution Alliance, which is developing new technologies to transform plastic waste of any variety, clean or dirty, into products with a lower price point than non-recycled alternatives. The Alliance brings together two of Timor-Leste’s largest companies—Heineken and Timorese construction company Caltech—with USAID, Mercy Corps, the European Union, and the Korean International Cooperation Agency to create a value chain for recycling single-use plastic.
USAID Blended Finance Partnership with Circulate Capital
The United States announced $2.1 million in support of a $35 million loan portfolio guarantee from USAID and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to Circulate Capital from 2019–2028 to support the reduction of plastic pollution in South and Southeast Asia. Backed by PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Unilever, and Coca-Cola. Circulate Capital will make loans to recycling companies and others in the recycling value chain working to reduce improperly disposed municipal solid waste and will encourage new investment in the sector.
USAID Local Solutions for Plastic Pollution
USAID announced $1.6 million for the Local Solutions for Plastic Pollution activity in Vietnam which is focused on empowering local communities to build collective action from the ground up to develop and apply local solutions to reduce plastic pollution in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Hoi An.