World Bank’s PROBLUE ocean trust fund extended to 2030

By World Bank

World Bank’s PROBLUE ocean trust fund extended to 2030

The World Bank and twelve donor partners announced the extension of the PROBLUE program, a multi-donor trust fund dedicated to supporting a healthy and productive ocean, until the year 2030. The announcement was made at the second annual PROBLUE Global Engagement Forum.

The extension of PROBLUE underscores the international community’s commitment to sustainable development and the recognition of the critical role that the ocean plays in natural ecosystems and the communities, jobs, and economies that rely on them. The Program’s extension to 2030 aligns with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the Global Biodiversity Framework, furthering the global agenda for ocean sustainability.

“The ocean is a lifeline for billions of people around the world,” said Valerie Hickey, World Bank Global Director for the Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy. “With the extension of the PROBLUE fund, we are reinforcing our resolve to put the ocean at the heart of our mission to end poverty on a livable planet, by protecting marine biodiversity, improving coastal resilience, and empowering coastal and island communities.”

PROBLUE is working with donors to secure the fund’s replenishment and attract contributions from new donors. This support will ensure the continuation of vital programs aimed at marine pollution reduction; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; offshore wind energy, decarbonization of shipping, and tourism; and building government capacity to manage marine resources and mobilize private sector finance.

“PROBLUE financing is extremely important for the economic and environmental sustainability of São Tomé and Príncipe. PROBLUE not only financed flood studies but also studies on sand mining elimination roadmap, related to alternative materials for civil construction activities, including brochures and videos. PROBLUE is also financing the investment project in Coastal Resilience and Sustainable Tourism, WACA+,” said Arlindo de Carvalho, Program Coordinator at the Ministry of Environment in São Tomé and Príncipe. “I want to sincerely thank all the support that PROBLUE has been giving to Sao Tomé and Príncipe in its sustainable development process.”

Since its inception in 2018, PROBLUE has been instrumental in helping both countries and World Bank Group operations mainstream a Blue Economy approach. Analytical work, innovative tools, co-financing, and expertise guide global policy reforms aimed at harnessing ocean resources for economic growth, better livelihoods, and job creation while maintaining ocean health. PROBLUE also helps inform global agendas, such as the implementation of the WTO fisheries subsidies agreement, the international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution negotiations, and the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework. Priority themes, including climate, gender equity, and maximizing finance for development, drive all PROBLUE-supported work, ensuring a focus on supporting the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

As of March 2024, PROBLUE has increased its overall portfolio of technical activities to $152 million in support of 223 activities in 89 economies. PROBLUE is the engine of innovation and drives intellectual leadership on Blue Economy issues, which underpins policy decision-making, supporting hundreds of knowledge products, tools, workshops, and training. The insights gained from PROBLUE’s work frequently lead to later investments and policy reforms essential for sustainable development in a thriving ocean. Every dollar of PROBLUE grant resources has leveraged $49 in World Bank financing.

The World Bank acknowledges the generous contributions of its donor partners and looks forward to continued collaboration with existing and new donors in the pursuit of a sustainable future for the ocean.