Indonesia launches Blue Halo S initiative to fund ocean conservation

The government of Indonesia, with the support of Green Climate Fund, Conservation International, and Konservasi Indonesia, announced a new model for ocean conservation and fisheries management in Indonesia. The model, called Blue Halo S Initiative, is the first ever integrated marine protection and sustainable fishery management approach designed to fund itself over time.

The Blue Halo S was introduced at the Tri Hita Karana Forum, the sustainability G20 side event and the Ocean 20 conference, an ocean-focused meeting of the G20 Leaders’ Summit being held this week in Bali, Indonesia. The initiative aims to mobilize US$30 billion in catalytic and commercial capital to support SDG-linked projects.

“Indonesia is fully committed to leading on climate change through integrate ecosystem protection and fishery production. Blue Halo S supports a resilient ocean economy in Indonesia by better aligning ecological and economic incentives,” said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs.

Blue Halo S integrates two elements of marine management often seen as being at odds: environmental protection and economic production. Under the Blue Halo S initiative, the economic benefits of sustainable marine resources development are reinvested in environmental protection, which in turn bolsters the natural resources which supporting commercial production.

This “protection-production” framework is the foundation for the Blue Halo S approach.

Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, minister of marine affairs and fisheries, said: “Our marine protected areas, as restricted conservation areas, provide important environmental and ecological services. Well-managed conservation areas improve ocean health and create economic opportunities for local communities.”

“There is a critical need to conserve ocean ecosystems and biodiversity while building a thriving and more sustainable livelihood opportunities for local communities. Blue Halo S approach serves as a blueprint for enabling these things to thrive together,” said M. Sanjayan, chief executive officer, Conservation International.

The Blue Halo S is supported through a blended finance approach, which seeks to mobilize strategic public and philanthropic funding to catalyze private investment in ocean conservation and sustainable development. 

Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry of Maritime and Investment Affairs and Ministry of Marine and Fisheries will lead the implementation of the blended finance model for Blue Halo S, overseeing activities across policy, and innovative finance.

Green Climate Fund (GCF) November 13 announced the approval of Project Preparation Facility (PPF), in the amount of almost US$1.5 million, that will prepare the groundwork for the Blue Halo S work in Indonesia. The preparation of this GCF funding proposal will be coordinated by Conservation International which will contribute US$350,000 to co-finance the project preparation. 

Blue Halo S aims to raise over US$300 million from GCF and other sources for a

blended financing scheme, consisting of a grant facility for Blue Ecosystem Adaptation Mechanism (BEAM) and a Blue Bond, to be developed together with the government of Indonesia.

“This highly innovative initiative will serve as a model for sustainable ocean conservation and fisheries management. It is an example of what can be achieved by working in partnership and clearly shows the halo effect – that environmental protection and economic production need not be mutually exclusive,” said Yannick Glemarec, executive director of the Green Climate Fund.

The Blue Halo S management approach will be piloted in the Fishery Management Area 572 located in the western part of Sumatra. Pilot activities include investments in protection and rehabilitation of blue carbon ecosystems, support for marine protected area expansion and management, sustainable fisheries management, and inclusive blue economy development all of which are expected to contribute toward enhanced climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.

“Indonesia has long been a leader in ocean protection, so we are glad to see the BLUE HALO S framework being piloted here,” said Meizani Irmadhiany, senior vice president

and executive chair, Konservasi Indonesia. “The model is very scalable and replicable, so we’re optimistic that it could be adapted for marine ecosystems in other regions of the world in the future, too.”

Photo credit: Indonesian government.

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