Article | 14 Oct, 2021

Great Blue Wall Initiative to accelerate the blue economy in region

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has given its commitment to support the 'Great Blue Wall Initiative,' a regionally connected network to develop a regenerative blue economy.

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The Great Blue Wall Initiative is a project for the western Indian Ocean countries that intends to adopt an action-driven, oriented and focused approach.

Under the project, seascapes and conservation/restoration sites will be identified based on country priorities, opportunities, existing efforts, local partners’ needs, and availability of funding as well as on the already available science and knowledge.

As such,  IUCN and its partners' endorsement  of the Great Blue Wall initiative was announced as one of the key commitments to action at  the IUCN World Congress, in Marseilles, hosted by France .

Speaking at a high-level forum during the World Conservation Congress, James Michel, a former President of Seychelles, and the founder and executive chairman of the James Michel Foundation said: "The Great Blue Wall initiative represents a unique opportunity to move forward at an unprecedented speed. Now is the time with the support of our partners to make it a reality. Subsequently, a wave can embrace the wider world. As a supporter, a world influencer and an advocate of the Blue Economy, I today pledge my full support for this visionary initiative." 

Mr Michel added that the Great Blue Wall Initiative promises to play an instrumental role in helping to achieve a nature-people positive world. A planet in balance

The western Indian Ocean provides food security, sustains economic growth, regulates the climate, and provides livelihood opportunities for coastal communities across 10 countries -  Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

IUCN considers its support towards the Great Wall Initiative as well as other commitments as a substantive and significant contribution to post Covid-19 pandemic recovery and the biodiversity-climate crisis.