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USAID commits $103m to protect the ocean

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USAID has announced more than $103 million in funding, subject to Congressional notification, to conserve and protect the ocean at the 2024 Our Ocean Conference in Athens, Greece.

This includes funding for several new programs, as well as additional funding for ongoing projects that strengthen marine preservation, build resilient blue economies, and address the impacts of the climate crisis.

The lives and livelihoods of communities around the world are dependent on the health of the ocean and the food security, jobs, and environmental benefits it provides. But today, the combined impacts of overfishing, greenhouse gas emissions, and plastic pollution threaten marine health and biodiversity, along with the communities that rely on them.

USAID is initiating and expanding on fifteen projects, subject to Congressional notification, as part of the Agency’s efforts to protect ocean health and marine biodiversity, including the following efforts, among others.

$19.2 million for promoting marine protected areas. This includes $13.4 million for the previously announced Heshimu Bahari (Respect the Oceans) project, which protects important coral reef habitat and strengthens community fisheries in Tanzania.

$9.9 million to foster sustainable blue economies in Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. This includes $2 million to support innovation and sustainable financing for conservation in the Caribbean. Key objectives include consolidating governance structures, establishing diverse funding mechanisms, improving grant management, and fostering a network for sharing best practices among regional trust funds.
$6.7 million to advance sustainable fisheries by promoting sustainable fishing practices, strengthening conservation efforts, and reducing illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

This includes $1.2 million to improve the management of marine biodiversity and fisheries resources in the Indo-Pacific region by implementing regional policy frameworks, strengthening local communities’ climate resilience, and increasing investments in marine biodiversity conservation.

$4.8 million to combat climate change through projects with youth in the Pacific Islands. This includes $4.4 million to establish a Melanesian Youth Climate Corps that will equip young leaders in Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to advance disaster risk reduction and adaptation efforts in their own communities.

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