About Blue Guardians

Small Island Developing States contribute the least to climate change yet are feeling the greatest impact of its consequences. Climate adaptation for many of these countries is a matter of survival. While small in landmass, the Small Island Developing States govern over their Exclusive Economic Zones that cover vast territorial oceans and coastlines. These areas are threatened by climate change leading to increased ocean acidification, decline in fisheries, and more frequent and severe storms.

Some island nations, however, might not have adequate information regarding what is in their oceans and Exclusive Economic Zones, inhibiting them from optimizing the potential benefits of these great resources. If properly managed, ocean and coastal areas present the greatest opportunity for island nations to capture sustainable economic benefits while increasing their resilience to climate change.

To address these challenges, governments of six Small Island Developing States, SIDS-DOCK, the Clinton Climate Initiative, financial institutions, leading private sector technology and data providers including DigitalGlobe, and international conservation organizations established the Blue Guardians partnership. The partnership aims to develop sustainable island economies while increasing resilience to climate change by supporting coastal communities, marine and fisheries conservation, and clean renewable energy.

Blue Guardians executes these goals by assisting island nations in broadening their economic and sustainable development master plans to include ocean and coastal management. Blue Guardians also aggregates big data solutions and harnesses informational tools that allow Small Island Developing States to set priorities in sustainably managing their fisheries, tourism, and renewable energy sectors.

“Blue Guardians will utilize the revolutions in big data, satellites, and spatial technologies to help us save our seas, utilize the vast potentiality of clean ocean power, and provide food and livelihoods for our people.”

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

History

Blue Guardians originated as a concept at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States held in Apia, Samoa in September 2014. The partnership was further cemented at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Oceans Action Network meeting in March 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Blue Guardians was formally launched as a Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 28, 2015 in New York City by President Bill Clinton, along with along with President James Michel of Seychelles, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and partners including the Clinton Climate Initiative, DigitalGlobe, Waitt Foundation, and the Nature Conservancy.

“Seychelles is committed to making Blue Guardians a success… As a large ocean state, Seychelles knows that a path that leads towards resilience to climate change and healthier oceans is the one to take in the journey towards the sustainable and inclusive development of island states. Indeed, of all states on our blue planet. Blue Guardians can play a lead role is putting us on that path.”

President James Michel of Seychelles

Blue Guardian Leadership

The Blue Guardians Executive Steering Committee is currently led by six island nations representing the Caribbean, Pacific, Africa and Indian Ocean regions.

 

Partnerships

Blue Guardians partners have committed to providing financial, technical, data, and planning tools, as well as capacity building to enable climate-resilience planning and marine protection.

Mauritius

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Seychelles

Samoa

Tonga

Tuvalu

Blue Guardians At-A-Glance

Building Climate Resilience

Blue Guardians assists Small Island Developing States by sustainably developing their blue economies while increasing their resilience to climate change.

Turning Data into Action

Blue Guardians aggregates big data solutions and harnesses informational tools that allow islands to set priorities in supporting climate-smart planning and development.

Partnering for Sustainability

Blue Guardians brings together leaders from Small Island Developing States, private sector technology and data providers, financial institutions, and international conservation organizations to develop more sustainable blue economies.

What is blue economy?

Covering over 70 percent of the Earth and containing 97 percent of its water, oceans are Earth’s largest carbon sink, absorbing and storing a significant portion of the carbon dioxide produced by humans.

A “blue economy” – comprised of fisheries, tourism and recreation, extraction of natural resources, proper waste disposal, coastal protection, transportation, and trade – refers to the sustainable development of marine resources, while ensuring the long-term resilience and health of our oceans. Effective blue economy development requires spatial planning, policy tools, and innovative financing solutions.

 

The Clinton Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
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