The Republic of Seychelles has launched the world's first sovereign blue bond-a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects
Proceeds from the bond will include support for the expansion of marine protected areas, improved governance of priority fisheries and the development of Seychelles' blue economy.
Vincent Meriton, vice-president of the Republic of Seychelles, said, "We are honoured to be the first nation to pioneer such a novel financing instrument.”
“The blue bond, which is part of an initiative that combines public and private investment to mobilise resources for empowering local communities and businesses, will greatly assist Seychelles in achieving a transition to sustainable fisheries and safeguarding our oceans while we sustainably develop our blue economy," he added.
Marine resources are critical to the country's economic growth. After tourism, the fisheries sector is the country's most important industry, contributing significantly to annual GDP and employing 17 per cent of the population. Fish products make up around 95 per cent of the total value of domestic exports.
The bond, which raised US$15mn from international investors, demonstrates the potential for countries to harness capital markets for financing the sustainable use of marine resources.
The World Bank assisted in developing the blue bond and reaching out to the three investors: Calvert Impact Capital, Nuveen, and Prudential.
“It is a powerful signal that investors are increasingly interested in supporting the sustainable management and development of our oceans for generations to come," said Laura Tuck, vice-president of sustainable development at the World Bank.