Access to finance ocean projects ‘very challenging’: Solomons MP Manele

Jeremiah Manele and João Gomes Cravinho. PHOTO: Solomon Islands Government

While there are huge commitments being made and offered to assist countries to conserve, protect and manage their ocean resources, accessing finance for ocean projects is still a major obstacle for many Small Island Developing Countries (SIDS), including Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Jeremiah Manele, made this statement during his bilateral meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, João Gomes Cravinho, in Lisbon, Portugal at the margins of the United Nations Oceans Conference (UNOC) last week,

Minister Cravinho said that while there is a lot of interest from investors, development partners and organisations, there are not enough projects to support.

Minister Manele welcomed the update but reiterated that while there have been huge commitments worth billions of dollars made, accessing them is extremely hard.

The statement emphasised that a criteria set by development partners and organisations, although with good intentions, makes it difficult for Small Island Developing States like Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands’ National Ocean Policy launched in 2019 provides the governance framework and guide to address the issues and challenges faced in oceans management. “The Ocean defines who we are as people and nation. It is a key pillar of our development, and the foundation of our future. The health of our ocean is crucial to the wellbeing of our people and planet, and all forms of life below and above water,” Manele said in Lisbon.