EIT Climate-KIC partners with an international development organisation to launch a Blue Economy ClimAccelerator in the Pacific Islands
Climate change represents the single greatest threat to the livelihoods of the people living in low-lying, vulnerable countries. This is especially true for Pacific Islanders who reside in coastal communities spread throughout thousands of islands across the Central and South Pacific. In this region, climate change is the culprit for rising sea levels, intensified storms and droughts, ocean acidification and consequent damage to coral reefs and fisheries.
EIT Climate-KIC, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland (‘Irish Aid’), has partnered with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to deliver the Blue Economy ClimAccelerator in the Pacific Islands. The five-month programme will run from January to May 2023 and prioritise solutions that consider social inclusion, preservation and improvement of livelihoods while ensuring the environmental sustainability of oceans and coastal areas.
The accelerator programme seeks to promote local entrepreneurs and start-ups with innovative ideas to support the growth of maritime activities – including tourism, energy and mineral production, fishing, shipping, aquaculture, renewable energy, and port activity. These activities can help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) create sustainable income streams, providing a safety net to rebuild after disasters and boosting climate resilience.
“The Pacific Ocean is key to life, livelihoods and resilience in the Pacific Islands and GGGI is excited to partner with EIT Climate-KIC in support of Coastal Resilience and the Blue Economy,” said Daniel Muñoz-Smith, GGGI’s Country Representative for Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Vanuatu. “Small businesses play a vital role in promoting economic growth and job creation in this important sector, although they are often constrained by the challenges in accessing financing for growth. The Blue Economy ClimAccelerator will address this by providing promising and innovative blue enterprises with grants to make their plans for business growth a reality, thus scaling up their social and environmental impact.”
GGGI supports SIDS to sustainably achieve national development goals and Paris Agreement commitments by developing strategic frameworks and mobilising finance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create green jobs, increase access to sustainable services and enhance resilience to climate change.
“We know that Pacific Island countries will be disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change, which is why it is so important to support and strengthen innovation across the region – particularly in the Blue Economy. Through the Blue Economy ClimAccelerator we aim to not only support the growth of the most promising solutions in emerging Pacific Island nations but also to work with our partners to grow the supporting ecosystem in the region,” says David Watt, Strategic Programmes Builder at EIT Climate-KIC.
EIT Climate-KIC has over a decade of experience using innovation and technology to create systems change and build the resilience of communities. The Blue Economy ClimAccelerator will run across multiple countries in the Pacific Islands and select up to 10 innovations from start-up teams, small and medium enterprises, or not-for-profits.