Norway increases funding of marine protected areas

Norway announces additional NOK 20 million in support to the Blue Action Fund. The Blue Action Fund works to protect vulnerable coastal and marine areas and to improve livelihoods and food security for coastal communities.

One year ago, world leaders agreed to conserve 30 per cent of the world's land and ocean areas by 2030. Achieving this target is vital to ensure that the ocean and its resources can continue to be healthy and productive and can continue to provide food and livelihoods to future generations. Protecting the ocean has to be done in an equitable way, so that conservation does not adversely affect communities who are directly dependent on these resources, for example for food and work.

Blue Action Fund key partner for Norway

The Blue Action Fund is an important partner for Norway in supporting efforts to improve the management of existing marine protected areas and the protection of new ones. With the additional funding, Norway has contributed a total of NOK 100 million (approx. USD 9,2 million) to the Blue Action Fund over the past two years.

‘The ocean is key to addressing climate change, but also to solving the global food crisis. Sustainable management is crucial, and Norway's contribution to the Blue Action Fund contributes to this, and we are now increasing our support further. This work is urgent’, says Minister for Development Cooperation, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

More protection needed

The ocean ecosystem is in crisis. Two per cent of the global mangrove forest has been lost between 2000 and 2016. Half of living coral reefs have disappeared since 1870. 94 per cent of fisheries are fully exploited (60%) or overexploited (34%). This affects particularly coastal communities in developing countries, who depend on marine and coastal resources for food security and livelihoods.

Since its inception, the Blue Action Fund projects have been working to improve the management of 232,182 km2 of marine protected areas, helping to establish 148,511 km2 of new marine protected areas, and reaching more than half a million people.

‘As chair of the Ocean Panel, Norway and other countries are putting the ocean on the agenda. I am very pleased that this is also part of the program here at COP28. Our ambition is 100% sustainable management of the economic zone of member states by 2025. Marine protection is an important part of holistic and sustainable ocean management’, says Tvinnereim.