26.11.18 Seychelles launches world’s first sovereign blue bond

The Republic of Seychelles, an archipelagic nation consisting of 115 granite and coral islands, has launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond—a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.

The bond was announced by the country’s Vice-President at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali on October 29. The business case for a sovereign blue bond was initially identified through support to Seychelles from the International Sustainability Unit of the UK’s Prince Charles.

A World Bank team comprising experts from its treasury, legal, environmental and finance groups worked with investors, structured the blue bond and assisted the government in setting up a platform for channeling its proceeds.

“As one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, Seychelles is balancing the need to both develop economically and protect its natural endowment. Marine resources are critical to the country’s economic growth. After tourism, the fisheries sector is its 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,” said an official statement by the World Bank.

“Proceeds from the bond will include support for the expansion of marine protected areas, improved governance of priority fisheries and the development of the Seychelles’ blue economy,” it continued.


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