The “Blue Prosperity Plan” proposal by President Surangel Whipps in 2021 in Palau was scaled up and renamed “Unlocking the Blue Pacific Prosperity Plan” and presented at the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in the Cook Islands this November 7th to 10th, 2023. During the Leaders Retreat in Aitutaki, Cook Islands, the Pacific Islands leaders endorsed and adopted the proposal in the 52nd PIFLM Communique.
“Leaders supported the “Unlocking the Blue Pacific Prosperity Plan,” which articulates the goals of 100% effective ocean management for the region and 30% protection of the Blue Pacific Continent, aligned to Pacific country contexts, priorities, and capacities; robust food systems underpinned by resilient ecosystems resulting in healthy and productive Pacific people; and fit-for-purpose sustainable financing mechanisms that support the implementation of the 2050 Strategy,” 52nd PIFLM Communique.
The proposal consists of marine spatial planning for the region and a financing mechanism that sources funds through philanthropic sources.
Although the Pacific leaders endorsed the proposal, the details of how it will be implemented are still to be worked on. So far, Palau and Tonga are endorsing the plan, but it is still being accepted by other Pacific island countries through their own legal processes.
What implications the “Blue Pacific Prosperity Plan” will have is dependent on each individual country’s priorities and policies. (By: L.N. Reklai)