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The Prince of Wales speaks at the Financing the Transition to a Sustainable 'Blue Economy' conference

10th July 2014

The Prince's International Sustainability Unit produced this graphic to demonstrate the opportunities to create sustainable fisheries

The Prince's International Sustainability Unit produced this graphic to demonstrate the opportunities to create sustainable fisheries

The Prince of Wales hosted a meeting of representatives of governments, the fishing industry, investors and leading conservation groups to examine ways of financing the transition to a sustainable 'blue' economy. 

His Royal Highness delivered the keynote address at the event, which took place in the St. James's Palace State Apartments, London.

The World Bank has estimated that some US$50 billion worth of additional value could be derived from the world’s fisheries each year, if they were managed in more sustainable ways. 

New financing structures could unlock major opportunities to improve food security and sustain fishing businesses. Fisheries as well as other sectors in the marine environment, such as tourism, make up what is increasingly known as the 'blue' economy.

The meeting in St. James's Palace, convened by The Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit (ISU), considered innovative financial structures that can increase the investment into the transition to sustainable fisheries.

To assist in this process, a report outlining a framework for investing in the transition to more sustainable fisheries, developed by the ISU, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a panel of fishing and finance industry experts, will be launched.

The Prince of Wales has, for many years, been interested in the conservation of the marine environment and has supported numerous initiatives in pursuit of that cause (HRH has been Patron of the Marine Conservation Society since 1989).

The Prince of Wales's ISU evolved from The Prince’s Rainforest Project in 2010.  It seeks to build consensus around solutions to some of the key environmental challenges facing the world, namely tropical deforestation, how best to achieve food, energy and water security and ensure healthy marine fish stocks.  The ISU works with public, private and non-governmental organisations, helping to strengthen partnerships between them.

The aim of the ISU’s Marine Programme is to build consensus on how the world’s fish stocks can be managed in a more sustainable way, and on the need to manage them in the context of other marine life and the broader ocean ecosystem. You can find out more about it here:

Read the speech below.

A speech by The Prince of Wales at the Financing the Transition to a Sustainable 'Blue Economy' conference, St James' Palace State Apartments, London

Published on 10th July 2014

Your Excellencies, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, the only thing I can really do is bring people together, hence this gathering. If I may say so I am so delighted and grateful to you all for giving up your precious time to come here today to participate in a meeting that, I hope, will make at least a small contribution towards the future of our oceans, and help put us on a path towards a more intelligent use of the vitally important services they provide; services that in so many ways we totally rely upon for our continued prosperity, security and welfare.

As many of you probably know, my International Sustainability Unit began work on its Marine Programme in 2010 probably as a result of my agitating as to whether we could do more to bring people together in a partnership approach- private and public sectors. The International Sustainability Unit hasmade good progress and I am particularly heartened that there has been such willing engagement from so many different stakeholders. They all have to be part of the solutions for the sector that the world "appears" (I say tentatively!) to be striving towards.

Today's conversation is, I think, especially timely given the ongoing dialogue around the Sustainable Development Goals and the next phase of the Climate Change negotiations, both of which will be finalized next year. I do not need to tell you, I'm sure, how important it is that the future health of the oceans and fisheries is strongly reflected in these negotiations, such is its contribution towards global climate ...

Read full speech