USAID Launches New Coastal Programs to Conserve Oceans and Food Sources in Developing Countries

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
USAID Press Office
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced new coastal programs, valued at more than $170 million, to benefit coastal communities, which are among some of the most vulnerable, poor, and marginalized groups. The announcement took place at the “Our Ocean” Conference hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. These programs will support marine conservation, sustainable fisheries, coastal adaptation and efforts to combat illegal fishing and wildlife trafficking in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

"About 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. Preserving the earth's priceless marine life and safeguarding our world's valuable coastal resources for human use and future generations is vital,” said Eric Postel, USAID's Assistant Administrator on Economic Growth, Education and Environment.

Over one billion people worldwide depend on fish as a primary source of protein. Conserving and managing these coastal and marine resources are essential for meeting global development goals, including food security and nutrition, poverty reduction, and protection of coastal communities from the impacts of climate change.  

These coastal programs will support local communities and governments, strengthen transparent and participatory governance, promote sound and equitable economics, and conserve critical ecosystem goods and services for long term use and human well-being. USAID will work in partnership with host country governments, local organizations, international organizations, and other federal agencies. Among the activities anticipated are:

  • Continued support to the Global Partnership for Oceans and its objective to enhance the economic, social, and ecological performance of ocean ecosystems.
  • Promotion of sustainable management of coastal resources, particularly coral reefs, in the Maldives to enhance community resilience to the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Support to the recently created Permanent Secretariat of the Coral Triangle Initiative for Food Security, Fisheries, and Climate Change.
  • Assistance to countries in the Caribbean region to more effectively manage marine protected areas.
  • Strengthening community-based fish sanctuaries and improving the livelihoods of the poor, climate-vulnerable people in the Meghna River estuary of Bangladesh.
  • Reducing the over-exploitation of marine resources in Ghana and contributing to the Feed the Future Initiative’s high-level goals of improving food security, promoting economic development and alleviating poverty.   
  • Assistance to Pacific Island nations in adapting to impacts of climate change by promoting sustainable fisheries, improving food security and enhancing local livelihoods.