The OCEAN Grants Programme is a new competitive grants scheme, supporting innovative proposals from local coastal communities that aim to deliver marine protection and reduce poverty worldwide.

Bridging the Gaps in Marine Conservation Funding

We know community-led initiatives have huge potential to make a positive impact. Yet up until now, there has been insufficient competitive funding for programming that tackles marine issues and specifically focuses on reaching local communities and local organisations.
Despite 10% of the global population having high dependence on the nutritional, economic, and coastal protection benefits the ocean provides and it contributing US$1.5 trillion to the global economy, less than 1% (US$13 billion) of this total value was invested in the ocean economy through sustainable projects in the past decade.
The OCEAN Grants Programme seeks to redress these imbalances by supporting people and communities most acutely impacted by climate change.

Our Focus Areas

Funding is available for projects that focus on supporting poverty reduction and the marine environment. 

Marine Protection

Applications must focus on marine protection. This could directly relate to one of the Blue Planet Fund’s seven key outcomes but this is not a requirement. 

Poverty Reduction

Applications must also address poverty reduction directly or indirectly, taking into consideration the disproportionate impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss on women and girls, people living in poverty and marginalised groups.

Projects must address marine protection, and this may include responding directly to one of the seven Blue Planet Fund key outcomes, listed below.

Countries have increased willingness, capacity, and access to sustainable finance to establish and sustainably, effectively, and inclusively implement and manage MPAs and OECMs within national and international waters.

Management of regional and national fisheries and aquaculture is strengthened to deliver sustainable fish stocks and healthy marine ecosystems provide inclusive livelihoods, and reduce overfishing, including by removing or repurposing environmentally harmful subsidies.

Locally inclusive approaches that protect, sustainably manage and restore marine ecosystems are demonstrated, scaled, and financed with private sector support, leading to improved biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate resilience of coastal communities.

Sustainable, inclusive aquaculture approaches that help restore and avoid harm to the environment are demonstrated and increasingly adopted with private sector support.

IUU fishing activities are more effectively monitored, prevented, and deterred and international enablers of IUU are increasingly minimised.

Waste management systems are strengthened and move towards circular economy approaches that reduce solid waste and other forms of pollution – including ghost gear – entering the marine environment, while supporting inclusive poverty reduction and women’s empowerment.

Local communities have improved fisheries management knowledge, capacities and incentives, supporting more climate resilient, inclusive and sustainable livelihoods.

grant selection process

OCEAN Expert Committee

How funding decisions are made

Funds will be allocated through an open and transparent process against clear criteria. Applications will be scored and recommended for selection by an independent expert committee of marine and development experts.

Blue Planet Fund

OCEAN is part of the Blue Planet Fund – the UK’s ground-breaking £500 million initiative dedicated to supporting developing countries in protecting the marine environment and reducing poverty.

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