Finance Ministry plans to issue “blue bonds”

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance will dive into “blue bonds,” issuing debt instruments with proceeds that support the sustainability of oceans and marine resources.

“Blue bonds are part of a sustainable development effort in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Patricia Mongkhonvanit, Director-General of the Public Debt Management Office. Previously, the Office issued green bonds, social bonds and sustainability bonds to achieve sustainable development goals. The Office is conducting a feasibility study to determine if its blue bonds will be viable before committing to issue them.

“Blue finance, in particular blue bonds, have huge potential,” the World Economic Forum said on its website. “Blue bonds are an innovative ocean financing instrument whereby funds raised are earmarked exclusively for projects deemed ocean-friendly.”

Billions of people depend on the oceans for their livelihoods, sustenance and ways of life. According to the WEF, the oceans are a significant wealth generator producing an estimated $1.5 trillion in economic value every year.

Patricia said the blue bond initiative would contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of Thailand’s seas. Protecting Thailand’s marine resources is quite challenging. With coastlines along the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand that are home to beach and island resorts, the seas play a crucial part in Thailand’s tourism, contributing up to 12 percent of its GDP.

They also play an essential role in Thailand’s fishing industry, which is also a vital export earner. The government and civil society have made serious efforts to protect mangroves that serve as breeding grounds for many fish species.

The “blue economy” refers to all sectors of the economy that have a direct or indirect connection to the ocean. “The ocean economy consists of a broad array of economic activities related to the seas and oceans, presenting numerous opportunities for social and economic development and diversification of coastal businesses,” according to the Bangkok Post.

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