Healthy Oceans Tech and Finance Forum – January 2022

Co-Founder and Director Rohana Subasinghe recently joined the Asian Development Bank Healthy Oceans Tech and Finance Forum and a panel session on 27 January entitled “The Community: Creating Opportunities for Women and Small-Scale Actors in Blue Aquatic Foods”. The forum was a flagship event under the ADB Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies, launched in 2019, which aims to increase ocean investments and technical assistance to developing countries within Asia-Pacific.

“The Community” panel session explored how investment into blue foods could create more opportunities for women and the diverse community of small-scale actors across aquaculture and fisheries systems within Asia-Pacific. Rohana contributed insights on gender and empowerment of small-scale producers and women in aquaculture, the importance of resilience and inclusivity, and emphasized private sector investment in the aquaculture industry that benefited small-scale producers.

The forum was well attended by industry, investors, and governments across the region, exploring avenues for finance in Asia-Pacific blue economy, plastic-free oceans, coastal resilience, and blue foods. Innovative technologies, good practices, case studies, and practical solutions to protect and enhance the health and resilience of ocean ecosystems and coastal communities in the Asia Pacific region were widely shared in panels, plenary sessions, and a virtual forum. The forum highlighted market gaps and opportunities for FUTUREFISH and partners to work together to contribute to sustainable aquaculture in Asia-Pacific, such as in the inclusion of small-scale farmers in seafood value chains, improving SMEs productivity, enhancing climate resilience, and enhancing access to new innovations and digital technologies. 

Healthy oceans tech and finance forum

Overall an important and useful 3-day event that has helped FUTUREFISH develop its overall strategy aligned with regional priorities. The agenda and learning materials, including videos of the diverse sessions, can be found at the ADB Knowledge Event website – Healthy Oceans Tech and Finance Forum: Innovative Solutions for Asia and the Pacific.

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