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Blue Prosperity Vanuatu will fully protect at least 30% of its waters while sustainably building ocean economies

17th February, 2023 - Today, the Government of Vanuatu launched Blue Prosperity Vanuatu, a new program to protect and manage ocean resources and sustainably develop ocean industries and economies.

Led by the Government of Vanuatu, the program will conduct an extensive participatory process to designate at least 30% protection of Vanuatu’s waters in order to safeguard and restore marine life, habitats, and support ocean industries like tourism and fisheries. Vanuatu has made a global commitment to protect 30% of the ocean at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference along with 190 other countries.

Blue Prosperity Vanuatu represents a partnership between the Government of Vanuatu and the Waitt Institute, a U.S. based non-profit that will support Vanuatu’s goals and international commitments through technical expertise, funding, and increased capacity. The partnership has been formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by his honourable Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau and Mr. Ted Waitt, Founder and Chairman of the Waitt Institute. 

This program will incorporate scientific data, traditional knowledge, and extensive input and engagement from the public, government agencies, civil society, stakeholders, NGOs, community groups, and ocean experts.

“Vanuatu, as a large ocean state, is prepared to play our part in sustainably managing the ocean for our people and contributing to the planet’s future in the throes of the devastating Climate Emergency we are all facing. Our maritime jurisdiction comprises 98% of the nation. This includes marine resources that contribute significantly to the country’s economy and that are fundamental to the wellbeing of our people. While the economic potential of many of our blue resources remain un-assessed and underutilized, some are already being overexploited or damaged. To this end, today we are signing a historic Memorandum of Understanding between our Government and the Waitt Institute.” said Ishmael Kalsakau, Vanuatu Government. 

One of the core focuses of the program is Blue Economy planning to promote economic growth and diversification, social inclusion, and the preservation or improvement of livelihoods while ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas. Another focus for Blue Prosperity Vanuatu is the development of sustainable fisheries management strategies for both small scale and commercial fisheries.

Ted Waitt, Founder of the Waitt Institute said, “Only those in Vanuatu know what is best for their ocean. We’re humbled and honored to be able to provide the technical assistance to make their visions for resilient oceans in Vanuatu a reality. Vanuatu joins several other island nations in taking strong action to protect their oceans for current and future generations.”

Blue Prosperity Vanuatu will develop a network of Marine Protected Areas that will be science-based and involve a participatory process where stakeholder groups can provide input through community consultations. This will build upon Vanuatu’s global commitment to protecting 30% of the ocean, as it relates to the United Nations agreement to protect 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030. It will also involve scientific expeditions and collecting, collating, and sharing existing knowledge and information about Vanuatu’s marine environment.

Vanuatu Government contact:

Toney Tevi

Telephone: +678 554 2948



Waitt Institute contact:

Ellen Spooner

Telephone: +1 520-429-5828

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