United Nations
Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) Programme
by United Kingdom (Government)
The United Kingdom commits to delivering a package of measures that will help to provide Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions with accurate hydrographic and scientific date relating to their marine environment, as well as training and capacity building for national bodies involved in the research and management of marine resources, to enable them to use the data to promote economic growth and development. The information collected will be used to inform the development of national plans for the marine economy, allowing SIDS to develop economies and livelihoods based on sustainably managed marine resources and to mitigate associated environmental and economic risks in a strategic manner.

Utilising world leading UK expertise, the CME Programme aims to ensure marine resources in Commonwealth SIDS are better understood and managed, enabling the diversification of economies by opening up new Ocean Economy opportunities; making all Ocean Economy activities sustainable; making infrastructure and human capital resilient to disaster and climate change; building SIDS capacity to plan, manage and maximise their marine spaces. The Programme recognises the importance of social factors in the sustainable management of marine resources, particularly poverty and gender inequality and also the ongoing work of other countries, national, regional, and international organisations.

The Programme supports the former Prime Ministers commitment at the 2015 Commonwealth Summit to use UK capabilities to support Commonwealth SIDS in making the most of their natural maritime advantages.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Other (please specify): Identify source of pollutants
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from sustainable transport
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Access to coastal fishing grounds
  • Access and capacity building for eco-labelling and traceability systems
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
July 2017
Provision of Maritime Economy Reports for each SIDS, providing analysis of hydrographic, scientific and sustainability priorities. The reports also contain an assessment of the ocean management capacity of each SIDS.
June 2017
Delivery of a Climate Change Report for Caribbean providing evidence on how climate change is affecting different aspects of SIDS environments, economies and societies. The report describes the impacts of climate change on e.g. fish, fisheries, livelihoods, habitats, industrial development and tourism etc. These will enable Caribbean Governments of the SIDS to understand the impacts of climate change and adjust their environmental, socio-economic development and industrial policies in an informed manner.
June 2017
Hydrographic charting, data collection and seabed habitat mapping around Grenada and St Vincent & the Grenadines. The data collected for the project (both hydrographic and environmental) enabled the production of bathymetry charts and habitat maps for both St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. These charts and maps enable commitments to SOLAS and manage their marine resources more effectively. St Vincent intends to create a Marine Protected Area on the west coast of the island and these maps will directly support implementation and management of this.
June 2017
Scientific knowledge, capacity building and transfer of marine technology: use of marine environmental data to address pollution and climate change impacts, facilitated by provision of novel sensor technology, provides the Government of the Seychelles the capacity to monitor and mitigate the impacts at a local and regional scale. Likewise the provision of sea level radar equipment and training in the use of the data in St Lucia supports the development of coastal infrastructure and policy, whilst also contributing to the regional tsunami warning system.
Financing (in USD)
1,073,064 USD
Financing (in USD)
7,511,309 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
Cabinet Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office provide oversight and policy expertise. In addition the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the National Oceanography Centre
Basic information
Time-frame: August 2016 - To be confirmed
Cabinet Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
  • North Atlantic
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Antigua and Barbuda
Papua New Guinea
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Solomon Islands
Other beneficaries
Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean
Contact information
Richard Oppenheim, Deputy Director and Commonwealth Envoy Commonwealth Summit 2018, Richard.oppenheim@cabinetoffice.gov.uk , +44 (0)20 7008 2244
London, England
Other SDGs
United Nations