United Nations
The Blue Pledge for Sustainable Pearls - Fostering Ocean Conservation and a Blue Economy
by J. Hunter Pearls, Jewelmer, Paspaley Pearling Company (Private sector)
Our pearl farms are located in areas of the Pacific that boast some of the greatest marine biodiversity and are most prone to climate change on the planet. Unlike most other gemstone extraction, marine pearl farming is renewable and dependent on a healthy oceanic ecosystem: a thriving environment will produce finer pearls, inextricably linking environmental stewardship and economic profitability. Pearling combines two goals environmental and economic- that are inherently merged and can thus play a pioneering role in developing a circular blue economy. We also recognize the importance of global engagement for both oceans and climate change together in order to preserve the thriving ecosystems in which we operate.

Extensive research has shown that when produced responsibly, marine cultured pearls can directly foster marine conservation and social enterprise in the Pacific. We also want to incentivize other pearls producers to improve their practices, being proof that there is a business case for working sustainably. We will work towards setting up a compliance mechanism for the claims made and to ensure the below outlined SDGs can be achieved. We are actively working on pearl traceability techniques. As pearl farmers, we want to assess the measures we are taking to protect and invest in the environment. And in collaboration with environmental NGOs determine how pearl farms could be established as quasi Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) offering our oceans further protection.

The main beneficiaries of this project will include partnering pearl farmers, and jewellery companies who are conscious of providing their consumers sustainable luxury products, along with the ecosystems and communities where the pearls are produced. Furthermore, by creating an attractive and economically viable reason for pearl oyster cultivators to improve environmental management practices and demonstrate compliance, this project will help to increase economic and ecological adaptability to climate change.

The Blue Pledge, which we will fully launch during the Climate Action Pacific Partnership Conference in Fiji and at the UN during New York Climate Week later this year, will include more details and our vision for a blue and truly sustainable industry. Our vision consists of a pearl industry that actionably contributes to the health of our oceans and climate and can inspire consumers to engage with these important issues. Our 7-point pledge seeks to strengthen many of the Sustainable Development Goals outline by the United Nations. It includes:

- Protection of the Biosphere
- Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
- Production Transparency and Product Disclosure
- Develop and Operate Farms in a Socially and Culturally Responsible Manner
- Management Commitment and Local Law Compliance
- Blue Carbon Neutrality
- Removal of Plastics and Investment in Renewables
Progress reports
December 2018
Present initiative at COP24 in Poland and launch a platform to engage with consumers and the trade on climate change and ocean issues and solutions.
July 2018
Launch The Blue Pledge - Sustainable Pearls at the Climate Action Pacific Paternership in Fiji.
October 2018
'The Blue Pledge - Sustainable Pearls' will be presented at World Jewellery Confederations (CIBJO) congress in Bogota, Colombia.
September 2018
Present The Blue Pledge - Sustainable Pearls' at UN during Climate Week in New York
Staff / Technical expertise
Pearl farming and scientific expertise of partners
Basic information
Time-frame: June 2018 - 2030
J. Hunter Pearls (Private Sector), Jewelmer (Private Sector), Paspaley Pearling Company (Private Sector), Sustainable Pearls Initiative (Scientific Community), World Jewellery Confederation CIBJO (Other), COP23 Presidency Fiji (Other), The Ocean Pathway Partnership (Other), Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF (Scientific Community)
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Local communities in Australia, Fiji, Philippines; Public in Australia, Fiji, Philippines; Government in Australia, Fiji, Philippines; Private sector in Australia, Fiji, Philippines; Tourism in Australia, Fiji, Philippines.
Contact information
Justin Hunter, Pearl Farmer and Ocean Advocate, jhunter@fijipearls.com,
Other SDGs
United Nations