Business is booming.

Papua New Guinea Advances Blue Economy with KPMG and UNDP Partnership

By Faridat Salifu

In a groundbreaking initiative aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth and ocean conservation, KPMG has launched a Blue Economy Accelerator program in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

This world-first initiative seeks to nurture local business growth while safeguarding Papua New Guinea’s marine ecosystems.

The blue economy presents an emerging opportunity for innovative business models that support marine biodiversity and climate resilience. KPMG’s ambitious project will establish a business incubator in Kimbe Bay, West New Britain Province, an area celebrated for its rich oceanic biodiversity.

The 18-month pilot program will focus on sustainable livelihoods, particularly empowering women-led enterprises, and bolstering the resilience of Papua New Guinea’s coral reef ecosystems.

A crucial component of the project’s success is capacity building. KPMG professionals from Papua New Guinea, Canada, and Australia, along with global experts, will collaborate to support local businesses.

The initial phase will identify potential enterprises within the blue economy, with five selected businesses receiving assistance in developing investment prospectuses and expanding their operations. These businesses may operate in sectors such as ecotourism, sustainable fishing, and seaweed harvesting.

Zanie Theron, South Pacific Service Group Partner at KPMG in Papua New Guinea, underscored the project’s importance: “This growing sector is making a significant impact on the economies of all Pacific nations. We expect several opportunities to arise over the next 12 months as we work closely across geographies to deliver this exciting assignment.”

The initiative highlights KPMG’s dedication to understanding and addressing the unique challenges and opportunities of the blue economy in the Pacific region.

Rachel Armstrong, Director at KPMG in Papua New Guinea, emphasized the necessity of a tailored approach for success: “You can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s fascinating to work with local businesses and communities in such a biodiverse area.”

As the project progresses, KPMG will continue to engage with local communities, adapting and learning to ensure the accelerator program effectively supports sustainable economic development and ocean health.

This pioneering effort is poised to set a benchmark for similar initiatives globally, driving both environmental stewardship and economic resilience in Papua New Guinea and beyond.


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