ICAI review on the UK government’s Blue Planet Fund – Bond reaction

Today, Thursday 30 November, The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has released its review of the UK government’s flagship £500 million marine fund known as The Blue Planet Fund.

ICAI has concluded that delivery of the fund has been affected by a lack of adequate cross Whitehall coordination and oversight.

Jointly managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Fund was designed to support lower and middle-income countries to protect their marine ecosystems and reduce poverty through the sustainable management of oceans and their resources.

Assessing the Fund’s performance so far, the ICAI review has found “a lack of coordination and coherence between Defra – the Blue Planet Fund’s strategic lead – and FCDO, with duplicated work in some areas and gaps in delivery.”

In reaction to the review, Gideon Rabinowitz, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Bond, the UK network for NGOs, said: 

Today’s ICAI review on the Blue Planet Fund reconfirms our concerns that there isn’t a joined-up approach to UK aid spending and development issues across government departments. Poverty reduction and the priorities of partner countries should have been at the heart of the Fund’s programmes. The fact that they aren’t, suggests that government departments outside the FCDO are sadly not taking these issues seriously. Cross-government effort is urgently needed to tackle poverty and the impacts of climate change.


Notes to editors

  • The Blue Planet Fund was launched by Ministers in June 2021, ahead of the UK hosting the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow that year. The launch marked a key UK commitment to invest at least £3 billion in lower and middle-income countries to protect nature and biodiversity as part of a broader £11.6 billion International Climate Finance pledge.
  • Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 350 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice. 
  • For further information or interviews please contact Jess Salter at [email protected] or call 07493200979.