1. The transition to a sustainable ocean economy is a global imperative

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, put the ocean high on the international political agenda. For the first time, a global development goal specifically targets the ocean with an explicit aim to balance the use and conservation of the ocean use and conservation: SDG 14 calls for the “conservation and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” (UN, 2015[1]). Also for the first time, a UN Special Envoy for the Ocean was appointed, and in 2017, Sweden and Fiji co-hosted the first UN Ocean Conference, which placed ocean action at the centre of the efforts required to deliver on our people, our planet and our prosperity (UN, 2017[2]). The conference concluded with a 14-point Call for Action that garnered more than 1 400 voluntary commitments towards ocean conservation and sustainable use and reaffirmed the commitment to mobilise resources in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (UN, 2017[2]). More recently, the G7 and G20 have also placed ocean issues on their agendas.

The ocean produces half the Earth’s oxygen and absorbs more than 90% of the heat resulting from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, thereby regulating the climate. The ocean also provides habitat for marine species, including many that people depend on for food, and nutrient cycling. It offers hazard protection from natural disasters via shoreline stabilisation, and pollution and flood control. The ocean is also central to the identity, the culture and the economic livelihoods of billions of people.

The ocean is vital to the world’s economy, with more than 90% of trade using sea routes, and is a source of jobs for millions of people (International Chamber of Shipping, 2020[3]). It is also the stage for a growing range of new, ocean-related economic activities. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, OECD estimates suggested the value added generated by ocean-based industries globally could double from USD 1.5 trillion in 2010 to USD 3 trillion in 2030 (OECD, 2016[4]). In particular, marine and coastal tourism, capture fisheries, marine aquaculture, marine fish processing, and offshore wind and port activities are projected to grow most rapidly in terms of value added globally.

While economic activities continued to accelerate until late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a halting effect, with large impacts on several countries around the world. Measures meant to control the spread of the disease are affecting ocean activities, not least those at the heart of the global trade and transportation system, and the profound economic effects engendered by the pandemic are likely to continue after the health emergency comes to an end. The precise impacts of this disruption on the future of the ocean economy and on the marine environment are, as yet, unclear. However, economic activity in key ocean-based industries is broadly expected to slow down and it may take several months before pre-crisis levels are reached again.

The COVID-19 pandemic may generate considerable short-term costs, but it also provides an opportunity to rethink and steer economic activities in the ocean towards greater sustainability. Stimulus packages will be decisive in shaping the nature of the recovery and will need to provide a solid basis for relaunching development on a more sustainable footing. Despite the current slowdown in economic activity, demands on marine resources for food, energy, minerals, leisure and other needs of a growing global population will persist. Improving long-term sustainability is thus more urgent than ever before, and it should become a critical factor in decision making surrounding ocean-based industries as policy makers are considering strategies that will stimulate recovery. The recovery and future development of ocean-based industries in the ocean economy should go hand in hand with ensuring that the value of marine ecosystems is maintained for current and future generations.

Many developing countries1 rely on ocean-based industries such as tourism and fisheries for foreign exchange, income and jobs. If managed sustainably, the global expansion of existing and new ocean-based sectors until 2019 – which may resume after the COVID-19 pandemic – could potentially advance sustainable development more broadly by creating new opportunities for jobs, food security and clean energy and to achieve diversified and resilient economies. However, this expansion of the ocean economy carries real risks. If greater efforts are not made to curb and re-orient currently destructive economic activities that often have the largest impacts on developing countries’ fish populations, coasts and tourism, food security, and livelihoods, the ocean economy could deepen socio-economic injustice and environmental degradation.

Ocean-based sectors have often expanded without sufficient consideration for social and environmental sustainability, creating low-wage jobs and negatively impacting the environment in developing countries. Many developing countries are also especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and ocean pollution that further degrade the marine ecosystems on which they rely and often disproportionately affect the poorest segments of their populations. Intricately connected and mutually-reinforcing ocean pressures – ocean pollution including from marine litter, overfishing, warming of the ocean, acidification and loss of oxygen, sea-level rise and more frequent extreme weather events – are already having disruptive effects on coastal communities and entire sectors of developing countries’ economies. They also are eroding social inclusion and putting at risk both the resources on which these sectors depend and their future socio-economic benefits.

The impacts on developing countries are part of a global set of impacts that are pushing the ocean, the world’s shared life support system, to conditions never before experienced in human history. Tackling the ocean crisis requires urgent actions from all countries and at multiple levels, subnational as well as regional and international, and from individual citizens. However, while developing countries may often suffer the greatest consequences from unsustainable domestic and global ocean-based activities, they often have the least capacity to respond and may not be in a position to enact the comprehensive and urgent actions needed to transition to sustainable ocean economies.

The international development community can play a critical role to ensure that the development of the global ocean economy benefits all, and specifically developing countries. A transition to sustainable ocean economies in developing countries can achieve dual objectives: harnessing the benefits of an expanding global ocean economy to realise sustainable development and, given the cross-boundary nature of ocean challenges, contributing to set the global use of ocean resources on a more sustainable footing. Therefore, development cooperation can help ensure that the development of the global ocean economy is guided by institutional arrangements, policies and financial flows that are aligned with the imperative of sustainability and the needs of developing countries. Development co-operation also can support developing countries turn both emerging and existing ocean-based sectors into catalysts for long-term, inclusive and sustainable development by facilitating access to the science, knowledge, innovations and finance they need to accomplish this endeavour.

The conservation and sustainable use of the ocean is critically important. Ocean and marine ecosystems provide the intermediate inputs – ecosystem services – that drive value within sectors by acting as nurseries for fish, providing areas for recreation such as beaches and coral reefs for diving, and providing genetic material for marine biotechnology (OECD, 2017[5]) (OECD, 2016[4]). Table 1.1 summarises the ecosystem services provided by the ocean and where their benefits are experienced.

Despite the invaluable benefits provided by a healthy ocean, the cumulative impacts of anthropogenic pressures are pushing the ocean to conditions outside human experience. These include warming and acidification and decline in oxygen as well as species decline (IPCC, 2019[6]; IPBES, 2019[7]). Sea levels continue to rise at an increasing rate. Extreme sea-level events of the kind that have historically been rare now are projected to occur more frequently. It is not known for how much longer the ocean can continue to provide its life-sustaining functions and ecosystem services under business-as-usual scenarios.

The state of marine ecosystems was raising alarms a decade ago, when it was estimated that 60% of the world’s major marine ecosystems had been degraded or were being used unsustainably (UNEP, 2011[8]). The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES) more recently reported that 66% of the ocean area is experiencing increasing cumulative impacts and over 85% of wetlands (area) have been lost (IPBES, 2019[7]). Since the 1980s, for example, an estimated 20% of global mangroves have been lost. More than 30% of global fish stocks are overexploited, and coral reefs are bleaching due to exposure to high temperatures and other pressures. Live coral cover on reefs has nearly halved in the past 150 years, with the decline dramatically accelerating over the past 20-30 years due to increased water temperature and ocean acidification interacting with and further exacerbating other drivers of loss (IPBES, 2019[7]). Moreover, even if global temperatures were to stay within the 1.5°C scenario, it is projected that 90% of global coral would be lost. Concurrently, pollution from land-based sources including marine litter is threatening species and marine habitats. Climate change compounds these effects, altering both the thermal and chemical characteristics of the ocean as well as its dynamics and nutrient availability (Bijma et al., 2013[9]). The welfare costs that this imposes on society are high, and estimates suggest that the cumulative economic impact of poor ocean management practices is on the order of USD 200 billion per year (UNDP, 2012[10]).

Additionally, these pressures can reinforce each other, exerting greater cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems. Global sea-level rise, warming of the ocean, more frequent and severe weather events, and changing ocean currents will aggravate the negative impacts of overfishing; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU); pollution; and habitat degradation. In marine ecosystems, according to the IPBES (2019[7]), direct exploitation of organisms (mainly fishing) has had the largest relative impact, followed by land-/sea-use change, including coastal development for aquaculture and infrastructure, and pollution. The remainder of this section outlines the key pressures on the oceans.

Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions have risen over time, and the ocean has absorbed 20-30% of the carbon dioxide, leading to ocean acidification. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have led to rising sea temperatures and sea levels and shifts in ocean currents (IPCC, 2019[6]). There is widespread and mounting concern about the future impact of climate change on the health of the ocean. The implications for ocean ecosystems and marine diversity are considerable, already being seen in species and habitat loss, changes in fish stock composition and migration patterns, and higher frequency of severe ocean weather events. The higher frequency of severe ocean weather events particularly affects vulnerable, low-lying coastal communities, including small island developing states. Nearly 2.4 billion people, or about 40% of the world’s population, live within 100 km of a coast and more than 600 million people, or about 10% of the world’s population, live in coastal areas that are less than 10 metres above sea level. These populations depend on and are vulnerable to the ocean’s quality, stability and accessibility. Developing countries could be much harder hit than industrialised nations by the impacts of climate change. The consequences of climate change on ocean-based economic activities in these countries are being – and will continue to be – felt extensively. These activities include fishing and aquaculture operations, the offshore oil and gas industry, shipping companies, coastal and marine tourism, and marine bioprospecting for medical and industrial purposes.

Marine pollution occurs when harmful or potentially harmful impacts result from the entry into the ocean of chemicals; particles; industrial, agricultural and residential waste; noise; or the spread of invasive organisms. Most sources of marine pollution (80%) are land-based (GOC, 2014[11]) and include industrial, residential and agricultural runoffs and waste such as plastics as well as solid waste. In particular, the runoff of agriculture fertilisers, animal husbandry waste, sewage disposal and industrial effluents releases excessive nutrients into the ocean that favour the growth of toxic and harmful species in the ocean (eutrophication), altering marine habitats and negatively impacting fisheries (GESAMP, 2001[12]). Marine pollution also originates from direct discharge through ship pollution (e.g. ballast water and hot water discharge) and deep-sea mining (e.g. for oil and gas), with the resulting types of pollution consisting of acidification, eutrophication, marine litter, toxins and underwater noise. Left unchecked, eutrophication can lead to the creation of dead zones, as is occurring in different parts of the world including the Gulf of Mexico, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Marine litter, including plastics, is generated directly or indirectly by very different economic sectors, for example aquaculture and fisheries (e.g. accidental loss, intentional abandonment and discarding of fishing gear), shipping and cruise ships (e.g. ship-generated waste), cosmetics and personal care products, textiles and clothing, retail, and increasingly tourism. Illicit dumping particularly affects artisanal fisheries and the tourism industry, as the health and safety of persons who use beaches for recreational activities are at risk in areas where litter accumulates, with both sectors often representing the primary form of foreign revenue for many developing countries.

Plastics are a significant source of ocean pollution: between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastics enter the ocean each year (Diez et al., 2019[13]). The cost of ocean plastic is estimated at USD 13 billion per year due to its negative impacts on the coastal environment, tourism and the fisheries industry (OECD, 2018[14]). Despite the growing body of evidence on the negative impacts of marine plastics, there is still considerable uncertainty about the long-term impacts, as large volumes of plastics have only recently been introduced into marine ecosystems. Many of these plastics are extremely long-lived and will remain in the environment for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, meaning the full impacts will only become apparent in the longer term (OECD, 2018[15]).There is currently dedicated research and development into new sustainable petrochemical production routes (from production to use and disposal of products), which may contribute to efforts to curb and stop the leakage of plastic pollution and other harmful chemical products into the ocean (IEA, 2018[16]). New initiatives have also emerged, such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership. However, much progress is still required to address the root of chemical pollution, in terms of both the research and development necessary to find potential alternatives that would be less damaging to the environment and changing current production and consumption practices (e.g. building on the circular economy concept) (OECD, 2018[14]). In this context, developing countries experience particular pressures and vulnerabilities, including the generation and management of waste and the presence of marine plastic debris, often originating from distant waters.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 34.2% of the fish stocks in the world’s marine fisheries were classified as overfished in 2017, with the maximally sustainably fished stocks accounting for 59.6% of the total number of assessed stocks (FAO, 2020[17]). IUU fishing exacerbates overfishing and is associated with significant impacts, from both an economic and a food security perspective. Estimating the magnitude of IUU fishing and its many social impacts (e.g. slavery on ships) is complex and depends on many factors, such as the type of fishery, the geographic location and the availability of information. Policy instruments to deter and combat IUU are described in Chapter 4. Overexploitation of other natural resources such as shellfish and other organisms is also causing damage to the marine environment (IPBES, 2019[7]).

Habitat destruction along coastlines and in the ocean results from harmful fishing practices such as dynamite fishing or improper trawling; poor land use practices in agriculture, coastal development and forestry sectors; other human activities such as mining, dredging and anchoring; and tourism and coastal encroachment. For example, logging and vegetation removal can introduce sediments from soil erosion. Harbour development and other land-based activities (such as shrimp aquaculture) can lead to the destruction of mangroves, which serve as nurseries for species of fish and shellfish and provide flood protection. Poor shipping practices and coastal tourist activities such as snorkelling, boating and scuba diving come in direct contact with fragile wetlands and coral reefs, consequently damaging marine habitats and degrading the ecosystem services they provide (OECD, 2017[5]).

Another serious threat to the marine environment is the introduction of non-native marine species to marine ecosystems to which they do not belong. Most of these alien species had been rapidly introduced to a different habitat through ballast water from commercial shipping operations across the oceans. These foreign organisms are responsible for severe environmental impacts, such as altering native ecosystem by disrupting native habitats, extinction of some marine flora and fauna, decreased water quality, increasing competition and predation among species, and spread of disease (OECD, 2017[5]). Considering these situations, the International Maritime Organization has made international efforts to address the transfer of invasive aquatic species through shipping, as illustrated by the adoption of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water in February 2004. The Convention entered into force in September 2017.

The degradation of marine ecosystems is extending beyond ecologically and economically sustainable thresholds. One of the underlying reasons is that many of the services provided by marine and coastal ecosystems – such as coastal protection, fish nursery, water purification, marine biodiversity and carbon sequestration (Table 1.1) – are not reflected in the prices of traditional goods and services on the market (and hence referred to as non-market values). While there is often a lack of scientific information to clearly understand the complex links between these marine ecosystem services and their economic value, this undervaluation of marine ecosystem services results in under-investment in their conservation, sustainable use and restoration and lost opportunities for economic growth and poverty reduction, both now and for the future. Box 1.1 presents examples of the costs of inaction.

If managed sustainably, the ocean has the capacity to regenerate, be more productive, resilient, and support more equitable societies. A sustainable ocean economy needs to integrate all dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental – in keeping with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Sustainable ocean economies have consequences that extend beyond environment considerations and a single ocean-focused SDG. They are intrinsically connected with many other SDGs (Le Blanca, Freire and Vierros, 2017[22]) and key to achieving economic, social and environmental sustainability. For instance, sustainable aquaculture and mariculture can contribute to feeding a growing and wealthier global population, advancing progress on SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 2 (zero hunger) by 2030. New opportunities from marine-based renewable energy can create new jobs and steer the global energy mix towards a greater share of clean energy, contributing to achievement of SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 13 (climate action). SDG 13 achievement can also be advanced through actions to preserve the ocean’s capacity to regulate the climate and support biodiversity (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2019[23]), with a positive impact on climate migration and peace and stability (SDG 16). Table 1.2 illustrates these interlinkages, that conservation and sustainable use of the ocean can open new pathways towards the broader goal of inclusive, sustainable development.

As the linkages show, the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean is a complex, cross-cutting issue. It calls for coherent governance approaches and proactive public policies to shape and create markets, fostering new products and business models as is discussed in Chapters 3 and 4. The core concept of sustainability of the ocean economy, much as it is of sustainable development as a whole, is multidimensional and rests on three, interrelated, pillars: economic, environmental and social.

The ocean brings tangible economic benefits to actors around the world (OECD, 2016[4]). Economic activities from ocean-based industries are those that take place on or in the ocean; use inputs derived from the marine environment; produce goods and services for use on or in the ocean; and/or would not take place were they not located in proximity to the ocean (OECD, 2020[25]).

There is a wide range of formal, ocean-based industries (e.g. marine fishing, marine aquaculture, marine fish processing, shipbuilding, maritime passenger transport and maritime freight transport), as well as many informal but crucial subsistence and artisanal activities (e.g. artisanal fisheries). Many of these activities provide revenue and employment for millions of people around of the world. More than 3 billion people already rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, and an expected global population of 9 billion by 2050 will increase pressure to produce more food, energy and jobs from the ocean. Tracking the contribution of these ocean activities to the overall economy is needed to raise public awareness of the importance of the ocean, offering higher visibility to both investment opportunities in these sectors and to the crucial sustainability problems that demand action at many levels (OECD, 2019[26]). In order to improve the measurement of these ocean-based economic activities at national and international levels, and enhance comparability across sectors and across countries, greater standardisation of measurement approaches will be needed, with increased links to national accounting frameworks (OECD, 2020[25]).

In addition to these ocean-based economic activities, the marine environment itself brings many benefits. The two are interdependent in that much activity associated with ocean-based industry is derived from marine ecosystems (via the goods and services they provide), while most ocean-based industrial activity impacts marine ecosystems (OECD, 2016[4]).

Marine ecosystems provide invaluable life support functions. Most of these values are not reflected in market prices however, which leads to significant negative externalities. Integrating the environmental pillar into sustainability requires that these inherent values are reflected in decision-making processes. This involves understanding the total economic value provided by ecosystems (i.e. direct and indirect use values and non-use values) and taking these into account in cost-benefit analysis.

According to the OECD definition that was developed for statistical measurement purposes, the ocean economy is the sum of the economic activities of ocean-based industries plus the assets, goods and services provided by marine ecosystems (OECD, 2016[4]). This definition encompasses all natural assets and ecosystem services that the ocean provides such as habitat provisioning and CO2 absorption. An example is coral reefs. They provide shelter and habitat for fish nurseries and unique genetic resources, while at the same time providing recreational value for maritime tourism.

At the international level, progress is being made to develop natural capital accounting frameworks, including for marine ecosystem services, within the System of National Accounts (SNA). The System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) was adopted as an international standard in 2012. The SEEA extends the SNA accounting framework to include environmental issues that are biophysical in nature. The SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting framework, developed more recently, goes further and describes how to account for ecosystem assets and their provisioning, regulatory and cultural services in both physical and monetary terms. While earlier work focused more heavily on terrestrial ecosystems, progress now is being made on including marine ecosystems (OECD, 2019[26]). The Changing Wealth of Nations 2020 covers new assets including the ocean (fisheries, mangroves and coral reef) for example (World Bank, 2020[27]).

Sustainable development intersects and conveys the often conflicting objectives of economic and social development and of environmental protection (OECD, 2019[28]). The social dimension of sustainable development encompasses many factors, among them poverty alleviation, food security, inclusive growth and intergenerational equity.

The ocean economy is an integral part of the social fabric of much of the world’s people, particularly in developing countries. Subsistence fishery not only provides some coastal populations with food. It also contributes to cultural and societal cohesion. The ocean economy also is a key contributor to alleviating poverty and food security: seafood is the primary source of animal protein in the diets of approximately 1 billion people, mostly in developing countries (OECD/FAO, 2019[29]).

Major challenges remain, particularly for vulnerable communities, in terms of inclusive growth (i.e. economic growth that is distributed fairly across society and creates opportunities for all), unequal access to marine resources, and the impacts of pollution on some populations. The intergenerational effects are also important, as monitoring the stocks and trends of existing marine resources is not only crucial for today’s generations but constitutes a step towards understanding their prospects for the future well-being of the next generations. Beyond GDP growth, the well-being that may be derived from the ocean economy is also not yet well defined or measured.

A sustainable ocean economy will only be achieved, in principle, when the three constitutive economic, environmental and social dimensions are well understood, with robust evidence such as:

  • Statistical measurement of industries and ecosystems services,

  • Adequate environmental impact assessments of economic activities,

  • And social well-being indicators.

Institutional and governance mechanisms can contribute to empowering people and moving towards more inclusiveness and equality (OECD, 2019[30]). The three dimensions of a sustainable ocean economy can then be mutually reinforcing, when a policy coherence framework, and its control and enforcement measures, such as regulations and economic instruments (e.g. taxes), are actually in place.


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Although there is no established convention designating countries as either developed or developing, but the most widely used classification is based on income groups of low to high-income countries and on other structural elements. This report focuses on countries below the high- income threshold, which broadly corresponds to those that are eligible to receive development assistance (ODA). Its findings pertain to specific country groupings within this set of diverse countries such as least developed countries and small island developing states. The definitions underlying these classifications are briefly explained below.

Classification by income groups: The World Bank classifies countries into four income groups based on their gross national income (GNI) per capita in current USD. Currently, the breakdown is high (80 countries), upper middle (60 countries), lower middle (47 countries) and low income (31 countries), (World Bank, 2020[31]).

Least developed countries (LDC) category: The United Nations (UN) General Assembly officially established the LDC category in 1971 to identify countries with serious structural impediments to development beyond those suggested by GNI alone. LDCs currently comprise 47 low-income and lower middle-income countries that are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks. They are home to about 880 million people, 12% of the world population, but account for less than 2% of world gross domestic product (GDP) and about 1% of world trade. The Committee for Development Policy, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council, is mandated to review the countries categorised as LDCs every three years and monitor their progress after they graduate out of the category.

Eligibility to official development assistance (ODA): Least developed countries and all other low and middle-income countries, based on GNI per capita (atlas method) as published by the World Bank, are eligible to access international support such as grants and concessional loans, with the exception of Group of Eight members and members of the European Union. The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) maintains the List of ODA Recipients, which is updated every three years. To graduate from the DAC list, a country must exceed the high-income threshold set by the World Bank for three consecutive years. A country can therefore be classified as high income, yet still be eligible to receive ODA (OECD, 2019[32]).

Small island developing states: A number of lists exist of small island developing states (SIDS), among them lists established by the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) comprising 52 SIDS, of which 38 are UN member states); the Alliance of Small Island States, comprising 39 SIDS; and the UN Conference on Trade and Development, comprising 29 SIDS. The World Bank Group defines small states as countries that have a population of 1.5 million or less or are members of the World Bank Group Small States Forum. Currently, 50 small landlocked and coastal states fit this definition, including 27 of the 35 ODA-eligible SIDS considered in this report. Given that a main theme of this report is the role of development co-operation, it focuses on the 34 small island developing states that are currently ODA-eligible, which comprise: 9 LDCs, 5 lower middle-income countries and 20 upper middle-income countries.

List of countries and territories by income groupings: The World Bank uses four income groupings: low, lower middle, upper middle and high income. Income is measured as GNI per capita, in USD converted from local currency. Following is the current World Bank (2020[31]) list by income:

  • Low-income economies (USD 1 025 or less) : Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Yemen.

  • Lower-middle income economies (USD 1 026 to USD 3 995): Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Kingdom of Eswatini, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, West Bank and Gaza Strip, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

  • Upper-middle-income economies (USD 3 996 to USD 12 375): Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ecuador, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, Republic of North Macedonia, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Serbia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

  • High-income economies (USD 12 376 and more) Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cayman Islands, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, Chile, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus2, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guam, Hong Kong, China, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, China, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, Sweden, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and United States Virgin Islands.

  • ODA-eligible SIDS by income group and by region are shown in Figure 1.A.1.


← 1. For the definition of developing countries, see Annex 1.A.

← 2. Note by Turkey: The information in this document with reference to “Cyprus” relates to the southern part of the Island. There is no single authority representing both Turkish and Greek Cypriot people on the Island. Turkey recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Until a lasting and equitable solution is found within the context of United Nations, Turkey shall preserve its position concerning the “Cyprus” issue.

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