Blue Peace Financing: transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals government efforts do not suffice, additional private capital deployed towards sustainable development are needed. Blue Peace advocates for investments to be re-directed to two levels: transboundary entities and to municipalities. This will have a transformative impact. As a door opener, Switzerland through its partnership with UNCDF contributes to the development of innovative financial products that enable transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments leading to sustainable development and peace.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security

Financial policy
Water diplomacy and security
Water sector policy
Agricultural water resources
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
01.10.2018 - 31.07.2024
CHF  9’832’000
Background Blue Peace is about transboundary cooperation on water leading to stability and peaceful societies. It allows for using water to trigger cooperation in other fields and forms. It does this through focusing on countries within river basins and twinning municipalities leading to multisector and transboundary agreements on how to peacefully and sustainably manage water. This is more relevant than ever at a time when population growth and mobility, rapid urbanization and industrial expansion are putting more and more pressure on water supplies. This pressure is growing even faster due to the rising impact of climate change. Switzerland as a responsible upstream country will contribute with its technical know-how, finance and insurance expertise.
Objectives Enhance sustainable economic development and peaceful societies by creating new and additional ways to access financial capital at transboundary and municipal level based on joint integrated multisectoral investment plans
Target groups

Secondary beneficiaries: Transboundary water organizations and municipalities; private financial sector (global and domestic private sector); countries / governments, citizens (incl. women and young people), academic sector, civil society.

Primary beneficiaries: people living in the river basins and municipal environment, especially poor and vulnerable men and women, boys and girls.

Medium-term outcomes
  • Increased ability of transboundary entities and municipalities to address key regional and local sustainable development challenges through access to sustainable sources of capital financing;
  • Strengthened legal and financial capacity of transboundary entities and municipalities to manage access to capital sustainably in the long-term;
  • Shared benefits based on joint multisectoral investment plans owned by the countries at basin level or by municipalities in a transboundary twinning partnership;
  • Innovative approaches to measure sustainable development and peace impact analysed and identified;
  • Increased ownership and legitimacy through inclusive policy dialogue

Expected results:  

  • Technical assistance for new financial products / instruments (e.g. issuance of Blue Peace Bonds);
  • A multi-sectoral and transboundary joint investment plans at basin level;
  • A twinning partnership, including financial agreements, between municipalities (e.g. a municipality from the North and the South);
  • Legal  and Financial Knowledge Transfer;
  • Analytical study on impact measurement instruments and approaches for Blue Peace;
  • Regular inclusive Policy Dialogue, including on supporting the enabling environment through a Coalition of Leaders and set-up of a Blue Peace Trust.

Results from previous phases:  

  • A broad stakeholder mapping clarified the actors landscape;
  • Two demonstration projects have been identified in Africa with the objective to attract and promote capital to non-sovereign entities which look at water as the entry point for investments, but include areas such as migration and consequences of migration, food security/agriculture, health and the environment;
  • Thorough consultations at the political level, including with the involvement of Embassies and other partners took place and have informed the decision;
  • With the Blue Peace Bond an appropriate financial instrument has been identified, while not excluding other additional instruments and approaches;
  • the 9 months of the opening phase have clearly shown the added value of Switzerland as a convener; Switzerland’s global, regional and local presence and access to political dialogue, Swiss neutrality and reputation;
  • a coalition of countries has been launched fostering ownership and legitimacy of the Blue Peace Financing Initiative;
  • A trusted multilateral institution has been identified as partner;
  • A Swiss advisory firm has won the competitive tender for strategic advice and support.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Swiss Private Sector
  • United Nations Capital Developoment Fund

Other partners
Geneva Water Hub, Earth Security Partnerships, interest from development banks expressed recently, bilaterals
Coordination with other projects and actors Strategic Foresight Group, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Blue Peace Index Project, Global Blue Peace and Regional Blue Peace Initiatives; UNECE Transboundary Water Convention, UNESCO, IUCN, multilateral development banks, foundations, such as Rockefeller Foundation etc.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’832’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    8’224’948 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   195’000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   25’832’000
Project phases Phase 99 01.07.2024 - 31.12.2029   (Active) Phase 1 01.10.2018 - 31.07.2024   (Current phase)