Three Oceans

To increase regional integration in France’s overseas territories and offer a global solution to cross-border issues, AFD adopted the Three Oceans strategy in 2019. This approach groups together overseas territories and neighboring foreign states in three geographical basins: Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific. The strategy aims to more effectively address the common challenges in these areas.
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Fatu Hiva hydroelectric plant, French Polynesia
AFD AND THREE OCEANS: GUIDING THE OVERSEAS TERRITORIES TOWARD A REGIONAL, OCEAN-CENTERED FUTURE
Fatu Hiva hydroelectric plant, French Polynesia

The Three Oceans strategy

table du diable, Martinique, Three Oceans

THE THREE OCEANS STRATEGY

Because the overseas territories serve as gateways between France and the rest of the world, in 2019 AFD adopted a new strategy, called Three Oceans, to promote their integration into the regional basin. With this new approach, AFD supports cooperative projects with neighboring countries in overseas regions.

Its aims include facilitating an inclusive approach for economic and social convergence between the overseas territories and mainland France, international solidarity to support the development of those territories’ neighboring countries, and a response to shared challenges.

AFD has several assets to help it succeed in such a diverse context, namely strong roots in both France’s overseas territories and their neighboring states, and a strong ability to encourage financial flows between stakeholders, both French and international.

We are also active in the countries and territories in these basins:

Strengthening regional cooperation

Beauséjour, aerial view, Three Oceans

STRENGTHENING REGIONAL COOPERATION

The regional Three Oceans approach is designed to offer a global response to cross-border issues (such as health crises, migratory phenomena, waste management, and security threats) and those common to the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Pacific basins (such as land use planning, higher education, vocational training, and health issues). In health issues, for example, we support the regional monitoring networks in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions and health cooperation between Guyana and Suriname.

By decompartmentalizing concerns and activities shared by the Three Oceans countries and overseas territories, regional action enables AFD to support overseas and foreign companies in promising industries, such as ecotourism on the Indian Ocean islands. It also showcases French expertise in innovation, for example in the sectors of infrastructure construction and renewable energy.

Contributing to economic and social development

Three Oceans

Contributing to economic and social development

With the Three Oceans strategy, AFD is acting to support economic and social development and the well-being of the people who live in these regions. The Group is committed to strengthening social ties between populations and regions in all its initiatives, in keeping with the “100% social ties” commitment in its Strategy. Above all, it strives to foster more dialog with local stakeholders and civil society in order to better meet their needs.

In France’s overseas territories and their neighboring states, fighting inequality remains a priority. AFD Group has a special focus on the most fragile populations (women, young people, underprivileged communities) and on social and economic disparities within the territories and greater basins. Gender equality is an essential component of regional economic and social development. 

Making the Three Oceans “100% Paris Agreement” regions

The Scattered Islands, Mayotte, biodiversity protection, Three Oceans

Making the Three Oceans “100% Paris Agreement” regions

When it comes to climate and natural risks, eroding biodiversity related to human activities, and other threats, France’s overseas territories and their neighbors are especially exposed. They must preserve their ecosystems while reducing their vulnerability.

AFD particularly emphasizes the resiliency of people and territories in response to natural disasters, working on prevention and insurance initiatives to this end. In Saint-Martin, an island that was devastated by Hurricane Irma, AFD is working to reduce the factors of vulnerability.

To fight climate change, AFD promotes regional development through adaptation by residents, the preservation of ecosystems, and low-carbon growth. Alongside the European Commission, we participate in the Pacific initiative to protect biodiversity in small island states and territories and help them adapt to unpredictable climate conditions.

France’s overseas territories give it the second-largest maritime domain in the world... and the responsibility to protect and sustainably draw upon these marine ecosystems. AFD intends to position itself on the cutting edge of protecting and safely utilizing marine biodiversity. In partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the KfW, AFD contributes to the Clean Oceans initiative to eliminate ocean pollution.
 

Launching more partnership initiatives

Reforestation, Dominican Republic, Plan Sierra, Three Oceans

Launching more partnership initiatives

Acting in conjunction with partners allows AFD to enrich the design of its projects, boost its results and impact, and encourage innovation and expertise sharing between peers.

In the Three Oceans, AFD Group is stepping up its collaboration with regional and national institutions and organizations in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Pacific basins. Regional organizations like the Indian Ocean Commission, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in the Atlantic, or the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in the Pacific, as well as local governments and civil society organizations, are all front-line partners for AFD-funded projects.

As a central player in the overseas territories and Three Oceans countries, the European Union is also one of our key partners. 

1.6bn
billion euros committed in the Three Oceans region in 2018
255
projects funded in 2018

Located in three oceans and on four continents, France’s overseas territories give it a reach that extends far beyond its mainland borders and a unique global presence. Alongside their neighbors, these territories are suffering from the effects of climate change and the unique challenges of small, isolated island economies.

In 2019, to effectively meet the specific needs of these territories and help them integrate into their regional basin, AFD adopted the Three Oceans strategy, in which the overseas territories form a bridge between France and their neighbors. With its unique, longstanding presence in these territories, AFD Group has the ambition of supporting their plans for sustainable development and helping strengthen their ties with their neighbors.

To develop concerted regional approaches in each of the oceanic basins where the overseas territories are located, the AFD Group network is organized into three regional divisions: Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean. Each covers the overseas territories and countries within its regional basin. With this approach, AFD enhances the convergence of its overseas and international initiatives. It focuses its efforts on economic and social development and addressing common challenges (fighting climate change and inequalities).

In 2018, AFD funded 255 projects for a total of €1.7 billion, corresponding to 15% of the Group’s total commitments in 2018.

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