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School of Business and Management

Caterina Rossi

 Caterina Rossi


Project title

Diving into the Blue – Conservation Finance and Ocean Governance Restructuring in Belize

Project description

The project aims to assess the governance and financial tools of the so-called ‘blue economy’ by examining Belize’s recent $364 million ‘debt for nature’ swap and associated ocean conservation programmes. The blue economy redefines oceans as new frontiers for economic growth available to a political-financial ecosystem of governments, NGOs, and financial institutions promoting sustainable finance for marine protection and socio-economic development. The dominant discourse frames finance as key in addressing socio-environmental issues. This optimistic narrative however potentially downplays the uneven distribution of benefits and potential harms to people, democracy, and the environment itself of these new instruments and partnerships. Drawing together accounts from the critical scholarship and adopting a case study approach of Belize’s programme, I will provide a fine-grained analysis of (1) the novel blue political-financial architecture that informs and enhance the development of debt-fuelled chains in the name of conservation; (2) the financial instruments through which those interactions, and parameters, are concretely implemented; I will also (3) empirically and normatively assess their political, social and distributional consequences, attempting to provide policy recommendations to achieve a more transparent, just and inclusive ocean economy.


1st Supervisor: Liam Campling
2nd Supervisor:  Isadora Cruxen


I am currently a first year PhD student and I have a background in Philosophy (BA - Universita’ degli Studi di Bologna, Merit) and I hold a Master’s degree in Global Political Economy from the University of Sussex (Distinction). I also completed the school in Public Finance from LSE (2019). After graduating in 2019, I have worked as a Quantitative and Qualitative Researcher (YouGov, etc.) and I have volunteered as Project Coordinator and Consultant in International Development Organisations and Charities. I have also written articles concerning human rights and financial justice published several platforms.

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