To mobilize action and resources for coral reef protection and restoration the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation—in partnership with the United Nations (UN)— initiated the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR). The initiative is the first UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for SDG 14, ‘Life Below Water’ and aims to support ambitions of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.


Corals in Crisis

Coral reefs which only cover 0.1% of the ocean floor and seabed, host 25% of marine biodiversity. Healthy coral reefs contribute directly to 13 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through entry points that include coral reef tourism, food security, shoreline protection, and human health and wellbeing. 

These critical marine ecosystems are undergoing rapid and remarkable transformation. In the past few decades, anthropogenic and climate pressures have been responsible for a loss of 25% to 50% of coral cover worldwide. Without urgent intervention by 2050, estimates predict that 75% of the world’s reefs will be at high, very high, or critical threat levels. The loss of coral reef ecosystems not only puts at risk one of the richest sources of biodiversity on our planet, but also the security and livelihoods of the over 500 million people that rely on them. 

The Conservation for Biodiversity High-Level Panel assessment estimated that the global investment required for coral reef protection is seven times greater than current funding levels. To close this “Coral Reef Funding Gap”, a global coalition of partners present the “Global Fund for Coral Reefs”, a blended finance instrument to catalyze the private sector role in the blue economy and coral reef conservation. Estimates indicate that coral reefs reefs account for $2.7 trillion per year in ecosystem service value. The GFCR will to tap into this economic potential to assist developing countries mobilize the resources they to save their coral reefs and empower their communities. 


The Global Fund for Coral Reefs

The GFCR was initiated by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and has since grown into a unique partnership comprising private philanthropy, UN agencies (i.e., UNDP, UNEP, UNCDF), Member States, BNP Paribas and Althelia Funds (Mirova/Natixis). The GFCR aims to prevent the extinction of coral reefs in our lifetime by reducing the coral reef financing gap and supporting sustainable interventions, giving reefs the best chance of survival while benefiting reef-dependent communities.  

The GFCR Theory of Change of consists of four (4) outcomes built around a protect, transform, recover and restore framework:

Outcome 1

Protection of priority coral reef sites and climate change-affected ‘refugia’

Outcome 2

Transformation of the livelihoods of coral reef-dependent communities

Outcome 3

Restoration of coral reefs through new technologies and adaptive approaches

Outcome 4

Recovery of coral reef-dependent communities in the face of major shocks (such as natural disasters, health crises, economic shocks)

The Fund is designed as a 10-year US$500M blended finance vehicle with two windows working under the same Theory of Change and a common Investment Plan:

A Grant Window for technical assistance, capacity development, monitoring and evaluation and emergency grants during crisis.

An Investment Window to provide investment capital to scale-up initiatives and amplify the impacts of projects incubated by the Grant Window. In addition to private investments, public investments will be mobilized to serve as guarantees and concessional loans to de-risk investments in the unfamiliar markets of the Blue Economy and attract private investor capital.

The GFCR aims to prevent the extinction of coral reefs in our lifetime by reducing the coral reef financing gap and supporting sustainable interventions, giving reefs the best chance of survival while benefiting reef-dependent communities.


Request for Information

The GFCR is presently seeking information on investable business models as well as potential sites through Request for Information surveys for Business Models and Site Selection. The two surveys as well as additional guidance can be found here: https://www.conservationfinancealliance.org/gfcr

Conservation Finance Alliance is also holding webinars for interested parties to learn more about Request for Information, please find webinar information here: https://www.conservationfinancealliance.org/gfcr-webinar 


Events!

Global Fund for Coral Reefs High-Level Event (September 16th)

A global coalition of partners officially launched the Global Fund for Coral Reefs on September 16th, 2020 with a high-level event. The Fund presented its ambition, funding approach and partnership between Member States, private philanthropy and financial institutions. The GFCR was honoured by the support of distinguished speakers which included H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Achim Steiner (UNDP Administrator) and Inger Andersen (UNEP Executive Director), Bill Hilf (CEO, Vulcan Inc.), Peter Thomson (United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean), Judith Karl (UNCDF Executive Secretary), Antoine Sire (Head of Company Engagement, BNP Paribas), Yannick Glemarec (GCF Executive Director), supportive Member States and other leaders in ocean conservation. The full event recording can be found below!

Nature for Life Hub Virtual Event, Business and Finance Day (September 25th)

The Nature for Life Hub – Business and Finance Day will explore challenges and opportunities for financing SMEs within the broad scope of nature-based solutions. Specific nature-based projects will be discussed that have been financed through pioneering risk-mitigating instruments. As part of Session 4 – Innovations in Private Finance for Nature’s Missing Middle panel discussion, Pierre Rousseau (Senior Strategic Advisor for Sustainable Business, BNP Paribas) will be providing insights on blue instruments via the Global Fund for Coral Reefs!

For more information or to receive the latest news about the Fund, please contact maxime.philip@undp.org