How we work
The GFCR acts as an investment vehicle to fund innovative business models that increase the resilience of coral reefs and the communities that depend on them.
The GFCR is designed as a 10-year $500 million blended finance vehicle with two windows working under the same Theory of Change and a common investment plan.
The grant window serves to incubate a pipeline of investible projects that generate positive environmental, social and economic impact. Grant capital is effectively sequenced to build local capacity and de-risk the private sector role in the burgeoning blue economy sector. Grants help to lay the foundation of an enabling environment for sustainable finance coral reef conservation initiatives by funding technical assistance, capacity development, emergency grants, and monitoring and evaluation.
The investment window, managed by BNP Paribas and supported by blue economy expertise from Althelia Funds (Mirova/Natixis), provides investment capital to scale initiatives and maximise the impact of projects incubated by the grant window. Guarantees and concessional loans from the GCF, multilateral development banks and other sources are being mobilised to further de-risk investments in the unfamiliar markets of the blue economy and attract private investor capital.
The blended approach of the Fund creates efficiencies of scale, reduces dependence on limited and short-term grant funding, accelerates the investment readiness of projects, reduces commercial and environmental-social-governance risk through a diversified portfolio and works to establish local entities for improved representation and participation of local stakeholders.
Business Models to Save Coral Reefs
The GFCR invests in revenue-generating initiatives that address multiple and parallel drivers of degradation. By supporting integrated solutions in targeted focal areas, the GFCR strengthens the resilience of both biodiversity and local communities.
The GFCR is supported by the Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA), which is developing an investment plan for the fund. The investment plan will provide practical approaches for transforming sustainable livelihoods while aligning conservation and sustainable finance goals for coral reef ecosystem conservation, recovery, and resilience. The investment plan will specify geographic priorities, an initial implementation plan to launch the fund’s activities, and a portfolio of specific “coral reef-positive” business models and financial instruments.
Official launch of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs
The official GFCR launch showcased the innovative coalition and blended finance instrument, both of which were designed to address the underfinanced and underrepresented SDG 14, ‘Life Below Water.’