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Coral reefs, supporting an estimated one billion people, are among Earth’s most endangered ecosystems. It is estimated that more than half of the world’s coral reefs have disappeared as a result of climate change and increasing anthropogenic pressures. With an aim to deploy $625 million over the next decade, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs is the first blended finance instrument developed to close the coral reef funding gap and the first UN fund dedicated to Sustainable Development Goal 14, ‘Life Below Water’. 

The 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) takes place in Glasgow from October 31 through November 12, 2021. Join the Global Fund for Coral Reefs during COP26 as we mobilize action for SDG14, showcase the power of blended finance in the effort to secure global net zero and launch announcements for the protection of marine biodiversity’s last strongholds. During the forum, the Fund will demonstrate how innovative finance is necessary to scale adaptation interventions for vulnerable communities and natural habitats. By linking ambitions and aligning with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework mandates for nature-based solutions, GFCR provides a crucial opportunity to showcase how ‘Ocean Action is Climate Action’. 

Key Global Fund for Coral Reefs Events & Features During COP26

  • NOV 1, 10:30-11:45 GMT: Ocean & Finance: Blue Economy for Ocean Health

Location: Virtual Ocean Pavilion 

Join this event:

Ocean-positive blue economy, unlocked by blended finance mechanisms, is increasingly attracting investors, insurers, banks, and policymakers as an immense source of prosperity and climate action. The event will showcase how the finance and investment community has a strong role to play in driving mitigation and adaptation interventions for vulnerable communities and natural marine habitats. Panellists will share ideas on how to increase the share of climate finance for ocean-based mitigation and adaptation strategies, including by implementing appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks. The GFCR will be featured as a demonstrative model for reef-positive investment.

  • NOV 3, 8:00-9:30 GMT: Closing the Funding Gap – Innovations for Investing in Nature-based Solutions in Coral Reef Conservation

Location: WWF Pavilion & Virtual

Join this event: 

Join GFCR at CRRI’s event at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)! This event will make the case for the urgency of investing in nature-based solutions for coral reef conservation and community resilience through the CRRI’s work in reefs with the strongest regeneration capacity, in the face of escalating climate change impacts. With Keynote Address by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Hon. Josaia V. Bainimarama.

  • NOV 3, 14:30-15:30 GMT: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation through Coastal Ecosystems Conservation and Restoration 

Location: European Union Pavilion and virtual

Join this event:

Science has identified a portfolio of coral reefs that can be managed to survive climate change. GFCR partners and leading experts will discuss how a holistic approach is needed to restore the health of the coastal ecosystems that provide ecosystem services to millions of people. The 30×30 initiative is a valuable addition to a climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy as it offers an opportunity to address the major threats to coastal ecosystems, thus reducing stresses allowing them to better survive climate change

  • NOV 4, 10.30-12.30 GMT: New Public – Private Financial Mechanism Cooperation for Climate Action

Location: EY Pavilion

Format: In-Person (Blue Zone)

This event is organized under the Ernst & Young Pavilion and is dedicated to the discussion on how to use novel financing models with significant paradigm-shifting potential and considerable scope for replication across climate mitigation and adaptation.  The event will feature two demonstrative examples of such blended finance vehicles which are supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF): 1) Subnational Climate Fund Initiative (SCF Global) and 2) Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR). The panelists will discuss specificities of these funds and opportunities for replication and scaling up. 

  • NOV 4, 15:00-16:30 GMT: Corals and Climate Change; Addressing Threats through Global, National, and Local Approaches

Location: Commonwealth Pavilion

Join this event:

The event will highlight the importance of coral reefs and the impact that joint threats of climate change and unsustainable human activity are having on reefs, the local communities that depend on them, and by extension, the global population. It will deliver the message, at this key juncture for the future of humanity, that ambitious action to stop and reverse climate change is of vital importance. Leading solutions, including the Global Fund for Coral Reefs will be highlighted. A short video showing how GFCR’s supported programme in Fiji is improving local collaboration, waste management and chemical run off to deliver positive changes to local coral reefs.

The event will be opened by an address by Ambassador Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, and will feature a variety of speakers including David Souter, Chief Research Officer at the Australian Institute of Marine Science; Amanda Ellis, Executive Director, Asia Pacific, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation at Arizona State University; Dr David Obura, a Founding Director of Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa; and Sam Teicher, Co-founder and Chief Reef Officer at CoralVita, 2021 Earthshot Prize winners. See overleaf for full running order and details.

  • NOV 5, 12:00-12:15 GMT: COPTV GFCR Session

Location: COPTV, available via the UNFCCC webcast and the High Level Champions channel

GFCR will be featured on the High-Level Climate Champions’ COPTV slot through an interview with representatives of the GFCR Investment and Grant Windows, represented by the CEO of Pegasus Capital Advisors and UNCDF’s Executive Secretary respectively.

  • NOV 5, 14:30-17:30 GMT:  Ocean Action Day Ocean Solutions for a Resilient, Net-Zero, Equitable, and Nature-Positive Future

Format: In-Person (Blue Zone)

The ocean is at the crossroads of all the major challenges facing humanity today – climate change, biodiversity loss, energy transition, food security and health issues – and is one of the cornerstones of the sustainable and equitable world we must build.

This high-level Event will showcase existing actions and strategies implemented by key stakeholders (e.g. governments, local communities, private sector entities, NGOs, and scientists) to scale-up sustainable ocean-based climate solutions for a resilient, net-zero, equitable, and nature-positive future. The Global Fund for Coral Reefs will be highlighted as an innovative mechanism for ocean action and the Fund’s Investment Window Manager will provide a GFCR overview during the high-level pitch session, focused on de-risking and unlocking reef-positive finance.   

  • NOV 6, 11:00-12:30 GMT: GFCR Event

Location: GCF Pavilion 

Pavilion Site:

Livestream Link:

This high-level GFCR event will showcase the power of blended finance to catalyze reef-positive investment and climate adaptation solutions for developing countries. The panel discussion will focus on the mechanism of the Fund, how private sector finance is de-risked and unlocked, the priority ecosystems identified and the investment pipeline. 

The event will be opened by an address by Ambassador Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, and will feature a variety of speakers including Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, Yannick Glemarec; Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary, UNCDF; Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Elizabeth Maruma Mrema; GFCR’s Executive Board Chair, Chuck Cooper, Managing Director of Policy and Government Relations at Vulcan, representing the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation; Shenique Albury-Smith, The Bahamas Program Director for the Nature Conservancy; and Green Climate Fund’s Private Sector Facility Director, Henry Gonzales. 

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