Please rotate your device

GFCR COP15 Engagement

The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) convened representatives of 196 governments and delegates from a wide range of stakeholders including the business and finance communities, civil society organizations, scientists and academics, indigenous peoples and local communities, and youth representatives resulting in a transformative global plan to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. The new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) emphasises broad-based action to transform society’s relationship with biodiversity toward the aim of living in harmony with nature. 

With COP15 concluded and the GBF adopted, the GFCR Coalition recognises the key responsibility it now has, particularly as several priority targets directly align to GFCR’s mandate and blended finance approach, including:

  • Effective conservation and management of at least 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans;
  • Restoration of at least 30% of degraded ecosystems, including coastal and marine ecosystems;
  • Reducing loss of areas of high biodiversity importance, including ecosystems of high ecological integrity;
  • Reducing excess nutrients and risk posed by pesticides and hazardous chemicals;
  • Mobilising $200 billion per year from all funding sources – public and private; and
  • Raising international financial flows from developed to developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDS, to $30 billion per year by 2030.

In addition, a key Joint Donors Statement published on 16 December highlighted and encouraged investments in biodiversity by the private sector through blended finance mechanisms, including GFCR, and other approaches to leverage international public finance to generate private finance to ambitious GBF (see additional details below).

In the lead up to and throughout COP15 representatives of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) presented the investment-ready blended finance vehicle as an implementation and resource mobilisation mechanism designed to deliver on GBF targets. By supporting bankable solutions, financial mechanisms and transformative nature-positive economic transition, the GFCR is positioned to accelerate impact and financial flows across the framework’s priority actions, expanding restoration and active ecosystem management, addressing local degradation drivers such as pollution, contributing to adaptation efforts, enabling transitions to resilient nature-positive economies, and unlocking finance to ensure at least 30% of sea areas globally are effectively conserved and equitably managed.  

The GFCR Coalition representatives engaged throughout COP15 events, meetings and dialogues: 

  • Mobilising state governments, philanthropies and private sector actors to join forces to achieve the post-2020 global biodiversity framework coral reef-related targets;
  • Emphasising coral reef action needs, especially the urgent need for increased investment to ensure conservation, protection, and restoration commensurate with the value of coral reefs to people and the world economy (See also Open Letter Calling for Urgent Coral Reef Action Addressed to Leaders and Policy-Makers); 
  • Promoting increased collaboration and delivering tools for increased access to coral reef solutions; and  
  • Demonstrating GFCR’s portfolio of blended finance approach and programmes models.

Photographs of engagements and events can be found here. Additional outcomes and activities include:    

1. Joint Donor Statement on International Finance for Biodiversity and Nature

On 16 December the Joint Donor Statement on International Finance for Biodiversity and Nature provided a commitment by 13 countries and the European Union to collectively increase international biodiversity finance and align relevant international development flows, commensurate with ambition of the GBF. Pertinently, the countries commit to leveraging international public finance to mobilise private resources to implement an ambitious GBF. The statement further highlights and encourages investments in biodiversity by the private sector through the GFCR.  The statement is supported by Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Read the full 16 December Statement here

2. Presentation of GFCR on the COP15 Finance & Biodiversity Day  

Through the official COP15 Finance & Biodiversity Day agenda GFCR was presented as an investment-ready initiative among representatives from the breadth of the financial landscape – including policymakers and regulators, financial supervisors and central banks, public finance, and the various facets of private finance. Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) led the main stage presentation following an array of high-level speakers, including Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity; Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance; and Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).  

3. Bilateral and Multilateral Meetings  

Meetings between GFCR representatives and key marine biodiversity stakeholders, including global donors and key opinion leaders, took place throughout COP15. Bilateral meeting participants included representatives of the Governments of Australia and France, Bezos Earth Fund, LVMH, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Mitsubishi Financial Group, and the UNFCCC High-Level Climate Champions. GFCR Secretariat representatives further participated and relayed interventions in a consultative session focused on COP28 hosted by UAE’s Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change. Further, GFCR was presented in a nature finance roundtable hosted by UNCDF including representatives from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, DEFRA, BMZ, African Development Bank, World Bank, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Green Climate Fund and others. 

4. Launch of the REEF+ Knowledge & Finance Accelerator 

The GFCR REEF+ Accelerator will serve as a convening platform to drive finance and knowledge for bankable coral reef solutions globally. Developed by Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Ubuntoo, REEF+ showcases reef-positive solutions supported through GFCR blended finance programmes as well other replicable enterprises and finance solutions identified globally. Reef+, now in its first phase, already hosts a catalogue of 170 solutions and 60 knowledge posts, all with potential to scale and replicate for significant global impact. In subsequent phases, the digital platform will expand its database of enterprises, finance tools, and knowledge products, as well as integrate capacity building, impact tracking, and enhanced connectivity among investors, entrepreneurs, and practitioners. Read more about the new digital platform here.

5. Feature on the Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People 

The Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People is a voluntary commitment platform that aims to raise public awareness, building on the existing and growing momentum, of urgent action from a broad base of sub and non-state actors in support of the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. As a featured initiative, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs was consistently highlighted through the Action Agenda platform at the COP.

6. Co-Hosting & Presentation at COP15 Coral Reef Events  

Throughout COP15, GFCR was presented at events including the Achieving the Global Targets: How to Conserve and Restore Coral Reefs; United for a Decade of Conservation Action #ForCoral; Innovative Finance for Coral Reefs; and Making it meaningful: Advancing equitable ocean conservation through sustainable financing. During the high-level United for a Decade of Conservation Action #ForCoral event hosting ministers, dignitaries and key coral conservation actors, GFCR’s Executive Board Chair, Chuck Cooper, made a powerful speech relaying GFCR is “taking a blended finance approach; we know that official development assistance is not going to be enough to reduce the coral reef funding gap so we are taking an approach in which philanthropic dollars and governmental dollars are combining to incentivise private sector investment in coral reef conservation and restoration… the Global Fund for Coral Reefs is now the largest blended finance mechanism focused on the ocean.” He further stated, to the question of whether we raise the alarm and focus on “doom and gloom” or do we focus on “hope and optimism”, that “we have to focus on both, because that is the reality we face.” The Chair relayed focus on hope and optimism “has to be earned and the way that we do that is by mobilising resources, deploying resources and incentivising action – and that is what we are committed to do.” He finalised his remarks by announcing the GFCR is investment-ready and called on more donors and financiers to join the effort to save coral reefs and achieve GBF targets. 

Below please find a description of key event engagements:

Meeting the targets of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework requires urgent action and funding to protect and restore critical ecosystems, especially coral reefs.

On 14 December in the Nature-Positive Pavilion, a COP15 session led by global coral reef experts showcased pathways and best practices for achieving coral reef targets, including through increased protection, reduction of local degradation drivers, scaled restoration, knowledge sharing, policy, and sustainable finance. Following opening remarks, the event included a panel discussion, and a round of dialogue with the audience offering insight from a unified coral community ready to act and implement the Post-2020 GBF.

On 14 December the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and GFCR reconvened a joint event at the occasion of the CBD COP15 with financial support from Monaco and The G20 Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP) to unify the leadership voices for coral reefs. 

The event strengthened connections within the coral reef community and highlighted the importance of coral reefs during the CBD negotiations on the post-2020 framework. Key implementing partners of the post-2020 framework coral-related actions, including the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, were presented at the event to showcase their work for coral through displays of resources and will be available to discuss various implementation mechanisms.

COP15 included a dedicated full-day event on Finance and Biodiversity. This provided a unique opportunity for the global financial community to engage in discussion, share perspectives, and communicate on their action, achievements and commitments related to the integration of biodiversity within financial decision-making. The event included representatives from the breadth of the financial landscape – including policymakers and regulators, financial supervisors and central banks, public finance, and the various facets of private finance. 

In the Developing nature-positive pathways to align financial flows session, GFCR was featured as a vehicle enabling pathways for private sector investment aligned to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. More information and pictures of the event can be found here:

Innovative finance is essential to scale conservation solutions, reduce local and regional drivers of degradation, and support nature-positive economic transitions. On 15 December, leading global experts convened to present best-in-class financial vehicles and tools ready to scale global funding and implementation in alignment with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Financial innovations with greatest potential to accelerate coral reef restoration, protection, and reduction of local loss drivers, including the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, were presented and discussed.

About the Global Fund for Coral Reefs   

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) is the largest global blended finance vehicle dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water. The GFCR is designed to scale financial solutions and blue economic growth that bolsters the resilience of coral reefs and the communities that depend on them. GFCR blended finance programmes incubate and scale interventions that address local drivers of coral reef degradation, unlock conservation funding flows, and increase communities’ adaptive capacities. Supported solutions include waste treatment and recycling facilities, coral reef insurance, sustainable aquaculture and agriculture, ecotourism enterprises, blue carbon credits, and sustainably financed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).   

The GFCR Coalition partnership is driven by Member States, UN Agencies, financial institutions, philanthropies, impact investors and organizations. The GFCR Coalition includes the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation; Prince Albert II Monaco Foundation; the Governments of Germany, France, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom; the Green Climate Fund; Pegasus Capital Advisors; Builders Vision; Bloomberg Philanthropies; the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) and the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP).  
Dive deeper at and join our coral reef action communities onInstagram, Twitter,LinkedIn and YouTube.  

Get our latest insights delivered to your inbox.

Please enter a valid email address
Please indicate that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy
Thank you for subscribing