GFCR COP15 Engagement
Despite on-going efforts, biodiversity continues to deteriorate worldwide. According to WWF’s 2022 Living Planet Report, wildlife declined by a massive 69% between 1970 and 2018. Of all species assessed, corals have been identified as the fastest declining species at least twice. This decade is critical to scale transformative action to preserve our natural world and our last chance for a turning point in favour of coral reef survival.
Soon the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will convene representatives of 196 governments and delegates from a wide range of stakeholders including the business and finance communities, civil society organisations, scientists and academics, indigenous peoples and local communities, and youth representatives for a once-in-a-decade opportunity to secure a transformative global plan to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. The anticipated post-2020 global biodiversity framework will emphasise broad-based action to transform society’s relationship with biodiversity toward the aim of living in harmony with nature by 2050.
The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR), now the largest blended finance mechanism dedicated to the ocean, is designed as an implementation and resource mobilisation mechanism aligned to the post-2020 framework targets. By supporting bankable solutions, financial mechanisms and transformative nature-positive economic transition, the GFCR delivers impact across the framework’s action-oriented targets, expanding restoration and active ecosystem management, addressing local degradation drivers such as pollution, contributing to adaptation efforts, as well as enabling transitions to resilient nature-positive economies and financial flows.
Prominently, the GFCR supports draft Target 3 which aims to ensure that at least 30% of sea areas globally are effectively conserved and equitably managed. With widespread agreement from the scientific community that marine protected areas (MPAs) offer one of the most effective measures to protect life under water and the overall health of our ocean, the GFCR supports Target 3 by delivering tools and mechanisms to diversify and ensure sustainability of MPA funding flows.
The GFCR Coalition representatives will engage at COP15 events and throughout discussions to:
◦ Mobilise state governments, philanthropies and private sector actors to join forces to achieve the post-2020 global biodiversity framework coral reef-related targets;
◦ Emphasise 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;
◦ Increase technical capacity, access and collaboration on coral reef solutions; and
◦ Demonstrate GFCR’s portfolio of blended finance programmes, including bankable solutions and financial models delivering finance and implementation aligned to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework targets.
As part of this effort, an Open Letter Calling for Urgent Coral Reef Action Addressed to Leaders and Policy-Makers was published ahead of the COP15 convening by the global alliance of GFCR, the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), and the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP). Additional COP15 engagements are outlined below.
Meeting the targets of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework requires urgent action and funding to protect and restore critical ecosystems, especially coral reefs.
Led by global coral reef experts, this interactive COP15 session will showcase 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 will include a panel discussion, and a round of dialogue with the audience to offer insight from a unified coral community ready to act and implement the Post-2020 GBF.
Date and time: December 13, 12:00 – 13:00 (GMT-5)
Event location: The Nature-Positive Pavilion, COP15, Montreal
The very successful Reef Action Hub at the UN Ocean Conference 2022 demonstrated a viable model for ensuring the spotlight for coral reefs during global forums and elevating the leadership presence at coral events. Thus, the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and GFCR will reconvene 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 will strengthen connections within the coral reef community, highlight the importance of coral reefs during the CBD negotiations on the post-2020 framework, and announce new pledges to achieve nature-positive outcomes for coral reefs by 2030. Key implementing partners for coral reefs of the post-2020 framework will be present at the event to showcase their work #ForCoral through displays of resources and will be available to discuss various implementation mechanisms. For more information, please see: https://icriforum.org/events/icri-cbd-cop15-event/
COP15 will include a dedicated full-day event on Finance and Biodiversity. This will provide 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 will include plenary and break-out sessions with 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 Breakout Session 3: Developing nature-positive pathways to align financial flows, the GFCR will be featured as an example initiative enabling pathways for private sector investment aligned to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Discussion will further explore synergies between climate action and nature action, and reflect upon how experience from “net zero” climate pathways may provide a basis for developing “nature positive” pathways for mainstreaming of biodiversity, financial flows alignment, and resources mobilization.
More information can be found here: https://www.cbd.int/article/cop15-finance-and-biodiversity-day
Warm water shallow coral reefs are the first globally essential ecosystem – for people and oceans – whose very existence is imminently threatened by a combination of climate change, ocean acidification, coastal development, and a broad range of other local pressures. Innovative finance is essential to scale conservation solutions, reduce local and regional drivers of degradation, and support nature-positive economic transitions.
Leading global experts will convene during this session 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 will be discussed.
Date and time: December 15, 12:00 – 13:30 (GMT-5)
Event location: Le Westin Montréal
RSVP link: https://forms.gle/MR9iNNBngd6zxTvB7
This event will explore the challenges and opportunities to move from knowledge to action in marine and coastal ecosystems in the context of the post-2020 Framework. It will bring together high level speakers from government, science, industry, and philanthropy to explore the data, infrastructure and knowledge needs of different user groups to inform policy and decision making and showcase global solutions for conserving and restoring marine biodiversity in a changing climate. The Global Fund for Coral Reefs will be featured as an endorsed initiative of the UN Ocean Decade, positioned to scale finance and implementation in alignment with the post-2020 Framework. For more information, including programme outline please visit the event page, here.
Date and time: December 15, 8:30 – 13:00 (GMT-5)
Event location: Rio Conventions Pavilion
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 globalfundcoralreefs.org and join our coral reef action communities on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.