GFCR’s Executive Board Approves Programmes for The Bahamas, Kenya, Tanzania & Papua New Guinea
New York, 13 October 2021 – On the sidelines of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, members of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) Executive Board convened to review progress, objectives and programming development since the Fund’s launch one year ago. The outcomes of this third Executive Board meeting resulted in the approval of Grant Window funding for programmes in The Bahamas, Papua New Guinea, and a regional transboundary initiative for Kenya and Tanzania. Further, the Board approved a concept note for a Solomon Islands programme and endorsed the GFCR’s Grant Window to move forward with the development of a programme pipeline for 12 additional countries.
- The Bahamas: The Bahamas Reefs Programme, led by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), will facilitate investment in projects and businesses that promote healthier, more resilient coral reefs and surrounding communities. By implementing a range of interventions, including coral restoration and innovative finance mechanisms like coral reef insurance and blue carbon and resilience credits, the programme aims to ensure ongoing, reliable funding for Bahamian coral reef conservation for generations to come.
- Papua New Guinea: An innovative country programme for Papua New Guinea led by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will establish a Blue Economy Enterprise Incubation Facility to provide starting capital and technical assistance for local reef-positive enterprise development with an emphasis on women-led initiatives. The provision of targeted technical assistance, early-stage finance and risk guarantees will support local resilience and unlock private capital by demonstrating the viability of reef-first business models.
- Kenya and Tanzania: The Fund’s first regional programme, led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), will incentivize transboundary collaboration and support the development of new reef-positive business opportunities and community income streams. The initial two-year phase of the Miamba Yetu: Sustainable Reef Investments programme will include the establishment of a Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Facility and a community-oriented start-up incubator (“Venture Studio”).
- Solomon Islands: The GFCR is working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and their Coral Reef Rescue Initiative (CRRI) to identify and develop reef-positive market solutions to restore and protect the critical adaptation and livelihood benefits provided by coral reefs in the Solomons Islands. This includes screening and incubating pipelines of projects and businesses in the areas of waste management, agroforestry, aquaculture, etc. Initiatives will aim to generate economic returns for business operators and investors while improving resilience for coastal ecosystems and communities.
The programme decisions signify the GFCR’s expanding portfolio of reef-positive initiatives that support social and economic stability. These advancements follow the recent decision from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board to approve an initial USD $125 million investment to the GFCR Investment Window, encouraging further public and private sector investment in sustainable ocean production, ecotourism, and infrastructure and waste management. Efforts to unlock private sector investment are critical to bridge the coral reef funding gap and propel blue recovery.
Since the GFCR’s previous Executive Board meeting, the Fund has welcomed the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of France and the GCF to its expanding public-private coalition of partners, which also includes the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Prince Albert II Monaco Foundation, Government of Germany, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).