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Open Call: GFCR Advisory Board (Dec 20)


The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) was launched on the sidelines of the 75th UN General Assembly in September of 2020 by a coalition of private foundations, Member States, UN agencies and financial institutions with the ambition to mobilise USD $625 million for coral reef conservation over the next decade. The GFCR is the first UN fund dedicated to SDG 14, ‘Life Below Water’, and the only global blended finance instrument dedicated to coral reefs.  The GFCR leverages grants to incubate investable projects and unlock private sector investment in the blue economy to address local drivers of reef degradation and  recovery for local communities.  The Fund promotes a ‘protect-transform-restore-recover’ approach concentrated on reef ecosystems with the greatest chance of surviving climate change. Programming has already launched in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania and The Bahamas and, by early 2022, is expected to begin in the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Maldives.  

As a demonstration fund, the GFCR will amplify new funding modalities to propel innovative solutions that target local drivers of ecosystem degradation and ensure the survival of climate-resilient coral reefs. Given more than half the world’s coral reefs have already been lost due to climate change, over-fishing and increasing local pressures, it is pivotal for the GFCR to showcase the potential of blended finance to scale reef-positive interventions and support local stewardship.  

The GFCR’s Advisory Board is a multi-stakeholder body composed of an independent group of experts designed to provide recommendations and advice to the Executive Board and Investment Committee. The Advisory Board will consist of eleven members, including a range of scientists, government representatives, and blue economy experts. To ensure diverse representation, the Advisory Board composition will reflect gender equality, geographical and cultural diversity, with particular attention paid to representation from the GFCR’s programme countries.  

The Advisory Board will play a fundamental role in supporting coordination and strategic alignment between the GFCR’s Grant and Investment Window. In this emerging and dynamic space for coral reef conservation, where new information and best practices are constantly evolving, the function of the Advisory Board is critical for informing an integrated  approach that avoids duplication and remains up to date.  

Open Call 

The Call for Applications for Advisory Board members is now open! The Global Fund for Coral Reefs is pleased to invite interested individuals to submit an application for one* of the following Advisory Board membership roles:  

  • Scientists: Three (3) 3-year rotational seats will be held by scientists. The scientists will have extensive expertise on the disciplines of coral reef science (ecology, resilience, restoration), marine protected area management and socio-economic dynamics. Independent scientists or scientists attached to civil society, research or academic institutions are eligible to apply. 
  • National Government & Public Institutional Representative: Three (3) 3-year rotational seats will be occupied by representatives from National Governments of GFCR priority geographies as identified in the GFCR’s Investment Plan longlist of countries. These members will represent key ministries or public research institutions with conservation and sustainable development mandates. They will provide guidance on policy, planning, and stakeholder engagement. For each 3-year rotational term, the three national government seats will each represent a different GFCR coral reef region. 
  • Blue Economy Experts: Three (3) 3-year rotational seats will be held by blue economy experts with strong knowledge and practice in innovation and blended finance, and socio-economic issues in coral reef countries. These members will provide guidance on the investment continuum, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) support and incubation, as well as challenges of scale and other relevant areas. Independent experts or experts attached to civil society, research or academic institutions are eligible to apply. 

*If an applicant seeks to apply for more than one member role, an additional application must be submitted. Successful applicants will hold no more than one rotational member role of three years during the lifetime of the Fund.  

Individuals from the GFCR’s priority geographies are encouraged to apply.  

Please note that Advisory Board members are contracted on a pro bono basis, with travel and Daily subsistence allowance (DSA) (inclusive of accommodation expenses) covered for requested in-person meetings. 

Principles, Roles & Responsibilities 

The primary functions of the Advisory Board are to: 

  • Discuss progress, challenges, and lessons learned, and relay best practices for coral reef protection and management; 
  • Advise on strategic issues put forward by the Executive Board and Investment Committee; 
  • Review coordination between Grant and Investment windows and recommend ways to enhance alignment; and 
  • Support the GFCR engagement in international initiatives, high-level events, and relevant forums; 

To deliver on the above advisory functions, the Advisory Board will convene twice a year with roundtable discussions framed around four principal topics that capture the GFCR’s global strategy and programming progress: 

  1. Annual Report – Once a year the GFCR Global Team delivers an Annual Report that provides an overview of the Fund portfolio, investments, and programming progress/results. The annual report will include reporting from the Fund Secretariat, implementers, and the Investment Manager. This annual overview of the Fund’s performance will be reviewed by the Advisory Board who will then advise on strategic and technical issues that can inform the GFCR activities for the following year. 
  2. Investment Plan – The GFCR Investment Plan (IP) is an important guidance document for both the Grant and Investment Windows. The IP is a living document that is updated periodically as best practices evolve in the fields of coral reef conservation, impact investing, blended finance, investment standards and sustainable business development. The Advisory Board will review the updates to the IP and provide feedback to the Executive Board. 
  3. M&E and Safeguards – The Advisory Board will review the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy and framework related to GFCR impact and accompanying environmental, social and governance (ESG) safeguards. As coral reef and climate science are dynamic fields, it is critical that the GFCR is advised of the latest advancements in impact measurement. Further, to promote ESG risk mitigation throughout GFCR implementation and planning processes, the Advisory Board will provide advice on the safeguard policy and reporting mechanisms when assessing the Fund’s implementation in programme geographies. Insight on country-specific issues will support proper criteria to be in place where GFCR implementation occurs. 
  4. Strategic Engagement Support– The Advisory Board will also support the GFCR while engaging in international initiatives and high-level events to build political momentum for marine conservation. Advisory Board members may, for example, assist in identifying initiatives that are pertinent to the GFCR objectives and highlight GFCR activities in select events, with support and guidance from the Secretariat.

Submission Process 

To apply for a role on the GFCR Advisory Board, please complete the form through the relevant link below: 

Scientists: Submission Portal Link 

National Government & Public Institutional Representative: Submission Portal Link 

Blue Economy Experts: Submission Portal Link


Selected individuals will be contacted by the GFCR Secretariat following endorsement by the Executive Board and Strategic Partners. To reiterate, applicants who wish to apply for more than one role may do so by submitting an additional application with the expectation that said individual will only be selected for one role.  

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