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Reef Action Hub Agenda

From 27 June through 1 July, on the side-lines of the UN Ocean Conference, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) will host the ‘Reef Action Hub’. The Hub will feature coral-focused side events, including workshops and roundtable meetings, aiming to accelerate action for coral reefs and showcase solutions. 

Events will be held in-person in the Hub, located at R. do Bojador 47 in Lisbon. Below please find the full agenda. The Reef Action Hub Space is a contribution from the Mirpuri Foundation. Times below are listed according to local time in Lisbon, Portugal (GMT+1). Public events will be streamed live on YouTube:

GFCR UN Ocean Conference Kick-Off (Breakfast Session)
8:30-10:00
Organizers: GFCR
This is a private event


GFCR Executive Board Meeting
10:00-17:00
Organizers: GFCR
This is a private event


The Post-Plastic World
18:00-20:00

An ambitious transition to a “Post-Plastic World”: What will the new UNEP Resolution 5/14 for a legally binding Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution mean for national governments? Also, how will we ensure that the science and technology used to quantify and progress this agenda, post-Treaty, enable circular economy worldwide and improve waste management for all participating countries?

We will share new, effective tools to deal with every stage of consumerism and the lifecycle of plastic products. These are tools such as IUCN’s DEPLASTIFY web tool, the UNEP/IUCN Guidance for National Pollution Hotspotting, Alternate Value Chains, Waste-to-Product plans, Blueprints, and more.

Questions and Answers will also cover the quantification of plastic waste and leakage (approaches and methodologies), economic consequences, policy needs, and effects on coral reefs and other vulnerable marine ecosystems.

The event will be catered with networking to follow.

Organizers: IUCN
This is a private event

The Last Stand for Coral Reefs: Approaches to Impact at Scale in the Face of Climate Change
8:30-9:45
Organizers: Coral Reef Rescue Initiative (WWF, WCS, Uni.of Queensland, Blue Ventures, CARE International, Rare), ICRI
This is a private event


Thematic Debt: Accelerating the Blue Economy in SIDS
10:00-11:15
This interactive conversation session between Marcos Neto, Director of the Finance Sector Hub at UNDP, and Tenke Zoltani, Development Finance Advisor at UNDP, will cover key aspects of investing in the blue economy through debt instruments, including:

  • Blue bonds, with focus on GFCR Fiji Programme, listing on a stock exchange.
  • Debt instruments, with a focus on investing in MPA systems and MPAs.
  • The role that de-risking, through insurance, can play (focusing on the WTW instrument in Belize and UNDP’s reef insurance work)
  • Opportunities that the bond market can offer, for example on KPI instruments like sustainability linked Bonds.

The event will draw on UNDP’s growing debt portfolio and is now advising 40+ countries on a range
of instruments for both marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Organizers: UNDP
This is a public event


Decision-Making Using Global Coral Reef Data 
12:00-12:45
The Allen Coral Atlas maps and monitors the world’s coral reefs, producing actionable data that informs coastal management at local, national, and international scales. In this workshop, the Allen Coral Atlas will demonstrate how global mapping and monitoring tools are supporting data-driven solutions for countries to achieve their UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 and other SDGs. Uncertainty and/or data gaps are currently hindering environmental decision-making, the utility of added information to change a decision/outcome related to the conservation of coral reefs, and why specific climate-related data are helpful will be highlighted. Further, integration with Reef Cloud, DataMermaid, SeaSketch, and Marxan will be demonstrated.

Organizers: Allen Coral Atlas (Arizona State University and National Geographic Society) and Commonwealth Secretariat (Blue Charter)
This is a public event


Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) Steering Committee Meeting
13:00-17:00
Organizers: GCRMN & ICRI
This is a private event


Addressing the Global Coral Crisis: Working Rapidly with National Governments
17:30- 19:30
The Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group on Coral Reef Protection and Restoration, led by Australia, Belize, and Mauritius, is hosting an open meeting welcome to all interested parties, including Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries and interested organisations. The prototype Coral Risk Readiness Assessment methodology will be presented followed by an interactive discussion with those in attendance. The new Blue Charter Project Incubator will also be presented followed by Q&A.
Organizers: Commonwealth Secretariat with Australia, Belize and Mauritius
This is a public event

Turning the Tide #ForCoral – High-level breakfast to launch of the International Coral Reef Initiative Plan of Action 2021 – 2024
8:30-9:45

The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss have brought into stark relief the need for greater collaboration and action at the international level to conserve, manage, and restore coral reefs.

It is in this context that the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Secretariat is launching its Plan of Action for 2021-2024, Turning the Tide for Coral Reefs, from its newest Chair, the United States of America. With ICRI’s consistent advocation for coral reefs and recent achievements, invited high-level guests will discuss strong collaboration and immediate action #ForCoral to implement the Plan of Action over the next three years.

Organizer: ICRI
This is a private event


The Ocean Impact Navigator: Harnessing Innovation and a New Impact Measurement Framework to Regenerate Ocean Health
10:00-11:15
Blue innovators, philanthropists and investors are stepping up to drive positive impact for the ocean. Measuring this impact, however, remains a critical challenge. This event showcases the Ocean Impact Navigator, a new open-source impact KPI framework developed for the Ocean Innovation Ecosystem to homogenise and simplify impact measurement and reporting. During this event, a panel discussion will hear from blue entrepreneurs and high level speakers on the rising tide of blue innovators and investors who are together working to catalyse the transition to a Sustainable Ocean Economy. The event will also share perspectives and recent achievements from 1000 Ocean Startups – the coalition who has been leading development of the Impact Navigator – and offer members’ collective insights on why impact measurement matters. The session will then deep dive on the Impact Navigator – how it works and its genesis – before inviting participants to join the coalition in taking the framework from theory to practice on the road to COP27.

Organizers: 1000 Ocean Start-Ups Coalition
This is a private event that will be livestreamed


Aquatic/Blue foods for Coastal Communities and Coral Reef Conservation: Achieving Zero Hunger and Biodiversity Goals
13:00-14:15
Through the innovative lens of aquatic foods and coral reefs, this side event will launch a new agenda for coral reef conservation in blue foods. Based on the latest science and innovation, speakers at the global and regional scale will show how sustainable coastal fisheries and nutrition-sensitive fisheries management is crucial for the long-term success of sustainable development and 30×30 targets. Launching from a new whitepaper on coral reef nutrition, this side event will highlight that integrated management of coral reef foods as a highly diverse set of aquatic foods can contribute to addressing the dual challenges of malnutrition and biodiversity loss at the intersection of nutrition, coral reef small-scale fisheries, and coastal communities. With equity as a central focus, promoting the sovereignty of local food systems is critical to acknowledge who is actually benefiting nutritionally and materially from coral reef fisheries and nutrition-sensitive coral reef governance. By highlighting commitments in sustainable use and conservation of resilient coral reefs across the Coral Triangle, Western Indian Ocean, Melanesia and the Caribbean, our side event will convey the critical role of coral reefs in climate, conservation, and communities in making measurable progress towards the SDGs and 30×30 targets.

Organizers: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), WorldFish, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Bloomberg Philanthropies
This is a public event


Accelerating and Scaling Up Coral Restoration and Adaptation through International Partnerships
14:30-15:45
Coral reefs are one of the world’s most biologically-diverse and economically important ecosystems globally. They are also one of the most threatened by anthropogenic pressures, including global threats from climate change, and local pressures. This workshop will present the latest innovations and research into interventions to restore coral reefs, support their resilience, and help them adapt to a warming future. The event will be hosted by leaders from Australia’s Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program a A$135 Million R&D Program to help the Great Barrier Reef resist, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change and the International Coral Reef Initiative. Presentations will be followed by a discussion about opportunities to increase international collaboration to address this global challenge.

Organizers: The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program and ICRI
This is a public event


Viewing Coral Decision making tools and data, through global, national and local approaches
16:00-17:15
This event will begin at the global level, with a visual presentation of what will happen to coral reefs and the communities and wildlife that depend on them under different warming scenarios, and how reefs are important for everyone, even those not living nearby. At the local level, the event will explore real-life case studies from across the Commonwealth. Participants will hear about the importance of reefs to coastal communities, and the innovative management methods that Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020 report. The event will then progress to a national level, focusing on management and data collection tools.

Organizers: Commonwealth Blue Charter and UK Government
This is a public event

Investing in the Ocean: Mobilising Capital & Unlocking Action Through Blended Solutions (Breakfast Session)
8:30-9:45
Over 90% of investors are interested in the sustainable ocean economy, but there are limited vehicles that can help channel large-scale capital. In this roundtable, we will discuss one of the best examples of blended finance for the ocean: the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR). The event will bring together a diverse set of stakeholders including governments, institutional and impact investors, development finance institutions, donor agencies and climate funds, philanthropies, NGOs, civil society and entrepreneurs. The breakfast session will include a deep dive on Indonesia as a demonstration of a strong, investable ocean pipeline and hear from participants on how to streamline transactions to accelerate action.

Organizers: Pegasus Capital Advisors & Systemiq
This is a private event


Securing Durable Marine Conservation Through an Ambitious Global Partnership
10:00-11:15
Enduring Earth (EE); a new global collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, The Pew Charitable Trusts, World Wildlife Fund, and ZOMALAB, the family office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton, will convene this session to facilitate a dialogue between stakeholders who can speak to innovative partnerships and finance for conservation and sustainable economic growth, highlighting the leadership of Indigenous and local community voices. Speakers will focus on conservation finance tools for marine conservation which can also benefit coral reef protection and conservation, while providing economic development alternatives. Presentations will focus on the current use of blue bonds, debt for nature swaps and other innovative financial tools that can support durable marine conservation.

Organizers: Enduring Earth, including The Nature Conservancy, The Pew Charitable Trusts, World Wildlife Fund and ZOMALAB, the family office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton
This is a public event


Marine Biodiversity Credits
13:00-13:45
This session will launch a relatively new concept into the coral reef and marine conservation sector: biodiversity credits. There is increasing interest in the establishment of biodiversity credits to compliment the growing market in carbon credits. At once more challenging than carbon and perhaps more urgent, the establishment of a solid framework for biodiversity credits could transform the conservation finance landscape by creating powerful incentives for both investment and action in improved biodiversity outcomes. This session will start with several announcements regarding marine biodiversity credits, which will be followed by a panel that explores the opportunities and challenges of biodiversity credits with a focus on coral reefs.

Organizers: CFA, UNDP, Blue Nature Alliance, Great Barrier Reef Foundation
This is a public event


Coral Reef-Positive Business Models – The Blended Finance Pipeline of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs
14:00-15:15
This session will provide an overview of what makes a business “coral reef positive”, followed by a panel of innovators working with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs to develop and finance coral reef positive enterprises at a range of scales. The primary innovation of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs is its focus on using business and market-based solutions to save coral reefs and support associated communities. This session will explore the characteristics of certain business models that make them “reef-positive”, primarily their ability to achieve the four target outcomes of the GFCR while producing a return on investment. The panel will include some leading innovators in revenue positive coral reef conservation who are actively engaged in the GFCR’s priority ecosystem programs.

Organizers: CFA, UNDP
This is a public event


Expert seminar on “Bankable” Marine Protected Areas: Returns on Experiences of Impact Investment Blended Finance Facilities
16:00-17:00

Organizer: Blue Finance The GFCR-Blue finance Expert Seminar on Bankable Marine Protected Area (MPA) implementation, will bring together global experts and practitioners to discuss experiences and best practices to design and implement impact investment blended finance facilities. The seminar will take place over 1 hour.

The Seminar, open to all governments and interested individuals, is designed in particular to support GFCR member countries, especially those working on “bankable” Marine protected Areas. Participants from various geographies and backgrounds, both technical and non-technical, are expected to participate. The seminars will provide a broad picture of the considerations, planning and actions that a government might need to take in order to better implement its MPA ambitions. The panel discussions will focus on real-world experiences and lessons learned.

Organizer: Blue Finance
This is a public even
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The Future of Food is Blue: Thriving Through collective action for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
17:30-19:30
Organizers: Government of Iceland, Germany – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Center (BMZ), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Ocean Solutions at Stanford, EAT, World Economic Forum (WEF), World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, Friends of Ocean Action, RiseUp, Environmental Law Institute, the Pacific Community (SPC)
This is a private event

The Science We Need for Reefs We Want (Breakfast Session)
8:30-9:45
This networking breakfast to be held on the final day of the UN Ocean Conference will showcase the collaboration between the GFCR and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It will also allow participants to take stock of the events of the UN Ocean Conference and spark collaborations and partnerships to advance the post-Lisbon agenda on ocean science and investment in coral reef resilience.

Organizer: Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO & GFCR
This is a private event


The UN Decade for Ocean Science: Providing Opportunities to Connect and Collaborate on a Global Scale
10:00-11:15

Because the Ocean Decade offers an opportunity for an unprecedented level of collaboration for innovation and transformational change, it is essential to connect coral reef conservation and restoration practitioners and the Ocean Decade. This event will help make those connections by showcasing how coral restoration practitioners can leverage the unique opportunity the Ocean Decade presents. Coral reef experts from a diverse set of panelists across government, industry, academia, non-profits, and early career ocean professionals will showcase and encourage discussion of the linkages between coral restoration efforts and the Ocean Decade. The panel discussion will allow Reef Action Hub attendees to walk away with an understanding of the Ocean Decade and how it directly connects to their research, outreach, and management, whether in their local community or on an international scale.

Organizer: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) & the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
This is a public event


Press Conference: Leveraging Global Public-Private Investment to Support Resilient Coral Reef Ecosystems
10:30-11:00
At this press conference, the panel will discuss the critical need to bridge the SDG14 funding gap through both public and private funding, new financial commitments to the GFCR by global philanthropies, and the need to capitalize and support this first UN Fund dedicated to SDG14.

Panelists include H.E. Ambassador Peter Thomson, UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean; Mr. James Lindsay, Vice President – Investments, Builders Vision; and Mr. Chuck Cooper, GFCR Executive Board Chair & Managing Director, Government Affairs, Vulcan.

Location: Altice Arena


UNESCO Launches Emergency Plan to Boost World Heritage-Listed Reefs’ Resilience
12:00-13:15
On the occasion of the Our Ocean Conference in Palau, UNESCO announced an emergency plan to give World Heritage coral reefs the best chance of survival. UNESCO also called for an international mobilization to prevent coral reef extinction. During this event at the UN Ocean Conference, UNESCO will showcase the successes from the Resilient Reefs Initiative in 4 World Heritage reef pilot sites in Australia, Belize, France (New Caledonia) and Palau; and provide more information about how the partnerships will accelerate resilience support to World Heritage-listed reefs in developing countries.

Organizer: UNESCO & Partners
This is a public event


Protecting Resilient Reefs and Integrating Resilience into Reef Management
13:30-14:30

As climate change impacts intensify, it is imperative that marine managers are equipped with the latest tools and guidance to identify and protect resilient reefs and manage them in the face of increasing stressors. This event will present the latest guidance for identifying and protecting reefs that are best positioned to survive climate impacts, including how reefs can be best managed in the face of change to support ecosystem resilience. In this session, panellists will discuss the challenges and lessons learned deploying resilience-based management and will introduce bold new ideas for identifying and protecting resilient reefs. Panellists also will discuss how governments, NGOs, universities and the private sector can work together more effectively to ensure a future for coral reefs. 

Organizers: NOAA & TNC
This is a public event


Gender Equity and Coral Reef Conservation
14:45-15:15

This female-led discussion will cover topics ranging from local community environmental stewardship to increasing the visibility of women in reef conservation careers and the fundamental role of women in the protection and longevity of these ecosystems and their natural capital.

Organizer: Women in Ocean Science C.I.C.
This is a public event


Growing a Future for Coral Reefs
15:30-16:15

XPRIZE will host a round table discussion with key partners to present the XPRIZE Coral Restoration competition to the UN Oceans audience. XPRIZE Coral Restoration will be the largest incentive prize ever focused on accelerating the development and deployment of scalable coral reef restoration technologies and partnering with coastal communities to deploy emerging solutions to reverse reef degradation which will build resilience to combat future impacts.

Organizer: XPRIZE
This is a public event

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