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GFCR Executive Board Endorses a 10-Year Investment Plan and Programme Development for Priority Ecosystems

New York, 29 June 2021 – At its second meeting, the Executive Board of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) approved funds to support the development of a blue economy regional programme in four Mesoamerican Reef countries (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico). Led by the MAR Fund as a Convening Agent, the GFCR’s first regional programme will scale and replicate reef-positive business models across four countries. 

Approval was also relayed for the development of a sustainable revenue stream initiative for Marine Protected Area (MPA) management and enforcement in Indonesia. As a global epicentre of marine biodiversity, addressing reef degradation in Indonesia is a priority for the GFCR. 

The Board further endorsed a 10-year Investment Plan outlining a strategic vision that unites GFCR conservation and sustainable finance goals for coral reefs and reef-dependent communities. The Investment Plan, developed by the Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA), establishes an initial country prioritization, offers an overview of relevant business models, and a strategy to facilitate early grants and investments. Complementary to the Investment Plan, a Partnerships and Knowledge Management strategy will facilitate robust policies, safeguards and fostering strategic opportunities. 

To enable deployment of concessional finance, the Board approved a Blue Bridge concept. This service addresses the “missing middle” where early-stage investment opportunities are incubated to maturity by the GFCR Grant Window. 

Additionally, the Board approved an Institutional Partnership with the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) to unlock public and private finance to scale conservation and build resilience in developing states. Karen Sack, Co-Chair of ORRAA said “We look forward to working with the GFCR on scaling and accelerating action and investment to protect this precious natural capital.” 

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) is the first UN fund dedicated to Sustainable Development Goal 14, ‘Life Below Water’. The Fund’s blended finance approach leverages grants to unlock private sector investment in blue economy, incubate investable projects and scale up coral reef conservation.  The public-private partnership is driven by private foundations, Member States, UN agencies and private sector impact investors. The Executive Board includes representatives of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Government of Germany, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). At its next meeting in September 2021, the GFCR Board is expected to consider additional country proposals including Bahamas, Indonesia, Maldives, Kenya and Tanzania.  

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