First wave of projects selected, with support from Canadian contribution to the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt 16 November 2022 – The first group of next generation coastal and ocean resilience projects have been selected today to receive significant financial backing from the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) to accelerate and scale. This announcement has been made possible, in part, through funding support from the Government of Canada.
The Government of Canada initially provided the seed funding of CAD$2.5 million which set up ORRAA in 2019, backing it in its bid to drive USD$500 million of investment into nature-based solutions and surface at least 50 novel finance products by 2030, positively impacting the resilience of at least 250 million people in coastal areas around the world. During COP26 in Glasgow, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced additional funding of CAD$9 million to ORRAA, as part of Canada’s new CAD$5.3 billion climate finance commitment, which will further help ORRAA in achieving its objectives. The announcement today at the UN Climate Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, follows a global search by ORRAA. The investment into five projects will have the maximum positive impact on building coastal resilience and mitigating ocean risk through finance and insurance product development in the Global South.
The projects include:
- A USD$400,000 investment to Rare Inc, to pilot weather index-based parametric insurance tools for small-scale fishers in the Philippines linked to open-ocean wind speed, wave height, and rainfall which prevent safe fishing. The project intends to enrol 50,000 fishers, positively impacting 250,000 climate vulnerable coastal people
- A USD$380,000 investment to Blue Finance to design and structure the activities of a USD$22 million blended finance facility, which is aimed at effective management of ‘bankable’ Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Global South. It has the long-term aim to strengthen the management of marine resources for at least one million hectares of coral reefs and improve food security for 20,000 people. Key deliverables include the design and development of the facility for protected area projects in Belize, Cabo Verde, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Indonesia, Mozambique, Philippines, and Tanzania
- A USD$350,000 investment to the MAR Fund, in partnership with WTW, to extend parametric hurricane insurance coverage to reef sites in Colombia, where a hurricane reef insurance product will be designed and piloted. The project will also include additional exploration for insurance linked to coral bleaching and rainfall-driven runoff in Belize and Costa Rica
- A USD$175,000 grant to the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, ORRAA’s lead Science and Knowledge partner, working with the University of British Columbia and the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, to increase the visibility of women’s contributions to coastal fisheries across the Global South and the associated food, livelihood, and wellbeing-related benefits
- A USD$10,000 seed-grant investment to Comunidad y Biodiversidad for its PescaData app which connects fishers with investors, providing them with access to microcredits and loans. It also provides improved data collection, data-driven decision-making, communication tools, weather forecasts, local solutions for ocean sustainability and operates in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Guatemala
In December 2022, Canada will welcome the world to Montréal for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which will focus on halting biodiversity loss and protecting nature around the world.
The Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada said: “People living in coastal communities are among those most vulnerable to climate change. This impressive first wave of projects will not only have an impact now, but also has the potential to be scaled up. We must do more to protect our coastlines and oceans, and all of those who depend on them.”
Chip Cunliffe, Programme and Risk Director, ORRAA, said: “We are focused on developing a portfolio of projects which can be tried, tested, replicated, and scaled. The key is developing a pipeline, which ORRAA is starting to link from grassroots grants to investment-ready opportunities. The Government of Canada is playing a crucial role in developing this global ocean financial ecosystem.”