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DRIVE TO CREATE A CAPITAL MARKET FOR THE OCEAN MOVES FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY

  • The Sea Change Impact Financing Facility (SCIFF) announces plans for the creation of a blue marketplace platform and an impact fund, among other instruments
  • Designed to mobilise billions of dollars into ocean finance
  • SCIFF developed by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA)

Dubai, Saturday 9 December 2023, COP28 – The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), with its members and partners, has been developing an open ocean financing architecture designed to drive at least USD$1 billion of private investment into coastal and ocean ecosystems by 2030. This will provide a springboard from which to mobilise at least USD$2.5 billion of broader finance capital.   

The initial concept for the Sea Change Impact Financing Facility (SCIFF), which has a focus on the Global South, was launched at the One Ocean Summit hosted by President Macron in Brest, France, in early 2022.

Now, on Ocean Day at COP28, it is being announced that a number of the SCIFF’s first wave of financial instruments are moving from concept to reality.

This includes:

  • The Neptune Fund – A single donation to The Neptune Fund will work towards ocean conservation action for the next 8-10 years. It is an expendable endowment that allows both capital and income to be spent on ocean conservation, thereby providing reliable, long-term support to locally-led ocean conservation for some of the most threatened and overlooked marine species and ecosystems.  Neptune has grown from an initial investment of USD$50,000 to a USD$500,000 facility in under a year.  
  • The Outrigger Ocean Impact Fund – A dedicated ocean impact fund focused on investing into sustainable and regenerative blue economy Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Outrigger is designed to tackle the ‘missing middle’ (USD$1-10m ticket size) financing gap in SIDS/Large Ocean States.  A feasibility assessment is complete, and Outrigger is now in the establishment phase, working towards a first close of the Fund in the middle of 2024. It is currently engaging with cornerstone investors.
  • Nautilus – The Ocean Guarantee Company – A means of de-risking investments into sustainable blue economy sectors through the provision of guarantees. The feasibility is now complete and the establishment phase underway in partnership with the Development Guarantee Group
  • Octopus Desk –  A blended finance blue marketplace platform connecting eligible blue resilience project developers with investment partners seeking environmental, social and financial returns, enabling sustainable blue economy transaction match-making and technical assistance for investors and project developers.  The development phase is ongoing and is being undertaken in partnership with Investable Oceans

Karen Sack, Executive Director of the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance said: “The development of the SCIFF is a fundamental part of our strategy. While much of ORRAA’s work focuses on building an investable project pipeline from the ground-up by supporting the development of investable finance and insurance products, it is also critical that we develop the overarching framework and financial instruments through which to channel the billions of dollars which are needed to build a resilient and regenerating Ocean. As this first wave of SCIFF financing vehicles and tools move from design to deployment, we are excited about the other elements that are in our development pipeline. Building the capital market for the Ocean requires ‘all hands on deck’, and we are always looking for both ideas and capital to accelerate and scale so that we can deliver on our mission.”

ORRAA is collaborating with leading financial institutions, external experts and our members to design the elements for this commercially managed framework. More than 12 ORRAA members have signed Letters of Intent to partner on the SCIFF initiative. These include the IUCN, Asian Development Bank, Commonwealth Blue Charter, AXA, and Deutsche Bank.    

ORRAA members are also playing a key role in constructively evaluating the viability of these initiatives. Members stress-test ideas, assess viability, strengthen or shift their focus, and ensure that by the time they emerge, they are ready to deploy.  Further development of these financial vehicles will then be spun out.   

You can discover more here.

You can view the latest SCIFF brochure here.

And you can download the various instrument logos in the Media Hub.