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News Alert: US, UK and Canada confirm multi-million dollar commitments to ocean resilience

News Alert: US, UK and Canada confirm multi-million dollar commitments to ocean resilience

• USD$22 million investment through the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA)
• U.S. confirms its full membership of ORRAA
• Commitments made at the 8th Our Ocean Conference in Panama

March 7th, 2023, Washington DC, U.S. – At the Panama Our Ocean Conference last week, three G7 countries – the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom – confirmed their multi-year commitment to building ocean resilience through the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) amounting to USD$22 million. 

United States’ investment in ORRAA

Following U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s announcement of U.S. support for ORRAA at last year’s Our Ocean Conference in Palau, ORRAA is pleased to confirm that the U.S. has become a full member of the Alliance and will sit on its Steering Council.

The U.S. also confirmed it is investing USD$1 million in three key ORRAA projects:

  1. A climate vulnerability assessment for Toamasina, Madagascar, through the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI), led by the Stimson Center and the Commonwealth Secretariat
  2. ORRAA’s Coastal Risk Index (CRI) that uses ground-breaking modelling to calculate and map the protective benefits of mangroves and coral reefs
  3. The third wave of the Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge 2023 (ORIC23) in collaboration with the Swiss Re Foundation, building a pipeline of community led investable projects that reduce ocean and climate risk

Canada’s investment in ORRAA

Canada confirmed as part of its CAD$9 million grant to ORRAA, that it will invest in projects that build coastal resilience in the Global South through innovative finance and insurance solutions. 

The projects include:

  • Rare to pilot weather index-based parametric insurance tools for small-scale fishers in the Philippines
  • The Mesoamerican Reef Fund to extend parametric hurricane insurance coverage to reef sites in Colombia
  • Blue finance to design a blended finance facility aimed at effective management of ‘bankable’ Marine Protected Areas in Belize, Cabo Verde, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Indonesia, Mozambique, Philippines and Tanzania
  • A seed grant to Comunidad y Biodiversidad to develop their PescaData app to connect small-scale fishers with investors in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Guatemala
  • Aqua-Farms Organization (AFO) to develop blue carbon credits to restore mangroves and support local communities in Tanzania
  • ABALOBI in South Africa to build the financial resilience of small-scale fishing communities with data, traceability, and market platforms
  • The Stockholm Resilience Centre to increase the visibility of women’s contributions to coastal fisheries across the Global South
  • WWF in the South-West Indian Ocean to understand financial flows into blue economy drivers and to identify key risks in transitioning to a sustainable blue economy
  • The Stimson Center and the Commonwealth Secretariat Blue Charter for rapid climate risk assessments using the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI) in Dominica and Mauritius
  • Seed funding to develop the concept of the Outrigger Ocean Impact Fund

United Kingdom’s investment in ORRAA

The UK announced it is investing GBP£12 million through its Blue Planet Fund, to further support ORRAA’s mission to drive USD$500 million of investment into coastal and marine natural capital by 2030.  The first project that the UK will be supporting is work to further develop Vessel Viewer, a tool for insurers driven by open data, that builds a picture of a vessel’s profile and behaviour to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. ORRAA has been developing Vessel Viewer with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and in collaboration with Global Fishing Watch and TMT. By providing insurers with data to assess the risk of vessels engaging in or supporting IUU fishing, Vessel Viewer will help cut off access to insurance for IUU fishing vessels, which will act as a key deterrent and disincentive for this illicit activity.

Total investment

In Panama, ORRAA committed to deliver on these investments, to drive finance and insurance solutions that build coastal and ocean resilience for climate vulnerable coastal people in Small Island Developing States and Coastal Developing Countries around the world.

Karen Sack, Executive Director, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) says: “ORRAA is about partnership across sectors activating finance to deliver resilient coastal communities and regenerate nature. This past week, three of the largest economies in the world – the United States, Canada and the UK – confirmed significant investment into ocean resilience projects, underscoring that a healthy and regenerating ocean – our planet’s largest natural asset – is not a ‘nice to have’, but is essential if we are to restore nature, as well as mitigate and build resilience to climate change.” 

– ENDS -   

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