Dear ORRAA members and friends,
As I write this from the Our Ocean Conference in the beautiful Pacific Island country of Palau, it is a privilege to let you know that we have more support on the way!
This week, John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, announced that the United States was committing US$1 million in financial support for ORRAA. In his closing statement to the conference, President Surangel Whipps Jr. announced that the Republic of Palau is joining ORRAA and will be the first full member from a Small Island Developing State. Salesforce also announced that it is joining our ranks with a specific focus on how we develop a high-quality blue carbon market – an area of mutual interest.
This is obviously tremendous news and a testament to the support that you, our broader ORRAA family, continue to give us in delivering our mission. Here in Palau, a powerful case for immediate, scaled action has been made and we have seen first-hand why there is no time to lose. We are determined – with our growing 50-plus strong alliance of members from countries to companies and from the public and private sectors – that we can play a leading role in channelling investment into building resilient coastal communities around the world.
IN OTHER NEWS
To see what we have been working on over the past year and learn about the projects being driven by fellow ORRAA members, please also see our very first ‘Action Report’ Share it widely. If there is one thing it makes clear, it is that we all need to work with speed and at scale.
New ORRAA members will be an important part of that, and we are excited that Asian Development Bank (ADB), Limketai Finance Palladium and Blue Green Future have also joined ORRAA over the past quarter.
In February, at the One Ocean Summit hosted by President Macron in Brest, France, we launched a new initiative to develop a Sea Change Impact Finance Facility or SCIFF, to radically accelerate investment at scale into the Ocean. The two-and-a-half-hour webinar brought together over fifty thought leaders from amongst ORRAA’s members and the broader community, to focus on how we could develop a new global ocean finance architecture. It divided into three working groups focused on the design of the core elements of the SCIFF: a Blue Resilience Clearing House, an Umbrella ‘Octopus’ Facility and a Risk Reduction Mechanism. We are looking forward to moving this initiative forward in collaboration with our finance and insurance partners through the year.
Also, this quarter, we progressed a key step in ORRAA’s own development: our incorporation as a 501c3 non-profit registered in the United States as “ORRAA Inc.”. We would like to thank the entire team at Ocean Unite who enabled the transition of their organisation as it folded into ORRAA, as well as the ORRAA Steering Council and Global Resilience Partnership in supporting this effort. As part of this growth plan, we have brought on new operations and programme staff and established a Funder Advisory Board to advise the Secretariat on funding opportunities, investment criteria and alignment to take us to the next level.
Finally, as we begin to see the world opening up from the Covid 19 pandemic, we are planning an in-person member meeting during the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal in June. Please mark your calendars and save the date for June 27th. We will be sending through more information in the coming weeks!
This is a critical time for the health of the Ocean and coastal communities – but we know that with your support and contributions we can make a massive difference, enabling them to thrive and prosper.
Enjoy this Bulletin and if you have any questions or would like to set up a call to catch up with the team, please let us know.
All the best,
1. Projects and Financial Innovation
- Blue Planet Fund Supported Projects
ORRAA is excited to have kicked off our work with the UK’s Blue Planet Fund over the past few months and to be showcasing some of them in this edition of the Bulletin. These projects span the Caribbean, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific and cover a diverse range of innovative finance solutions. This includes parametric insurance in the Caribbean and Asia, expanding micro-insurance products in East Asia, and catalysing the creation of a regional incubator in the South-Western Indian Ocean.
Among the projects we are pleased to spotlight two in this edition of the Bulletin:
- Establishing the First Coastal Community Livelihood Incubator for the South-West Indian Ocean Seascape - ORRAA partner WWF is working to unlock private and public sector finance for sustainable coastal development in the South-West Indian Ocean (SWIO) region. By accelerating community led enterprises through the design of a regional incubator, this project aims to empower coastal communities to develop viable livelihoods and secure investment.
- Climate Smart Shrimp Initiative in the Philippines – Shrimp aquaculture provides local livelihoods and food security benefits. However, its expansion has often come at the cost of coastal ecosystems. Many farmers face barriers to making a sustainable transition, including access to capital, technology, expertise, and guaranteed markets. ORRAA partner Conservation International is piloting Climate Smart Shrimp to incentivize mangrove restoration while also providing the tools for shrimp farmers to produce more sustainable seafood.
- Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC) Launches Second Wave
The Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC) helps ORRAA to build a pipeline of investable projects driven from the ground-up. These projects deliver a genuine impact in local communities while having the potential to mitigate ocean and climate risk more broadly. ORIC surfaced four successful solutions in its first year and worked with them through its mentoring program and Leadership Academy. Three of them received piloting funding, and two are in being worked on by the Incubator team to secure additional scale-up funding through ORRAA.
In November 2021, ORRAA launched the second wave of the Challenge in partnership with the Swiss Re Foundation and the UK Government’s Blue Planet Fund. Nine finalists were selected from over 30 applications from innovators around the world. They will now receive mentoring and capacity building support through May 2022, after which a subset will be selected to receive financial support and continued mentoring into 2023. All ORIC finalists, from both challenges, will continue to be part of the ORIC alumni and invited to relevant matchmaking sessions and events.
2. Research, Modelling and Science
The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Stimson Centre are trialling a rapid climate risk assessment in Barbados, Kiribati, and Sri Lanka based on the methodology of the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI). This is yet another of our projects supported by the Blue Planet Fund focused on the research and information needed to identify climate-smart solutions in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and coastal cities.
CORVI, developed by ORRAA partners, the Stimson Center, AXA XL, and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, produces comprehensive risk profiles for coastal cities and helps leaders make climate-smart investments to build resilience. National governments and stakeholders representing diverse technical expertise work together to identify priority areas of climate risk. The Commonwealth Secretariat leads country engagement and advisory support, while the Stimson Center leads the analysis.
3. Outreach and Engagement
It’s been a busy start to the year with numerous engagement opportunities. Please share any of yours with us so that we can include them in the next Bulletin:
- Karen and Chip participated in ADB’s Health Oceans Technology and Finance Forum: Innovative Solutions for Asia and the Pacific
- Karen spoke at the plenary of the One Ocean Summit in Brest, with a clear call to action that the Ocean is everybody’s business, and every business has an imperative to act.
- Karen joined a panel at the Economist World Ocean Summit with Tiago Pitta e Cunha, President of the Oceano Azul Foundation and Richard Spinrad, US Under-Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and 11th NOAA Administrator.
- Ahead of the UN’s Stockholm +50 conference in June, ORRAA, the Stockholm Resilience Center, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and the Global Resilience Partnership co-hosted An Equitable and Sustainable Ocean Economy: The role of finance in mitigating and building resilience exploring the latest knowledge on emerging ocean risks in the Anthropocene and the role finance can play in driving investment into marine and coastal natural capital. The panel of experts included ORRAA members such as WWF and Deutsche Bank. The session information will feed into information for the Summit in June.
- At the Monaco Blue Initiative Summit, keynote Speakers: Leila Chikhaoui, Tunisian Environment Minister and Andrea Meza Murillo, Minister of Environment and Energy for Costa Rica addressed, Blue Finance: how to accelerate the transition to an ocean positive economy. Karen joined a panel on Blue Finance Solutions focusing on the issue with Elsa Palanza, Global Head of Sustainability & ESG, Barclays, Bertrand Badré, Managing Partner and Founder, Blue like an Orange Sustainable Capital, Sylvie Goulard, Second Deputy Governor, Banque de France, Marisa Drew, Advisor in Blue Finance and Lucy Holmes, Ocean Leader, Senior Programme Manager, Seafood Finance WWF, US & UK.
- Karen moderated a panel at the Sea and the City: Pathways to Coastal Resilience. The conference was convened under the Presidency of HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco and organised by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in collaboration with the Stimson Centre and the Ocean and Climate Platform. The session focused on the enabling conditions needed to strengthen coastal resilience and implement sustainable adaptation solutions. Hon. Minister Eric Evelyn, Minister of Environment, St Kitts and Nevis, H.E. Mr. Ronald Jean Jumeau, SIDS roving ambassador for ocean, ORRAA Chair and Director of Biodiversity for AXA XL, Chip Cunliffe and Leah Bunce Karrer, Senior Environmental Officer for Oceans and Coasts, Global Environment Facility (GEF) joined her as panelists.
- UNESCO is hosting a webinar series to increase ocean literacy within the investment and insurance communities. ORRAA is collaborating with the organisation on Module 2 on Ocean Data and Risk Management of the series. ORRAA member, Deutsche Bank, represented by Markus Müller, Global Head, Chief Investment Office of Private Bank, Deutsche Bank A.G., spoke at the webinar along with Lindsay Getschel. They were joined by Daniel Bowie-Macdonald, Absolute Return & Multi-Asset Investment, Jamie McMichael-Phillips, Project Director of Seabed 2030, and Lucy Scott of IOC-UNESCO to discuss how new and innovative data sources can lead to better investment and insurance decision making.
- Dorothée Herr, Manager IUCN’s Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility has been hosting a podcast series on Blue Natural Capital. Take a crash course in blue finance!
- UNEP FI launched more valuable guidance to inform implementation of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles
- ORRAA became an official nominator of the Earthshot Prize which calls for inspiring, inclusive, and impactful solutions, to protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste free world, and fix our climate. We are excited to see if any of the projects that we nominated win the prize so watch this space!
4. UN Ocean Conference 27 June-1 July 2022. Lisbon, Portugal
The theme for the UN Ocean Conference is: ‘Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions.’
In addition to the main conference, a week’s worth of side events will be organised to complement the main conference. Side events can be hosted (a) in-person inside the Conference venue, the Altice Arena; (b) in-person in other locations in Lisbon; or (c) virtually.
The deadline for applications has been extended to 8 May 2022. The Conference Secretariat will review submissions and notify the organizers whose events have been approved on a rolling basis. All submissions will be reviewed by 16 May 2022.
5. News, Notes and Knowledge
The following five reports published this quarter may be of interest:
AR6 Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability – IPCC (February 2022)
Diving Deep: Finance, Ocean Pollution, and Coastal Resilience – UNDP FI (March 2022)
Blended Finance & the Blue Economy – Convergence and the Joint SDG Fund (February 2022)
Conservation Finance for Coral Reefs – Vibrant Oceans Initiative (March 2022)
An Analysis of Urban Climate Adaptation Finance – Climate Policy Initiative (February 2022)
The next few months sees meetings being convened that over the past two years have either been virtual or postponed due to Covid and build toward the UN Ocean Conference. Dates of note include:
Sustainable Investment Forum Europe 26 April
Bermuda Climate Summit 24 May
Stockholm +50 2/3 June
World Environment Day 5 June
World Ocean Day 8 June
Responsible Business Europe 8/9 June
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 20/24 June
UN Ocean Conference 27 June/1 July
International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC) 7/8 September
Rendez Vous Monte Carlo (Global Insurance) 10/14 September
International Union of Marine Insurers (IUMI) Conference 18/21 September
G20 Environment Ministers Meeting October (date tbc)
OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment October (date tbc)
G20 Leaders’ Summit 30/31 October
COP27 7/8 November
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