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Photo: Kimberly Jeffries / Ocean Image Bank

U.S. ANNOUNCES PLANS TO STIMULATE INVESTMENT AND SAFEGUARDS FOR COASTAL RESILIENCE THROUGH ORRAA PARTNERSHIP

  • USAID selects ORRAA as anchor partner for Coastal Resilience, Carbon, and Conservation Finance initiative
  • Announcement of capacity building for investable projects through Community of Practice launch
  • Showcasing of “Dealroom” initiative to match investors with projects
  • Linked to ORRAA’s Octopus Desk – a new blue marketplace platform

Dubai, Monday 4 December 2023, COP28 – The United States announced today it is backing innovative ways of developing coastal resilience through the sustainable blue economy through its partnership with the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA).

At COP28 in Dubai, USAID announced it has selected ORRAA as its anchor partner for its Coastal Resilience, Carbon, and Conservation Finance (C3F) initiative, an activity under its Climate Finance for Development Accelerator. It encourages the flow of private sector capital into coastal resilience and blue carbon projects that generate biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation, and adaptation outcomes while ensuring that local communities benefit.

As part of this, ORRAA will lead on identifying a pipeline of bankable biodiversity conservation, coastal resilience, and blue carbon projects in countries where USAID works. It will also cultivate a Community of Practice for blue carbon and coastal resilience experts to share knowledge and strengthen global understanding of best practices.

Ann Vaughan, Senior Advisor for Climate Change, USAID, said: “We are thrilled to announce that USAID has selected ORRAA as our anchor partner for C3F. ORRAA will leverage its considerable expertise in driving investment into ocean resilience. These activities advance the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) and will serve as a foundation for future USAID partnerships with local stakeholders that build capacity to develop bankable, climate-positive projects and address information asymmetries between local communities and investors – leading to investments that safeguard local resources and livelihoods.”

Today’s event at COP28 is kickstarting efforts to make it easier to bring together good ideas, entrepreneurs, businesses and civil society with investors interested in financing ocean resilience, through a “dealroom” approach.

This aligns with ORRAA’s development of the Sea Change Impact Financing Facility (SCIFF), a collaborative effort to develop an open ocean financing architecture designed to drive at least USD$1 billion of private investment into coastal and ocean ecosystems by 2030, with a focus on the Global South. This will provide a springboard from which to mobilise at least USD$2.5 billion of broader finance capital.   

A key element of the SCIFF is the “Octopus Desk” – a blended finance marketplace platform connecting eligible blue resilience project developers with investment partners seeking environmental, social and financial returns. It will enable sustainable blue economy transaction match-making and technical assistance for investors and project developers. It is currently in development, with the latest phase being undertaken in partnership with Investable Oceans.

Karen Sack, Executive Director of the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance said: “Our partnership with the United States is in alignment with ORRAA’s mission: to deploy at least USD$500million of investment into coastal and ocean resilience through finance and insurance products by 2030; and to build the resilience of 250 million climate vulnerable coastal people in the Global South. The C3F build-out of a Community of Practice is about how we scale from the ground up, building capacity to enable locally led Global South focused projects to thrive and become investable. This is then exactly where matchmaking through the Dealroom approach and the Octopus Desk come into play – aligning potential investors with project developers to help them develop yet further and have greater impact.”

At the Our Ocean Conference in Palau last year, the United States announced its commitment to ORRAA, to build investment into Ocean resilience solutions. These new announcements build on that partnership.

Coastal resilience and blue carbon present significant opportunities for achieving USAID’s high-level climate goals, including attracting USD$150 billion in public and private capital for climate finance and improving the climate resilience of 500 million people.

Ann Vaughan, Senior Advisor for Climate Change, USAID, speaking at the Investing in Resilient Coastal Communities event, COP28
Karen Sack, Executive Director, ORRAA, speaking at the Investing in Resilient Coastal Communities event, COP28

U.S. President Joe Biden at the launch of PREPARE at COP26 in Glasgow