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UK significantly increases investment in Ocean resilience on COP27 Biodiversity Day

The UK’s Blue Planet Fund’s invests an extra £12 million in the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Wednesday 16 November – The UK has today confirmed it is investing a further £12 million in the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) through its Blue Planet Fund.

This will further support the Alliance’s aim to drive USD$500 million of investment into coastal and ocean natural capital by 2030 and follows an initial grant of £2 million from the UK’s Blue Planet Fund when the UK became a member of ORRAA in May 2021. 

The UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and ORRAA recognise that a resilient, net zero and economically secure world is not possible without a healthy, regenerating ocean. 

The announcement on Biodiversity Day at COP27 comes as world leaders, the business and financial community and civil society gather at the UN climate summit in Egypt.  The investment will deliver projects that build resilience, adaptation, and will leverage private sector finance into innovative financial tools with a gender and equity focus.

Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said to the UK Parliament: “The UK Government is continuing to demonstrate international leadership on nature and climate by:

  • Committing £30 million of seed finance into the Big Nature Impact Fund, a new public-private fund for nature in the UK which will unlock significant private investment into nature projects
  • Pledging an additional £12 million to the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) to mobilise investment in coastal and ocean natural capital
  • Committing a further £6 million to provide capacity building support to developing countries to increase commitments to nature and nature-based solutions
  • Announcing new UK climate finance contribution of £5 million toward the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Amazon to help tackle deforestation through community-led projects, whilst providing sustainable business opportunities to Indigenous People whose livelihoods depend on them;
  • Spotlighting the vital importance of mangroves and their role in coastal resilience by endorsing the Mangrove Breakthrough led by the UNFCCC High-Level Champions and the Global Mangrove Alliance
  • Highlighting the climate benefits of blue carbon through continued support for the new Global Ocean Decade Programme for Blue Carbon (GO-BC), which has now launched a new Global Graduate scheme for early career blue carbon researchers
  • Global momentum is now behind plans to halt nature’s decline. I will be urging countries to build on progress at COP27 to renew action on nature and come together to agree a robust global plan for tackling nature loss at next month’s meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal”

Speaking at Biodiversity Day at COP27, Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey MP said:

“Over half of the world’s GDP reliant on nature, which is why the United Kingdom put nature at the heart of our COP26 Presidency and led calls to protect 30 per cent of land and ocean by 2030.

“We continue to demonstrate international leadership through commitments to create a natural world that is richer in plants and wildlife to tackle the climate crisis, and at next month’s meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity we will strive for an ambitious agreement that includes a global 30by30 target, a commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and an increase in resources for the conservation and protection of nature from all sources.”

Lord Goldsmith, Minister for International Environment, Climate, Forests and Energy, said: “The fastest route to Net Zero is restoring the world’s forests and protecting nature. And the value of forests and other ecosystems goes so much further than climate. The greatest guardians of nature has always been indigenous people, which is why the UK is delighted to support communities in the Amazon in their efforts to protect and restore their environment.”

Karen Sack, Executive Director, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) says: “The continued and significant backing from the UK’s Blue Planet Fund is crucial. This vital investment will support community projects on the ground in coastal areas threatened by climate change for a further four years, to increase resilience and decrease risk.

“It will help us scale and grow more projects to build the resilience of 250 million climate vulnerable coastal people, through delivering on critical adaptation finance investments.  We look forward to working with Defra and the Blue Planet Fund to drive this vital work forward.”

Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs shaking hands with ORRAA’s Programme and Risk Director, Chip Cunliffe, on Biodiversity Day, Wed 16/11/23 at #COP27
Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs speaking on Biodiversity Day, Wed 16/11/23 at #COP27

About the Blue Planet Fund

The UK’s £500 million Blue Planet Fund supports developing countries to protect the marine environment and reduce poverty.  Approximately three billion people (almost half the world’s population) rely on the ocean for their food security and livelihoods, with poor people particularly dependent on the ocean. The ocean economy is expected to grow faster than the global economy this decade, presenting opportunities for developing countries to grow their economies and improve the livelihoods of their people. At the same time, the ocean is facing serious and increasing threats from over-exploitation, pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change. 

Which is why the Blue Planet Fund, financed from the UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget, is focusing on achieving ambitious outcomes across these four interlinked areas of biodiversity, climate change, marine pollution and sustainable seafood. The Blue Planet Fund is an important part of the UK’s global leadership on marine issues, which includes the UK Government’s call to protect at least 30 per cent of the global ocean by 2030 (for more information look at the Global Ocean Alliance “30by30” initiative)..  The Blue Planet Fund also supports the delivery of the Integrated Review, which puts tackling climate change and the loss of biodiversity as the UK Government’s highest international priority. The Fund contributes to the UK government’s commitment to increase its international climate finance support to at least £11.6 billion over the next five years. At least £3 billion of this will be invested in climate change solutions that protect, restore and sustainably manage nature and deliver strong outcomes for poverty reduction.

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