Defined as “mechanisms and strategies that generate, manage, and deploy financial resources and align incentives to achieve nature conservation outcomes” (Meyers et al. 2020), conservation finance can be considered as a holistic approach to support coral reef conservation and associated community wellbeing.
The whitepaper, released 5th March 2022, looks at the four types of conservation finance solutions – namely discouraging harmful actions, incentivizing positive actions, optimising cost efficiencies, and increasing capital for conservation – and provides guidance on which to focus on for reef conservation.
Key recommendations for leveraging conservation finance for coral reefs include:
- Strong collaboration between the public and private sectors, and greater inclusion of the informal sector to strengthen local economies;
- Adequate planning for the long-term financing needs that build on the demonstrated successes of blended finance models, debt swaps, blue bonds, trust funds, and insurance products;
- High quality safeguards to minimize unintended social and environmental impacts from market interventions; Mainstream coral reef protection into investment decisions to avoid and reduce coastal ecosystem harm;
- Support regional development banks to mobilize resources for coral reef conservation and leverage support from multilateral and bilateral donors and impact investors;
- Address climate change with blue carbon projects at jurisdictional scales.