Attracting investment in resilient coasts
In a nutshell
|Sustainable Development Goal||Life Below Water|
By 2050, storm surges arising from extreme weather events will threaten the lives and livelihoods of an estimated 800 million people, with coastal communities in developing countries and low-lying areas likely to be hardest hit.
Nature-based solutions have been consistently found to be more effective than infrastructure in building coastal resilience to such risks. Mangroves buffer coasts that are home to more than 15 million people from annual flooding, while coral reefs reduce the expected monetary damage due to storms by more than USD 4 billion a year.
Investing in the health of oceans is essential to protecting these precious natural protections, to mitigate climate and financial risks and to build resilience in the communities that are being forced to adapt to the most dramatic impacts of climate change.
The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) aims to invest USD 500 million in nature-based ocean protection and thereby to spur the development of at least 50 novel finance products by 2030. To help reach this goal, it has launched its second Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge to select and nurture innovative financial and insurance products that reduce ocean risk.
With support from the Swiss Re Foundation and the UK government’s Blue Planet Fund and a focus on gender, equity and human rights, this edition of the challenge will select up to six community-led financial solutions designed to reduce ocean risk for the most vulnerable while protecting biodiversity. In addition to financial support, challenge winners will receive customised mentoring to maximise their business models’ potential for impact, scalability and investability, such as support in refining their proposed solutions to ensure that local stakeholders’ needs are met and developing a roadmap for implementation. Mentors will work with project leaders to build a broader ecosystem of partners and potential investors, while helping them prepare to take more active roles in leading their solutions as they grow.
Challenge winners will also be connected to funders, receive support in preparing their pitches and attend a Leadership Academy designed to bolster the skills needed to achieve their projects’ long-term goals.
Goals and expected impact
The Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge overall objective is to strengthen the solutions’ potential for successful launch and scaling by refining their business models, boosting individual and institutional resilience and, ultimately, helping maximise their impact on communities and regions most exposed to ocean risk.