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Unlocking $500 Million for Ocean Health

Over $8 trillion of global economic activity depends on healthy marine ecosystems, yet the impacts of climate change, from rising seas to more intense storms, pose an increasing threat to vulnerable coastal communities and infrastructure.

Mobilising investment into ocean and coastal resilience is critical, but is a continuing challenge. The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) is pioneering a shift through innovative finance and insurance tools tailored to incentivise funding towards nature-based solutions and the sustainable blue economy.

Blue Pioneers Host Dr. Kat Bruce talks with Chip Cunliffe, co-founder and Programme & Risk Director of ORRAA, in this episode of Blue Pioneers. ORRAA is a unique collaboration between governments, the insurance and finance industry, non-profits and stakeholders  from the Global South. Chip said the goal is to activate at least USD$500 million of investment into coastal and ocean nature-based solutions by 2030, while building the resilience of at least 250 million climate-vulnerable coastal people. With over 90 members already on board and $22.5 million deployed, there are promising signs. 

Together, Chip and Kat contemplate the questions: How do we drive more money into the space? And, how do we become more innovative in our thinking to reframe what “investable” means? 

Consider measuring the positive implications, not only the financial ROI, but focusing on metrics such as food security and reducing risk for nature and people, he said.  Chip talks about other initiatives during this episode, outlining several actions that can spur radical collaboration across sectors and geographies. A key focus is integrating coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs into risk models and resilience solutions. 

By collaborating across sectors and geographies, ORRAA is creating a sea change in ocean finance, turning the tide for resilient coasts and communities. 

Listen to the full episode to hear more about ORRAA’s work to develop a pipeline of investable ocean products and projects,  to building the financial architecture to mobilise billions of dollars through tools like blue bonds, guarantees, and insurance products.

About Chip Cunliffe

Chip Cunliffe, co-founder and Programme & Risk Director of the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), has spent the past 10 years working in the insurance industry, identifying ways in which risk transfer mechanisms and finance solutions can be best used to build resilience to ocean related risks. He established AXA’s Ocean Risk Initiative which included developing and launching a Coastal Risk Index to integrate coastal ecosystems into insurance risk models; working with partners to develop the scientific basis to create a mangrove insurance product; as well as identifying insurance pathways to prevent Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. 

AI was used to compile this blog.

Kimberly Marsh



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