$8 million pledge builds on Bloomberg’s long-standing commitment to protect the world’s coral reefs from the impacts of climate change
Lisbon, Portugal –– Today at the Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum held alongside the UN Ocean Conference, Bloomberg Philanthropies joined the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) coalition — the first UN-supported public-private partnership designed to leverage private investments to fill a funding gap for coral reef resilience and solutions. Bloomberg Philanthropies pledged USD $8 million to the fund, building on Bloomberg’s decade-long efforts to protect coral reefs and marine ecosystems increasingly threatened by climate change through its Vibrant Oceans Initiative.
Coral reef ecosystems around the globe face an uncertain future, threatening over a quarter of all ocean life and the source of food, livelihoods, and cultural heritage for over 500 million people. Even with drastic emission reductions to meet Paris Agreement targets, 70-90% of today’s corals are anticipated to vanish by mid-century. To prevent further reef decline, the GFCR leverages blended finance and public-private partnerships to help countries implement sustainable conservation solutions for reefs and increase the resilience of reef communities.
Today’s commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies will support the development of a global portfolio of ‘reef-positive’ activities and ecosystem services, including sewage and water treatment, plastic recycling facilities, ecotourism, sustainable agriculture and fisheries, mariculture and coral reef restoration to address local drivers of coral loss.
“Coral reefs will require more than public resources to address this urgent crisis,” said Antha Williams, who leads environment programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Working together as a coalition to accelerate private investment in these crucial ecosystems and pioneer innovative solutions is necessary to support the resilience of coral reefs and coastal communities around the world. Bloomberg Philanthropies is glad to join the Global Fund for Coral Reefs coalition, an important step to ensure the long-term survival of our world’s coral reefs and protect the world’s ocean.”
Mobilizing over USD $170 million for blue economic transition in developing countries, the Fund will help support solutions that are linked to economic recovery and prosperity. Together, Bloomberg and the diverse coalition of GFCR’s government and philanthropic partners, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Builders Vision, will help accelerate sustainable solutions for the world’s coral reefs and coastal communities through grants, concessional loans, guarantees and technical assistance.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen stated: “Through innovative blended finance, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs aims to prevent the potential extinction of reef ecosystems in our lifetime. By unlocking groundbreaking private investments to reduce local degradation drivers, the GFCR Coalition is committed to giving coral reefs the greatest chance of surviving climate change. On behalf of partners, I am pleased to welcome Builders Vision and Bloomberg Philanthropies to the powerful GFCR Coalition.”
Today’s announcement builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ work with key partners in more than 10 countries to ensure the ocean ecosystem and coastal communities can continue to thrive even in the face of unrestrained tourism, declining water quality, overfishing, and climate change. As part of this work, Bloomberg’s Vibrant Oceans Initiative focuses on regions that are home to a portfolio of coral reef ecosystems, identified in the 2018 groundbreaking 50 Reefs study that are most likely to survive climate change and repopulate surrounding reefs. The 50 Reefs study has since helped at least 26 organizations and eight funders prioritize investment and conservation efforts to protect 60 coral reef ecosystems across over 40 countries through its clear, science-based framework. Today, the original study continues to inspire new research to inform on-the-ground conservation projects and offers future recommendations for funding against five key threats to coral: fishing impacts, non-point source pollution, wastewater pollution, coastal development, and climatic stress.
As climate change increasingly threatens key ocean ecosystems, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative is working around the world to advance evidence-based conservation practices and implement data-driven policies to protect our ocean and the 3 billion people that depend on them. The Initiative has dedicated nearly $200 million to ocean conservation efforts to date – focusing on efforts that protect and restore the world’s ocean by promoting ocean conservation, protecting resilient coral reef habitats, and reducing the practice of harmful and illegal overfishing. The Initiative currently operates with local organizations and global partners Rare, Oceana, Global Fishing Watch, and the Wildlife Conservation Society in 10 countries – Australia, the Bahamas, Chile, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Peru, and the United States.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR):
The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) is the first and only blended finance initiative dedicated to coral reefs globally. The public-private partnership is driven by foundations, Member States, UN Agencies, organizations, and the private sector. The GFCR Coalition aims to bridge the coral reef funding gap by facilitating an innovative ‘Reef-Positive Investment Ecosystem’ with an array of financial tools designed to incubate, de-risk and unlock public and private market-based investment aligned to conservation of coral reef refugia. The initiative provides an implementation tool for national marine biodiversity conservation and blue economic transition ambitions. Emphasis is placed on climate-resilient ecosystems that are crucial for preventing reef extinction, supporting rich biodiversity, and providing critical ecosystem services. Discover more at globalfundcoralreefs.org and join the GFCR coral action communities on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.