Over the last 30 years, the world has lost half of its coral reefs: battered by over-fishing, pollution, and unsustainable coastal development, coral reefs are now at the frontline of climate change. These reefs, which only cover 0.2% of ocean surface, host 30% of marine biodiversity. Without urgent action and rapid mobilization of resources, coral reefs may face extinction within the next 30 years. The global annual value of coral reefs and associated ecosystems has been estimated between US$ 375B and US$ 2.7T, yet the current funding levels needed to save them from climate change and other threats are at least seven times too small.
To protect these ecosystems and unleash their potential, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR or the Fund) will serve as a blended finance vehicle leveraging grants, debt and other financial instruments to facilitate private return-based investments for coral reef conservation and resilience. The Fund will support businesses and finance mechanisms that improve the health and sustainability of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, while empowering local communities and enterprises.