Our Challenge

We Innovate

We’re meeting the challenges of protecting coral reefs forever while growing the Blue Economy through innovative social enterprise MPAs.

© Photo credit: Thomas Vignaud

Coral reefs
in crisis

Coral reefs are critical in maintaining ocean biodiversity and protecting shorelines. They also provide important benefits for humans including protein and income, and opportunities for responsible tourism and community-based aquaculture.

Globally, some 500 million people depend directly on these ecosystems – but over 75% of coral reefs worldwide are under immediate threat from human activities. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) could be our best hope in terms of preserving marine ecosystems and protecting the livelihoods of coastal communities.

The state of MPAs

Today, there are over 20,000 MPAs in the world – all of them intended to reduce local threats to marine biodiversity and protect ocean habitats and life. MPAs regulate human impacts like unsustainable fishing and tourism, pollution, and physical damage. MPAs conserve and improve marine biodiversity, and, in and around their boundaries, can become a sustainable source of food and income for local communities and host Blue Economy businesses. MPAs can also mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

© Background image: Christian Manalo

The Challenge

Insufficient or unreliable funding is limiting the positive impact of many MPAs. Conservation projects around marine ecosystems are also failing to attract sufficient impact capital. It’s time for a new approach to finance, and some blue water thinking around MPA management.

Our impact-driven solution

We believe that we must rethink the way we conserve the world’s oceans. Our innovative approach to marine conservation merges effective co-management of the MPAs, reef-positive businesses, and conservation practices based on solid science. We run MPAs as social enterprises that have a positive impact on marine biodiversity and local communities and can become self-sustaining.

© Background image: Christian Manalo

We run MPAs as social enterprises that have a positive impact on marine biodiversity and local communities and can become self-sustaining

One of our main focuses is growing reef-positive businesses in and around the MPAs, with all profits reinvested in the MPAs and contributing to the local economies

We explore innovative governance and financial mechanisms to provide the flexible funding that MPAs need to become self-sustaining

We actively engage to develop collaborative management partnerships with governments for MPAs

Although financing from public and philanthropic finance could scale-up in the future, protected areas must explore partnerships with the private sector to fill conservation gaps.

– Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD 2020) 

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