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Global Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge names 9 finalists

by Daria Blackwell 17 Jun 20:15 UTC
Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) © ORRAA

Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC), led by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), acts as an incubator by providing mentoring, leadership training and funding for some.

These 9 finalists in the selection phase show great resolve highlighted by this global competition which identifies and nurtures financially innovative, community-led projects that build coastal resilience and reduce ocean risk.

At COP26 in Glasgow, The UK Minister for the Pacific and the Environment at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Rt Hon Lord [Zac] Goldsmith, announced that the Swiss Re Foundation and the United Kingdom's Blue Planet Fund (BPF) would contribute more than USD$500,000 to the running of the Challenge throughout 2022 and 2023.

As part of the programme, the projects benefit from the support and tailored guidance of a mentor and a three-day Leadership Academy to refine their business plans and hone their skills. ORIC also connects projects with potential investors to help bridge the gap between locally led innovation and investment, to accelerate their growth and wider positive impact.

'The Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge is designed to ensure a healthy pipeline of scalable projects, which are developing financial and insurance products. This a locally-led programme, delivering positive impact when it comes to building coastal resilience and protecting vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change," comment Karen Sack, Executive Director, ORRAA. "We were impressed with the calibre and innovation of the applications. Together, with the support of our partners and members, we aim to grow and scale promising projects by connecting them with potential investors to achieve positive outcomes for the Ocean and the communities who depend on it."

After reviewing all the applications, the nine finalists are:

  • Abalobi, South Africa - A social enterprise seeking to develop thriving small-scale fishing communities in Africa and beyond. Through its technology, Abalobi can connect small-scale fishers directly with consumers ensuring a fair, transparent income for the fisher, and fully traceable "Fish With A Story" for the consumer. They are based in South Africa, but their projects are located across Africa.
  • Aqua-Farms Organization (AFO), Tanzania - A youth-led, non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Tanzania that aims to create resilient coastal communities by focusing on marine habitat restoration, improving fish markets, as well as innovation and research toward expanding livelihood opportunities while preserving biodiversity. If successful, ORICII will support AFO roll out tubular net seaweed farming technology.
  • Barefoot Monsoon, India - This project works with communities to develop high quality nature-based carbon offset projects to sequester emissions while improving livelihoods. It enables partnerships with low emission technology leaders, from development to commercial deployment. Barefoot Monsoon also finances high impact water, climate change and biodiversity projects. Barefoot Monsoon is based in Australia, but the shortlisted project is in India.
  • Blue Ventures, operating in multiple locations - Blue Ventures is working to restore the world's oceans and improve the livelihoods of traditional fishing communities. It has an office in the UK, but its projects are in countries including Indonesia and Madagascar. This project will put data at the heart of tackling the financial exclusion of fishers.
  • Engineers Without Borders - A technical Denmark-based humanitarian organisation made up of voluntary members that work with local partners. It has more than 1,500 skilled members that help develop international partnerships, create sustainable solutions and improve living conditions in some of the poorest communities in the world.
  • INVERSA Leathers, Mexico - This organisation manufactures the world's first regenerative leather. Made from invasive lionfish, which can destroy local marine life, INVERSA Leathers helps solve an environmental crisis and helps fashion be more sustainable. INVERSA Leathers is based in Florida USA, but the shortlisted project will build well-equipped fishing cooperatives in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
  • Mesoamerican Reef, Guatemala - The project will establish an innovative financing scheme for the deployment of nature-based solutions for adaptation and resilience in Caribbean Guatemala. Through the proposed financial mechanism, the project will be able to finance different nature-based solutions, such as natural wetlands wastewater treatment, emission reduction and carbon sequestration, that would be too difficult to finance through traditional financial intermediation and projects.
  • Satsense Solutions, India - A start-up that uses satellite remote sensing and geospatial analytics to address the challenges of sustainable development and climate change. Its project de-risks sustainable tourism and supports the economic development of the Sundarbans region in eastern India. They have an office in the UK, but the projects are in India. This project quantifies the risk of coastal erosion and flooding at a local level, enabling insurance companies to develop and design new insurance products.
  • Save the Waves, Mexico, Peru, Maldives - An international non-profit dedicated to protecting surf ecosystems across the globe through a unique combination of protected area creation, stewardship and grassroots mobilization. Save The Waves will work with local surfing communities and economies to incentivize the protection and conservation of surf ecosystems.

The Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge is part of ORRAA's goal to drive USD$500 million of investment into ocean Nature-based Solutions, surface at least 50 novel finance products and improve the resilience of 250 million people in coastal areas around the world.

Winners from the first Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge, launched last year, include an initiative to empower seaweed farmers in Indonesia through innovation and financial inclusion (MARI Indonesia), and a plastics credit platform in India (rePurpose Global) to reduce waste, support livelihoods and restore natural capital. ORRAA is currently working with Marine Change, another winner, to enhance the resilience of tuna fishing communities in Indonesia by supporting the development of parametric climate risk insurance.

The Ocean Cruising Club encourages members to be on the lookout for community ventures that could benefit from the support of ORRAA.

Read more here...

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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