Ocean conservation actions are underway around the world to sustain vital ocean benefits, such as food provision, biodiversity, and recreation. Continued support of these efforts to conserve ecosystems and combat climate change, overfishing, and habitat destruction will require massive investments, likely orders of magnitude larger than the current annual spending in this sector of approximately $1.3 billion. Philanthropy has supplied much of this funding to date, and will continue to play an essential role in developing and piloting solutions, but restoring ocean health and resilience will require more resources than are available in the philanthropic sector alone. To radically increase available funding for ocean conservation actions, alternative financing mechanisms must be implemented.
We partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to think about what these alternative mechanisms might look like, and how they could expand the pool of financial resources available for ocean and island conservation initiatives. In particular, we considered how creative financing mechanisms could be applied to TNC California’s priority areas of kelp forest protection and restoration, coral reef restoration, island biosecurity, and fisheries disaster relief.