GLOBAL OCEAN TRUST
“Towards sustainable blue infrastructure finance”
Photo: Courtesy Blue Ventures
Read more about how Global Ocean Trust founder, and IPBC finance Focal Group member Torsten Thiele, helped lead a new approach to sustainable blue infrastructure finance.
Global Ocean Trust (GOT) is an NGO with a passion for “ocean solutions”. GOT draws on expertise in finance and engagement with leading conservation organisations to show that sustainable blue finance is not only possible, but also economically viable and critical to deliver marine conservation solutions at speed and scale.
So when GOT founder and IPBC finance focal group member Torsten Thiele was asked by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to help develop a guidance document on Blue Infrastructure Finance, he did not hesitate. The document would help formulate a new approach to integrating nature-based solutions for coastal resilience projects.
Together with Dorothée Herr of IUCN and the larger team of the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF), an expert team of co-authors, including specialists from the public and private sectors in finance, conservation and engineering, was assembled to draft the report. In the ensuing drafting effort the team’s practical experience, recent research and literature, and environmental ecosystem impact assessments were all discussed and considered to ensure that the new guidance document was thorough and developed from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
The initial draft was then discussed at a full day workshop at the margins of UNFCCC COP25 in Madrid, allowing new participants, together with the authors, to scrutinise the concepts. As a result, the full paper could draw on rich experience and knowledge.
Thanks to support from the Government of Sweden the study was concluded quickly and published in 2020 both in full, and as a 16-page summary.
The document aims to offer a critical perspective on how the large financial flows in infrastructure finance can best be used to support blue nature-based solutions and has been widely discussed since.
The publication of the report helped to validate the GOT approach. As a small NGO its unique perspective on financial ocean solutions can only have impact if multi-sector stakeholders including governments, public institutions, science, civil society and the private sector co-operate with a common goal in mind.
By supporting important conservation efforts and working with ocean leaders, GOT aims to help clarify concepts and encourage new approaches. Engaging with IUCN, IPBC, GMA, BCI and other blue carbon initiatives as well as broader ocean initiatives such as the Ocean-Climate Platform, the High Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy and the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative allows GOT to be part of a wider movement for ocean solutions.