By 2050, an estimated 800 million people will be at risk from storm surge caused by extreme weather events, and more than five hundred and seventy low-lying coastal cities will face sea level rise of at least 0.5 metres. Coastal communities in developing countries, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and other low-lying areas are likely to be most severely impacted, with women and girls especially hard hit.
There are many perceived barriers to investing in nature-based solutions for coastal protection. These include a lack of understanding of how investing in natural capital can provide a timely and productive return, and insufficient data and modelling capabilities for investors to quantify ocean-derived risks.
To help address the these and other problems, the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) has launched an Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge to surface financial and insurance innovations that build coastal resilience to ocean-derived risks.
To that end, the challenge is looking for innovative, scalable finance and insurance products that can drive investment in coastal natural capital and increase resilience while delivering a return on investment. The initiatives must also reduce ocean risk for the most vulnerable; include a focus on gender, equity and human rights; and protect biodiversity.
The challenge seeks proposals from individual organizations or consortiums from the public and private sectors, local civil society groups, international NGOs, and academia. Both experienced implementers as well as startups, hubs, and accelerators from the Global North and South are encouraged to apply. ORRAA will rigorously assess all entries to the challenge based on their viability, innovativeness, scale of impact, and equity. Winners will be selected by the end of the calendar year and announced in early 2021.
Selected projects will receive customized support aimed at maximizing their potential for impact, scalability and investability and will be connected to potential investors and partners from across the ORRAA network.
ORRAA will host two online information sessions on October 28, from 09:00-10:00 and 4:00-5:00 GMT, where applicants can meet members of the Challenge team and ask questions about any aspect of the competition. (Registration required.)
For additional details on eligibility and selection criteria, benefits for winners, application instructions and timelines, and registration links for the informational webinars, see the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance website.