New York, N.Y. (January 28, 2016) – Luxembourg-based asset management firm Althelia Ecosphere today announced its plans to launch the Sustainable Ocean Fund, a new public-private partnership dedicated to making pioneering impact investments into marine and coastal projects and enterprises that can deliver sustainable fisheries, marine conservation, improved livelihoods and economic returns.
Through the Sustainable Ocean Fund, Althelia Ecosphere intends to deploy approximately $100 million across a portfolio of between 10 to 15 investments into sustainable marine-based projects with a focus on developing countries. The fund will invest in real assets and projects that deliver improved management of coastal fisheries, sustainable aquaculture and promote responsible seafood supply chains.
The fund is dedicated to providing investors with a market return on their investments and to bring positive environmental, economic and social outcomes for the people who rely on these fisheries for their livelihoods. Target impacts include improved food and climate security, increased and stabilised fish stocks and marine habitats, improved livelihoods and economic value for local stakeholders as well as biodiversity and conservation gains. An initial portfolio of target investments has been identified in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Conservation International has provided funding to help launch the Sustainable Ocean Fund and to support due diligence of the investment pipeline, along with their associated supply chains.
Collectively, the global ocean covers 70% of our planet, and over one billion people depend on fish for their primary source of protein, with more than 350 million jobs linked to the ocean through fishing, aquaculture, coastal and marine tourism. Ninety percent of the people who derive their livelihoods from fishing live in developing countries.
However, over-fishing, the changing climate and increased pollution, are exhausting this critical common global resource, with 90% of the world's ocean fisheries categorized as over exploited or fully exploited and with cumulative losses from fisheries mismanagement estimated to be more than US$2.2 trillion over the last thirty years.
As a result of expanding coastal population centers and climate change the ocean has also seen a decline of habitats with 35% of global mangrove, 30% of sea grass beds and 50% of coral reefs destroyed.
Meeting these challenges will require new capital investment at scale. The Sustainable Ocean Fund will deliver this to projects where a clear business and impact case can be made.
"Building on the success of our Climate Fund, the new Sustainable Ocean Fund will allow us to direct meaningful investments to support sustainable fisheries over the long term, thereby accelerating the transition to a sustainable model." said Simon Dent, Partner at Althelia Ecosphere.
Conservation International as well as Environmental Defense Fund are engaged as strategic partners for the Sustainable Ocean Fund, bringing understanding of the science, technical and policy facets of sustainable fisheries. This collaboration with leading environmental organizations will ensure the fund is poised to direct investments into projects that uphold the highest environmental standards and allow for effective collaboration with stakeholders, including local communities and governments.
"The science, partnerships, and innovative financing that underpins all of Conservation International's work will help us guide the Sustainable Ocean Fund to make the most impactful investments possible in sustainable fisheries," said Agustin Silvani, Vice President of Ecosystem Finance for Conservation International.
"Attracting and growing investments in sustainable fisheries is a critical component of Environmental Defense Fund's strategy to recover global fisheries in our lifetimes," said Namrita Kapur, Managing Director, Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Defense Fund. "We are incredibly excited about the potential for this partnership to enlist mainstream investors and help set the precedent that sustainable fisheries are a good investment."
About Althelia Ecosphere
Natural capital - our ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources - is fundamental to the well being and sustainable development of our societies. The annual value of services provided by nature is in the trillions of dollars. Too often, however, financial capital is deployed against natural capital, destroying long-term sustainability of our environment, as well as the human economy.
Althelia Ecosphere has been established to demonstrate that financial returns can be fully aligned with the preservation of natural capital and with social development. It's first fund, the Althelia Climate Fund invests in agroforestry, REDD+ and sustainable land use projects that transform land-use practices whilst delivering environmental credits and sustainable commodities.
Althelia Ecosphere is committed to bringing its expertise and capital to define pathways to deliver innovative solutions to climate and environmental finance.
To find out more about how Althelia is working see www.althelia.com
About Conservation International (CI)
Since 1987, Conservation International (CI) has used an innovative blend of science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. CI works with more than 1,000 partners in more than 30 countries around the world to ensure a healthy, more prosperous planet that supports the well-being of people. Learn more about CI and the "Nature Is Speaking " campaign, and follow CI's work on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook
For more information, contact:
Media Relations Director, Conservation International
Partner, Althelia Ecosphere
+44 207 229 9551