Fund to Protect World's Most Diverse Marine Habitat Will Be Largest Dedicated Marine Conservation Fund in the World


Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2016) – Today at the U.S. Department of State's Our Oceans Conference, Conservation International (CI), together with The Walton Family Foundation, the Global Environment Facility, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, announced the launch of a trust fund, Blue Abadi, that will support long-term protection of Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape — home to the single greatest reservoir of marine life on the planet.

Located in West Papua, the Bird's Head Seascape is home to 600 species of corals and 1,765 species of fish. Twelve years of investment has resulted in the creation of a network of more than 3.6 million hectares of marine protected areas (MPA).The MPA network, which represents approximately 20% of all MPAs in Indonesia, has been co-managed by communities and government for biodiversity conservation and sustainable local fisheries.

Overall, the effort has engaged 30 partner organizations —including Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund — and 70 donors, both local and global. The governments of Indonesia and the West Papua Province, along with local communities, have played fundamental roles in managing the MPA network and local fisheries.

The Blue Abadi fund will help to secure the financial sustainability of the Seascape by providing grants to communities and agencies so they can sustainably manage their marine resources into the future ("Abadi" means forever in Indonesian). Once fully capitalized, it will be the largest dedicated marine conservation fund in the world at $38 million —and a powerful example of how local leadership combined with coordinated global support can deliver sustained conservation goals.

"The Bird's Head Seascape is a groundbreak partnership protecting a unique and irreplaceable corner of our blue planet," said Peter Seligmann, chairman and CEO of Conservation International. "The Government of Indonesia and the local community have taken the lion's share of responsibility for these efforts. I am thrilled that Conservation International and our partners can support the long-term financial stability of this partnership through the Blue Abadi Fund."

Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, said "I am pleased to announce that the GEF will provide seed funding of more than 2 million dollars to help catalyze the Blue Abadi Fund in the heart of the Coral Triangle, one of the most marine biodiverse regions in the world. The Blue Abadi Fund is unique. It creates an investment partnership between a multilateral institution and private philanthropists working together with the public sector and NGOs. This groundbreaking new fund demonstrates the power of partnerships to co-finance ocean conservation."

About Conservation International

Conservation International (CI) uses an innovative blend of science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, CI works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and the "Nature Is Speaking" campaign, and follow CI's work on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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