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Coastal Fisheries Initiative

Challenge Fund Project

©FAO/L. Callerholm

Realizing the potential economic value of coastal fisheries, securing livelihoods and restoring ecosystems

A key objective of the CFI Program is to find new ways to achieve the sustainable use and management of coastal fisheries. The private sector has a role to play in improving the current state of fisheries management globally, and many private sector actors would like to invest in actions that will be environmentally and financially sustainable. However, fisheries by their very nature are risky businesses, therefore engaging the private sector to invest highlights the need to identify, manage and mitigate these risks. Nevertheless, if approaches and tools can be developed to address these risks, the benefits to fisheries and fishers could be positive overall and sustainable.

In keeping with the innovative and knowledge sharing nature of the CFI, the Challenge Fund Project will:

  • engage financial sector regulatory agencies and banking associations from CFI countries to develop ways to advance sustainable finance in line with international best practice in fisheries management and policy. The Challenge Fund will advise regulators in policy development and related initiatives to create drivers for sustainable finance in their coastal fisheries. Establish an investment readiness facility designed to offer technical assistance in response to fisher organizations, local governments, seafood businesses and other stakeholders in the CFI countries seeking to understand and mitigate the risks that prevent them from attracting sustainable financing for their coastal fishery enterprises.

The Challenge fund will respond to local demand and on the basis of agreed selection criteria, identify fisheries that could best benefit from technical assistance leading to the development of investment proposals. The idea of the challenge fund is to demonstrate how a reframing of fisheries recovery from a financial perspective for shared prosperity can attract private capital, and to share the lessons learned in fisheries reforms and in developing investment strategies within the programme and globally.

The four major components of the Challenge Fund are:

  • Investment readiness facility
  • Promoting sustainable investment policy and guidelines within the financial sector; and
  • South-South knowledge sharing and learning
  • The Challenge Fund lead by the World Bank will be implemented over 5 years with a budget of 7.8 million USD contribution from the GEF which is expected to leverage more than 40 million USD in co-financing.