Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) was today welcomed as the first Australian not-for-profit into the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). This announcement reinforces the economic and environmental significance of the Great Barrier Reef on a global scale.
The GBRF was recognised for its plan to bring an innovative financing mechanism in the form of a bond, which subject to Government approval, has the potential to deliver a highly replicable funding solution for a range of environmental and social issues globally.
GBRF in conjunction with Goldman Sachs Australia and KPMG has developed the new fundraising framework to fund a substantial portfolio of research required to support the GBRF’s mission of protecting and preserving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. GBRF will deliver a comprehensive research program focused on enabling coral reefs to successfully adapt to climate change.
In 2007 the International Panel on Climate Change predicted that, if nothing is done, by 2020, up to 60% of the Great Barrier Reef would bleach every second year. GBRF believes the research community has 5 years to find the solutions addressing adaptation to climate change.
109 countries and over half a billion people globally rely directly on healthy and resilient coral reefs. The success of this funding mechanism has the potential to offer far reaching and very positive impacts globally.
Judith Stewart, Chief Executive of GBRF said that the Foundation’s Commitment to Action detailing its unique financing approach and the project portfolio it is designed to fund is to be announced at the CGI Market Based Solutions plenary session.
“The GBRF Commitment was selected specifically as an exemplary approach to addressing challenges in the priority area of the Environment and market based solutions. The benefit of this financing approach is the delivery of substantial, up-front research funding up front to commission this urgent body of research.
“Given the critical timeframes to address adaptation for coral reefs globally, this financing mechanism will have distinct advantages over the traditional funding approach of smaller multi-year grants, allowing GBRF to fully implement its program of research.
“Importantly, the bond also has potential application for a range of environmental issues globally – not just coral reefs,” Ms Stewart said.
Lord Michael Hastings, KPMG’s International’s Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity, said, “It’s been a deep honour for KPMG to work alongside the GBRF in developing the bond and ensuring that it delivers what we all agree is a vital investment. The GBR has become symbolic over generations as a world heritage site that captures the rich bio diversity of species and is in itself compellingly beautiful. We know there is little time to protect its long-term value for the millions who would be affected by further damage and degradation. So – now is the moment to step up the need and face the potential implications of neglect with a determination to engage with the bond opportunity and to make history together. That’s our commitment. ”
About The Great Barrier Reef Foundation (The Foundation)
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit with strong links to Australian business, philanthropy, government and coral reef research and management agencies. In 2007 the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that if nothing was done about the devastating impacts of climate change on coral reefs, as much as 60% of the world’s largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef, would bleach every second year by 2020. The IPCC’s predictions were a call to action. Irrespective of how successful we are in mitigating the severity of climate change, there must be effective adaptation to changes in the ecosystem which are already in evidence and to which we are already committed.
Recognising that no one group can solve this problem alone and that such a challenge requires leadership and a strong drive for innovation, the Foundation convened experts from across its network to develop a portfolio of research targeted towards a vision of resilient coral reefs, successfully adapting to climate change. It further partnered with Goldman Sachs Australia and KPMG to innovate in a funding mechanism to facilitate an immediate and accelerated. For more information, please visit www.barrierreef.org
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220 million people in more than 170 countries. The 2010 CGI Annual Meeting will take place from September 20-23, 2010, in New York City. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
SOURCE: Great Barrier Reef Foundation