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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a global organization with 17,000 staff working in approximately 170 offices globally towards supporting governments in developing strong policies, institutions and partnerships to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Recently, United Nations (UN) Joint Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Fund short-listed the UN Multiagency led concept note from Fiji as a potential pipeline project on SDG financing for 2020. In this context, the project design team from the participating agencies (UNDP, UNCDF, UNEP) are looking for a consultant to design and develop the financing part of the full proposal by December 2020. The initial concept note, which was shortlisted proposes investment in key SDG 14 initiatives (life under water) that leverage public and private financing in order to advance the SDGs. The concept aims to deliver on integrated, transformative policy change and innovative financial investment for healthy coral reefs. The consultant is expected to scope and structure the financial fund flow model on SDG financing mainly through use of innovative financing mechanisms preferably with commercial return on investments bearing in mind the context of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) mainly Fiji.
There are multitude of economic, social and cultural ramifications of dying coral reefs, declining fish populations, and an increase in coastal erosion. Thriving coral reefs and related ecosystems are vital for achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and delivering on nature-dependent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In total, 11 SDGs targets can be addressed through entry points such as coral reef tourism, food security, shoreline protection, and human health and wellbeing. Two of the primary SDG targeted are as follows:
– Goal 14, ‘life below water’ is the clearest as the proposal centres on coral reefs and the blue economy.
– Goal 17 ‘partnerships for the goals’ is targeted through use of a blended financial instrument that promotes innovation and offers a different kind of partnerships bringing UN organizations, Member states, Philanthropists, Private investors (BNP Paribas, Althelia, Vulcan), Non-profit organizations (Prince Albert II Foundation, Paul Allen Family Foundation, Blue Finance), and oceans focused networks where the UN are active members or founders, like ICRI and ORRAA.
Broad aims and objectives
The aim of the proposed consultancy would be to identify and build consensus among a core constituency of actors/investors for financing solutions that help to unlock and mobilise new sources of financing (mainly crowding in private capital) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular increase private investments for saving the lives of coral reefs and blue economic growth in Fiji.
Within these overall objectives the consultancy will focus on particular key issues including (i) identifying and incentivizing private capital/investment flow (ii) identifying and developing innovative and sustainable revenue mechanisms for SDG 14 and the Blue economy (iv) leveraging UN Joint Fund’s grant investment to crowd in private capital (V) design and develop blended finance investment solutions.
The objectives for the assignment will be discussed and refined after a scoping exercise which will initiate the processes for structuring financing mainly to establish a blended finance facility for the coral reefs and blue economic development in Fiji.
Specific objectives of the scoping exercise/mission
The initial scoping mission (Home-based is possible during the current COVID-19 outbreak) will be held in September-October 2020. The aim of this scoping mission will be to solidify investor relationships, secure their participation in the process and to identify potential financing opportunities for the coral reefs and blue economy.
Initial desk-based analysis of headline financing trends will be undertaken in advance of the scoping mission in order to facilitate dialogue amongst the stakeholders to develop a full proposal on investing in coral reefs and blue economy. This will likely be based primarily on international data, investor interest, UNDP’s and Fiji’s ongoing initiatives.
The consultancy will assist the team to deepen engagement with the investors, public actors, representatives of the private sector/banks, think tanks, civil society (WWF, Nature Conservancy) multilateral financial institutions (ADB, WB etc) and other key development partners. The consultancy will focus on building investor awareness about the exercise, invite their participation in the consultative phases of the process and discuss specific roles or inputs from particular actors/investors in solidifying the proposal on investing in coral reefs and blue economy in Fiji.