Investments in Coastal Nature-based Solutions Report

A green turtle swiming by coral
Blue Natural Capital (BNC) is the natural capital found in coastal and marine environments.

A report by IUCN and Silvestrum Climate Associates, Investments in Coastal Nature-based Solutions. Opportunities for National and Local Governments, published as part of the Knowledge Series of the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) provides an overview of the topical challenges and explores options for addressing regulatory and governance issues as barriers to NbS implementation.

Coastal or ‘blue’ NbS includes the conservation and/or restoration of coastal wetlands such as mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrass beds, which contain some of the largest carbon stocks per unit area and provide extensive carbon sequestration. Such blue NbS are also effective in the protection of coastal communities from climate change, while providing a multitude of local and global ecosystem services,

The report highlights the importance of protecting coastal communities, as even under global temperatures rise limited to 2°C, by 2050 at least 570 cities and some 800 million people will be impacted by rising seas and storm surges. Yet, financial markets have yet to recognise
the value of natural capital, with a wide gaps in NbS finance funding for sustainable investments in ocean and coastal habitats. While annual needs are between US$ 175 billion and US$ 459 billion, real funding through philanthropy and official development aid – are estimated to have been less than US$ 13 billion combined during the past decade.

Private sector investment in NbS also remains low, with less than 15% of current flows into NbS (US$ 133billion per year), from private sources. The most persistent and systematic barriers are regulatory and governance issue, with incomplete frameworks and rules for NbS to be implemented and financed. The creation or maintenance of detrimental regulatory regimes can also incentivise policies and actions that negate or go against NbS.

Therefore, despite the growing understanding for the opportunities provided by NbS to improve the resilience of communities and ecosystems to climate change, more awareness of the variety of obstacles and barriers to financial scaling is needed, in particular the roadblocks for private sector financing of NbS,

The report highlights how public and private sector investments can be combined to promote and enable sustainable growth and to strengthen mitigation and adaptation capacity and action. Success depends on an adequate interaction among stakeholders, the careful gauging of synergies between investment, environment and climate protection, and the mainstreaming of policy areas including tax, trade, planning and labour policies.

Read the full Silvestrum Climate Associates report, Investments in Coastal Nature-based Solutions. Opportunities for National and Local Governments.