Investing in Coral Reefs and Blue Economy

Gutpela Solwara Gutpela Bisnis

Project Background

Recognised as one of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is home to a marine ecosystem of international significance. Its coral reefs form part of the Coral Triangle – an area with the highest levels of marine biodiversity on the planet. But, despite the abundance of aquatic life and natural resources, PNG’s marine and coastal ecosystems and species are still inadequately protected and resourced. This leaves them vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and human-induced threats, such as pollution, overfishing and habitat degradation. 

Gutpela solwara, gutpela bisnis, is a Tok Pisin phrase meaning “Good oceans, good business”. A reminder of the fact that putting the health of the reef first can be a surprisingly good model for so-called “blue business”, this phrase also summarizes the motivation behind the UNDP / UNCDF joint project “Investing in Coral Reefs and Blue Economy”. 

The project aims to demonstrate the viability of the blue economy by:

  • Supporting local “reef-positive” enterprises
  • Leveraging local skills 
  • Unlocking private capital from domestic and international sources.

UNDP will also establish and operationalize the Blue Economy Enterprise Incubation Facility (BE-EIF) through this project. This facility will work to stimulate the growth of viable blue businesses in PNG, particularly micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) that are women-led or women-focused.

Project Objectives

The BE-EIF aims to provide a dedicated financing window and technical assistance to local MSMEs to help them discover, incubate and grow their investment-readiness. This in turn, will support bigger-picture objectives, such as:

  • Catalysing the growth of the blue economy in PNG
  • Augmenting the protection of coral reefs and associated ecosystems.

 Project Outcomes

  • Outcome 1: An established financing ecosystem that supports sustainable and scalable blue livelihoods in Kimbe Bay
  • Outcome 2: Strengthened protection of coral reefs and the marine environment
  • Outcome 3: Access to technical and financial assistance for transformative blue livelihoods for women, in accordance with local value systems
  • Outcome 4: Private sector capital support for investments in conservation and reef-first/ blue economy business models

Expected Results:

  • A national Blue Investment Strategy is developed and published 
  • 23,286 hectares of coral reef are under protection
  • At least five new women-led blue economy initiatives are supported
  • A women-led blue business network is established and operational
  • Marine protected areas are financed by private revenue generation

Status: Active

Project Time Frame: 

- Project start date: January 2022

- Project end date: December 2025 

Location: Papua New Guinea

Focus Area: Environment and Economy

Beneficiaries: 

  • Government of Papua New Guinea
  • MSME’s in the blue economy 

Partners: 

  • Government of Papua New Guinea
  • Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises 
  • Civil society and communities

Donors: 

Global Fund for Coral Reefs, Joint SDG Fund

Budget: USD $5 mil

Contacts:

Theresa Dearden

Technical Advisor 

Email: Theresa.dearden@undp.org

 

Elsie Simeon

Project Manager

Email: elsie.simeon@undp.org

Impact

START DATE

January 2022

END DATE

December 2025

STATUS

Ongoing

PROJECT OFFICE

Papua New Guinea

IMPLEMENTING PARTNER

United Nations Development Programme

DONORS

MPTF-Global Fund Coral Reefs

MPTF-Joint SDG Fund

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS

$4,243,682

DELIVERY IN PREVIOUS YEARS

2021$0

2022$233,689

2023$593,467

2024$165,749

Full Project information