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Business Trends in Marine Conservation: Unlocking a Sustainable Blue Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean
Published: June 2023
Author/s: IDB Invest | Finance Earth
File: Download PDF

IDB Invest, in collaboration with the environmental impact investment advisory and fund management firm Finance Earth, published a report featuring investment opportunities for marine conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Conservation efforts aimed at preserving and restoring marine ecosystems are essential components of combatting climate change and restoring biodiversity, and of critical importance to LAC region; where over 25% of the population lives in coastal areas, with populations heavily dependent on key industries such as fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, and tourism for their livelihoods. It is estimated that the blue economy contributed over 407 billion dollars to the region’s GDP, and generates millions of jobs.

The report provides a framework for evaluating the success of business models for marine conservation, considering factors such as sustainability, profitability, governance and social impact. Several business models are analyzed covering three broad categories: Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES); Supply Chain Premium Model; and Sustainable Enterprises.

Finally, the authors identified key barriers and developed suggestions on how businesses and wider stakeholders, including the public sector and nonprofits, can address them while supporting wider sustainability and economic goals. Key learning from the study include:

• Supporting marine conservation makes business-sense
• Restoration or conservation aligned with core business purpose is more likely to be successful longer-term
• A mixed revenue model can be beneficial
• There is an important role for blended finance
• ‘Blue’ natural capital markets can support marine conservation and there is a benefit to developing high-quality blue carbon projects
• Community benefit and inclusion is key
• Clear policies and investment frameworks are essential for accelerating private sector participation
• Transparency, measurability and verifiability