July 1, 2022

CORDAP and the Global Fund for Coral Reefs announce new partnership to accelerate global innovation in coral reef restoration


Announced during the UN Oceans Conference in Lisbon, the partnership will advance and scale-up coral reef research, development and restoration across the world

Lisbon, Friday, 1 July 2022 – Chuck Cooper, Chair of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) Executive Board, and Prof. Carlos Duarte, Executive Director of the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP) Central Node, announced a new partnership during the UN Ocean Conference, setting the ambition to deliver collaborative projects that advance science and technology for coral reef restoration, support a blue recovery, and enable strategic engagement for the acceleration of coral conservation resources. 

GFCR is the first and the only global blended finance initiative devoted to coral reefs. CORDAP is a G20 initiative and the only international organization fully dedicated to funding global research and development for coral restoration and conservation.

Over two-thirds of the world’s tropical coral reefs have been lost because of human activity. Without scaled conservation action, the remaining 70% to 90% of tropical coral reefs are predicted to decline in the coming decades. For the first time, an entire ecosystem that supports millions of species and people may be lost at the hands of humans. 

Many of the world’s tropical coral reefs remain resilient, however, and can recover if conditions permit. Corals also respond to active stewardship. However, the global and local threats to corals add up to a rapidly closing window of opportunity for securing their future. 

“A future ocean depleted of healthy coral reefs across multiple human generations is not one we shall accept. We must accelerate the next generation of best science and technology to conserve and restore coral reefs”, said Prof. Carlos M. Duarte, Interim Executive Director of the Platform Central Node supporting CORDAP asserts.

The target areas of collaboration between GFCR and CORDAP include;

  • Advancing scientific methods to prioritize conservation efforts on climate-resilient ecosystems
  • Building the capacity of actors implementing coral reefs conservation initiatives
  • Contributing to the global effort to standardize and centralize data on coral reef ecosystems
  • Collaborating with international, regional and national initiatives and policy-makers
  • Joint awareness raising and engagement activities 

“Emerging technologies will play a critical role in addressing the existential threats facing coral reefs, including their rapid decline due to climate change, overfishing, and nutrient and plastic pollution. GFCR is excited to partner with CORDAP to identify, implement, and scale approaches for coral reef conservation and restoration that combine innovative science, technology, and engineering,” added Chuck Cooper, the GFCR Executive Board Chair and Managing Director of Policy and Government Relations at Vulcan LLC, who represents the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation on the GFCR Board.

The partnership was announced at the Champions #ForCoral event, held at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and co-hosted by CORDAP, GFCR, the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The high-level event commemorated the official launch of CORDAP, serving a priority objective to raise awareness of the critical resource gap facing coral reef ecosystems and foster strategic relationship-building. H.E. Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, relayed opening remarks, followed by remarks by Dr. Richard Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrator, among others. 

“We are delighted to develop this strategic partnership with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs. Our individual visions are not only well aligned but quite complementary, and, together, we will deliver critical resources to secure a future for coral reefs,” Jennifer Koss, vice-chair of CORDAP’s Initiative Governance Committee and Director of NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, stated.


Media Contacts

For media inquiries, please contact Guiomar Duarte, CORDAP Communications Lead, at guiomar.duarte@cordap.org and Nicole Trudeau, GFCR Strategic Engagement & Communication Specialist, at nicole.trudeau@undp.org.  


Unique in its time-sensitive mission, CORDAP will support, complement, and scale up existing and new initiatives working on coral reef conservation, resilience, adaptation, and restoration.

CORDAP was launched in 2020 by 17 G20 nations to accelerate global research and development of coral and reef restoration and conservation to secure a future for corals in the face of climate change and other pressures. CORDAP aims to increase support and complement existing national, regional and international initiatives currently working on coral conservation, resilience, adaptation and restoration.

More information can be found at cordap.org

About GFCR

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) is the first and only blended finance initiative dedicated to coral reefs globally. The public-private partnership is driven by foundations, Member States, UN Agencies, organizations, and the private sector. The GFCR coalition aims to bridge the coral reef funding gap by facilitating an innovative ‘Reef-Positive Investment Ecosystem’ with an array of financial tools designed to incubate, de-risk and unlock public and private market-based investment aligned to conservation of coral reef refugia. The GFCR provides an implementation tool for national marine biodiversity conservation and blue economic transition. Emphasis is placed on climate-resilient ecosystems that are crucial for preventing reef extinction, supporting rich biodiversity, and providing critical ecosystem services. 

More information can be found at www.globalfundcoralreefs.org