The Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility awards up to 1.5M EUR to six winning project proposals to build a pipeline of investable projects in Marine Protected Areas

The Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) is renewing its support for the implementation of innovative concepts and activities advancing sustainable investment in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). BNCFF has selected six promising projects, with great potential for scaling and applying lessons learned.

In response to a Call for Proposal on MPAs and Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs), jointly funded by the Government of Luxembourg, Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development and the UBS Optimus Foundation, 6 projects were selected to receive funding to support MPA effective management, engage in stakeholder consultations, develop financial models, and identify scalability opportunities to attract private sector finance – adding to the international portfolio of credible, high impact and investment-ready blue natural capital projects.

The winning projects, located in Brazil, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Peru and India, will also collaborate with the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas Standard. The IUCN Green List Standard consists of 17 globally applicable criteria categorized under four components, supported by 50 generic indicators. It provides an international benchmark for quality that motivates improved performance and achievement of conservation objectives. With support from BNCFF, the selected project will undertake the Green List Gaps Analysis tool, a self-assessment and analysis tool, aiming to identify areas for improvement and investment, measure performance against all criteria of the IUCN Green List Standard. It will provide a baseline to track progress towards the evaluation thresholds, helping streamline a potential certification process for candidate sites.

We would like to thank all the project applicants for their proposals, and to congratulate the six winners as we move forward together with them.

Winning projects



How BNCFF will help


Conservation International Brazil

The project aims to integrate MPAs and its surrounding communities to the tourism industry, as key elements of the landscape in southern Bahia, Brazil. Our goal is to develop sustainable ecotourism alternatives, reducing pressures on marine ecosystems, generating income to people, and engaging communities, businesses, and tourists on MPA’s management.

Through BNCFF support, the project will create shared value opportunities and strengthen MPAs’ governance and infrastructure. Through participatory processes and technical guidance, the funding will help MPAs to meet the IUCN Green List criteria. By developing community-based experiences and sustainable tourism products along with the Futuri Brasil alliance, the project will promote long-term financial sustainability of MPAs.


Blue Finance

The project will contribute to the effective management and financial sustainability of a network of MPAs in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia (summing 600,000 ha of high-biodiverse coral reefs and enhancing the direct livelihoods and food security for 4,000 households (most of them under poverty level).

The support from BNCFF will help design an MPA project with high-quality environmental, social and innovative financial set up, and prepare a pipeline of reef-positive businesses supporting the financial sustainability of the MPA network. BNCFF will contribute to structure a blended finance facility for MPAs globally.


Reef World Foundation

Through a collaboration between the Reef-World Foundation, Coral Triangle Centre and UNEP-COBSEA, this project aims to identify new revenue generation mechanisms and enhance capacity for coral reef MPA management through the implementation of sustainable marine tourism standards using the Green Fins approach.

The project will enable resource managers to build the evidence base of Green Fins’ environmental, social and economic returns for reef health as well as local communities, ensure financial sustainability and strengthen capacity of Green Fins and improve uptake of environmental best practices among the marine tourism sector.

Sierra Leone

Conservation Society of Sierra Leona

This project, led by the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone in partnership with GREENLIFE West Africa, motivates youths in Sierra Leone for community-based mangrove conservation. It uses sustainable livelihood initiatives to restore degraded marine ecosystems, engaging young people in environmental stewardship.

This funding will help to support community engagements and build capacity of youths on sustainable livelihood interventions for increased economic resilience of the communities. The project will demonstrate how to inject pride and inspire communities for effective marine ecosystem restoration and conservation.


Consorcio Manglares del Noroeste del Peru

This Project aims to transform Santuario Nacional de los Manglares de Tumbes (SNLMT) into Peru’s pioneering investor-supported MPA. With blue carbon, sustainable shrimp aquaculture, and ecotourism as catalysts, the project will foster long-term financial sustainability, benefitting the MPA, investors, and local communities alike.

BNCFF is backing strategic seafood alliances, fundraising, carbon certification, and upskilling locals in a Nature Based Solution framework. They’re propelling SNLMT towards IUCN Green List, charting a sustainable path for the long-term management of the MPA. Finally, BNCFF support will help create a dynamic partnership for sustainable blue economy ventures with far-reaching impacts.


Zoological Society of London

This project supports India’s National Action Plan for Dugong Conservation, aiming to restore the dugong population and habitat in the next two decades. It focuses on Palk Bay Dugong Conservation Reserve in Tamil Nadu. The Zoological Society of London, Wildlife Institute of India, and Tamil Nadu Forest Department will collaborate to manage and restore the reserve’s biodiversity, involving local communities. The project includes developing sustainable financing based on blue carbon, biodiversity, and local business investments.

Funding from the BNCFF will allow baseline assessments and biodiversity monitoring including seagrass mapping and dugong population counts; outcome modelling to forecast project credit generation; an IUCN Green List assessment; business and financial modelling for the proposed special purpose vehicle; legal structuring as well as market testing to engage with potential investors with a view to securing investment in further sustainable finance project development and implementation.

What is the BNCFF?

The Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility supports the development of sound, investable Blue Natural Capital (BNC) projects with clear ecosystem service benefits, based on multiple income streams and appropriate risk-return profiles.

BNCFF is excited to start work with these three projects, all of which were selected during a rigorous Call for Proposals process with the ultimate decision on which projects to fund being made by a Grants Approval Committee.

Further Calls for Proposals will be announced in the near future. If you want to be informed about future Calls for Proposals, please send an email to to be added to our mailing list.