Global Partnership With A Purpose

Partnerships and collaboration leverage the strengths of like-minded organizations to create efficiencies and increase the impact of programs. In 2021, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation continued working with global partners to fill funding gaps, increase our working knowledge of key issues, and shore up conservation efforts.

Mobilizing Public and Private Funds for Coral Reef Conservation

Coral reefs are among the most highly threatened ecosystems in the world due to climate change and other human pressures. These threats are compounded by a “coral reef funding gap,” a dramatic lack of resources for coral reef conservation and restoration. The stakes are high: one billion people rely on coral reefs for their livelihoods, food security, and coastal protection.

In 2017, Paul Allen asked his team to mobilize resources around the coral reef crisis.  After consultations with leading experts, we joined with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to launch the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR), a blended finance mechanism that uses governmental and philanthropic funding to catalyze private sector investments in coral reef conservation and restoration.
Today, the GFCR includes a broad coalition of donors, including Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; UN agencies; and implementing partners, such as Blue Finance, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, and World Wildlife Fund. They have raised more than $150 million in its first year, including an unprecedented $125 million investment by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), its first at-scale private sector program in the blue economy.   

The GFCR is implementing programs in Fiji, Kenya, Tanzania, The Bahamas, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines, with plans to launch investments in more than 20 additional countries in 2022.

Partners: Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Green Climate Fund, AGA, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, UN Capital Development Fund, BNP Paribas, Pegasus Capital Advisors, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, and IUCN

As the world’s first UN multi-partner trust fund for SDG14, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs will unleash the power of private sector financing for conservation.

— Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UN Development Programme's Bureau for Policy and Programme Support


A Prize That Invests in our Future  

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is a proud Global Alliance Founding Partner of The Earthshot Prize, an ambitious initiative of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to discover, spotlight, and scale the best solutions to our planet’s greatest environmental challenges. It takes inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, which united millions of people around an organizing goal to put man on the moon and catalyzed the development of new technologies. The Earthshot Prize is centered around five “Earthshots” – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all for generations to come. Each year for the next decade, the Prize will award five prizes of £1 million to the best solutions to each of the five Earthshot challenges, providing at least 50 solutions that could create a cleaner, healthier, brighter future for all.

According to The Earthshot Prize Founder Prince William, “The Earth is at a tipping point, and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate, and problem-solve.”

In October, The Earthshot Prize announced its first-ever winners across the five Earthshot categories, each delivering innovative energy and scalable solutions that will inspire additional adoption.

Protect and Restore Nature – Winner: Republic of Costa Rica and its pioneering program to pay local citizens to restore natural ecosystems that has already led to revival of the rainforest.

Clean our Air – Winner: Takachar from India is deploying cutting-edge technology to create fuel from agricultural waste that reduces the global air pollution from crop burning.

Revive our Oceans – Winner: Coral Vita from Bahamas have developed an approach to coral farming that can help restore our world’s coral reefs, one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet.

Build a Waste-free World – Winner: The City of Milan in Italy has implemented an initiative that dramatically reduces waste while tackling hunger.

Fix our Climate – Winner: AEM Electrolyser from Enapter which is based in Thailand, Germany and Italy, has created an ingenious green hydrogen technology that will transform how we power our homes, buildings, and transportation.

Our commitment to this partnership will help drive a wider understanding of and action on efforts to protect our planet, recognizing that environmental threats are surmountable only if addressed together, with scalable innovation. 

Founding Partners: Aga Khan Development Network, Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Breakthrough Energy, DP World and Expo 2020 Dubai, Jack Ma Foundation, Rob & Melanie Walton Foundation, Marc and Lynne Benioff, Coleman Family Ventures, Holch Povlsen Foundation and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
Earthshot Prize Winner: Republic of Costa Rica Earthshot Prize Winner: Republic of Costa Rica
Earthshot Prize Winner: Takachar Earthshot Prize Winner: Takachar
Earthshot Prize Winner: Coral Vita Earthshot Prize Winner: Coral Vita
Earthshot Prize Winner: The City of Milan Earthshot Prize Winner: The City of Milan
Earthshot Prize Winner: AEM Electrolyser Earthshot Prize Winner: AEM Electrolyser

Funder Collaborations for Greater Impact

Oceans 5 comprises 22 funding organizations with a common inspiration for grantmaking that delivers tangible improvement in global ocean health, establish marine reserves, and constrain overfishing. As a partner, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation collaborates on decisions that advance impact.  

In 2021, Oceans 5 grantees made significant strides towards ocean health conservation and restoration. With an abundance of success stories, here are two examples:

In July 2021, the government of Tonga approved a management plan covering 700,000 km2, of which about 30 percent will be fully protected – an area bigger than the state of Washington. Oceans 5 grantees helped secure similar commitments this year from the Government of Fiji, while securing new protected area policies and commitments from Ireland, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

In mid-December, Costa Rica expanded the protection around Cocos Island, a process that started in late 2017. There is now a ≈ 55,000 km2 no-take area directly around Cocos Island, and an outer multiple-use area covering ≈106,300 km2. Costa Rica now protects 30 percent of its waters, providing important new safeguards for sharks, rays, and many other species. The director of Cocos Marine Conservation Area, Gina Cuza said, “With this milestone comes great hope for mankind, but also great responsibility and commitment to implement continuous and forceful actions for protection, management, and sustainable use.” This expansion was a priority of several grantees of Oceans 5 and the Shark Conservation Fund.

Partners: Oceans 5

Funding Conservation Measures for Sharks and Rays

The Shark Conservation Fund (SCF) is a strategic philanthropic collaborative with a mission to halt the overexploitation of sharks and rays, and to prevent extinctions for the benefit of ecosystems and the people who depend on them.

Since its inception five years ago, SCF has awarded more than $23 million for projects in 54 countries, protected nearly 20 percent of all shark and ray species in key countries, established more than 200,000 square kilometers of shark beneficial Marine Protected Areas, and enabled adoption of new shark and ray management measures in 19 countries. 

In 2021, SCF’s support helped establish new protections for critically endangered angel sharks in the Canary Islands, enabled landmark scientific publications that reported 71 percent of oceanic sharks are threatened with extinction, and helped complete IUCN Red List assessments for 1,199 shark and ray species, uncovering over 30 percent of the world’s shark, ray, and chimera species are threatened with extinction.

Partners: Shark Conservation Fund

The Year Ahead
Photo courtesy Vulcan.