Mr Justin Story1, Ms Sarah Leck1
1Aither, Melbourne, Australia
In Seychelles, coral reefs provide coastal protection, habitat for a range of marine species and in turn support key tourism and fisheries industries. However, in Seychelles over 90 percent of coral reefs have been lost as a result of significant bleaching events, leaving coastal areas at risk, and reducing resilience to climate change.
The Government and NGOs in Seychelles have already successfully implemented coral restoration projects. However, scaling up these small-scale successes to provide effective risk reduction to Seychelles’ coastal communities and economy would benefit from a large-scale coordinated approach. Aither has been working with The World Bank and project partners BMT, UniSey Blue Economy Research Institute, Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, WiseOceans and University of Queensland, to assist Seychelles in developing strategies for large-scale coral reef restoration to improve coastal resilience.
An initial business case for a national coral reef restoration strategy was developed for 15 priority sites where coral reef restoration was identified as feasible and capable of providing coastal resilience and biodiversity outcomes. Building on other examples of innovative financing and funding mechanisms globally, the business case identified a range of private and public financing options that could be used to implement a national strategy for coral reef restoration.
The results of this project have established a foundation on which to further build and refine the national strategy and demonstrate how the identification of economic and financial costs and benefits can be used to develop innovative approaches to funding and financing conservation and restoration programs.
Justin Story has over a decade of experience working in the natural resource management sector in Australia and internationally. Justin is a Principal Consultant with Aither, a specialist consulting firm focused on inspiring and enabling positive change in the management of water and natural resources.
His recent work with Aither includes financing coral reef restoration, financing run-off reduction for the Great Barrier Reef, socio-economic assessment of changes to a marine park and, business case development for biodiversity and hazard reduction investments.
Justin has qualifications in Science, Environmental Engineering and Applied Finance, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.