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Sahabat Laut Lestari is proud and honored to announce that #TeamSLL R&D Department has joined the #ORIC23 Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge which offers mentoring, leadership training, and funding to assist in the expansion of promising innovative projects led by local individuals. This program offers customized assistance from seasoned entrepreneurs, project implementers, and ocean experts. It includes leadership training, guidance in developing a compelling value proposition, and opportunities to present to investors and potential partners. The primary objective is to enhance the projects’ scalability, bolster the startup ecosystem, and secure additional investments.

Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC23) is a program that provides mentoring, leadership training, and funding to help to promise, locally-led innovative projects scale up. The program is a collaboration between the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), the Swiss Re Foundation, the UK’s Blue Planet Fund, and the U.S. Department of State.

Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) is a multi-sector collaboration between governments, financial institutions, the insurance industry, environmental organizations, and stakeholders from the Global South. Its purpose is to build resilience in the regions and communities most vulnerable to ocean risk, by pioneering finance and insurance products that incentivize investment in nature-based solutions.

The nine finalists of the Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge latest have been selected from 50 submissions around the world. These include solutions ranging from digital tools that build financial security for small-scale fishers to insurance solutions for seaweed farmers. Finalist innovators are from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, and Tanzania. Here are nine finalists: 

  1. Perahu Data Apps: Advancing fisheries traceability and financial inclusion, Indonesia – Will scale up a technology application that allows small-scale fishers and local suppliers to comply with local government and market requirements while preventing illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) caught fish from entering the supply chain. The App integrates catch information with economic records and provides verified traceable products with financial transaction records. The App will also report their catch to fisheries databases that can then support more data-based stock assessments and catch allocations. The product is designed to help small-scale fishers overcome the lack of regulatory compliance, electronic traceability, and financial inclusion.
  2. PescaData Apps: Enhancing data-driven decision-making for sustainable fishing practices, Mexico – This social enterprise provides a software solution that improves data collection and communication among small-scale fishers and fishing organizations in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, and Peru. Through the PescaData App, fishers can record and share data used on fishing trips (gear types, daily catches, expenses, bycatch), access weather forecasts, and implement community-based solutions for ocean sustainability. The software allows users to discuss and implement solutions without relying on traditional middlemen, thus accelerating peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and action.
  3. Building risk management tools for climate-vulnerable Communities, Bangladesh – This research seeks to build more climate-resilient fishing communities along the coastal belt of Bangladesh by developing risk management tools that restore and conserve coastal habitats, including introducing risk recovery insurance for fishing communities; and developing early warning and climate advisories targeting coastal communities. The successful implementation of these risk management tools could contribute to reducing the vulnerability of those who are at high risk of disasters like cyclones and storms
  4. Bahari Remedies: Community-based microinsurance for small-scale seaweed farmers, Tanzania – Working to innovate microinsurance products that reduce risks for small-scale seaweed farmers. The innovative products, which include business interruption insurance coverage caused by extreme weather or illness, are designed and implemented for local communities. This approach lowers the costs of administering insurance and can mitigate the consequences of crop failure, natural disasters, market fluctuations, and health problems. Alleviating these challenges would strengthen economic activity for seaweed farmers, the majority of whom are women and young people. Since seaweed farming is one of the most important sources of revenue for these coastal communities, a financial safety net allows farmers to contribute to aquaculture practices with lower environmental impact.
  5. Seaweed Farm as a Service (SFaaS), Kenya – This business model rents farming equipment and supplies, offers maintenance and repair services and provides training to seaweed farmers for a fixed period. The project developer guarantees the purchase of the seaweed produced, which creates a reliable source of income for the farmers, most of whom are women and young people in East African coastal communities. At the end of the period, ownership of the equipment is transferred to the farmers. This project will start with two pilot farms in Kenya, with plans to scale across the country, as well as to Tanzania.
  6. Germark Holdings Limited: Empowering smallholder farmers with financial solutions for marine ecosystem restoration, Tanzania – Aims to develop financial solutions for farmers to support coastal restoration while generating a stable source of income for them. This project will create a platform that develops a pipeline of blue carbon projects along coastal Tanzania. While attracting carbon finance at scale, the platform will link farmers – many of whom are women – to financiers, in the form of grants and debt funding that will use impact data (such as CO2 sequestration and employment generation) as a basis for evaluating the projects.
  7. Acari LLC: Planet positive treats Building a microprocessor network to mitigate invasive species, Mexico – Building a network of small-scale fishers in the states of Quintana Roo and Tabasco to catch and process two invasive species, lionfish and armored catfish, and to create a market for their use as pet food. As a result, fishers will be incentivized to catch invasive species, improving coastal incomes while mitigating harmful species invasions and restoring native fish populations. Acari LLC will provide financial safety and a market guarantee for fishers by purchasing 100% of the production and paying upfront.
  8. Mwani Blu: A traceable, sustainable, and inclusive blockchain-driven seaweed marketplace, Kenya – Will scale up a seaweed marketplace through a platform that uses blockchain to reward sustainable, inclusive, and gender-sensitive production strategies that are fully traceable. Buyers will have access to information on farming methods including cultivation, harvesting, processing practices and biodiversity data. Sellers will have access to a safe marketplace that pays a fair income. The project will also use an ocean mapping tool that helps farmers identify the best places to grow seaweed and scale up sustainable production
  9. Pula Advisors: Creating a hybrid disaster risk insurance product for coastal communities, The Philippines – Pula Advisors plans to develop a parametric insurance product that covers cyclones, floods, and droughts, guaranteeing a predictable and timely response to vulnerable or affected populations who have suffered damage to their crops or coastal farms. This insurance is more affordable, and contains quick and transparent pay-outs, compared to traditional indemnity products.

We are excited to be a part of Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC23) and we believe that this program will help #TeamSLL to learn how to improve our capacity and inspiration to develop our impact at Sahabat Laut Lestari. 

We would like to thank the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance for organizing this important program. We also want to thank our partners, the Swiss Re Foundation, the UK’s Department for Environment – Blue Planet Fund, and the U.S. Department of State.

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