The M40 Initiative
Coastal communities across the tropical belt of the planet bear most of the burden from climate change. The rapid loss of natural ecosystems and their protective value is increasing their vulnerability. Mangrove ecosystems save US$65 billion a year in avoided losses due to storms; they sequester four times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests, and can double the incomes of local communities by increasing marine biodiversity. But 50% of all mangroves have been lost globally, with the fastest rate of deforestation in Asia than any other type of forest.
UBS Optimus Foundation and Earth Security are developing the Mangrove 40 (M40) Initiative – which connects the 40 locations around the world that concentrate the majority of remaining mangroves on Earth. It proposes an ambitious opportunity to build a cost-effective solution to coastal protection that is particularly well suited to Asia, while providing an enormous carbon sequestration opportunity.
The M40 Initiative is an action alliance of philanthropists, governments, companies, investors and non-governmental organisations to scale innovative financing for mangrove restoration projects at scale. Philanthropists’ support will be used to create innovative funding alliances, identify and build a pipeline of more than 500 nature-based investment projects in key M40 locations, and develop an investment mechanism that by 2024 enables private and public funders to collaborate on projects across the entire M40.
Accelerating Circular and Resilient Cities
To build resilience in cities, we must first understand what makes cities vulnerable – for many, it is the current linear system that drives increasing greenhouse gas emissions, ocean pollution, and food waste. This has dangerous implications for our health and the health of our planet.
Cities are now prepared to move from strategy to action, implementing circular economy initiatives at scale. Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), the world’s leading urban resilience organisation present in more than 100 cities, 40 countries, and 6 continents, has a proven track record of accelerating resilience solutions and action.
The Accelerating Circular and Resilient Cities programme presents a unique opportunity for up to nine member cities in emerging countries to lead the transition from a linear to a circular economy, by targeting three key opportunity areas: Circular Food System, Circularity in the Built Environment, and Circular Plastics. The member cities will work with a global alliance of partners and champion cities with experience in transformative circularity to enhance their projects and support implementation by leveraging on blended finance.
Ultimately, pursuing the circularity agenda will build resilience in cities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating green jobs, and increasing equity for all.