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GEF, investors launch fund to promote sustainable fisheries

The Meloy Fund, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, has been launched with a first close of $10 million.

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF. GEF had previously announced new investments in various ocean conservation issues

With the necessary threshold of money now raised, the Fund, which attracts private investments in community small-scale commercial fisheries in Indonesia and the Philippines in the form of debt and equity, can begin making investments and closing deals. It will help fill a critical gap in financing the transition of threatened coastal fisheries to sustainability while creating jobs for coastal communities.

The GEF has been harnessing the potential of innovative public-private partnerships to improve the global environment for over two decades. As an anchor investor in the Meloy Fund, the GEF is providing finance alongside impact investors.  These include a diverse range of family offices, investment managers, and foundations, such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, JPMorgan Chase, and the Lukas Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, founders of Walmart. Rare, a global conservation organisation, is the Managing Member of the General Partner.

On Friday, August 4 2017, the Meloy Fund announced its launch with a first close of $10 million. This first close was accelerated to respond to strong interest from investors and a pressing pipeline of investment opportunities. A second and final close is projected for this fall with a target of $20 million of debt and equity investment, including $6 million anticipated from the GEF. Conservation International is the GEF implementing agency.

The Fund has already made its first deal announcing a $1 million-dollar investment in the seafood company Meliomar Inc in the Philippines. The Manilla-based fishing, processing and exporting company will promote sustainably caught tuna from local, small-scale fisheries. With the help of the Meloy Fund, the firm is looking to triple its output of traceable yellowfin tuna by 2020.

The investment in the Meloy Fund is part of the GEF’s commitment to promote sustainable fisheries worldwide, protect marine ecosystems and foster partnerships with the private sector.

The Meloy Fund, which is the first impact investment fund in small-scale fisheries, is a recipient of the GEF non-grant pilot programme. The $110 million programme is the GEF’s flagship vehicle to support private sector investment in combatting global environmental degradation by stimulating markets and reducing risk.

The private capital that the GEF-supported fund will provide to local fishery enterprises will help protect Indonesia and the Philippines’s vast marine resources, which are the foundation for the livelihoods of millions of people, and home to some of the most diverse marine life on the planet.

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