During COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference’s Finance day (Wednesday 3 November), MARI Oceans, part of ICMIF member the Asia Affinity Group, was featured at the COP Resilience Hub, where a select group of start-ups in emerging markets were able to showcase their innovative adaptation and resilience solutions. MARI voiced the benefits of seaweed for coastal communities, as well as the need to develop stable infrastructures to grow sustainably, attracting investment and insurance for the primary producers which can be achieved through transparency, connectivity and scale; improving management, revenue and collaboration.
The MARI Oceans project was one of the four winners of the first Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge run by Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) which was set up in 2018 to pioneer innovative finance products that drive investment in marine and coastal natural capital, reduce ocean and climate risks, and build resilience in coastal communities. ORRAA is a public private partnership funded by Governments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and financial service businesses including and Willis Towers Watson and ICMIF Supporting Member Swiss Re.
ICMIF member, Asia Affinity, is a “value operations” holding group which offers governance frameworks for innovative community and tech-based projects in Asia-Pacific. “We promote inclusion for all people on the path to attaining financial freedom and sustainability,” says Asia Affinity CEO Graham Clark. “We want to provide opportunities for underserved businesses, families and communities to create value and enrich their lives. That includes, of course, helping them manage risk.” Two of the companies born out of this vision are Sea Green and MARI Oceans.
MARI Oceans leverages cooperative structures and decades of seaweed farming experience in the Asia-Pacific region to provide support systems, advanced technology and quality seedlings to foster innovation and stabilise household earnings. Sea Green provides the enabling technological and financial framework which guarantees end-to-end supply chain transparency and improved operational management in the form of an accessible app.
Regionally, MARI can operate independently of Sea Green, leveraging established knowledge on the Southeast Asia industry’s inner workings to strengthen and scale artisanal productions. To scale globally, Sea Green will facilitate the exportation of MARI’s projects to other regions and industries via a combination of blockchain and API technology. Through continually improved data insights and the provision of other verticals such as commercial services and tokenization for product innovation, a powerful, versatile service is created.
Currently working in Indonesia, the combined proposition of both companies strives to create replicable, sustainable and scalable models that ensure efficient management and financial literacy through risk mitigation and financial resilience. Learn more about MARI Ocean’s work and the benefits it brings here.
Seaweed Industry Context:
- Projected to grow from $15 billion USD to $25 billion by 2028
- Market growth rate of 6.2%
- 35 million tons of farmed seaweed was harvested in 2019; 97% came from Asia. (FAO)
- Indonesia is the second biggest producer in the world, next to China – Suffers from high climate risk, with increases in frequency and intensity of heatwaves and heavy rainfall
Benefits of seaweed:
- Ecosystem services such as carbon dioxide removal and biodiversity gains
- Source of income for coastal communities and alternative livelihood for vulnerable fisheries
- Rich source of nutrients and bioactive compounds for food and health industry
Watch MARI’s innovation solution here.