Project Report:
OneReef Ecosystem Finance Mechanism for Micronesia
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


OneReef works to develop efficient, sustainable financing opportunities for Micronesian communities that want to protect their coral reefs. In the face of climate change, we work with private and public entities to capture “willingness to pay” (WTP) for conservation, and create long-term management partnerships with committed local communities to build scientific, enforcement, and community engagement programs to protect coral reefs. In Palau, we are creating a financing opportunity that leverages public funds, e.g. the “Green Fee,” with private philanthropy to support such long-term conservation projects. This financing model can provide benefits far into the future, and inspire nearby nations to create similar conservation structures to protect their valuable marine resources.


Key development and accomplishments toward correcting economic imbalances and creating a fully functional public-private finance of marine protection:

-Worked with Sandin Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to inventory and characterize economically important reefs - this process is critical to assessing the state of reefs as valuable natural assets. The work involved further use and development of technology that renders 3D photomosaic images of study sites, then captures key health indicator data. We’re now prepared to use a grant from the Schmidt foundation to train the first Micronesia team to collect images and update site data capture, allowing Scripps to focus on analysis and reporting out to resource owners and the President in Palau.

-Worked in Palau with Michael Sutton to review OneReef’s Palau work toward long-term finance, and formulate recommendations, especially toward a “master” or national-scale agreement. Mike is the former Monterey Bay Aquarium program director and helped initiate a public private partnership involving the Packard Foundation and the State of CA (with former Governor Schwarzenegger) for large scale marine protection in CA – his review and input was extremely valuable (will send his report to Barrett Walker).

-Finally, we conducted a site visit in Palau with Scripps that involved eight University of California funders who expressed interest in the human dimension of protecting Palau’s environment, including long term finance through combining of public and private philanthropic or impact investment capital. Four of those eight funders are now supporting OneReef, and a second Micronesia site visit is planned for August 11-20, 2018. This is an enormous step toward building an international community of people willing and able to support Palau and places like it on a significant financial scale. Our 2018 proposal to the Alex C. Walker Foundation will be to negotiate a national-scale agreement that creates a public-private partnership mechanism.


(1) Investigate the causes of economic imbalances

The project specifically works with communities to create contracts that protect marine resources while mitigating the effects of climate change on coral reef habitats. OneReef will connect government “Green Fee” resources, which are explicitly designated for the protection of coral ecosystems, with communities that have demonstrated commitment but lack funding to sustainably leverage investments.

(2) Explore and develop market-based solutions

If successful, OneReef will establish a public private partnership solution to funding coral reef preservation, creating a self-sustaining source of funds for MCA development.


OneReef works with communities, non-governmental organizations, and government entities across several Micronesia nations, including the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Palau is an especially prominent conservation leader in the Pacific, and it has set new standards for widespread coral reef protection by designating its entire marine territory as a protected area. We now have the opportunity to explore how a successful public-private partnership can support long-term conservation and increase associated economic benefits. We believe this represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate how conservation pays, and create a ripple effect across the Asia-Pacific.

Information Dissemination

Our primary means of information sharing will be to distribute a prospectus ("Project Million Acres") which details our plan to build and finance a growing portfolio of partnership agreements in Micronesia, including Palau. We will conduct in person meetings with President Remengesau and his ministers in Palau, and stage events in San Diego with the Scripps funder group. We will also generate a summary version of the prospectus that we can articulate using our social media channels and future radio interviews (planned for fall 2018).

Amount Approved
$20,000.00 on 8/9/2017 (Check sent: 8/21/2017)

Rock Islands
Rock Islands in Palau, a valuable natural asset that attracts 125,000 tourists annually

Rock Islands
President_OneReef CEO.jpeg
President, OneReef CEO
Islanders sign agreement

114 Oak Knoll Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(415) 602-7302
(408) 8381407


Liz Parissenti
US Program Manager, OneReef

Posted 5/31/2017 7:44 PM
Updated   7/30/2018 2:38 PM

President, OneReef CEO
President “Tommy” Remengesau with OneReef CEO, Chris LaFranchi

Islanders sign agreement
Pacific Islanders sign agreement to partner with foreigners to protect their reefs

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