FINANCING SUSTAINABLE MARINE AND FRESHWATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Recent years have seen an increase in publications and forums discussing the financing of ‘nature-based solutions’ and investments in nature, led by various organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature, World Wide Fund for Nature, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, European Investment Bank and EcoShape.
In this high-level study, representatives of the dredging sector, Swiss Re and B Capital Partners build on these publications in a joint exploration to identify, and clarify, the role of private finance in sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure.
The purpose of this exploration is twofold: to raise awareness of sustainable dredging solutions within the financial community, and to start building a bridge between the worlds of sustainable dredging and private finance.
Major coastal, port and river projects around the world are commonly executed by the dredging sector, including project owners, dredging companies, consultants and research institutes. Accustomed to vulnerable environments, and to address a myriad of climate, ecosystem or other sustainability challenges, the dredging community pushed hard to come up with new techniques and solutions. And they did.
A number of important philosophies and concepts, such as Building with Nature (EcoShape), Engineering with Nature (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Working with Nature (PIANC) and Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure (CEDA/IADC) already play a significant role in many marine and fresh water infrastructure projects. As these sustainable solutions are proven in practice, the challenge ahead lies in scaling and replicating, and therefore financing.
Financing could help governments around the world, many of them committed to the 2015 Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's), to implement projects fitting their local or national needs. With limited public budgets, the investment gap in Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure leaves a critical and supporting role for private capital to play in bridging the gap. It is therefore imperative that private institutions embrace coastal and marine infrastructure to ease the pressure on public budgets.
- Arjan Hijdra – Managing Director, Vital Ports
- Christine Kng – PPP Specialist, Vital Ports
- Kathleen de Wit – Business Development Manager, CEDA/IMDC
- Lotte Vandekeybus – Structured Finance Manager, IADC/DEME
- Mark van Geest – Project Finance Manager, IADC/Boskalis
- Polite Laboyrie – President CEDA, Project Director, Witteveen+Bos
- Sien Kok – Environmental Economist, CEDA/Deltares