MANILA, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Friday that it has approved a financial project to support restoration, conservation and management of coral reefs in four countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.
The Manila-based bank said the project will develop climate risk financing and insurance solutions to protect coral reef ecosystems in Fiji, Indonesia, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands.
The ADB said rising sea levels and the increasing frequency and severity of natural hazards have devastating effects on the coastal cities, communities, and islands of Asia and the Pacific.
"The development of innovative coral reef financing and insurance models will not only enhance and support the effective management of risks coral reefs are exposed to, but also improve the climate resilience and insurability of coastal assets and communities," ADB's Finance Sector Group chief Junkyu Lee said.
Lee added that many of these coastal communities depend on the ocean and its ecosystems for their livelihoods.
Healthy coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs, are a hotspot of ocean biodiversity and a natural buffer that provide the first line of defense to protect coastal shores, assets, infrastructure and livelihoods, as well as providing valuable ecosystem services.