Seaweed farming to benefit food production and climate
An $850 000 investment in Ocean Rainforest, a sustainable Nordic seaweed producer, to accelerate growth of offshore seaweed production to benefit people, communities and climate gains was announced by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on 6 August. This is a first for the conservation organisation made possible with support of the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust to enable scaling of seaweed farming operations in the North Atlantic.
Carter Roberts, president of WWF, says seaweed is fast-growing and highly efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide and with minimal impacts on freshwater or land, its low carbon footprint can help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change while providing a nutritious source of food for our growing population. He says through impact investments like this, WWF aims to advance technologies and processes needed to meet the conservation and societal challenges facing our planet.
According to Roberts, rising global demand for food, fiber and fuel as well as where and how global industries obtain vital commodities puts increasing pressure on nature. He says WWF recognises we cannot solve these challenges alone and we are excited to support this project because seaweed cultivation holds the potential to reduce these pressures and contribute to a more balanced relationship with nature.
“By investing in Ocean Rainforest, WWF is helping the company pioneer technology and collect data that will inform and benefit the future of offshore seaweed farming. WWF anticipates building impact investment into a core finance tool to help achieve conservation objectives, starting with a focus on sustainable aquaculture and the opportunity to improve water quality, coastal ecosystems and create more efficient food systems,” says Roberts.