Conservation finance, by definition, involves risk. But land trust staff who engage board members in understanding and navigating risks and opportunities can bring forth new and durable income streams. How can staff members build board members' comfort and earn their support for new approaches? Success stories highlight methods for educating, empowering and learning from board members- and for fusing their strengths in governance with staff's enterprise in capital raising.
Island Press’ publication of Valuing Nature: A Handbook for Impact Investing by William Ginn comes 15 years after his first book helped launch what became the Conservation Finance Network. While the lessons captured in prior works still ring true, the conservation finance field has experienced rapid growth in recent years. In the new volume, Ginn reflects on decades of personal experience alongside that of his peers and colleagues to highlight recent deal activity and the broader context of conservation investment. The book works across geographies and ecosystems, incorporating insight from sectors like community development while raising future challenges. i
In the words of the great agricultural philosopher Liza Minnelli, “Money makes the world go round.” Most stakeholders RAI interviewed across agricultural supply chains, especially farmers, want to grow crops and raise livestock in a sustainable way. Yet this desire to minimize environmental harm is not feasible if it creates a financially unsustainable operation. Farming profitability is essential for affordable food production, long-term solvency, and accessible financing.
America has a long tradition of creating public parks and open space, from the rugged wilds of our National Parks and National Forests to the pocket park down the road from our homes. Today, in the midst of Covid-19 social distancing, those of us who are fortunate to have access to nearby open spaces are relying on them more than ever for our mental and physical health. This is thanks to the work of hundreds of local land trusts, conservation commissions, NGOs, and volunteer organizations that save these lands for our enjoyment. In communities across the United States, it seems...
Across the political spectrum, most Americans have favorable opinions of farmers and are happy with the idea that the federal government provides financial assistance to help pay for crop insurance. If they knew crop insurance's full cost, that might change. This system, while well-intentioned, leaves out the majority of farmers and encourages the degradation of precious soil and water reserves by rewarding consolidated monoculture crop production.
Given the short history and dynamic state of the green bond market, wide variation exists in external review processes — based on regions, frameworks and evaluation parameters. Green bonds can fund energy, transportation, buildings or natural capital such as conservation. Work so far on certification shows how investors can keep building confidence and volume in this form of financing.
The scale of private forest land ownership indicates that its managers have significant influence on both the environmental and economic services forests provide. However, the timber investment industry is facing a new set of challenges — challenges that may dictate a turn to a new set of business strategies.
Blue carbon could be crucial in facilitating both private and public capital investment in coastal and marine ecosystems. The blue carbon market is, at present, still nascent. Governments and international institutions are revising methods of monitoring carbon to include blue carbon and develop structures to encourage private investment in blue carbon offsets.
Several recent reports, as well as observations from experts in the field, demonstrate a changing landscape of philanthropic conservation giving. Now, foundations more often incorporate broader social and environmental issues into conservation work. They also frequently approach conservation through the lens of climate change.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new series called the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit. This series of articles focuses on individual tools practitioners can use. Our goal is to span the range of comfort levels our readers have – from simple to challenging.
This article by Eve Boyce and Marcy Lyman is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. In an increasing number of communities across the country, utilities are working with conservation groups to ensure the ecosystem services provided by healthy watersheds are protected and maintained. This strategy doesn’t simply provide cost savings to water companies. It can also create a new source of funding and constituencies for land conservation.
This article by Nathalie Woolworth and Hazel Wong is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. Ballot measures, also known as initiatives or propositions, are instruments of direct democracy that allow voters to directly shape public policy in the voting booth.
This article by Maria Martinez is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. State revolving funds (SRFs) have been used for decades as a source of low-cost financing for a variety of water-infrastructure projects.