As the field of conservation finance grows, more high-net-worth individuals and foundations are looking for ways to diversify their portfolios with a suite of innovative funding and financing strategies.
This year’s World Water Week, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden from Aug. 28 through Sept. 2, focused on water as the central engine to set the planet on the path of sustainable growth and development.
Who is there to provide financing when small farmers in the Northeast are trying to secure the futures of ecological farms? Dirt Capital Partners has set up a business model to support its goals by working with 11 mission-oriented investors. It has now purchased and leased nine farms in New England, New York, and New Jersey.
The new Natural Resource Investment Center at the United States Department of the Interior is making strides toward using market-based approaches and innovative public-private partnerships to tackle natural resource and conservation issues. For years, the nation has been slowly coming to terms with aging water infrastructure, dealing with water shortages in the West, and attempting to revamp species and landscape conservation efforts.
Environmental NGOs and banks are both increasingly interested in conservation as a business opportunity. However, in the past, they have sometimes had an adversarial relationship. Their approaches to financing have also differed. In this interview, John Tobin-de la Puente, former managing director and global head of sustainability at Credit Suisse, said that partnerships between banks and NGOs are evolving toward mutual exploration of business opportunities. However, a substantial rift remains between these two types of organizations. The divide is political, pragmatic, and programmatic. To reach large-scale solutions, Tobin said, NGOs must work with profit-motivated businesspeople.
A tentative new relationship between Cuba and the United States, which were formerly at odds, may help build conservation finance and research opportunities in Cuba. Cuba, the “Pearl of the Antilles,” is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots worldwide, being the most biologically dense and diverse island in the Caribbean – with some of the most pristine beaches, the largest and densest forests, and the healthiest reefs.
After decades of underinvestment, African-American farmers and small business owners in North Carolina will now receive green enterprise loans from Natural Capital Investment Fund. The award of $1.6 million, announced on May 3, is part of a much larger program by Wells Fargo that seeks to fill part of the huge void in bank financing of minority-owned businesses.
In this interview, Todd Gartner, senior associate and natural infrastructure for water manager at World Resources Institute, provided a high-level perspective on how green bonds can support natural infrastructure for water security.
In this interview, Lorenzo Bernasconi, senior associate director of innovative finance and impact investing at The Rockefeller Foundation, shared his perspective on the organization’s grant-making strategy around climate solutions.
How do investment funds build social and environmental priorities into agricultural financing? Several investment funds showcased their strategies for investing in smallholder value chains at the Global Landscapes Forum in Paris on Dec. 5-6. While continuing to seek financial returns, investors are supporting and measuring a broader set of environmental, social, and commodity-based outcomes tied to supply chain sustainability.
As conservation finance gains more traction among mainstream investors, discussions about how to evolve early-stage environmental marketplaces to provide more conventional investment opportunities have taken over the halls of conferences. Integrated capital funds may offer one solution.
There has long been a perceived tradeoff between the economic benefits of agriculture and the environmental benefits of conservation. Large-scale implementation of climate-smart agriculture holds promise to harmonize these objectives by integrating crop production with conservation efforts.
The White House has issued a directive to point federal agencies toward building ecosystem-services valuation into their plans, investments and regulations. This directive, released on Oct. 7, will help agencies synthesize conservation’s ecosystem benefits with its value to society.
A new forum has emerged for discussing key issues in the rapidly growing and evolving conservation finance field: the Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable. The group met for the first time on Jan. 20 at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.