Consider this: The $400 billion in private environmental finance needed annually, according to Credit Suisse and McKinsey & Company, is eight times even the more generous current estimates of conservation finance. Practitioners and experts gathered last month at the New York City office of Credit Suisse to explore how to bridge that gap and meet the conservation objectives of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Conservation Finance Network cohosted the event. Here are some key insights from the conversation.
Investors and bond issuers must improve communication in order to meet each other’s needs as the green-bond market expands rapidly. Green bonds have the potential to enhance transparency, mitigate risk, and stimulate the market toward reaching a low-carbon economy. The green-bond market is estimated to total $150 billion in 2017. This is an 85 percent increase above 2016, according to data from Climate Bonds Initiative.
Dramatic increases in investment in conservation over the last decade are the focus of a new report authored by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, “State of Private Investment in Conservation 2016.” The report sheds light on the many dimensions that drove growth between 2004 and 2015.
The Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable gathered for its third time this year for two days in Washington, DC on Oct. 13-14. The event focused on four topics: the role of government in the creation of well-conceived policies and incentives, the need to increase collaboration between the private and public sectors, the conditions that are necessary to form and scale up conservation markets, and the current state of the soil carbon market.
The 2016 Global Landscapes Forum: Climate Action for Sustainable Development event “Unlocking Private Finance in Forests, Sustainable Land Use and Restoration,” held during COP22 in Marrakech on Nov. 16, brought landscape and finance experts together to discuss ways to advance private investment in sustainable use of land and forests.
When the quality of land degrades, environmental, social and economic opportunities evaporate. The United Nations is working to prevent land degradation globally. In this interview, Simone Quatrini, Land Degradation Neutrality Fund coordinator and team leader at the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said his program is attempting a worldwide conservation finance effort. There is massive work to be done.
Over two decades of conservation leadership by North American philanthropists Douglas and Kristine Tompkins have culminated in a major land donation that marks a milestone in the history of global land conservation. The Sept. 23 signing of a donation agreement transferring 375,000 acres from Tompkins Conservation to the Argentine government created Iberá National Park in the northern province of Corrientes.
The current conservation finance gap is estimated to be $200-300 billion per year. As public and philanthropic investment in conservation are in decline, private investment has the potential to bridge it. That was the key message conveyed by the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation launched at the International Union for Conservation of Nature 2016 World Conservation Congress on Sept. 2, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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.
We are pleased to announce that the Conservation Finance Network’s 2016 Boot Camp training course is being held in partnership with the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University from June 6 to 10.
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.
While launching our website, we’ve created a video library of playlists you can explore. Visit the videos below - and our new YouTube channel - to learn the nuts and bolts of conservation finance techniques and see how they are applied in the field.
“We don’t have a water crisis, we have a water-management crisis,” said Joe Whitworth, president of The Freshwater Trust, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Ore., when he spoke at the Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP15) in San Francisco on Oct. 8.