Filtered Topic: Public Policy

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Copper Creek, courtesy the Conservation Fund, photo by Bill Mullens

Book Excerpt: Valuing Nature

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 nation's Covid epicenter, a well-funded park stokes wellness

New York City's Brooklyn Bridge Park, here on a morning during the Covid shutdown, blends public and private capital to broaden open space access. More neighborhoods need parks like this. 

A Necessity, Not A Luxury: Crisis Reasserts Why Everyone Needs Open Space

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...
Cover Crops for All Day with RAI

Farmers' informal networks can drive progress for finance, food and the farming business. The RAI visited pioneers in Iowa in 2018. 

Farmers on the Frontlines of the Regenerative Agriculture Transition

Achieving the transition from conventional to regenerative agriculture will require a major shift in the strategy and behavior of many of America’s two million farmers. For a farmer, farming for healthy soils, ecosystems, communities and climate conflicts at many points with conventional agriculture practice. Wider success comes only from the cumulative impact of individual farmers changing their on-farm practices, and resetting how they keep data,
Regenerative ag's open for business- and investment

This "beyond organic" farm in New York's Hudson Valley earned capital from a REIT that saw its growth potential. 

So, You're Thinking of Investing in Regenerative Food Systems...

The traditional landscape of farmland ownership and financing in the United States thwarts the adoption of regenerative agriculture. First, farmland is expensive. Farm real estate prices have doubled in the last decade. But models have emerged to power regenerative practices forward. These include concessionary capital, financing from real estate investment trusts, and dollars from larger investors who treat farmland as a hedge to other asset classes.
Is this the way to crop reform?

(Photo courtesy of Pexels.com) Farmers can deliver steeper returns to themselves, their ecosystem, and their economy when their insurance system makes more sense. 

The Case for Crop Insurance Reform

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.

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