More than $3 billion in committed capital that has already been raised for investments in food and agriculture, habitat protection, clean water initiatives and other conservation projects was sitting on the sideline waiting for attractive deals last year.
That presents an enticing opportunity for developers who can package conservation projects that deliver both environmental and financial returns. The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and other major conservation organizations are stepping up to stock that deal pipeline.
“Conservation organizations like World Wildlife Fund are uniquely positioned to engage local communities, corporations and governments in conservation projects,” Paul Chatterton, founder of the WWF’s Landscape Finance Lab, said in a recent report published with Clarmondial, a Swiss investment advisor. Now, he said, such projects must “include investors and harness capital markets to drive conservation goals.”
The trick is to package a bundle of revenue-generating activities into a project that also delivers significant environmental benefits. Sustainably produced fish, produce or timber are relatively easy to monetize. The business models for other conservation outcomes are more complicated, including “payments for ecosystem services” such as biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, carbon reduction and watershed improvements.
Read the full article about large-scale conservation investments by David Bank at ImpactAlpha.
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