A major coalition of finance and conservation organizations launched a series of blueprints aimed at replicating and expanding successful investment in nature. The blueprints published by the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC) will help accelerate the development of investment deals in four sectors: sustainable cocoa, conservation forestry, marine protected areas, and green infrastructure for coastal resilience and for watershed protection.
“Nature contributes around 100 trillion USD worth of services each year to the global economy, yet many ecosystems face growing threats from climate change, habitat loss, and pollution” says Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, one of the founder members of CPIC. “We need to massively increase investment in nature to maintain the ability of the planet to sustain humanity, and these investment blueprints pave the way to making that happen.”
Investment in nature conservation has so far been limited in scale and too risky for most big investors. The new blueprints provide companies and conservation agencies with business plans, risk management tools and conservation impact strategies in each sector that will make their deals bankable.
Each blueprint is based on the experience of CPIC’s 64 member organizations, including conservation agencies, civil society bodies, financial intermediaries and banks, in launching existing deals. The CPIC network allows conservation deal developers to access private sector investment, deliver risk-adjusted rates of return and benefits to biodiversity.
Most investment turns nature into commodities for human consumption. In order to ensure that ecosystems can continue to provide for people, and to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, a substantial increase in the amounts invested in nature is needed. Currently, around 50 billion USD flows into nature conservation each year. An additional 200-300 billion USD is necessary to help keep ecosystems around the globe healthy and functioning, according to estimates from CPIC members.
The full list of blueprints and their proponents:
- Public-Private Partnership for Marine Conservation, Blue Finance
- Forest Conservation and Sustainable Timber Production, Lyme Timber Company
- Forest Resilience Bond, Blue Forest Conservation
- Cocoa Smallholder Renovation & Rehabilitation (R&R) Finance
- Environmental Impact Bond for Green Infrastructure (EIB for GI)
- Case Study 1: EIB for GI for Watershed Protection, Quantified Ventures
- Case Study 2: EIB for GI for Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund
John Tobin, Professor of Practice of Corporate Sustainability at the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University and one of the co-founders of CPIC, said: “The public release of these conservation investment blueprints is indicative of CPIC’s commitment to facilitate the development and dissemination of investable propositions that are replicable and scalable and that deliver strong environmental returns.”
“Given the increasing impacts of climate change, communities need innovative ways to finance activities that improve their resilience. Environmental impact bonds provide that opportunity and are flexible enough to address diverse adaptation needs, as demonstrated by the case studies provided in the blueprint,” said Steve Cochran, associate vice president for coastal resilience at Environmental Defense Fund.
The investment blueprints are available on the CPIC website and will be supplemented by blueprints in other sectors as they become available.