What We’re Reading-Landscape Finance Edition-October 2021

by | October 12, 2021 | Finance and Economics, Finance Team Newsletter

Activity continues to bubble over in the world of landscape finance. So many people are talking about place-based investment, conservation finance and systems-change finance that it’s challenging to keep up with all of the most relevant reports and news. The 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People (1000L) Finance Solutions Design Team’s goal is system change, so we think it’s important to stay informed about the latest innovations and actors operating in the space. 

We’re happy to continue our finance-focused newsletter, a resource to help all gain more perspective on landscape finance. 

News & Developments

IUCN World Conservation Congress Convened in September

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has held its first World Conservation Congress since 2016. Several 1000L members spoke at the conference, which included a robust selection of financial-focused sessions. Topics included methods for financing biodiversity and developing investable deals

The UN Food Systems Summit Welcomed Online Audiences

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will be the lead agency to support financing to transform food systems. In addition, IFAD is leading a coalition to strengthen public development banks’ (PDBs) capacity to reorient, optimize and increase the scale of their financing for social and green investments. The group also aims to benefit the rural small-scale producers working in some of the world’s poorest countries. EcoAgriculture Partners’ President and CEO Sara Scherr is on the leadership team of IFAD’s action area on governance. 

Major New Commitments and Finance for Nature Ahead of Global Biodiversity Summit

Nine philanthropic organizations launched the “Protecting Our Planet Challenge” and pledged $5 billion to protect and conserve 30% of the planet by 2030. The funding will support protected areas and Indigenous stewardship of their territories. This marks the largest-ever philanthropic commitment to nature conservation.

Initiative Announced to Protect South America’s Vulnerable Biomes 

A new South American initiative called Innovative Finance for the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco (IFACC) will scale innovative paths for financial funding and help farmers implement proven business models to supply global markets without further conversion of the continent’s ecosystems. The United Nations Environment Programme, the Nature Conservancy and the Tropical Forest Alliance have been working together to launch IFACC. 

German Government Raises Contribution to Legacy Landscapes Fund

In September, the German government said it raised its contribution to the Legacy Landscapes Fund by $44 million at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. The fund seeks to address the lack of a secured funding source to cover basic conservation project management and protection costs. It promotes local, long-term partnerships that include Indigenous and local communities. 

China Pushes New Global Biodiversity Fund to Help Secure Nature Accord

China and several African countries are proposing a new biodiversity fund to help developing countries meet nature conservation goals. More details are expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.

South Pole Teams with Community Group to Develop Australian Offsets (behind paywall)

Developer South Pole partnered with Landcare NSW, an Australian community group, to establish nature-based offset projects in New South Wales, Australia. Soil carbon, beef cattle herd management and forest management are some of the project types that the collaboration will consider, with an eye to backing those that can generate Australian Carbon Credit Units.

Transformation Capital Website Goes Live

Transformation Capital is part of the TransCap Initiative, a collaborative space initiated by 1000L technical partner EIT Climate-KIC. The initiative will develop, demonstrate and scale systemic investing “in the places that matter most for human prosperity—such as cities, landscapes, and coastal zones—as well as in value chains and other real-economy systems.” One of the first publications is The Limitations of Traditional Finance in Catalyzing Systemic Change.

Reports

Principles for Ecosystem Restoration to Guide the United Nations Decade, 2021-2030

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently published best-practice principles for ecosystem restoration. The principles touch on financial topics such as mobilizing and maintaining adequate funding for restoration projects and also address native biodiversity and ecosystem and human health.

Toward a Holistic Approach to Sustainable Development: A Guide to Integrated Land-Use Initiatives

This sweeping World Bank report on integrated land-use initiatives takes stock of lessons learned, documents best practices and provides a guide for practitioners looking to implement an integrated approach. Seth Shames, the director of finance and policy for 1000L core partner EcoAgriculture Partners, contributed insights to the report, which the BioCarbon Fund Initiative authored for Sustainable Forest Landscapes. A supplemental booklet of resources and case studies was also published. 

UNEP – Land-Use Financing – Positive Impact Indicators Directory

The directory supports decision-makers within financial institutions to identify how their investments may generate positive environmental and social benefits, which key performance indicators (KPIs) are most appropriate to demonstrate this impact and how to implement credible methodologies for monitoring them.

How Public Development Banks can Help Biodiversity

Co-authored by The World Wildlife Fund and The Biodiversity Consultancy, this report highlights public development banks’ vital role in shifting financial flows towards more significant investments in nature-based solutions and biodiversity conservation. The report was released ahead of the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Financial Incentives for Large-scale Wetland Restoration: Beyond Markets to Common Asset Trusts

Australian researchers propose that wetland-based payment for ecosystem service (PES) schemes consider using common asset trusts, legal methods designed to protect and manage assets on behalf of specific beneficiaries. The report suggests these trusts can help build investment portfolios of wetlands across landscapes that sustain and enhance multiple ecosystem services. 

Unlocking Nature-Smart Development: An Approach Paper on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The World Bank Group provides guidance for developing integrated financing solutions and, on a broad scale, bringing more attention to nature in national government development agendas. The discussion covers engaging with private sector partners, strengthening institutional capacity to manage natural capital effectively, and fostering intersectoral and global cooperation. 

Relevant Past Publications

Feeling the Heat: Climate Risks and the Cost of Sovereign Borrowing (behind paywall)

This report examines how climate vulnerability has significant implications for sovereign borrowing costs. Authors from the Asian Development Bank Institute and two European universities found that the effect of climate risk on sovereign bond yields was “notably higher” for those more exposed to the risks.

We hope you’ve found this newsletter helpful, and we welcome your feedback. 

We also invite you to share insightful reports and news developments as you come across them. Please reach out to dhecht@ecoagriculture.org.

Top Image: Courtesy of the UN Environment Programme.

 

 

Author

  • David Hecht is a finance intern at EcoAgriculture Partners. He supports research on innovative landscape finance mechanisms and the work of the 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People Finance Accelerator team.