In their more than 100-million-year history, there has never been a more important decade for the future of tropical forest ecosystems.
Recognising this, Partnerships for Forests and the Blended Finance Taskforce joined forces on 28 July for an online event on mobilising capital for forests and sustainable land use through innovative and blended finance solutions.
Over half the world’s GDP depends on nature and its services, generating around $44trn in economic value. But despite a growing understanding of our reliance on nature, it is still deeply undervalued: it is largely missing from the bottom line and investors do not yet see nature as an investable asset class.
Nature is also not included in mainstream risk assessments or financial disclosures. Yet if the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it is that degradation of natural ecosystems can bring the world to a standstill. Tropical deforestation for agriculture, logging and mining is particularly devastating from a climate and biodiversity angle. But it has also been shown to be a major driver of “spillover” events where zoonotic diseases like COVID-19, SARS and Ebola jump from animals to humans.
Regenerative business models which create value from standing forests and other natural ecosystems can generate billions of dollars in new investment opportunities and mitigate nature-related risks. They are crucial to tackling global warming, protecting species against extinction, creating jobs and building social and economic resilience to future shocks. But these business models are still in their infancy. The challenge is to get to scale.
Hosted by Partnerships for Forests and the Blended Finance Taskforce, the webinar convened leading practitioners and policy makers who shared their insights on how to mobilise capital for regenerative business models and identify nature-based investment opportunities.
Our panellists from both the public and private sector discussed the critical role of policy and development finance to help incubate regenerative business models that avoid deforestation, help tackle climate change, protect biodiversity and create long-term resilient jobs in communities.
They showcased real opportunities in the land-use sector at different points of the risk/return spectrum. And they described financial structures which have already mobilise capital for nature-based solutions that should be replicated to rapidly scale investment in the sector.
We heard from:
- Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith
- Rt Hon Nick Hurd, former UK Member of Parliament
- Lisa Genasci, CEO of the ADM Capital Foundation
- Radha Kuppalli, Managing Director, New Forests
- Adhiti Gupta, Manager of Design Funding, Convergence
- Diletta Giuliani, Manager of Investments & Fundraising, Partnerships for Forests
- Katherine Stodulka, Director of Blended Finance Taskforce and Sustainable Finance, SYSTEMIQ (moderator)