Given the scale of today’s environmental challenges, the mobilization of private finance for sustainable land-use and nature-based solutions will be essential to preserve biodiversity, land and shield from the effects of climate change.
Biodiversity is critical to the sustainability of life on Earth, helping to stabilize the climate, maintain soil fertility and secure the well-being of human societies. Healthy ecosystems provide shelter, food and medicine, while forests and oceans act as huge carbon sinks. Unfortunately, 12 million hectares of land are being degraded each year and lost to desertification and drought. Further natural habitats and unique landscapes are being destroyed at an alarming rate, and the cost of inaction is rising. Overall, nature suffers from over-exploitation and underinvestment. As a result, there is an urgent need to mobilize finance at scale to invest in nature based solutions to the ongoing climate, land and biodiversity crises.
On the international stage, global responses such as the “New Deal for Nature,” including all stakeholders, need to be supported. Besides regional and global forest and landscapes restoration initiatives (20×20, AFR100 and the Bonn Challenge among others) and CBD and UNCCD restoration goals including the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target (SDG 15.3 target) represent opportunities to unleash investment. The private sector has a key role to play, alongside scientists, civil society and governments. And it is great to witness the current momentum from the private sector toward the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in China in 2020 and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration launching in 2021.
In November 2019, several key events in Europe are addressing this need.
- 25 November, London: Natural Capital Investment conference by Environmental Finance
The event is building on the rapidly evolving market and increasing numbers of opportunities for natural capital investments. Recognizing there is still much to be developed and understood in this space, this event will cover the various opportunities through thematic spotlights in water, forestry, oceans, biodiversity and agriculture, while also considering the overarching themes and challenges that apply to natural capital investment as a whole. Discussions will address why natural capital investment is important – not simply from a ‘doing good’ perspective but also from an investment returns and risk assessment perspective. For more information on the event, see here. Read the related report “Investing in Nature” here.
- 27 November, Paris: Investing in Nature seminar by Finance for Tomorrow by Finance for Tomorrow, Mirova and IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative
As part of the Paris for Tomorrow week, this event will showcase concrete actions and lessons learned from experience of natural capital investing, through agroforestry, agroecology and regenerative agriculture practices. The objective of the event is to raise awareness, promote innovation and best practices, and build common ground among actors to support the development of the natural capital asset class. Register here.
- 30 November, Luxembourg: Fourth annual Investment Case Symposium by the Global Landscapes Forum
The event will seek to answer the question, “How can we move sustainable land-use financing into the mainstream?” Indeed, sustainable land-use investments are still too often considered as risky financial undertakings or niche investment. It is time to explore some of the options to mainstream sustainable land-use investments in the practices and tools of traditional finance stakeholders. Companies operating in land use (for example, agriculture and forestry) and in the financial sector, as well as governments, need to work together to achieve a transformational shift towards climate-smart production models. The event will discuss the conditions for a paradigm shift leading to the necessary increase of resources flowing toward sustainable land-use projects. Register here or join online.
To seize synergies and build momentum, a joint effort between these initiatives will lead to common outcome documents and knowledge products, thus contributing to unleashing natural capital investment opportunities at scale.
For more information, please contact:
Ludwig Liagre, Global Landscapes Forum Sustainable Finance Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org
Natacha Boric, Finance for Tomorrow, Project Manager email@example.com
Neil Porteous, Environmental Finance, Business Development Manager firstname.lastname@example.org