New coalition launches to scale private conservation investment at IUCN World Conservation Congress
Financial industry, international organizations, and academic sector join forces to initiate new coalition to create investment opportunities and tools to help bring conservation projects to the marketplace
HONOLULU, HAWAI'I | September 02, 2016
In an effort to address an estimated US $200-300 billion annual funding gap in conservation, civil society organizations, private and public sector financial institutions and academia joined forces today to launch the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC) during the IUCN World Conservation Congress taking place in Hawai’i. The Coalition’s goal is to help preserve the world’s most important ecosystems by creating new opportunities for return-seeking private investment in conservation.
The Coalition, which includes Credit Suisse, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Cornell University as the founding members, plans to develop new investment models and funding pipelines that will help close the current conservation funding gap and contribute to the global goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
Building on the expertise and experience of the various partners, CPIC will serve as a hub, connecting investors and financial institutions with in-country partners, who can help develop and execute investable deals that eventually produce an environmental and financial return. Initially, the Coalition plans to focus on several priority investment sectors: forest landscape restoration, sustainable agriculture intensification, sustainable coastal fisheries and resilience, and watershed management.
“We are at a critical turning point in history, where all stakeholders are increasingly aware of the urgency of sustaining nature for the benefit of all,” says IUCN Director General Inger Andersen. “Public sector finance and philanthropic capital alone is not sufficient to meet these challenges. This new Coalition will serve as a critical platform to share expertise, stimulate innovation, and help scale up sustainable investment models, and raise awareness of the potential importance of private capital to conservation.”
Conservation finance represents a massive, undeveloped private sector investment. Research suggests private investors—wealthy individuals, pension funds, other institutional investors and even mainstream retail investors—could supply as much as the $200 billion to $300 billion per year needed to preserve the world’s most important ecosystems.
“This coalition is crucially important both because of the size of the investment opportunity and the positive environmental impacts that developing this area of finance could have,” says John Tobin-de la Puente, Professor of Practice jointly appointed in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology. “Right now, development of a conservation investment market is probably 10 years behind the market for renewable energy, and 20 years behind the affordable housing market. We have the opportunity to generate a brand new market for conservation investment if we figure this out together.”
“The finance sector is increasingly aware that investing in nature can generate returns for both the environment and the economy,” says Fabian Huwyler, Vice President of Sustainability Affairs at Credit Suisse. “If we want private investors to help close the conservation funding gap, the conservation and finance communities need to better collaborate to shift the field from small, donor-driven projects to large-scale conservation markets.”
“We already bring a wealth of experience into this Coalition,” says Lynn Scarlett, Managing Director of Public Policy for The Nature Conservancy. “At the Conservancy, we have already facilitated six impact investment deals totalling $200 million dollars in marine conservation and agriculture, and this new coalition should help us bridge our largest challenge, which is a lack of investment projects in the pipeline. We’ll know we’ve reached success when the big banks have enough projects as options that they can pick and choose where conservation investment will have the most significant impact.”
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Supporting quotes from initiating partners of the Coalition:
“The European Investment Bank has reinforced support for conservation finance in recent years and we are pleased to be involved with landmark conservation focused transactions. Working with leading conservation and finance partners helps to crowd in private investment. The EIB expects to increase efforts to support conservation and working closely with IUCN and other CPIC partners is crucial to achieving shared conservation goals," said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“DEFRA is looking at innovative finance options as part of its work to develop a 25-Year Environment Plan, and that we believe the CPIC's work is well aligned with DEFRA’S initial thinking to date,” said Richard Price, Director and Senior Adviser for Environmental Finance for the UK Government, Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs.
“As a European private management company dedicated to sustainable investment, Mirova is pleased to support the CPIC initiative. The Coalition will contribute to reaching the SDGs by unlocking the market for further investment in natural capital. Mirova is already highly involved in such objectives with the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund project carried out together with the UN Convention on Desertification,” said Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Natixis, itself part of BPCE, the second largest French banking group.
“Increasing private investment in nature is key to create jobs and eliminate poverty in rural areas where it is most entrenched. For that reason, we very much welcome the Coalition’s efforts towards scaling up finance that delivers social and environmental returns,” said Julia Bucknall, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank, who was present at the CPIC launch.
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About the founding members of the Coalition:
About Credit Suisse AG
Credit Suisse AG is one of the world's leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as 'Credit Suisse'). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse offers clients its combined expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management. Credit Suisse provides advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 47’180 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse's parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.
About the International Union for Conservation of Nature
IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its 1,300 Member organisations and the input of some 15,000 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. To learn more, visit www.iucn.org or follow us @IUCN on Twitter.
About the Dyson School at Cornell University
The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management is located within two colleges - the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Business at Cornell University. Its internationally renowned areas of expertise in food and agricultural economics, management, environmental and resource economics, and international and development economics work in concert to fulfill the School’s mission to inform and foster the public stewardship and private management of businesses, organizations, livelihoods, and natural resources.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.