New coalition launches to scale private conservation investment at IUCN World Conservation Congress
Financial industry, international organisations, and academic sector join forces to initiate new coalition to create investment opportunities and tools to help bring conservation projects to the marketplace
Photo: IUCN Green List of Protected Areas
Honolulu, HI (2 September 2016) — In an effort to address an estimated US $200-300 billion annual funding gap in conservation, civil society organisations, 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 Hawaiʻi. 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.”
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 Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Together with its more than 1 million members and 600 scientists, the Conservancy has protected 120 million acres of land and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide, and operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. The Conservancy works on the ground in all 50 U.S. states and in 69 countries. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.
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.
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