Conservation could be on the verge of a blue revolution. This year there is growing talk about using entrepreneurial finance to capture atmospheric carbon in revived marine and coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, salt marshes and sea grasses. Conservationists call it “blue carbon.”
USAID will guarantee up to $35 million of loans made by Circulate Capital to incentivize private capital investment and advance development objectives in the recycling value chain in South and Southeast Asia.
The key challenge to implementing these far-reaching solutions is financing. Large-scale investment is required to support these projects and the private sector is the only source with the vast financial resources needed. However, attracting private investors can be tricky for ocean health-related projects.
A large investment opportunity is emerging in sustainable aquaculture, and The Nature Conservancy has partnered with Encourage Capital to create a guide that reveals how investors can help meet the demand for sustainable seafood while achieving competitive financial returns.
The rise of aquaculture may hold promise to mitigate the environmental pressures of overfishing wild populations, and the food scarcity issues resulting from the rising global consumption of fish. However, to achieve these benefits, the aquaculture industry’s growth must be coupled with an increase in sustainable practices.
Accelerators provide a formal way for startups to access expertise. They can also help provide capital for organizations and companies in the early phases of their growth. This is a growing approach that allows organizations to take the tools from traditional startup systems and apply them toward the growth of conservation entrepreneurship.
Bordered by beautiful wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana is a hub of transportation and industry. A pilot environmental impact bond could seed a set of wetland-restoration projects for the state. Environmental Defense Fund, Quantified Ventures, and their project partners are proposing to draw on funding from the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill settlement to make this happen.
The National Philanthropic Trust’s 2017 Donor-Advised Fund Report found that the capital housed in donor-advised funds across the United States exceeded $85 billion in 2016. This represents an almost 10-percent increase since 2015 and a 28-percent increase since 2012.
Conservation managers and entrepreneurs who are looking to make their projects stand out as investment opportunities should be sure to supply the information that investors want. Impact investing experts interviewed by Conservation Finance Network expressed a surprising lack of interest in most impact metrics and measurements aside from carbon sequestration. They instead indicated that they prioritize honest assessments of risk. They also value an understanding of how an investment opportunity can fit into a larger portfolio.