Island Press’ publication of Valuing Nature: A Handbook for Impact Investing by William Ginn comes 15 years after his first book helped launch what became the Conservation Finance Network. While the lessons captured in prior works still ring true, the conservation finance field has experienced rapid growth in recent years. In the new volume, Ginn reflects on decades of personal experience alongside that of his peers and colleagues to highlight recent deal activity and the broader context of conservation investment. The book works across geographies and ecosystems, incorporating insight from sectors like community development while raising future challenges. i
America has a long tradition of creating public parks and open space, from the rugged wilds of our National Parks and National Forests to the pocket park down the road from our homes. Today, in the midst of Covid-19 social distancing, those of us who are fortunate to have access to nearby open spaces are relying on them more than ever for our mental and physical health. This is thanks to the work of hundreds of local land trusts, conservation commissions, NGOs, and volunteer organizations that save these lands for our enjoyment. In communities across the United States, it seems...
Financial modeling is an emerging application for land trusts. It could make a great difference in their ability to forecast and plan for various future financial scenarios. At this year’s Land Trust Alliance Rally conference during the “Your Future: Financial Modeling for Long-Term Stability” workshop, the Dutchess Land Conservancy of Dutchess County, N.Y., presented a financial model it developed.
Greenprint Partners is field-testing a green infrastructure-financing approach that could help make communities healthier and safer in a small group of Rust Belt cities. In an interview, Nicole Chavas, the company’s CEO and cofounder, and Rose Jordan, its marketing director, said the models have expansion potential. If adopted on a larger scale, they could improve the quality of life in many low-to-moderate-income urban neighborhoods.
Among the piping plovers and marsh grasses of New Jersey’s scenic coast, environmentalists and communities are busy creating green infrastructure to shield the shorelines from storm damage while supporting local economies. The Coastal Resilience Collaborative, the New Jersey Resilient Coastlines Initiative, and the NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance are bringing financial and tactical resources to bear on restoring reefs, wetlands, marshes and dunes.
National news coverage of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 painted a bleak picture of Houston’s ability to face severe storms. Some articles portrayed urban sprawl as having wiped out the city’s ability to cope with natural disasters, saying Texas policies were to blame.
Forward-thinking nonprofits and environmentally driven investors are increasingly using blueprint reports to help develop conservation finance markets. Blueprints are in-depth proposals designed to provide investors and stakeholders with creative ways to source cash flows and investment opportunities within key conservation areas.
What if the development of these approaches could be responsibly accelerated? What if we could shorten the time it takes for environmental markets and investment vehicles to be defined, piloted, scaled, and matured—without cutting corners? The Conservation Finance Network’s recent report, “Private Capital and Working Lands Conservation: A Market Development Framework,” responds to these questions by translating practitioner insight into a framework and common language in the hope of speeding solutions to market development. The report attempts to describe how stakeholders could better delineate their roles and focus their money and authority. It is meant to help stakeholders set realistic...
Timing can make or break a conservation deal. Land trusts and other conservation groups often work with motivated sellers who must divest property by a certain date or are otherwise eager to close deals quickly. The organizations must either gather the required financing on the sellers’ short timelines or forego the projects. When organizations are short on cash but deem projects too important to ignore, conservation loans can bridge the financing gaps.
The 2016 Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum, hosted by Aspen Institute and Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, showed the role of impact investing in bridging the financing gap in the water sector. The resulting report, “Conservation Finance & Impact Investing for U.S. Water,” offers case studies and analyses of new tools and models that are taking root in the industry. This Q&A with Martin Doyle, one of the authors of the report, dives into the realities of funding water infrastructure in the current political and economic environment.