Across the political spectrum, most Americans have favorable opinions of farmers and are happy with the idea that the federal government provides financial assistance to help pay for crop insurance. If they knew crop insurance's full cost, that might change. This system, while well-intentioned, leaves out the majority of farmers and encourages the degradation of precious soil and water reserves by rewarding consolidated monoculture crop production.
The scale of private forest land ownership indicates that its managers have significant influence on both the environmental and economic services forests provide. However, the timber investment industry is facing a new set of challenges — challenges that may dictate a turn to a new set of business strategies.
Blue carbon could be crucial in facilitating both private and public capital investment in coastal and marine ecosystems. The blue carbon market is, at present, still nascent. Governments and international institutions are revising methods of monitoring carbon to include blue carbon and develop structures to encourage private investment in blue carbon offsets.
Environmental credit trading programs have gained traction for pollutants like carbon emissions, at least in concept. Is water quality trading the next frontier? The mechanism offers the possibility of more flexible and cost-effective water quality control, but in contrast to some environmental credits, markets have struggled to gain momentum.
Less than one percent of United States farms had an organic certification in 2017, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Due to its environmental and health benefits, organic agriculture is one of the sustainable agriculture methods many farmers are hoping to adopt.
Sustainable forestry represents a major portion of conservation finance’s investable landscape. According to a 2016 Forest Trends report, “State of Private Investment in Conservation 2016,” sustainable timberland investments accounted for approximately 34 percent of all private conservation investments from 2004 to 2015.
There is a growing gap between available impact capital and conservation investments. This has become a major focal point for investment professionals in the field. One reason for this trend may be that conservation investments are not meeting investor expectations due to a lack of quality opportunities.
The “Natural Capital Risks and Opportunities” workshop held on Oct. 26, hosted by Citi and Natural Capital Declaration, unveiled a new water-risk-analysis demonstration tool intended for use by corporations and financial institutions.