Topic: Public Policy

Public Policy Articles

USDA-funded water project in Oklahoma

Conservation Partnerships with Water Utilities

This article by Eve Boyce and Marcy Lyman is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. In an increasing number of communities across the country, utilities are working with conservation groups to ensure the ecosystem services provided by healthy watersheds are protected and maintained. This strategy doesn’t simply provide cost savings to water companies. It can also create a new source of funding and constituencies for land conservation.

A Collaborative Safety Net for Wildfire Reduction

What does it take to pull together a coalition of diverse stakeholders to prevent wildfires from growing explosively in the western United States? Blue Forest Conservation is listening to a broad range of views as it seeks to build traction for the Forest Resilience Bond on the local, state and national levels to reduce wildfire intensity.
Chesapeake Bay watershed

USDA NRCS Provides Startup Capital for Conservation

The Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program of the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) stands out as a valuable tool for innovative conservation projects to gain access to startup capital and to meet the demand for private investment on working lands. In June 2017, NRCS announced a new cohort of CIG awardees in the Conservation Finance category with a total of $8.8 million in funding across 11 projects.

Investors Can Calm Western Wildfires

As severe wildfires leave their charred mark on the western United States this season, Conservation Finance Network interviewed Blue Forest Conservation staff about the Forest Resilience Bond project. This massive collaboration is bringing private finance to bear on ecological restoration to reduce the risk of these catastrophes.

Investing in Rainforests in the Global South

Funneling money toward forest conservation in the developing world may sound easier than it is. Once one gets into the weeds of implementing sustainable-forestry-finance frameworks like REDD+ at an international level, the challenges of climate finance come to the surface. This year, the game plan is changing to expand this financing space. United States nonprofits and investors will have new opportunities to help rainforest conservation flourish.
Herding sheep image

Cultivating Market Maturity Will Unlock Billions for Conservation

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...
Green Wheat image

An Interview about Agriculture and Conservation in the Next Farm Bill

In 2018, the Farm Bill will be up for renewal. It will shape the future of federal conservation finance. The bill, initially enacted in 1933, is the defining legislation on agricultural law in the United States. A number of organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund, actively work to find ways to maximize environmental gains that can be made through its policies.
California building

Urban Forests Prune Health Care Costs

If you live in Northern California today, health researchers may be watching your house from above. This unprecedented project is tracking the impact of urban forestry on health expenses by correlating trees’ locations with medical data from Kaiser Permanente. The researchers’ goal is to advocate on Capitol Hill for nationwide investment in urban forestry to prune medical costs. They also plan to develop an online cost savings estimation tool that communities throughout the United States can use.
Waterfall

Water-Financing Innovation Is Increasingly Local

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.