Topic: Public Policy

Public Policy Articles

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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.
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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.
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The Unstable Landscape of US Conservation Funding: An Op-ed by Rand Wentworth

There is a high level of uncertainty about federal funding for land conservation over the next four years. The recently passed 2017 budget has kept many conservation-related programs and funds intact, but 2018 may be a different story. The administration’s proposed budget calls for broad cuts to conservation funding, but Congress makes the final decision on appropriations.

Nine Ideas to Bridge the Gap in Conservation Finance

Consider this: The $400 billion in private environmental finance needed annually, according to Credit Suisse and McKinsey & Company, is eight times even the more generous current estimates of conservation finance. Practitioners and experts gathered last month at the New York City office of Credit Suisse to explore how to bridge that gap and meet the conservation objectives of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Conservation Finance Network cohosted the event. Here are some key insights from the conversation.
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Conservation Investment Is Growing Dramatically, Report Shows

Dramatic increases in investment in conservation over the last decade are the focus of a new report authored by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, “State of Private Investment in Conservation 2016.” The report sheds light on the many dimensions that drove growth between 2004 and 2015.
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UN Forest Conservation Program Emerges after a Rocky Start

REDD+ forest conservation funding for developing nations has dropped precipitously over the last two years, according to a report from Overseas Development Institute and Heinrich Boll Stiftung, “10 Things to Know about Climate Finance in 2016.” But according to Mario Boccucci, head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, “The current level of public-sector donor pledging to forest systems and REDD+ is unprecedented. Germany, United Kingdom, and Norway have pledged $5 billion USD for the period 2016 through 2020.” He said REDD+ is taking off now after a challenging few years of development.
US capitol

A Pioneering Environmental Impact Bond for DC Water

District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) has created an innovative municipal bond that covers the downside risk of using green infrastructure to control stormwater runoff. Compared with conventional gray infrastructure, green options have a shorter performance record and are more difficult to model. However, they are often cheaper and offer visible community benefits.
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Landscape and Finance Experts Meet at COP22

The 2016 Global Landscapes Forum: Climate Action for Sustainable Development event “Unlocking Private Finance in Forests, Sustainable Land Use and Restoration,” held during COP22 in Marrakech on Nov. 16, brought landscape and finance experts together to discuss ways to advance private investment in sustainable use of land and forests.