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...
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.
The traditional water fund model, which has been used around the world, pools philanthropic and donor capital to support upstream restorations. The Revolving Water Fund innovates on this model by also aiming to quantify the pollution reductions from these restoration activities, then packaging and selling the reductions to municipalities in the watershed seeking to cost-effectively comply with water quality standards enforced under the Clean Water Act.
Traditionally, conservation efforts raise funding for projects and actions in the hope that those activities will result in desired outcomes. This Toolkit explores Pay-for-success financing, an alternative approach. This model ties funding for conservation to project outcomes, incentivizing the achievement of objectives and shifting risk away from public agencies and conservation organizations that implement on-the-ground work.
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.
Taking advantage of a unique credit-trading program in Washington, D.C. that could be replicated in other cities, The Nature Conservancy has partnered with Encourage Capital and Prudential Financial to set up a $1.7-million loan for stormwater management to protect the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. The investment will reduce water pollution, develop rain gardens, and cool urban heat islands. It will also prevent flooding due to climate change and severe weather.
It can be a murky process for managers to delve into the performance of their corporate investments in environmental conservation and track their outcomes. Now, two tools, IRIS and iPAR, can work together to provide a visually attractive way to watch how these investments are performing. iPAR was released for public use on April 26.
The White House has issued a directive to point federal agencies toward building ecosystem services valuation into their plans, investments and regulations. This directive, released on Oct. 7, will help agencies synthesize conservation’s ecosystem benefits with its value to society.
While launching our website, we’ve created a video library of playlists you can explore. Visit the videos below - and our new YouTube channel - to learn the nuts and bolts of conservation finance techniques and see how they are applied in the field.