In August, an estimated 4.6 million acres of the Amazon rainforest burned in a government-condoned campaign to clear land for crops and cattle. What most of the world saw as a hopeless and horrifying political problem, though, Bjorn Otto saw as a math problem. And math problems can be solved.
The $1 billion sustainable agriculture and forestry initiative “AGRI3” has been strengthened by two new cornerstone investors. At the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 23, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will become an anchor public investor in the AGRI3 Fund by contributing USD 40 million – an amount matched by Rabobank.
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.
As gridlock persists in addressing our nation’s critical infrastructure challenges – America’s roads, bridges and railways – a similar, yet vastly underreported set of challenges exist with our natural infrastructure: namely, the loss of our large privately-owned working forests.
BP Ventures has invested $5 million in Finite Resources, parent company of Finite Carbon, which is a U.S.-based forest carbon management firm. The investment will enable Finite Carbon to launch voluntary carbon offset programs for businesses for sustainable forest management.
The Conservation Fund announced the closing of a first-of-its-kind offer of ten-year green bonds totaling $150 million. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to increase the scale of the Fund's "Working Forest Fund®," dedicated to mitigating climate change, strengthening rural economies and protecting natural ecosystems through the permanent conservation of at-risk working forests.
At a time of rising climate activism, The Conservation Fund (TCF) — partnering with Goldman Sachs — tapped the capital markets with an inaugural debt issuance to scale its mission: to protect 1 million acres of America’s privately held working forests. We sat down with TCF’s CEO and CFO Larry Selzer and John Gilbert, respectively, and Goldman Sachs’ Kyung-Ah Park and Ritu Kalra to talk about the conservation sector’s evolving approach to sustainable growth and the role of capital markets.
In September, The Conservation Fund announced the closing of its $150 million green bond. The environmental nonprofit offered the 10-year notes in order to expand its Working Forest Fund. CFN spoke to Conservation Fund CEO Larry Selzer about how the organization will use bond funds, the experience of offering a bond as a nonprofit, and the significance of the project for the conservation finance field.