Madagascar Biodiversity Fund Seeking Conservation Finance Consultant

The Foundation of Protected Areas in Madagascar is looking for an experienced consultant in the field of conservation finance to undertake a study of bilateral and multilateral public financing options. Currently capitalised at $72m, the foundation through its board and executive branch, is calling for this consultancy to assist in their resource mobilisation efforts. Please find attached the TORs in French, which is the main language to use for the assignment.

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UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability hiring a Natural Resource Economist

The UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is hiring a hiring a Natural Resource Economist to work on its blue economy research portfolio. This program engages with island governments on the sustainable development of their economies in balance with large scale marine conservation. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis now through 11/01.

The full description of the position is available here.

What We're Reading: Blended finance report finds steady growth but not enough to fill SDG financing gap

“Convergence, the global network for blended finance, launched the State of Blended Finance 2019 today on the sidelines of UNGA week. This is the third edition of Convergence’s keystone report, which outlines blended finance trends and key developments over the last year.”

The full press release as well as the full report are available on the Convergence Finance website.

From Conservation International: France backs bold new pact to save Amazon

By Bruno Vander Velde

“A groundbreaking effort to protect the Amazon rainforest just got a massive boost. 

France has committed US$ 100 million to a new South American-led initiative, it was announced at a side event to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday, with Conservation International pledging an additional US$ 20 million. The actor Harrison Ford, a Conservation International board member, made the announcement during brief remarks at Monday’s meeting at the United Nations. “

The full article and the video of Ford’s speech is available here.

From BIOFIN: Demand is high for investment in biodiversity, but finance gaps remain

“Representatives from across Europe, Asia and Pacific are encouraging increased investment in nature from both the public and private sectors, with emerging data revealing that significant finance gaps remain for countries to achieve their biodiversity targets.

As the host country for the 5th Biodiversity Finance Regional Dialogue for Europe, Asia and Pacific, held this week, Thailand has vast natuInral resources and rich biodiversity. But the country’s economy relies heavily on nature in sectors such as tourism, food production and spa and herbal medicine.

“The value of the bio-economy stands at 3 trillion Thai baht (almost US$100 Billion) or 21% of the country’s GDP,” said Chakkrit Parapantakul, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Thailand Ministry of Finance.

“Biodiversity finance is a key element in achieving sustainable economic development. Thailand is converting to the bio-economy and circular economy and much of the economy is already bio-based,” he said.

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) has revealed that biodiversity-related expenditure in Thailand is estimated US$330 million or 0.5% of the overall budget or 0.1% of GDP. It needs at least US$924 million to achieve its national biodiversity targets by 2021 – at least three times higher than the current expenditures.

Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative for UNDP Thailand, said countries such as Thailand have made tremendous progress in human development.

“But it also raises the level of challenge for the environment. Do we think of the consequences of our development on the environment? We need to find solutions to finance the biodiversity costs, that will preserve our way of life – but the highest cost is the cost of in-action,” he said.

In Indonesia – the largest economy in South East Asia, the government with UNDP and others have developed a Green Sukuk – an Islamic Bond, to mobilise finance for biodiversity-related projects.

“In a Sukuk or Islamic bond, interest returns to investors are prohibited. Investors gain returns through the government leasing back underlying assets sold to investors. The Green Sukuk Indonesia is the world’s first Islamic green sovereign bond,” said Dwi Irianty HadiningdyahDirector of Islamic Financing, Directorate General of Budget Financing and Risk Management, Ministry of Finance of Indonesia.

Nearby in the Philippines, a partnership between BIOFIN, WWF and the fin-tech company, GCash is mobilising funds to protect and restore the Ipo Watershed – an important water source for the capital, Manila. Gcash mobile money users are rewarded for using the app through virtual tree planting, which is matched and funded by Gcash and will result in the planting of 365,000 trees in the restoration of the watershed.

“We didn’t have a difficult time convincing Gcash and other companies, said Anabelle Plantilla, Project Coordinator from BIOFIN Philippines. “The private sector is open in terms of listening to the science because they want their programs to have an impact,” she said.

Mabel Niala, Head External Affairs, GCash Philippines said that the use of the app and the Gcash Forest initiative was suitable for use by self-described ‘lazy environmentalists’, due to how easy it is to use and contribute to the reforestation project.

“We’ve already reached 1 million users who have used the app and earned points to plant a ‘virtual tree’ – we will then work with partners to plant the real trees in the Ipo Watershed area,” she said.”

The article is available in its entirety on BIOFIN’s Website.

Call for Consultancy from Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas

Call for consultancy: Provision of a cost effectiveness analysis for the implementation of a monitoring network for climate change impact on biodiversity within SPAMIs
The deadline for submission is 30th September 2019.
The terms of reference are available here.

Appel à consultations: Elaboration d'une analyse coût-efficacité pour la mise en place d'un réseau de surveillance de l'impact du changement climatique sur la biodiversité au sein des ASPIM
La date limite de soumission est le 30 septembre 2019.
Les termes de référence (en anglais) sont disponibles ici.

Upcoming CFA Webinar - Blue Oceans Partners: harnessing the power of innovation to restore the health of our ocean October 16th, 12pm EDT

Addressing ocean challenges with traditional solutions, many of them infrastructure-based, requires trillions of dollars that seem overwhelmingly difficult to mobilize. One complementary approach is to support innovations that can change the rules of the game, transforming the very ways we produce, consume and distribute. Such innovations have the potential to deliver competitive market returns to investors. They can therefore mobilize large amounts of private capital to scale and address the crisis rapidly.

Christian Lim, co-founder of Blue Oceans Partners, will present examples of such innovations, ready to scale now, explaining how they can achieve system level impact for the ocean. Examples will include alternative feeds for aquaculture, sustainable aquaculture technologies, solutions to ghost nets, solutions to plastic microfiber pollution, technologies that enhance the efficiency of Marine Protected Areas, and innovations that enable the transition to a circular plastics economy. Christian will discuss Ocean One, the fund Blue Oceans Partners has launched to invest in innovations that help solve the challenges of overfishing and plastic pollution.

Upcoming Webinar: Financing Coral Reef Conservation and Management: Conservation Trust Funds and Impact Investing

Presented by: David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance and Nicolas Pascal of Blue finance
This webinar will be offered at two different times:

Description: Coral reefs provide enormous economic value to humanity and are gaining increasing attention from donors, philanthropists, and governments. This webinar will explore the use of Conservation Trust Funds and Impact Investing to support coral reef conservation. Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) are private, legally independent institutions that provide sustainable financing for biodiversity conservation. Impact Investing is investing in companies, organizations, and funds with the intention of generating measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Specifically, the webinar will discuss how protected area, national, and regional CTFs can raise, manage, and invest financing for coral reef conservation and restoration. The webinar will also review how impact investing can be used to manage coral reef areas through public private partnerships. This webinar is sponsored by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), an informal partnership which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, as part of its collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance for promoting innovative financing for coral reef conservation.
Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News, EBM Tools Network) and the Reef Resilience Network

Photo by: Catlin Seaview Survey

New Article: Valuing Natural Coastline Infrastructure

An article written for The Economist Group World Ocean Initiative by guest author Mark Gough, executive director of the Natural Capital Coalition. The piece reflects on the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, showing Mark’s views and presenting valuable and interesting information. The full article is available on the Economist Group website.

What We're Reading: Investing in Impact on the Ground - Fund Impact Report 2018

From eco. Business Fund:

“Read the Fund’s first Impact Report, “Investing in Impact on the Ground.” It provides an in-depth look into the progress the Fund has made since inception and presents the fund’s approach to making a real difference for people and the planet. In this report you will learn more about what impact the Fund creates: how the fund promotes change in financial institutions’ practices; how it supports its end borrowers in integrating sustainable practices into their production processes, and how the fund facilitates an enabling environment for a greener economy.

Read the full Impact Report.”