WWF US Seeking Sustainable Finance Intern

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, seeks an intern to support its work in Sustainable Finance. WWF has identified Finance as a key programmatic focus because the global finance system enables all types of economic activity, and this activity can have a significant impact on our planet. We are interested in how money flows, and how to influence it for environmental benefit.

Working with WWF's global Finance Practice, the intern will support desk research and preparation of external presentation materials including power point presentation materials, blogs and delivered remarks, as well as semi-structured brief summaries of major studies in the area of Sustainable Finance. 

For a full description of the position as well as information on how to apply please visit the WWFUS careers page.

U.S. Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator Grant Program is now accepting proposals for awards up to $250k

Got a smart project that uses nature to mitigate climate change in the United States? Then you’re in luck. Through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Nature Conservancy is announcing a request for proposals for two additional rounds of grant funding for projects with potential to substantially increase the use of natural climate solutions through the U.S. Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator program.  

This grant-funding program is focused on helping kick-start innovative and scalable approaches to capturing greenhouse gas emissions by using natural and working lands in the United States.  The program’s steering committee approved the first five grants in the fall of 2018 and plans to complete two additional rounds of grantmaking during the next 12 months. Awards up to $250,000 per project are available in this second round of grantmaking. Visit nature.org/NCSaccelerator to learn more about this opportunity, former awardees, how to apply, and to register for the applicant webinar. The deadline for applications is August 16, 2019.

Photo © Eric Aldrich/TNC

Upcoming Webinar: Financing Coral Reef Conservation and Management with Tourism-Related Tools

Presented by: David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance


Coral reefs provide enormous economic value to humanity, and their value for recreation is one of the easiest to capture financially. This webinar will explore the range of existing and emerging tools that protected areas and site managers can use to capture funds from tourism for conservation and management. Specifically the webinar will discuss the use of: 1) entry, activity, and special use fees; 2) commercial concessions; 3) departure taxes; 4) partnerships with hotels; and 5) voluntary donations. 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), the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe), and the Reef Resilience NetworkConservation Finance Alliance
 This webinar will be offered at two different times:·      

Viewing 1: Wednesday, July 17, Noon US EDT/9 am US PDT/4 pm UTC·      

Viewing 2: Wednesday, July 17, 9 pm US EDT/6 pm US PDT (Thursday, July 18, 9 am Australian WST/11 am Australian EST/1 am UTC)

Register:

·       Viewing 1: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jNI0kihxTYuh6Je3MGFalg

·       Viewing 2: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5Wf9DQjtToCWS-SCe_PbIg

Photo Credit: Warren Baverstock

Upcoming: Launch of CFA Incubator

The CFA is soon launching the Conservation Finance Incubator - a new facility to provide virtual incubation services for innovation in conservation finance tools and solutions. The Incubator will support two potential tracks: 1) Commercial Ventures that seek to generate a financial return and 2) Finance Concepts that lead to policy, regulatory, or non-profit finance solutions.  All solutions must be new ideas and show clear potential for conservation impact. Concepts can be from any sector (public, private, etc.) and can include ideas generated directly by CFA Members, partner organizations, and independent organizations and entrepreneurs.  The CFA will announce a call for concepts shortly.  The Conservation Finance Incubator is supported by FFEM and MAVA Foundation.

Update of Environmental Funds Toolkit

The new Environmental Funds Toolkit is now online. Over the past few months the CFA has been working to update the Environmental Funds Toolkit and it is currently available on the CFA website. The updated site now allows us to upload new documents to share among Environmental Funds (also called Conservation Trust Funds).  We are currently looking for examples of Fundraising Strategies, Business Plans, and Investment Strategies that include ESG investing as well as recent examples of various establishment and organizational documents.  Please visit the site and upload relevant documents so that we can add them to the Toolkit. If you have any questions regarding the EFTK please contact the secretariat.

Photo: Alex Mustard

What We're Reading: Tracking Economic Instruments and Finance for Biodiversity

The summary for this innovative report from OECD is as follows:

“The adoption of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 under the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, committed the international community to a set of ambitious goals on ‘living in harmony with nature’. This requires immediate and ambitious action to protect both life below water and life on land, so as to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Economic instruments, such as taxes, fees and charges, tradable permits, payments for ecosystem services schemes, and environmentally-motivated subsidies, provide signals to both producers and consumers to behave in a more environmentally-sustainable way. These instruments also provide continuous incentives to achieve objectives in a more cost-effective manner, and most are also able to mobilise finance and/or generate revenue. Economic instruments are the so-called “positive incentives” embedded in the 2011-2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, notably Target 3.

The OECD Environmental Policy Committee (EPOC), through its unique database of Policy Instruments for the Environment (PINE), collects quantitative and qualitative information on policy instruments, in more than 80 countries worldwide. This brochure presents statistics on the biodiversity-relevant economic instruments and the finance they mobilise, based on currently available data in PINE. The data are relevant to monitoring progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 (on incentives), Target 20 (on resource mobilisation) as well as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 15.a. on finance.”

Check out the full report from OECD here.

Upcoming CFA Webinar: Financing Ocean Conservation via Debt Conversions

On May 24th at 10am EDT, CFA will be hosting a webinar with Robert Weary of TNC’s NatureVest to discuss an ambitious $40 million initiative to promote ocean conservation as recently announced by The Nature Conservancy. The initiative is based on delivering debt conversions to up to 20 countries over the next five years. The plan, which was selected from more than 1,500 Audacious Project applicants, has already secured more than $23 million in funding from various donors out of the $40 million TNC ultimately requires to unlock $1.6 billion toward marine conservation.
 
Please join the CFA and Robert Weary on May 24th at 10am EDT to discuss this exciting initiative. Robert will present the overall plan and its aims, and will answer questions regarding this project.  Please circulate this announcement to relevant colleagues in your networks.

Please Register for the Webinar on the CFA Website. 

Upcoming ICRI Webinar, June 5th- Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation: An Overview

Presented by: David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance and Venkat Iyer of UN Environment

This webinar will be offered at two different times:

·       Viewing 1: Wednesday, June 5, Noon US EDT/9 am US PDT/4 pm UTC

·       Viewing 2: Wednesday, June 5, 9 pm US EDT/6 pm US PDT (Thursday June 6, 9 am Australian WST/11 am Australian EST/1 am UTC)

Description: The Wildlife Conservation Society, in collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance and in support of the 50 Reefs initiative, recently released "Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation: A Guide" as a resource for protected area managers and others charged with managing and financing reef conservation. The report describes 13 types of finance tools which have either been proven successful at or have great potential to support reef conservation and sustainable management. Some of the finance tools to be covered in this overview webinar include various tourism-based fees, biodiversity offsets, bonds, debt swaps, and conservation trust funds. This webinar will share key findings and recommendations from the report and invite discussion from participants. 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), the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe), and the Reef Resilience Network

Register:

·       Viewing 1: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BoVvSwLgQ-GqO7osvPc4YQ

·       Viewing 2: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RhZKT0S4SQW3DPJ3K0XNXg

Photo Credit: Jayne Jenkins

Conservation International Establishes Ecuador Azul Endowment Fund to Strengthen Ecuador’s Marine Protected Areas

Story from Conservation International

Arlington, Va. (March 29, 2019) – Conservation International today announced the Ecuador Azul fund, a $6 million endowment fund supporting the conservation, management, and long-term sustainability of Ecuador's marine protected areas (MPAs).

Ecuador Azul will initially fund five MPAs spanning nearly 200,000 hectares (494,211 acres) of diverse marine, coastal, and estuarine ecosystems that comprise Ecuador's Marine and Coastal Protected Areas Network. The five MPAS include: Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve, Pacoche Marine Coastal Wildlife Refuge, Machalilla National Park, Puntilla Santa Elena Marine Coastal Fauna Production Reserve, and Manglares El Morro Wildlife Refuge. These areas contain a range of biodiversity, from the world's largest cluster of manta rays to one of the most extensive mangrove areas along the Pacific coast. 

For further details on the Ecuador Azul Fund please see the full story on the Conservation International Website.

Photo credit: The Coral Reef Image Bank / The Ocean Agency

BIOFIN - #KeepThemWild: Corporate Social Responsibility Program fundraiser held in the Philippines

Story from BIOFIN:

Quezon City, Philippines (13 April 2019) – To raise funds for the refurbishment of homes for confiscated illegally-traded and surrendered wildlife, BIOFIN Philippines together with the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Faber-Castell, Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) of Biodiversity Management Bureau, Haribon Foundation and the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center organized a fund-raising event called #KeepThemWild.  It served as an eye-opener and a learning activity that provided artistic inspiration to participants in painting their own canvas tote bags to shed light on the state of wildlife at the WRC and raise funds for their maintenance.

For more information on this innovative fundraising effort please see the full story on the BIOFIN website.

Photo sources from story on BIOFIN site.