Fighting Fire with Finance; Introducing the Forest Resilience Bond

On May 9th, 2019, Zach Knight of Blue Forest Conservation hosted a webinar discussing their new Forest Resilience Bonds. Blue Forest Conservation is committed to creating sustainable financial solutions to pressing environmental challenges. We recently launched our first innovative finance mechanism, the Forest Resilience Bond, in partnership with the US Forest Service, the World Resources Institute, and Encourage Capital in the Tahoe National Forest in California in 2018. Instead of relying on budget-constrained government agencies, the Forest Resilience Bond deploys investor capital to finance the upfront costs of proactive forest restoration in an effort to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and associated carbon emissions as well while protecting water resources. Investors earn returns through cost-sharing contracts with the US Forest Service, utilities, and state governments that benefit from the restoration treatments. In addition to wildfire, air quality, and water benefits, the Forest Resilience Bond creates jobs, protects communities, and makes forests more resilient to climate change while offering competitive returns to investors.

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View a recording of the Webinar

Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation

The authors of the CFA publication, "Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation: A Guide" presented highlights of their paper in two webinars on February 26th, and facilitated discussion among webinar participants. Venkat Iyer, Katy Mathias, David Meyers, Melissa Walsh and Ray Victurine highlighted several of the finance mechanisms that are explored in the Guide, discussed the importance of business planning as the first step in the process, highlighted several case studies and examples, and shared some conclusions. 


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Photo Credit: HANNES KLOSTERMANN / CORAL REEF IMAGE BANK



Caribbean-Pacific Alliance

On February 6, 2019, Zdenka Piskulich, Marcello Hernandez and Maria Jose Gonzalez presented a CFA webinar on the Caribbean-Pacific Alliance and Blue Challenge.

The Caribbean-Pacific Alliance is a unique collaborative platform to address shared marine and coastal conservation issues in the Tropical Eastern Pacific and Caribbean oceans. The Alliance is composed of PACIFICO (a platform of four Conservation Trust Funds in the Tropical Eastern Pacific), the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Fund, and the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund. Together, they encompass two oceans, 16 countries, 4 million km2 and 5 World Heritage Sites, and through the Alliance, they have a structure to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration. One of the Caribbean-Pacific Alliance's first initiatives is Blue Challenge, an incubator to build the pipeline of investable projects in the conservation space through technical assistance. 

The recording of the webinar, and the Powerpoint presentation, are available below.

A second webinar in Spanish on the same content will be held in the coming weeks.

Conservation Trust Fund Investment Survey 2017

+ Webinar Info

When?:

December 18th: 8am - 9am EDT (New York City)

Summary:

Katy Mathias, manager of the Conservation Trust Investment Survey (CTIS) Project and co-author, with Ray Victurine, of the CTIS annual report, conducted two webinars for CFA members on December 18 to share results of the CTIS report for Calendar Year 2017. The identical presentations were held 12 hours apart to accommodate a range of time zones. The [webinar audio recording] and [Powerpoint slides], as well as a link to the [2017 report], are available on the CFA website.

The webinar highlighted some key findings from the most recent study. The participants' organizational and endowment nominal investment returns for calendar year 2017 were higher than those from 2016, while sinking fund returns were slightly below 2016. In general, however, CTF returns were lower than might be expected given global investment performance in 2017. This may be attributed to, on average, the CTFs' tendency to under-allocate equity, relative to fixed income and cash. For a recording of the session please see below.

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The Nature Trust Alliance: Collaboration and shared services for Conservation Trust Funds

Webinar Info

When?:

November 28th, 2019: 10am - 11am EDT (New York City)

Summary:

CFA hosted a webinar in partnership with the Nature Trust Alliance (NTA) on November 28th, 2018. The session addressed the origin of the Nature Trust Alliance as well as the current structure, challenges, and benefits. Presenters included NTA Director Alba Carreras and Geof Giacomini - Executive Director of Caucases Nature Fund (CNF).

The Nature Trust Alliance (NTA) is a unique collaboration between three conservation trust funds: the Caucasus Nature Fund, Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT) and the newly established Blue Action Fund. The NTA was established in 2016 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and provides operational support services (financial management, investment management, administration, communications, reporting, etc.) to these three funds, so the funds can focus on their core missions of employing innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms for nature conservation.

Pooled models for Conservation Trust Funds have been a long-term topic of discussion – the CFA conducted an analysis of the issue in 2014. The NTA is a unique implementation of a pooling approach and may serve as an example to other CTFs. We enjoyed a rich discussion. For a recording of the session please see below.

*due to technical issues the first seven minutes of the recording are cut off. Please see the powerpoint for further information from the beginning of the session.

Lestari Capital: Presentation of the Sustainable Commodities Compensation Mechanism

Webinar Info

When?:

October 24th: 9am - 10am EDT (New York City)

Summary:

In 2010, the RSPO began to develop a compensation mechanism for companies that have cleared land prior to the conduct of an HCV mechanism. The mechanism sought to close loopholes within the certification system, whilst addressing the need to remediate past actions in a pragmatic and practical way. The RSPO began to implement the resulting and finalised Remediation and Compensation Procedures (RaCPs) in 2016. Since then, RSPO companies have been looking to identify suitable projects to compensate.

The Sustainable Commodities Compensation Mechanism, developed as a joint venture between Daemeter Consulting and Forest Carbon, seeks to utilise the RSPO compensation mechanism to develop a proof of concept for market-based financing of conservation projects. Its aim is to build upon the RaCPs to create a robust system which supports the RSPO in delivering company compliance efficiently, de-risks the compensation mechanism for companies, and transparently delivers conservation outcomes at scale on the ground.

The SCCM, to be officially launched in November 2017, is however designed not only to produce other benefits of compensation financing, but aims to also extend its application across other sectors and other sustainability commitments designed to produce conservation benefits. Our presentation will provide the context of the first focus, the RSPO RaCP, showcase the SCCM model, and provide suggestions for further expansion of scope.

For more information on Lestari Capital please see their website.

A factsheet on Lestari Capital is also available for download.

Presenter:

Michal Zrust is the Southeast Asia Regional Manager at Daemeter Consulting, and the co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer at Lestari Capital. Michal’s background is wildlife conservation, with over 10 years of experience of conservation project management across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Since 2011, Michal has been involved with the oil palm industry, first as the Global Palm Oil Technical Advisor at The Zoological Society of London, based in Indonesia, and now within Daemeter. His expertise includes management and monitoring of High Conservation Values in oil palm landscapes; supply chain traceability implementation; implementation of no deforestation and other sustainability commitments; certification standard development; and implementation of landscape-level sustainability approaches. At the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), he maintains technical advisory seats at the Biodiversity and High Conservation Value Working Group, and the Compensation Task Force, and was a member of the RSPO Board of Governors as an NGO representative. He now continues his work at Daemeter, and is focused on the development of Lestari Capital and the Sustainable Commodities Compensation Mechanism.

Recording of Webinar available for download:

-Part 1

-Part 2

-Part 3