With the global population estimated to peak at 9 billion by 2050, there is a growing need to maximize efforts to protect natural ecosystems. At the same time, there is insufficient investment in conservation.
NatureVest will work to close the funding gap that exists by creating new opportunities to invest private and philanthropic capital in conservation projects that deliver financial returns and clear environmental benefits.
The Nature Conservancy through its NatureVest division will be supporting a first of its kind debt-swap deal between the Government of Seychelles and its Paris Club creditors in exchange for the Government of Seychelles’ commitment to enhance marine conservation and climate adaptation. The Nature Conservancy will invest $23 million in impact capital while raising an additional $8 million in grant funding for the first time to finance the deal.
Even for the Nature Conservancy, which attracts more money than any other US environmental nonprofit – revenues were $1.1bn last year – buying 165,000 acres of land in Washington’s Cascade Mountains and Montana’s Blackfoot River Valley for $134m is, quite literally, a very big deal.
The Nature Conservancy today announced it has closed on the purchase of 117,152 acres of forests, rivers and wildlife habitat in the Lower Blackfoot River watershed of Montana. The land was purchased from Plum Creek for $85 million.
Perhaps the greatest promise lies at the intersection of conservation and finance. The Nature Conservancy has been pioneering conservation-related impact investment. Its Conservation Note (a $25,000-and-up, 1- to 5-year bond) quickly sold out. In April, the organisation joined with JPMorgan Chase to launch NatureVest, a division that will deploy $1 billion in conservation-minded capital over the coming three years. On November 6th, it released a report estimating that conservation investing is seeing 26% growth annually and will hit $5.6bn by 2018.