Statement of Intent

We, the organisations listed below, state the following:

  • In order to sustain humanity’s future on earth, substantial investment in natural capital is urgently needed
  • Given the benefits that nature provides to people, this investment should be framed as an investment in humanity, as part of the economic future laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Increases in government and philanthropic funding for conservation over the coming years are likely to be modest, and will be insufficient to address the conservation funding deficit
  • Private investment capital, however, has the potential to materially contribute to narrowing that deficit and to address the conservation funding imperative
  • In order to deliver the volume of investment needed to address the scale of conservation challenges, investment opportunities that provide measurable, science-based conservation benefits and social impact to participating communities and to biodiversity, while delivering at-scale financial returns for investors, will be necessary
  • Experience to date with private finance in conservation suggests that, while there have been successes, overall investment volumes have been small, adequate returns have not always been achieved, and the knowledge required to build scalable investment products is dispersed
  • Public and philanthropic investment will continue to play a key role in conservation funding
  • Public and philanthropic finance can also help to create the conditions for private investment in conservation
  • Therefore, in order to fill this financing gap, a concerted, systematic effort focused on creating investment products that provide a conservation and financial bottom line is necessary
  • This effort will need to deliver the following outputs:
    • Measures of return and monitoring systems for natural and social capital in addition to financial capital
    • Increased availability of expertise in building finance vehicles for investment, including through de-risking, blended finance, cash-flow analysis and business planning
    • Priority “blueprints” for delivering risk-adjusted returns from specific types of investment in natural capital
    • Transparent and equitable governance of natural capital as a condition for investment
    • Increased capacity in NGOs, small and medium-sized enterprises and governments to build and sustain investment in natural capital

To deliver the above, we agree that a collaborative effort is necessary, so NGOs and project developers, public stakeholders (e.g., governments, development finance institutions, scientists), private actors (e.g., foundations), and the corporate and investment community, can bring their respective strengths and expertise to the table. This collaborative effort should show the following characteristics:

  • Builds on existing structures and initiatives
  • Encourages reciprocal learning and lesson-sharing
  • Be supported by an appropriate and flexible administrative structure
  • Focuses on delivering outcomes efficiently and effectively
  • Be focused on increasing investment through the delivery of the outputs listed above

We agree to be part of this collaborative effort and contribute to its success. We strive to support the formulation of a work plan for the remainder of 2016 and thereafter.