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Impact investing: Conservation gets finance boost

Credit Suisse leads banks with coalition for investments; forest resilience bond slated for next year.

The Forest Service’s budget towards fire suppression is expected to rise to 66%

Conservation finance got a boost in December when the Global Environmental Facility (made up of 18 agencies) allocated over $8 million to the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC). The Rockefeller Foundation also gave its in-principle support in providing grant funding.

CPIC was set up in 2016 and launched formally in September. It brings together non-profits in the conservation area, including the Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance and WWF, with consultants such as Baker and McKenzie, impact investment managers like Althelia and development agencies, including the European Investment Bank. Credit Suisse was a founding member of CPIC and is the only commercial bank involved at that this point.

Since coming together, the stakeholders have been forming working groups and sourcing projects suitable to be put into conservation investments for private investors. 

Over 12 months, the CPIC put together a portfolio of potential projects (so called ‘blueprints for investments’) around the world in sectors such as biodiversity, climate change, land degradation and international waters. 

Potential projects include sustainable cattle ranching, climate-smart coastal resiliency and a vertically integrated sustainable seafood model.