More and more money is being committed to 'green investments' however, as the article below notes, committed funding is exceeding the supply of suitable projects.
The World Wildlife Fund has been bridging this gap by helping to package projects for green finance in developing countries working with local communities, governments and industry, and blueprints for conservation investment are emerging. However, looking at land conservation in Australia (i.e. national parks, state forests etc.), more could be done to tap into this pool of capital.
Based on some of Aither's work and thinking in this space there are a few 'no regrets' actions that can help maximise current land management efforts, as well as supporting opportunities for green investors. These include:
- Optimising governance - Improving land management activities requires clear roles and accountability to focus efforts. In reality, this is often spread across different levels and silos of government and other custodians, and restricts the scope and opportunities to work with the private sector.
- Achieving scale - There are efficiencies to be gained in administering land management at the right scale, and this can also be used to package projects that are more attractive for investment.
- Demonstrating performance - Clear targets and the ability to assess results will ultimately underpin the success or failure of green finance in this context as it will underpin both investor and public confidence. Structuring suitable projects requires transparent, effective and measurable goals to give confidence and clarity to all parties.
Enhancements across these three areas will improve existing practices while also helping to foster opportunities for green finance - making the environment ripe for investment.
More than $3 billion in committed capital that has already been raised for investments in food and agriculture, habitat protection, clean water initiatives and other conservation projects was sitting on the sideline waiting for attractive deals last year. That presents an enticing opportunity for developers who can package conservation projects that deliver both environmental and financial returns.