Creating Mechanisms for Conservation Finance in Southeast Asia
Conservation of natural resources is one of today’s most significant global challenges. Our decisions affect the environment, our communities, and our health. This is especially important in Southeast Asia, where development and growth have contributed to significant habitat destruction, species endangerment and extinction, and the pollution of natural resources.
This Lab report – based on discussions that took place on February 3, 2015 – describes ways to move funding to address conservation needs, from more sustainable forestry practices to protections for elephants and rhinos. Needed is an estimated $300–$400 billion must be invested globally each year. It will take more than traditional donors and governments to bridge this gap—a major shift in funding has to include new potential sources of capital.
New investors—such as high net worth individuals, pension funds, endowments, family offices, and mainstream retail investors—would expect to realize returns. Social impact bonds, risk mitigation products, fixed-income products, and impact investing funds could be solutions. Also necessary is greater understanding of conservation finance, partly through technical assistance programs for NGOs and improved application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) screens for investors.