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How Finance Can Contribute to Sustainable Landscapes

October 15, 2018 |

This article was originally published by IUCN NL

“Mainstream economic actors do not sufficiently recognize the interdependency of financial capital and the underlying social and natural capitals. But the tide is turning. On September 19, IUCN NL convened over 100 people to bridge the gap between natural and financial capital. Using insights from the past five years of IUCN NL’s work towards a more sustainable financial system, an updated strategy was launched that will help catalyse this transition.

Hosted by EY in Amsterdam, representatives from the financial sector, business, the public sector, NGOs, academia, and others came together to learn from experts and to contribute to specific sustainable finance projects. Eight entrepreneurs pitched their sustainable business.

The interdependency of financial capital and natural capital

Investments in sustainable landscapes are slowly being scaled up. Select financial institutions managing trillions of dollars are starting to align their portfolios with the Sustainble Development Goals. Other investors are beginning to realize that their returns will be undermined by disruption resulting from climate change and depletion of natural resources. Yet the connection with – and actual reallocation of finance towards – developments on the ground continue to be challenging. There is a disconnect between investors and the entrepreneurs and organisations leading projects for sustainable development.

“IUCN NL is committed to play a meaningful role to bridge the gap between providers of natural and financial capital”, says Jan Willem den Besten, Senior Expert Green Finance at IUCN NL. This type of bridge-building is much needed, according to keynote speaker Carlos de Bourbon de Parme: “We need to get people to work together in unusual coalitions. Nature is not a place to visit, it is our home. We need to take care of our home.”

To ensure investments yield a return on – and for – nature, IUCN NL has developed a sustainable finance strategy. The overarching objective of this strategy is to achieve zero or net-positive impact at the landscape level to restore and protect important ecosystems. The strategy is informed by the lessons learned from the past five years in which IUCN NL pioneered green investments, and was presented in the booklet ‘Bridging financial and natural capital‘…”

Read on at: IUCN NL.

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