10&12 Nov 2018: SFi Outreach with Jane Goodall Institute
What a fantastic week of events with the legendary Dr Jane Goodall and her team!
Part I Investing in Sustainable Future
On Nov 10 SFi participated at a symposium looking at the “human dimensions” of wildlife conservation at the Education University of Hong Kong, where Dr Jane opened with the sounds of a chimpanzee greeting that meant ‘This is me. This is Jane chimpanzee’, which immediately transported us all to Gombe National Park in Tanzania with her.
Dr. Jane’s innate ability of storytelling became apparent as she took us on the captivating journey of her life and many inspiring experiences. She also eloquently illustrated that a holistic approach is required to save wildlife species from the brink of extinction, one that considers the interdependent nature of ecosystems and focuses on people and wildlife as a whole.
This set the perfect stage for a later panel discussion “Investing in Sustainable Future” – led by SFi’s Tze-wei Ng exploring how investors big and small can choose to become more conscious about the impact of their investments, and how innovative finance tools can help support such holistic approach towards conservation.A big thank you to the panelists: Gavin Edwards and Jean-Marc Champagne from WWF, and Leonie from SFi. Let’s all choose to become more conscious consumers and investors today!
Part II An Evening with Dr Jane Goodall: Where Wall Street Meets Wildlife
On November 12th Jane Goodall Institute, Royal Geographic Society and Sustainable Finance Initiative were delighted to welcome Dr Jane Goodall, OBE, to present an exclusive event: Where Wall Street meets Wildlife. The evening opened with a screening of Dr Goodall’s TED talk “Helping Humans and Animals live together” that explores wildlife conservation challenges faced today. Dr Goodall gave an inspiring key note address and filled the room with hope as to how we can all play a vital role in halting biodiversity extinction. “There is the indomitable human spirit, the people who tackle the impossible and won’t give up. My job is to give people hope, for without it we fall into apathy and do nothing”. “We have a choice each day as to what we buy, eat and wear”.
After Dr Goodall’s speech we held a panel session that explored the interdependent nature of ecosystems, with a special focus on people and wildlife and the power of innovative market-based conservation financing solutions in helping preserve important ecosystems.
We were joined by three heroes on this issue including Lisa Genasci, CEO and Founder of ADM Capital Foundation, Iain Henderson, Head of International Cooperation at the United Nations and Ben Ridley, Director of Sustainability Affairs at Credit Suisse.
“We have all heard of the FTSE100 index, but how many of us have heard of the Living Planet Index – a biologists stock market index – that recently reported in the last 40 years, we have lost on average 60% of monitored populations of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians,” asked Leonie in her opening remarks. We discussed how the world must thrash out a new deal for nature and people backed by business and the financial sector to tackle wildlife loss, climate change and development in an integrated way. That today there’s a huge funding gap for conservation with significant sums of capital required to meet conservation challenges, and how we must leverage the power of capital markets to direct capital to species on the edge of extinction. Iain Henderson highlighted how there is a growing movement to align the financial system with sustainable development and the United Nations initiatives underway to promote its development. Ben Ridley commented conservation finance as a whole is still at an early stage of development and how Credit Suisse has been active in publishing research such as “Conservation Finance: from niche to mainstream: the building of an institutional asset class”. Today, prevalent financial vehicles found in the conservation finance market are debt and equity funds, as well as the proceeds of bonds and notes – collaboration and capacity building are required to help grow the sector. Lisa Genasci discussed innovative models developing around financing the balance between development and conservation such as the Tropical Landscape Financing Facility (TLFF) that aims to provide long-term financing for projects that improve access to rural electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance smallholder farmers’ livelihoods in Indonesia. The panel discussed how we have a window of opportunity to act – everyone – governments, businesses, communities and individuals – has a part to play in coming up with a global deal for nature and the planet.
The panel presented how we can turn this into action and presented a call to action for everyone who attended the event:
- Ask your pension fund how they have invested your money. If you don’t like what you hear, push for change.
- Ask you asset manager how your funds are invested positively for the environment and people, how are they helping stem climate change with investment capital
- Take professional risk – step into a role from where you can act to protect our environment whatever your profession
- Be a voice for change, continue to ask questions, be a climate optimist