World Conservation Congress closes with call for a nature-based recovery
Among the themes on which the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress focused, the need to transform the global financial system and direct investments into projects that benefit nature and biodiversity was largely addressed throughout the event.
Share the message, collaborate, and inspire
As a patron and partner of the Congress, Mirova’s team was on-site all week to share their experience in financing Nature-Based Solutions and discuss further actions with various actors and leaders from government, civil society, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, and academia. In line with our mission, we believe our active participation in such major events is part of accompanying all stakeholders towards a sustainable economy and finance.
We are finally talking about nature and biodiversity beyond global warming: public and private players are starting to understand how those issues are interconnected. Private finance is a key contributor to the challenges we are facing, but we are still only a few to really take the bull by the horns and design innovative, nature-based investment solutions. Time to scale up!
There is currently roughly US$133 billion a year flowing into nature-based solutions, with an estimated annual gap of about US$536 billion per year and over US$4.1 trillion by 20501. This gap cannot be filled by public finance alone: private finance must play its part indeed!
Mirova’s team underlined the need to push for more blended finance, as the participation of major public investors helps securing private investors.
Philippe Zaouati also stressed how international coalitions, such as the Natural Capital Investment Alliance, the One Planet Summit, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), are also essential to support the growth of the natural capital investment thematic and support the development of a nature positive economy.
Nature-Based Solutions: time to scale up and define impact indicators
Nature-positive business solutions exist, and so does investors’ appetite for them
At the Congress, our team underlined the necessity for cooperation and dialogue between all stakeholders to scale up investment in Nature-Based Solutions.
Philippe Zaouati highlighted the Land Degradation Neutrality strategy as proof of concept: not only there are now many solutions to preserve and enhance natural capital and biodiversity, but there is also appetite for impactful business solutions on the investors’ part.
On his part, Gautier Quéru discussed the criteria for a project to contribute both to Land Degradation Neutrality and to local development and presented examples in Sub-Saharan Africa. He also highlighted the need for impact indicators, as well as innovative economic models.
Edit Kiss notably shared her experience in landscape finance and the lessons learnt from our climate strategy, in particular a successful project in Peru which is now ready to be replicated elsewhere.
Simon Dent also broached tangible projects supported by our sustainable ocean strategy, such as the partnership in an innovative blended finance facility to improve the management of Belize’s marine protected areas & contribute to its blue economy between Mirova, IUCN, Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA), Blue Finance and ministry of Blue Economy of Belize. It is worth noting that Belize recently announced a new step towards financing durable marine conservation and sustainable marine-based economic activity.
Finally, Vincent Gradt exchanged with the IUCN, the Global Environment fund (GEF), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Gold Standard on green finance opportunities, further actions and solutions. He also discussed Mirova’s proposed two-pronged approach to securing additional financing for conservation:
- reducing project risk to increase mainstream investor confidence
- nurturing more innovative funding by supporting small demonstration projects through innovative instruments
Developing metrics and indicators for biodiversity
In parallel to the IUCN Congress, Mirova published a progress report on its action in favour of biodiversity, which is centred on three areas:
- accelerating our investments in biodiversity;
- developing suitable metrics;
- strengthening our commitments to our stakeholders.
A few days later, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), Natixis Investment Managers and its affiliate Mirova, Sienna Investment Managers and Solactive announced entering into an agreement with Iceberg Data Lab to participate in its series A fund raise. It is worth reminding that the French startup had been selected along I Care & Consult to develop a tool to allow investors to measure how their investments impact biodiversity, following a structured, highly competitive process initiated by a Call for Expression of Interest launched by AXA IM, BNP Paribas AM, Mirova and Sycomore AM.
Raising awareness among private and retail investors
The IUCN Congress was also the opportunity to raise awareness on Mirova’s approach to nature-positive finance and biodiversity among private and retail investors in the Marseille area.
Philippe Zaouati joined Catherine Reljic, Director of development at Caisse d'Epargne CEPAC, for a breakfast on the themes of biodiversity and responsible investment with private investors and entrepreneurs. Caisse d’Epargne CEPAC is also a sponsor of the Congress and committed to the ecological transition of territories for more than ten years.
On a lunch event organized by Natixis Investment Managers teams, Philippe Zaouati discussed the following question with retail investors: Can investment be nature-positive?
The Marseille Manifesto: “to invest in nature is to invest in our collective future”
As the World Conservation Congress ended, the IUCN published The Marseille Manifesto, which aims to capture notable and important commitments and announcements that emerged from Congress events.
Humanity has reached a tipping point. Our window of opportunity to respond to these interlinked emergencies and share planetary resources equitably is narrowing quickly. Our existing systems do not work. Economic “success” can no longer come at nature’s expense. We urgently need systemic reform.
Yet there is reason to be optimistic. We are perfectly capable of making transformative change and doing it swiftly. During the global pandemic, we have changed our behaviour to protect our health, and the health of those around us. Fundamental change is again needed if we are to build societies that value, protect, and invest in nature. To invest in nature is to invest in our collective future.
As November’s UN Climate Change Conference COP26, in Glasgow, will address the links between climate and biodiversity, before the COP15 on biodiversity takes place during spring 2022, in Kunming, China, we must pursue our efforts towards a more sustainable and inclusive economy and a redefinition of the relationship between companies and nature.
1 - Source: UNEP-Vivid Economics, 2021
Each investment is subject to risks, including the risk of capital loss
A look back at the second edition of the "Agir pour le vivant1" event, supported by Mirova, which was held in Arles from 22 to 29 August 2021. During these seven days of debates and meetings to raise awareness and try to design a model of society that integrates the challenges of the living world, the teams of Mirova present on site had the opportunity to share their experiences and their views on the role of finance in the environmental and social transition, but also to draw inspiration through inspiring visits to the Arles area.
Despite the health context, we have continued to implement our biodiversity roadmap. You will find below a progress report on our different work areas, as the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress is taking place in Marseille, with the aim of taking action for a nature-based reconstruction, for climate change and for post-2020 biodiversity.
Mirova, the affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to sustainable investing and a Certified B Corp1, is proud to announce it has been named amongst the ‘Best for the World™ B Corps of 20212’. The Best for the World are B Corps whose scores in one or more of the five impact areas assessed towards the certification reach the top 5% of all B Corps worldwide. Mirova has been recognised in the ‘customers area’, for the development of high impact investment solutions for investors.