How Green Investment Funds Aim to Restore Nature, Make Best Profit and Support Communities

Whatever your view of global warming, there is no doubt that hundreds of years of human activity have hit our planet. Urbanization and industrialization have helped transform many green and comfortable lands into high-rise, high-traffic 21st landscapes.

Meanwhile, deforestation and overgrazing have transformed previously fertile lands into virtual deserts.United Nations Started the fight He returned the devastated land to a useful state and handed Mirova, a sustainable investment expert, the task of raising cash to invest naturally.

The Land Degradation Neutral Fund has successfully completed $ 208 million in funding. Paris-based fund manager Gautier Kell enjoys this challenge. At the age of 40, like many others, he dreamed of his school days. Something “meaningful” We are not going to join one of the world’s leading industrial oil companies or aircraft manufacturers.

“We are neither the first generation of students nor the last generation who are very sensitive to environmental issues,” he told I.

After studying to become an engineer, he began his career at the French Treasury after seeing the early carbon industry. Focus on renewable energy.. Later, after being involved in the creation of the first carbon fund, “I realized that finance could change it all and could have a significant impact on the real world and the real economy.”

He worked for a renewable energy fund for several years with great success. “I was raising investors with the money they needed to plant a windmill with their capital and explain to them that they could repay it thanks to the sale of electricity.”

That led to the opportunity to create a Land Degradation Neutral Fund in 2017.

“Initially, I didn’t know what land degradation was, but I quickly learned a lot about the exploitation of nature and the fact that it was underinvesting in so-called natural capital.”

Natural capital is the name given to the stock of natural assets in the world such as soil, air, water and living things. Having used natural capital for hundreds of years, the United Nations plan is to encourage sustainable investment in natural capital to bring the land back to a useful state.

“The United Nations wanted to raise the money needed to plant trees and repay it by selling sustainable cocoa, coffee, wood, tea and other raw materials produced by good environmental and social practices. I noticed, “says Quéru. Is called.

“This is the natural green infrastructure we are rebuilding.”

It may sound like a grand ambition, but that’s why. The fund’s recently issued impact report presents a harsh reality.

“Poor land management practices, often fueled by exploitation for short-term economic gain, rather than supporting long-term sustainability, have over 25% of the world’s arable land in the last two decades. It led to a loss.

“A total of 2 billion hectares of land are devastated worldwide, and through exploitative production, human activity continues to devastate an additional 12 million hectares of production each year.”

To understand the scale of the problem, it is worth remembering that 2 billion hectares is equivalent to the scale of China. The problem that the United Nations is trying to tackle is that big. Nature conservation and restoration is gaining the support of not only student dreamers, but also countries and large corporations.

“Many international companies are working on building sustainable supply chains and working on net zero, which means that at some point we need to plant more trees and be considerate of nature,” Quéru said. Mr. says.

It’s clearly a project he’s passionate about. The advantage of his fund is that it not only restores nature and brings decent benefits to investors, but also supports the community and the community.

“Restoring devastated land helps communities live there and earn a sustainable livelihood,” he points out.

It’s not a hippie dream, but it’s a practical way to fund and scale economically viable projects that have a positive impact on natural capital and the community.

The impact report is summarized as follows: “In addition to the direct economic value of sustainable use of land and its resources, proper management of land-based ecosystems enhances food security and reduces biodiversity loss. Reduce, climate change, poverty, social instability, conflict. “

To date, the fund’s investment is fairly low at just over $ 200 million, but it has already started projects in eight countries. They range from sustainable coffee and cocoa production to restore deforested areas in Latin America to sustainable forestry projects and nut production in Africa and Asia, with a focus on the inclusion of smallholders each time. Is placed.

UN-sponsored funds use a mix of public and institutional financing to get the project on track. As a result, it is not directly available to individual investors so far, but it plans to expand the fund and raise more money.

“This is just the beginning,” says Quéru. “We are paving the way for the transition of the financial industry.”

How Green Investment Funds Aim to Restore Nature, Make Best Profit and Support Communities

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