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NatureVest: Advancing Investment in Conservation

JPMorgan Chase is the founding sponsor of and an ongoing advisor to NatureVest, an initiative of The Nature Conservancy, focused on developing a pipeline of investable deals that deliver both meaningful conversation results and financial returns for investors. NatureVest brings together conservation leaders, communities, policymakers and investors to build the field of conversation finance.



"We are delighted to collaborate with The Nature Conservancy to build NatureVest and demonstrate that profitability and sustainability can work hand in hand."

The Challenge: Dwindling Resources + Increasing Demand

With the global population estimated to peak at 9 billion by 2050, there is a growing need to maximize the pace, scale and effectiveness of efforts to protect natural ecosystems – along with the cities and communities that rely on them. Conservation projects that demonstrate nature’s strength and resilience create value for habitats and communities, which can attract significant investment. Investment capital abounds, but projects that can translate investment into conservation outcomes and investment returns are in short supply.

The Opportunity: Closing the Funding Gap

NatureVest is working to close the funding gap that exists today by creating new opportunities to invest private and philanthropic capital in conservation projects that deliver financial returns and clear environmental benefits. Investors interested in a more sustainable impact from their capital can provide much needed financing for projects such as green infrastructure for cities struggling to manage stormwater, sustainable cattle ranching for grassland restoration and improved fisheries management systems, to name a few.

"The Solution: A Two-Tiered Approach," Market Insights

Develop a pipeline of conservation investments: NatureVest works with a variety of partners to source, develop and execute investable conservation deals globally engaging the participation of a range of investors to generate additional sources of capital for conservation.

Market insights: Through original research and convening of the industry’s sharpest minds, NatureVest is developing the intellectual capital necessary to build understanding of the importance of a market for conservation. NatureVest has been a contributing author to two investor survey-driven research reports that scope and characterize the market for conservation investments, with specific focus on market segments, transaction participants, and deal types. The reports have been collaborative efforts led by Encourage Capital (2014) and Forest Trends (2017) with input and support from Credit Suisse, Cornell University, JPMorgan Chase, Encourage Capital, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

In addition to JPMorgan Chase’s founding sponsorship, NatureVest receives support from the Robertson Foundation and Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust.

Highlighted Projects

A young Kenya child standing with a herd of cattle.

With $7 million in financing commitments from The Nature Conservancy, the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) has been able to scale its for-profit subsidiary and develop the Livestock to Markets Program, which supports local cattle herding communities who agree to adhere to improved grazing practices. These practices enhance habitat for endangered elephants and rhinos and create higher value cattle, which increase community incomes and investment in local education and healthcare.

A photo of an island in the middle of a body of water.

The first-ever climate adaptation debt swap agreement, which will protect 30% of Seychelles marine territories in return for the restructuring of nearly $25 million of its debt. The deal will ensure approximately 400,000 km2 will be managed for conservation as marine protected areas (MPAs) within five years. This will be the second largest marine reserve in the Indian Ocean.

A picture of a sunset - blue and pink sky and mountains.

A $134 million conservation project that will preserve recreational access and help conserve the ecological integrity of 165,073 acres – 257 square miles – of forests, rivers and wildlife habitat in the Cascade Mountain Range of Washington and in the Blackfoot River Valley in Montana.

A photo of bushes and a walkway outside someone's home.

In partnership with Encourage Capital, the financing of a company to develop and manage green infrastructure projects on properties that measurably reduce stormwater run-off through proven, distributed, nature-based solutions. These projects, such as permeable pavement and rain gardens, will generate Stormwater Retention Credits (SRCs) under the D.C.’s new Stormwater Credit Trading Program.

Doug Petno, CEO of Commercial Banking at JPMorgan Chase, and Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, published an op-ed on urban stormwater management in August 2015.

In The News

NatureVest brochure

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With the global population heading toward 9 billion people by 2050, there is a growing, urgent need to protect natural ecosystems and the resources they provide.

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Research

 cover of Investing in Conservation 2014
                                report

Investing in Conservation:
A landscape assessment of an emerging market.

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