News and Press
Keeping Grasslands Wild: Inside Althelia’s $10 Million Investment in Kenyan Wildlife Works Project
The Althelia Climate Fund made its first direct investment last month, pledging $10 million toward the Taita Hills project in Kenya. Mike Korchinsky, CEO and founder of project developer Wildlife Works, tells Ecosystem Marketplace how the deal came together, and why the Taita Hills project is a new frontier for carbon-conscious land management.
Visit the Forest Carbon Portal website for the full story.
Real time growth (or loss) of forests can be viewed with Google’s new tool
The lack of reliable data on forests has long been a major challenge in the battle against deforestation. But a new tool powered by Google aims to provide real-time information on forest clearing and empower local communities and other stakeholders to fight back, as explained by Gloria Gonzalez on The Carbon Forest Portal website.
Environmental Finance’s coverage of Althelia Climate Fund’s inaugural investment
Following yesterday’s statement by Althelia Ecosphere, Environmental Finance has released an article about Althelia Climate Fund’s first investment in the Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in Kenya.
Please see the article on the Environmental Finance website.
Althelia Climate Fund, Wildlife Works announce $10 million investment to launch the Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in Kenya
London & Luxembourg – 17th February 2014
A transformational investment that will achieve leverage from existing REDD+ projects to deliver forest and wildlife conservation paired with economic development at scale across the Tsavo Conservation Area
On 17th February 2014, Althelia Climate Fund announces its investment into the planned Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project, aimed at delivering multiple benefit greenhouse gas emissions reductions in south-eastern Kenya. This is the first investment of many planned by Althelia to direct performance-based finance to conservation and sustainable land use in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
The project will be implemented by Wildlife Works Carbon LLC and will operate at a landscape level to combine forest conservation with community development and job creation, protecting standing forest and grasslands through improved agriculture and agroforestry, sustainable charcoal production, and better grasslands management.
Working in close partnership with local landowners and community organisations, Wildlife Works has previously designed and implemented, and currently operates, two existing REDD+ projects validated to the Verified Carbon Standard’s (VCS) AFOLU protocols and Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards in the adjacent Kasigau Corridor. These activities currently span more than 225,000 hectares connecting Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks and bring benefits from carbon finance to more than 100,000 local landowners and community members.
Althelia’s announced investment of approximately US$10 million spread over 8 years will draw leverage from the neighbouring projects to enable the creation of the third project, expected to cover an additional adjacent area of approximately 200,000 hectares of remaining natural forest and savannah grassland ecosystems. The investment represents an important step towards terrestrial carbon accounting at a jurisdictional scale, whilst empowering sustainable economic development of additional rural communities in the area. At the same time, it will also enable further dispersal and migration of threatened wildlife throughout the Tsavo Conservation Area, significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through the avoidance of deforestation and degradation and will facilitate the regeneration of already degraded areas.
The investment will be developed in accordance with Althelia’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy, incorporating the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (2012) and the European Investment Bank’s Statement of Environmental and Social Principles and Standards (2009). The project will also be validated and verified to the CCB Standards, aiming for the Standards’ Gold Level, awarded to projects delivering smallholder/community-led equitable benefits and exceptional biodiversity benefits, as well as utilising the VCS AFOLU protocols. Althelia will benefit from technical, design and implementation support from Conservation International, a long-standing partner of the company.
For more information about Wildlife Works Carbon, please see their website.
Credit Suisse, McKinsey, WWF: Conservation finance represents an undeveloped private sector investment opportunity of major proportion
The Stanford Social Innovation Review discusses conservation finance as an undeveloped investment opportunity that offers the potential to conserve vital ecosystems while also providing a financial return.
For more information, please see the article on the SSIR website.
The Oslo REDD Exchange meetings (29-30 Oct)
The Oslo REDD Exchange meetings (29-30 Oct) were a leap forward in defining sustainable land use as a distinct asset class and designing investor-friendly public-private partnerships.
At first glance Oslo might seem an unlikely source for excitement regarding tropical and sub-tropical forests and natural landscapes, until one considers that the Norwegian government has for some time been a global leader in the space, having committed nearly 2 billion US dollars in funding since 2008, and has confirmed its intentions to direct significant levels of funding, on a payment-for-performance basis, through at least 2020.
Reiteration of this financing commitment by Norway’s new environment minster Hon. Tine Sundtoft energised the the third instalment of the Oslo Redd Exchange hosted by the Norwegian Government and attended by nearly five hundred international delegates from governments, civil society and the private sector.
Norway was joined by other governments including the UK, US, Germany and Australia, countries that along with Norway continue to show progress in operationalising the plans they announced in 2012 to coordinate their collective programmes for financing global forest conservation, with a particular focus on catalysing private sector investments and a shift towards sustainable and transparent supply chains of forest-linked commodities and agricultural produce. Donor countries were joined by multilateral organisations like the World Bank, IFC and the Inter-American Development bank, along with forward thinking forest-countries including Indonesia, Peru, Colombia and Brazil in creating dialogues and tangible engagement involving private sector companies, financial institutions and NGOs.
In the run-up to next month’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 19th Conference of Parties in Warsaw, some notable items emerged, including:
1) A more substantive engagement between donor governments and private sector finance and corporates, focussing on supply chain integrity and reliability and integrating REDD+ planning and finance with already underway commitments by governments and corporates to remove deforestation from supply chains (e.g. the Consumer Goods Forum commitments to address deforestation fully by 2020).
2) Consistent attention and focus on the intention to build on the capacity building and ‘readiness’ that has been funded since 2008 through a transition to performance-based payments for verified results. The UK, Norway, US, German and Australian governments announced one year ago an intention to coordinate REDD+ finance and channel more funding through performance-based channels by 2015, and much progress has been made here. We expect announcements on specifics to come in Warsaw this month.
3) Active engagement by multilateral finance institutions, donor governments and development finance institutions with private sector finance. We participated in several significant discussions involving specific structures to build incentives and mitigate risk for private investors, with a particular focus on demand side measures to help clarify investment risk and return profiles for PES/REDD and certified commodities.
In short, we see the Oslo meetings as a considerable leap forward in the efforts to further define and characterise sustainable landscapes as a distinct and growing asset class, and in-roads for private investment and investor-friendly public-private partnership were visibly advanced.
Althelia Ecosphere’s team consisting of Christian del Valle, Sylvain Goupille and Edit Kiss will be on the ground in Warsaw taking part in Warsaw CoP. We very much expect that in our next blog entry from Warsaw we will be in a position to report more specific and exciting progress.
Meanwhile for more information on events in Oslo please visit: http://www.norad.no/en/oslo-redd-exchange-2013
Press: June 2013 – Althelia Ecosphere completes first closing for Althelia Climate Fund with over EUR60 million (US$80m) raised
A transformational public-private partnership designed to deliver competitive investments at scale that benefit the planet, its people and its wildlife.
For more information, please see our press release below:
Published Article: June 2013 – UNEP Risø publishes its Perspectives Series 2013, with Althelia Ecosphere and Baker & McKenzie contributing the feature on forests and REDD+
Althelia’s Christian del Valle collaborates as co-author with Rick Saines and Marisa Martin on the REDD+ feature in this year’s Perspectives publication, entitled The Keys to Achieving Scale and Effectiveness with REDD+. Please see page 67 in the publication below:
Published Article: February 2013 – Innovative conservation finance approach linking REDD+, communities and flagship species
Althelia’s Christian del Valle collaborates as co-author with a leading group including WWF, Smithsonian, the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative and Wildlife Works on a new approach outlined in February’s Conservation Biology journal.
Announcement: 2 October 2012 – Althelia Ecosphere joins the GIIN
Althelia Ecosphere becomes a founding member of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), reinforcing our commitment in the impact investing industry.
Press: 4 September 2012 – Althelia Ecosphere’s interview in “Upsides”
Althelia Ecosphere’s managing partners Sylvain Goupille and Christian del Valle share their vision on financing the transition to sustainable landuse.
Announcement: September 2012 – Althelia Ecosphere speaks at “Boosting Investments in Sustainable Forestry, Forest Carbon and Renewable Energy”
AE will attend the conference “Boosting Investments in Sustainable Forestry, Forest Carbon and Renewable Energy”, supported by FMO, FinnFund and AfDB, Accra, Ghana, 5-7 September 2012.
Announcement: June 2012 – Althelia Ecosphere participates to Rio+20 dialogues
Althelia Ecosphere presents its views on forests and sustainable development at the UNEP Dialogues during the Rio+20 conference.
Announcement: 12 March 2012 – Althelia Ecosphere endorses the Natural Capital Declaration
As an asset management platform dedicated to piloting approaches for directing the enabling financial and technical resources necessary to shift commerce and economic growth in the tropics and sub-tropics away from a model based solely on near-term financial returns to one in which financial, economic, environmental and social benefits are aligned and mutually re-inforce each other, Althelia Ecosphere is proud to endorse the Natural Capital Declaration
Press Release: 18 Nov 2011 – America’s Cup is engaging with Althelia Ecosphere
Althelia Ecosphere has been named the Official Supplier for the 34th America’s Cup in the Ecosystem Goods and Services Management category.
Press Release: 09 Nov 2011 – Conservation International partnership agreement
Conservation International (CI) has entered into a partnership with Althelia Ecosphere, a newly formed investment fund that will focus on sustainable land use, ecosystem services and forest carbon assets generated by projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)
Press Release: 09 Nov 2011 – Althelia Ecosphere launch
Althelia Ecosphere initiates ground breaking public-private partnership for the development of forest carbon, a transformational funding platform designed to scale up financing for sustainable land use, conservation and REDD+