Natural ecosystems provide countless services upon which we depend for health and prosperity – from clean air, water, and the building blocks of medicines to food security and a livable climate.
But those “ecosystem services” remain undervalued in traditional markets and financial systems. Our economy is structured in a way that provides financial incentives for individuals and companies to convert natural, shared capital into private profit – by tearing down a forest or paving over a wetland, for example – but not for preserving them
Today, as we have for over 15 years, Forest Trends pioneers finance for conservation. Our mission is to find new opportunities to make markets and finance work for natural ecosystems, rather than at their expense, and to shift our economy toward appropriately valuing the benefits they provide. We do so by developing and promoting innovative solutions that unlock public and private finance at the scale necessary to ensure that forests and other natural systems are worth more than the profits from their destruction.
Finance is at the heart of Forest Trends’ work. It cuts across everything we do through our programmatic initiatives, including:
- Tracking public finance to fight deforestation around the world – and enlisting more private sector support
- Making the business case for sustainable agriculture
- Promoting policies that unlock finance for watershed conservation and holistic water management
- Measuring the booming field of “conservation investing”
- Ensuring that local communities participate in and equitably benefit from conservation finance
- Tracking corporate commitments to remove deforestation from agricultural supply chains
- Redefining “business-as-usual” within economic development activities to improve the outcomes for biodiversity