From Fiji to Slovakia and from Gabon to Scotland. There are very few people on the planet working on financing regeneration at a landscape level. This is a check in interview with Paul Chatterton of the Landscape Finance Lab currently working to finance the regeneration of 85m hectares across 16 landscapes through a holistic system that “builds industries as a whole”.
The Landscape Finance Lab supports practitioners and investors to structure, launch and finance deals at landscape scale.
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How do we finance regeneration at a landscape scale level? How is “building the industry as a whole” key towards sustainability? How does the young generation view regeneration? How do ‘investment vehicles’ impact the way businesses operate?
The Landscape Finance Lab
Operated by ten people, the Landscape Finance Lab helps people in the landscape industry in building a holistic system that can manage big financing, hence can also produce big and impactful results. While Landscape Finance Lab has an ongoing powerful program with a four hundred thousand-hectare company, in terms of scale, the company looks into working with huge landscapes that present the most promise and potential for change. At the moment, their biggest project is an eighteen-million hectare program on the corner between Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Gabon.
“I think we’re starting to see some amazing results around the planet. The future is extraordinary. What’s happening right now is really quite extraordinary.” – Paul Chatterton
Synergy Among Different Industries
While it’s truly the million-dollar investments that sustain operations, Paul believes that it’s the holistic building of industries that matters the most. This is also what makes scaling possible and sustainable. As an example, Paul mentions how we can protect some key wildlife corridors, but at the same time make room for the logging sector by strategically placing the logging in areas where forests can be restored. By building the industry as a whole, even “competing industries” can benefit from each other and produce greater results.
“When you start looking at this next level of scale, you can actually find synergies between different industries that in the past have been competitors. And that’s where it gets really exciting.” – Paul Chatterton
The Younger Generation’s Perspective
Paul also points out how young land owners are becoming interested in sharing their land to the community. Many are starting to see the opportunity to maximize their lands’ value by exploring things in various ventures. Some of the possibilities Landscape Finance Lab is also interested in looking into are agricultural ventures and tourism activities. One of the things is to build places in rural areas of Scotland where city people can migrate in. This poses a lot of promise as many people are working from home and may be in need of places where they can work from home, but at the same time relax.
“In working with their communities, they’re seeing that it makes sense that you can grow your business by sharing the value of your land. You can grow it even more than trying to do it by yourself.” – Paul Chatterton
The Projects We Need
One of the challenges with landscape programs is their “moving parts,” making them hard to manage holistically. The secret is to formulate reliable investment vehicles that work for each business model to balance the risks. Paul also notes the importance of investors becoming part of the process, especially problem solving, so they can fully understand and gain confidence with the business models.
“We need super exciting projects that are really boring structurally so that the bankers don’t get scared.” – Paul Chatterton
Other Points Discussed
Koen and Paul also talked about the following:
- The leaders in landscapes investment space at the moment
- Investing in landscapes
- The risks of climate change in landscape
- Measuring biodiversity
- The role of tech in landscapes
- The Climate Bonds Initiative
- What has changed in the landscapes over the last 2,5 yeras
- Large money is moving in, many people are setting up funds
- We need to figure out a shared way of measuring biodiversity as soon as possible
- The landscape regeneration industry is(slowly)being build – investable products are coming!
To know more about Paul Chatterton and the Landscape Finance Lab, download and listen to this episode.
- Landscape Finance Lab
- Fiji project
- Climate Bonds
- Michelin bond BNP Paribas ($95M not $250M as we discussed) and there is quite a lot of discussion around the bond
- UN finance initiative together with ABN AMRO
- IUCN gold standard
- Nature Metrics
- Paul Chatterton – WWF’s Finance Lab working on landscapes of 1M hectares and $100M investments
- Thomas Rippel, checking in on land ownership, stable coins, pensions for farmers and city folks
- Sean Kidney on the $100 trillion bond market everyone in regen ag should know about
Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.
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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.