Privately owned working forests encompass over 425 million acres in America and they play a vital role in mitigating US carbon emissions as well as serving as the economic lifeblood of rural communities across the country. This session will dive into the critical role managed forests play in regulating our climate and providing economic opportunities for tens of millions of Americans. Beyond educating you about these functions, we will outline major risks facing these forests, focused specifically on the remaining large and intact forests. We will then turn to what we see as the most important opportunity to protect these forests before it is too late, namely concessionary philanthropic, government, or impact investor financing of the most ecologically and economically significant remaining forests. There are more entities every day who are seeking a demonstrable conservation and community impact from their investments, and there are many ways to show these individuals and organizations how much impact they can provide. We will provide a simple methodology of how to communicate ecological and economic impact metrics to interested donors or investors, as well as providing an example of how this type of financing can bring a deal to the finish line that could not have otherwise.
Session Level: Advanced Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center
This workshop will explore case studies of land trusts that have used commercial banks, individuals and foundations for short term loans to complete fast moving, critical projects. The emphasis will be on connecting the steps of a traditional real estate transaction to the steps in securing and finalizing a loan, so there are no surprises in the process. Making sure your due diligence practices are in good working order and that you have strategies to cover project costs will be addressed. A good portion of the workshop is allocated as a “deal doctor” session to address participant questions on thorny projects.
Transportation accidents, poor adherence to regulations, natural disasters influenced by climate change, and gross human negligence can lead to contamination of the environment. Regardless of the cause, Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) requirements address the extent of damages to natural resources and provide a means of compensating for their loss or impairment. NADAR provisions are part of permitted recovery for releases of oil or hazardous substances into the environment. Responsible parties can be sued for the costs of remediating the pollution and be held responsible for the damage to natural resource once the public health and environmental threat has ceased. Funding from legal settlements with the parties responsible for the pollution can be used for land protection or restoration work. Speakers will present and overview of the program and examples from national and local land trusts that have deployed NRDAR funds on projects for land protection and restoration. Since NRDAR settlements can vary in size from thousands to millions of dollars (even billions, in the case of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico) restoration projects also vary widely. One size doesn't fit all, but the tips and information provided in this session will provide land trust professionals with ideas, options to explore, and how NRDAR settlements can help accomplish strategic conservation goals.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center
Join this discussion on the role of land trusts in realizing the shared vision of the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, an interagency partnership that coordinates landscape-scale conservation efforts around our Nation's military installations. The panelists will explore how land trusts are involved in the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape and examine best practices on how to coordinate similar partnerships elsewhere. The session will conclude with an open forum discussion where the panelists will take project-specific questions and help the audience brainstorm new ways to coordinate projects and funding.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center
The term "conservation finance" is popping up everywhere, but it can be difficult to understand what it means let alone how it applies to your work. This interactive session will run through the range of innovative--or just plain effective--funding and financing tools and strategies, including examples of how each has been put into practice. We will use a hypothetical acquisition opportunity to explore different pathways to success. The session will attempt to demystify conservation finance, and to provide attendees with a practical resource library of toolkits to continue their exploration.
The 2018 mid-term election was highly partisan and down-right ugly. But there’s one thing voters of all political stripes seem agree on: local and state funding for parks and conservation. On November 6, voters approved 46 of 54 measures -- an 85 percent passage rate -- creating over $2.8 billion for the protection of water quality, new parks, natural areas and working farms and ranches across 21 states. Important ballot measures that will fund natural climate solutions passed statewide in California and in Chaffee County, CO. Since 1988, voters in cities, counties and states both Blue and Red have approved over 2,000 ballot measures, creating $78 billion in new funding for conservation. And local land trusts have been involved in many of these successful ballot measures, developing their advocacy chops and, in some cases, truly transforming their organizations. This workshop provides land trusts with the tools needed to lead or support ballot measures. Learn from successful campaign experts and case studies from land trust colleagues.
The world of conservation finance is constantly evolving as practitioners experiment with private sector finance concepts to see if they will work in our world of conservation. In this highly interactive session, you will hear from peers and experts on five different fresh ideas that they are working on. Topics will range from acquisition to stewardship tools and from impact investing, reverse bids, carbon accounting, a pooled timber income fund and diversified stewardship funding. Something for everyone! Come hear what they have to say, ask questions and learn something new that you might be able to use!
Regional and national conservationists and business leaders will share experience designing water funds, a mechanism for water users to ensure their clean water supply by voluntarily investing in the protection of natural lands, often forests, critical to the water supply. Panelists will share examples from Maine and Minnesota with an emphasis on building a business case, understanding and engaging businesses, and taking a concept from idea to fruition. The Maine example will showcase Sebago Clean Waters' work to develop the economic and business case for watershed conservation. The Minnesota example will highlight their success in engaging local and multi-national businesses as investors and champions in their conservation work in the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Additional brief examples will be provided from emerging water funds across North America.