Pathways to Financing Natural Infrastructure in Canada
Natural infrastructure is a cost-effective way to meet our water infrastructure needs. However, if we want to meaningfully advance this solution, we need both the recognition of its benefits and access to capital.
While the public sector continues to be the key source of funding for natural infrastructure projects, we need to find ways to mobilize capital from the private sector and capital markets.
Some key takeaways from this webinar were:
Investors perceive natural infrastructure financing as less risky than it used to be, owing in part to successful financing examples in the United States and other regions.
Outcome-based financing is a promising mechanism to help address the natural infrastructure financing gap. It needs to be designed collaboratively and uphold the rights of Indigenous Nations.
The key to make nature investable is standardizing the measurement and monitoring of natural infrastructure outcomes. Existing studies, measurement frameworks, and resources are available, with capacity and collective momentum being challenges.
Money is not the only solution for protecting and restoring nature. We need to be more radical and reinvent the way we relate to nature and use this to guide our decisions of capital allocation and evaluation.
The webinar was moderated by Kim Neale, Project Manager and Indigenous Affairs Associate at the Natural Assets Initiative.
This webinar took place on November 21, 2023. Watch the full recording below or on YouTube.
This webinar is the second in a series of three fall webinars by IISD's Natural Infrastructure for Water Solutions (NIWS). Register now for our third webinar Strengthening Natural Infrastructure Through Public Policy and learn about Overcoming Capacity Limitations for Rural and Small Municipalities Across the Prairies from our first webinar.
Diane-Laure Arjaliès is an Associate Professor at the Ivey Business School, Western University (Canada). She ambitions to push the boundaries of knowledge and practice by investigating how fashioning new devices, and collective actions can help transform financial markets towards sustainability. Over the years, she has studied the emergence of responsible investing, ESG integration, impact assessment, integrated reporting, and cryptocurrencies. Her work in this area has won her several academic, teaching, and professional prizes.
She founded and has led the Sustainable Finance Lab, an impact lab from the Centre for Building Sustainable Value. She is currently conducting an extensive research program on conservation finance, aiming to channel capital toward protecting ecosystems, notably through conservation impact bonds. As an ethnographer, she enjoys doing field research and sharing her experience with students and practitioners. She published her work at the Oxford University Press, Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped, and in major academic journals across various disciplines.
Robert Wilson is the Director of Conservation Finance at The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and a senior member of NCC’s Nature + Climate Accelerator group. He is responsible for advising on conservation finance-related programs that support NCC’s nature-based, natural climate solutions work, with a particular focus on carbon finance.
Rob is currently a member of the Technical Expert Group designing a federal Improved Forest Management carbon protocol, a member of the federal Conservation Exchange Working Group and has been an active member of two previous provincial Forest Carbon Policy working groups designing provincial offset programs. He graduated from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in political science, a Resource Management Diploma from its Faculty of Forestry and an M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management.
Rob is involved in a number of large-scale, land conservation projects in his work at NCC, with a focus on designing impact-based approaches and investment opportunities by which to attract more sources of private capital into nature-based solutions projects across the country – in short, Making Nature Investable.
Marina Puzyreva is a senior policy advisor with the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD)’s Water Program. With an extensive background in economics, finance, and public policy, she is investigating a business case for nature-based solutions for improved water outcomes and their co-benefits.
Marina is the lead author of IISD’s upcoming report examining viable financing mechanisms for natural infrastructure and their application to the Canadian Prairies, with a focus on attracting private capital. Marina also collaborates with Indigenous partners in Canada to broaden the understanding of value in policymaking and to develop cooperative approaches to managing and protecting our waters. She has also engaged with municipal partners in Canada, focusing on natural infrastructure, including analyzing municipal decision-making and establishing criteria and metrics to prioritize natural infrastructure over conventional solutions.
- The State of Play of Natural Infrastructure on the Canadian Prairies — NIWS Report
- Natural Infrastructure for Water Solutions (NIWS)
Thanks to our partners at:
Advancing Natural Infrastructure 2024 Forum
A premier event to discuss natural infrastructure on the Canadian prairies and shape the future of prairie water infrastructure by working with nature
Strengthening Natural Infrastructure Through Public Policy
Highlighting efforts in public policy to strengthen nature-based solutions and opportunities in natural infrastructure.
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