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Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable

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Conservation Finance Network and NRCS launch the Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable

the Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable
Participants hear from a panel of conservation finance leaders at the Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable kickoff meeting in New York City in January 2016

The Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable (CFP Roundtable), a new initiative launched by the Conservation Finance Network with financial support from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, launched on January 20th, 2016 with its inaugural meeting at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.

The CFP Roundtable is a forum, scheduled to meet 2-3 times per year over the next three years, for conservation finance practitioners and stakeholders to convene, deliberate obstacles and challenges, and generate solutions to increase the amount of private capital, institutional investments, and other sources of non-Federal funding dedicated to natural resource conservation on both public and private lands.

NRCS Chief Jason Weller provided opening remarks at today’s kickoff meeting.

“We want to extend NRCS’s mission by attracting private investments to private lands conservation,” said NRCS Chief Jason Weller. “The CFP Roundtable is designed to work as a catalyst, bringing together the right group of people to talk about how to get projects on the ground and complement the type of work that NRCS and other Federal agencies are able to accomplish with taxpayer funding.”

A number of recent developments have raised the profile of the burgeoning field of conservation finance. In the summer of 2014, the White House Rural Council hosted a workshop titled “The Federal Role in Scaling Impact Investments in Conservation.” USDA, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and most recently the Department of Interior have all launched initiatives to explore how private investment can work hand-in-hand with Federal conservation programs to improve water quality, wildlife habitat, air quality, carbon sequestration, and more.

The CFP Roundtable initiative is undertaken as part of a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) awarded to the Conservation Finance Network in September 2015. The 2015 CIG funding opportunity included, for the first time, a conservation finance project category, through which NRCS awarded eight grants. As part of its charge, the CFP Roundtable will provide a forum of support for the other seven CIG projects.

“We have found that providing a place for CIG awardees to regularly get together and discuss common obstacles and paths around those obstacles helps ensure the success of the projects,” said Chief Weller.

The Conservation Finance Network was founded in 2012 as a program of Island Press. The Network recently launched a new website: