Ambitious international processes linked to ecosystem restoration and sustainable land-use are in place, as re-flected in various development agendas, declarations, and country commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 Life on Land — particularly SDG 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and the associated LDN country targets, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the Bonn Challenge; and others.
In this light, supporting sustainable land management and land restoration can offer multiple economic, environmental and social returns. Often, the costs of action against land degradation through restoration and sustainable land management practices versus the cost of inaction further highlights the strong economic incentive for bold actions. Despite promising economic returns of land restoration, a considerable gap exists between demand and supply for appropriate financing that can support ecosystem restoration and land rehabilitation. This gap is estimated to be $2.5 trillion per year and closing the gap will require collaborative action from a wide range of actors, including private sector. The involvement of financial and private sector in scaling up land restoration and proven sustainable land management practices remains limited to date.
Against this backdrop, this session is organized with the aim of discussing (i) what private institutional investors are looking for in their strategies and asset allocation, and (ii) under which condition sustainable land use activities can offer attractive opportunities and meet their demand. The panelists will comment on (i) recent trends in private investment in SDGs (leveraging on recent event such as the UN PRI in Person meeting), and (ii) business cases for the private sector finance in ecosystem restoration and LDN, and share experiences on how business cases in land restoration project design can be considered in an early stage, to enable private sector involvement in unlocking and scaling up.