Conservation International Enters into Groundbreaking Partnership with Althelia Climate Fund on REDD+ Investments

11/8/2011

Arlington, VA — Conservation International (CI) announced today that it has entered into a partnership with the Althelia Climate Fund (ACF), a newly formed investment fund that will focus on sustainable land use, ecosystem services and forest carbon assets generated by projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). In addition to providing up-front bridge financing of $1.35 million to help jump start the ACF, CI will be an integral part of the Fund and its development through its participation in ACF's Expert Board, which will guide the Fund's investment strategy and ensure potential investments meet best practice standards.

"CI is thrilled to be part of the Althelia Climate Fund, which will bring much-needed financing to help reduce deforestation and improve the livelihoods of forest communities while demonstrating the viability of REDD+ as an integral part of global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions," said Jennifer Morris, Executive Vice President of Ecosystems Finance and Markets at Conservation International. The financing of CI's contribution to ACF was provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through CI's Global Conservation Fund.

ACF investments will be located in Latin America, Africa and the Southeast Asia / Pacific region. As one of the leading organizations working in the REDD+ space, and the only environmental NGO participating on the ACF Expert Board, CI will bring its scientific, project development, policy, standards and markets expertise to guide the Fund's investments to maximize social and environmental benefits, and establish a leadership model worthy of replication. CI will also leverage its on-the-ground presence in over two dozen REDD+ countries to help ACF identify and advance potential investment opportunities.

CI has long been a recognized leader in REDD+ and this latest agreement with ACF is an extension of the organization's desire to help catalyze the establishment of robust forest carbon markets as a way to reduce — and eventually reverse — global forest loss, which accounts for approximately 16 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, or more than all the world's cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined. CI's ultimate goal is the achievement of zero deforestation across the globe by 2030.

All ACF investments will be independently validated and verified using the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards — the global best-practice framework for ensuring that forest carbon projects deliver measurable community and biodiversity benefits. The use of this standard will also help reduce exposure to key social and environmental risks, which can undermine the carbon values of REDD+ projects. All ACF carbon credits will bear the "CCB label" as an assurance of their quality to purchasers.

With an overall funding goal of approximately $275 million to be deployed over the next three years, and key partners from the public and private sectors, ACF is poised to become the preeminent private-sector investment vehicle for REDD+ and a model for future public-private partnerships. CI is encouraged by the establishment of ACF and what it sees as a small, but important step in its long term goal of responsibly and sustainably caring for nature, global biodiversity and the well-being of humanity.

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Conservation International (CI) — Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI has headquarters in the Washington, DC area, and nearly 900 employees working in more than 30 countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world. For more information, visit www.conservation.org, and follow us on Twitter: @ConservationOrg or Facebook: www.facebook.com/conservation.intl

Althelia Ecosphere, acting through the Althelia Climate Fund, is mission driven to focus on blended-value investments that deliver the highest calibre social, environmental and economic performance. We aim to demonstrate that financial performance can be fully aligned with sound environmental stewardship and social development. To find out more about how Althelia Ecosphere is working to align the Earth's economy with its ecology, please contact us at info@althelia.com

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