Verde Ventures’ success lies in delivering biodiversity conservation and human well-being benefits through enterprise development.
Our approach to monitoring seeks to analyze the relationship between biodiversity conservation and human welfare benefits in the investment portfolio. It is centered on a “triple bottom line” approach of achieving positive (1) environmental, (2) social and (3) financial returns. Through pursuing this triple bottom line approach, Verde Ventures investments not only improve the quality of life of individuals and communities, but also demonstrate to the traditional financial sector that environmental and socially conscious projects are viable investments
Monitoring of Verde Ventures projects is funded primarily by grants from one of our current investors, the International Finance Corporation.
Mechanics of measuring the triple bottom line
The Verde Ventures monitoring program works with partners in selected enterprises to quantify benefits to conservation and human welfare.
Setting targets for projects is an important step in the monitoring process. Ideally, targets are set once a baseline is completed. After Verde Ventures invests in a new enterprise, the monitoring team identifies a local partner who will conduct the baseline analysis of the site and set reasonable targets that the enterprise can achieve over the life of the investment.
The monitoring framework is separated into categories that are relevant to biodiversity and human well-being. These are subdivided into the following five elements:
- Species (globally threatened, indicator, locally important and charismatic)
- Habitat extent
- Habitat quality for important (globally-threatened) species
- Pressures to species, habitat, or system (direct threats and factors that drive them)
- Responses to pressures and conservation opportunities (often related to management decisions)
An example of monitoring: Rainforest Expeditions
One example of the success of this triple bottom line approach is Rainforest Expeditions (RFE), a Peruvian ecotourism company that has received two investments from Verde Ventures.
RFE operates four lodges in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve, which is home to a variety of globally threatened species. These species include white-bellied spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth chamek), red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), giant river otter (Lteronura brasiliensis), saddleback tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis), night monkey (Aotus nigriceps), razor-billed curassow (Mitu tuberosa) and Spix’s guan (Penelope jacquacu).
Highlights from Rainforest Expeditions
- Direct employment of 29 people from the local community (68 total)
- 15% increase in employment over the last two years
- Indirect economic benefits from sourcing products and short-term contracts
- Helping to maintain habitat extent and quality (12,000 hectares)
- Higher species richness (including threatened species abundance) near lodge in project area compared to outside project area
- Reduced extraction pressure (deforestation) based on household interviews
- Enterprise has sustained annual growth in net profit in the last three years
- Sales increased over the last two years
- VV Monitoring and Evaluation, March 2012 (PDF - 170 KB)