Agriculture requires nature for clean water, healthy soils, pollination and more. But most agriculture depletes the land and degrades our environment. It is the leading cause of global deforestation — responsible for 80 percent of forest loss each year — and biodiversity loss.
Forest losses from agricultural expansion, when coupled with unsustainable agricultural practices on farms, account for 13 percent of global carbon emissions, perpetuating the climate crisis. In addition, the agricultural sector uses large quantities of synthetic chemicals and impacts freshwater systems via irrigation and sedimentation.
When managed to regenerate soil, water and biodiversity, agricultural lands can sequester carbon, mitigate climate change and halt biodiversity loss. This is the promise of regenerative agriculture — farming and grazing practices that restore nature and yield environmental benefits. Studies show that transitioning to better management practices on agricultural lands can account for nearly a third of the natural climate solutions needed to achieve global climate goals.
We must identify the agricultural practices necessary to optimize production while protecting nature and mitigating climate impacts.
We must provide the knowledge and incentives — financial or otherwise — needed to drive the rapid adoption of these practices at scale.
The Regenerative Fund for Nature is a partnership between Kering and Conservation International. Over the next five years, this €5 million (US$ 6.1 million) fund will support promising and innovative regenerative agriculture projects around the world that aim to:
- Increase the capacity of soils to sequester carbon, hold water and improve other elements of soil functionality
- Protect, restore and enhance biodiversity (including native plant and animal species and their habitats), both on the farm and in the surrounding landscape. This includes avoiding any conversion or degradation of natural ecosystems
- Support the livelihoods of farmers
- Eliminate the use of synthetic agrochemical inputs by favoring ecological solutions that promote (not degrade) natural processes
- Enhance animal welfare of farmed livestock.
Together, regenerative agriculture projects have the potential to transform the production of raw materials in the fashion industry, which relies on agriculture and livestock for leather, cotton, wool and cashmere. Our objective is to support farming systems that ensure the long-term viability of land to sustain production.
The Regenerative Fund for Nature will promote better agricultural practices on farms, thereby leading to broader ecosystem benefits. As the fund grows, it will provide proof of concept for further investments in regenerative agriculture.
- Award size: €100,000 – 500,000 (US$ 123,000 – 615,000) per project
- Fund Type: Grant
- Project Length: 1-3 years
- Eligibility: See FAQ
- Selection Process: Applications will be accepted annually, between January 28th and April 30th (Apply here)
- Focus: The fund will initially focus on leather, cotton, wool and cashmere with the goal of potentially expanding to other agricultural raw materials that are key to the fashion industry. These investments will focus on protecting and restoring natural habitats, promoting soil conservation practices and eliminating excessive use of chemicals.
- Eligible Countries: Argentina, Australia, China, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
Kering: A commitment to sustainability
A global luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned houses in fashion, leather goods, jewelry and watches: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, as well as Kering Eyewear.
The Regenerative Fund for Nature is a key component of Kering’s commitment to achieve a “net positive” impact on biodiversity by 2025. Aligned with its long-term commitment to sustainability, Kering’s biodiversity strategy outlines steps to not only minimize biodiversity loss across the group’s global supply chains, but also support nature and create net positive conservation. About Kering »
Leading the transition to regenerative agriculture
Conservation International is positioned to catalyze a new era in which regenerative agriculture is a global solution for people, nature and climate. By combining our science, field programs, corporate partnerships and government engagement, we align stakeholders around a common vision for regenerative agriculture and develop multi-stakeholder collaborations that incentivize and deliver on its promise.
As a co-founder of the Regenerative Fund for Nature, Conservation International leverages its science to guide the implementation of the fund. To ensure the greatest return on investment and impact, Conservation International conducted an analysis to determine the most important production regions of key commodities to be eligible for fund. This analysis prioritized the production regions based on their carbon and critical natural capital values and the degree of threat they face. In addition, Conservation International will manage the fund and will provide critical technical input into project selection and implementation.
Conservation International has long believed that corporations have a responsibility not only to embrace environmentally and socially sustainable business practices, but to invest in conserving the nature their business depends upon. We work within and across sectors, in collaboration with companies and industry associations, to align the market with environmentally friendly policies and to help businesses adopt more sustainable production practices. Making business a positive force for nature »
The fund, fashion and beyond
Conservation International’s partnership with Kering on the Regenerative Fund for Nature marks a milestone in our engagement with the fashion sector. Our goal is to expand the fund over time to demonstrate best practices that will help the fashion industry become more sustainable. Through these proof-of-concept investments, we will show that agriculture can provide a global solution to climate change and biodiversity loss.
Given the burgeoning interest in regenerative approaches to agriculture, Conservation International and Kering envision the fund expanding beyond fashion to drive greater investments in programs designed to produce climate, biodiversity and community benefits. Both the fashion and food sectors rely on farms and farmers for their goods, and regenerative agriculture practices ensure the long-term supply of these raw materials while supporting the global climate agenda and local livelihoods. Conservation International will explore opportunities to expand the group of investors contributing to regenerative approaches. By working with stakeholders across agricultural commodities in select landscapes, we can finance the transition of these landscapes to a more sustainable approach to producing these commodities.
Through this partnership, Conservation International and Kering will support the transformation of agricultural production to more sustainable and regenerative development models. We invite you to join us and help expand the fund’s impacts by becoming a co-investor. We are looking for partners to grow the fund to at least €23 million (US$ 25 million). Contact us »