Four projects which will protect and restore valuable habitats have been selected to receive funding in a pilot scheme to encourage sustainable private sector investment in our natural environment.
Defra, the Environment Agency (EA), Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF) and Triodos Bank UK have formed a collaboration to support environmental projects to create sustainable funding models.
Having been sourced and evaluated by Triodos Bank UK the projects will receive grant funding from Defra, the EA and EFF to support their development, complete business plans to attract private sector investment, and deliver long-term environmental benefits and sustainable financial returns.
The four projects receiving funding are:
- Devon Wildlife Trust’s restoration of the Caen wetlands
- Rivers Trust’s work on natural flood management in the Wyre catchment in Lancashire
- NFU’s work to reduce nitrate pollution in Poole Harbour
- Moors for the Future Partnership’s restoration and conservation of peatlands in the Pennines.
Dr Bevis Watts, Chief Executive of Triodos Bank UK, said: “We have invested over two years of our resources and expertise into finding viable financial projects in this new area and were delighted to bring these partners together. We believe that connecting economic outcomes to investment in environmental restoration is possible and can deliver benefits, in terms of carbon storage, air quality, flood management and human health, as well as enhancing biodiversity and wildlife habitats.
“Triodos has always been a pioneer in sustainable finance, for example in early renewable energy and organic food & farming. Now linking the economic and societal benefits we take for granted from nature to investment in its restoration is a key challenge we are leading on. The finance sector needs to play its role and use more imagination in how economic outcomes can be linked to investment in nature. We hope we can build on these pilot projects and replicate them to secure further investment in addressing the environmental crises we face.”
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “In England, we are increasingly seeing new extreme weather accelerate from wettest to driest and back again, restoring nature is key to managing this.
“You can’t put a price on nature, but investing in its recovery can generate a steady return and will make the UK economy more clean and resilient. These projects are designed to attract investment into local economies while developing models for businesses to use and scale-up around the world.”