Forest Trends

Aligning Finance for Watershed Ecosystems, Agricultural Production, and Development

Wednesday 26 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL Music Hall

Sustainable development depends on healthy watersheds providing clean and well-timed water for healthy livelihoods, reliable energy, and safe food. Strategies for financing watershed conservation have been of limited scope. First, they have been narrowly focused on a small set of hydrological benefits – rather than capturing value from the broader suite of benefits provided to local, regional, and global beneficiaries – and as a consequence tap a narrow funding base. Second, they have been limited in supporting development, focusing on covering the costs of watershed stewardship rather than transforming upstream livelihood or more resilient economies.

A new model for watershed finance has begun to emerge that shows promise in addressing these limitations. We will discuss the potential and challenges in creating financially sustainable funding models for conserving watershed landscapes; models which set out to make links (including financial and investment links) across the water, energy and food nexus, based on a range of benefits from the global public goods for climate mitigation that forest watersheds provide to demonstrating the local value of ecosystem services for freshwater security, hydro energy production and for agricultural productivity.


16:00        Welcome and Introduction

                 Jan Cassin, Forest Trends

16:05        Making the case for bundling multiple investments

                 Gena Gammie, Forest Trends

16:15        Processes and platforms for collective action

                 Bert Share/Ezgi Barcenas, ABInbev

16:25        Aligning actions on the landscape

                 Jan Cassin, Forest Trends

16:35        Green bonds and adaptation finance for water

                 Todd Gartner, World Resources Institute

16:45        Enabling conditions from an investor’s perspective

                 Alastair Morrison, 2030 WRG/IFC (tbc)

16:55        Facilitated Panel and Audience Discussion

                 Facilitator:  Jan Cassin, Forest Trends

17:20        Closing remarks from the panelists


 Finance for conserving and restoring watershed ecosystems -- critical for the water, energy, and food needed for sustainable development -- can be both broadened and used more effectively by taking a landscape approach that improves outcomes for food production and producers, water users, and others. The landscape approach to financing watershed conservation may also align the currently disparate agendas for development, water, food, climate, and biodiversity.