Nature is the most critical infrastructure supporting our businesses, economies and societies at large. It is evident - current funding mechanisms are failing to achieve their goals, as the rapid decline in natural capital stock testifies. It is time we begin to invest into the maintenance and restoration of natural capital, and to bring nature onto the balance sheets.
We are proposing Nature Equity as a novel and trusted contract to fund nature protection, restoration and improvement. The contract, established between any land steward and any buyer, links a unit of biophysical nature preservation or uplift to a payment. Land stewards receive outcome-based rewards for their land-use practices, while investors receive solid proof of nature stewardship. This proof constitutes significant value because it reflects exposure to safe physical assets, reliable delivery on shareholder, customer or government expectations. Both parties benefit from built-in fiduciary-grade safeguards: a unique and immutable identification of the underlying measurement, transparency on the valuation methodology, and contractual rights with clearly defined durations. The value of the transaction is recognized on both parties’ balance sheets. For land stewards, natural capital will increase the value of their land or land rights on the balance sheet. For buyers, the purchased contractual right to the measurement results appears on the left side of the balance sheet as an intangible asset.
Nature Equity will help normalize the way we deal with nature as something internal to the economy. It will also ease the transition from grey to green infrastructure, from conventional to regenerative food systems, and from donation-based to outcome-based conservation. Our goal is to rally all market participants to collaboratively develop Nature Equity as the key asset class for catalyzing a nature-positive economy.
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