Monday, 6 June    9:00 - 10:00    Room: Wellcome Trust Lecture Hall

High-level Opening Plenary: Making the connections between funds, farms and forests

Traditionally, financial service providers have favored low-risk, high-return plantation agriculture and forestry models for their land-based investments – often to the detriment of nature and smallholders.

However, we are now witnessing a historic shift as more investors are turning towards sustainable investments. With the historic Paris Climate Agreement and the approval of the first investments under the Green Climate Fund, 2015 has sent clear signals to finance and corporate sector communities.

While the lion’s share of sustainable investments is not yet diverted to smallholders or the landscape-scale, the trend is promising.

This opening plenary session will set the stage for expert discussions throughout the day by bringing in a range of actors involved in land use decision making: from global private and public finance institutions to perspectives from national governments and smallholder farmers.

Together, high-level speakers will explore the main hurdles currently hindering sustainable land use finance – along with innovative solutions that can help overcome these challenges.

By bringing together voices from across the globe, the session will identify successful models connecting global funds with local landscapes and discuss their applicability.

Key questions for this discussion include but are not limited to:

  • Which factors influence investment decision making?
  • What innovations are needed in finance to incentivize sustainable investments? How can existing tools and frameworks be adapted?
  • What challenges are national governments facing when trying to encourage sustainable investments?
  • How are the new climate agenda and the Green Climate Fund encouraging sustainable land use investments?
  • How can smallholders be supported and what should be considered in sustainable investments to secure smallholder rights?