Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility aims to transform lives and environments. It all starts with a rubber plantation in Sumatra.
"For your grand plan on climate change to succeed, people must have livelihood opportunities. Because if their children are dying of malnutrition, all your stories about how nice a forest it will be will make no sense at all to their lives."
Satya Tripathi has earned the right to speak so plainly about the realities and complexities of conservation. He spent several years in charge of UNORCID, a UN system office established to support work on the conservation of forests and the preservation of biodiversity in Indonesia. Before that he was the UN recovery coordinator for Aceh and Nias for three years, organizing the deployment of $7.2 billion in funds to rescue those regions from a devastating tsunami and years of bitter conflict.
Today he is the executive secretary of the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF), which seeks to combine well-intended money with innovative financial thinking, partnership and practical solutions to both environmental and social challenges. It is in its early days, but if it proves to be successful it could be highly influential around the world.
"What we've done, with UNEP, is create a framework. By lending money to you through TLFF, there are various covenants in there which do not allow you to do deforestation. A large portion of the plantation must be devoted to wildlife and a portion to improve schools, hospitals, the livelihoods of farmers."Frank Kwong, Head of Primary Markets for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas in Hong Kong
Then there are the 16,000 jobs.
"It's going to be a mini city. It will improve lives, give people jobs, lift people out of poverty; so it ticks a lot of boxes from an environmental and social point of view."Frank Kwong, Head of Primary Markets for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas in Hong Kong
These are big promises and they need to be monitored; and this is where the UNEP and the World Agroforestry Centre are vital. There are teams committed to doing environmental, social and governance (ESG) supervision for the life of the bond, with regular reporting on UNEP's own website on the progress of everything from the financing to the trees and the people.
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