Operationalising new finance and investment models for biodiversity and natural capital

School: 
Program Code: 
1541
Description of Work: 

Conservation finance is an emerging asset class, whereby investment is made directly or indirectly to conserve biodiversity, and maintain natural capital stocks including soil, ecosystems, clean air and water. Growing interest in conservation finance could leverage greater private and public investment into biodiversity conservation and deliver “win-win-wins” for investors, beneficiaries and governments alike. Despite high-level suggestions that project developers, such as conservation and agricultural landholders should learn “the art of the deal” and bring investment-ready projects to the table, there is little understanding of how such rhetoric is being translated to “on the ground”.

This research aims to understand how the conservation and agricultural sectors are adapting to a growth in private sector investment, and the emergence of new finance and investment models, such as impact investing. The candidate will develop or build on existing networks within the finance, conservation and agricultural sectors, initially in Australia, but there is scope for comparative work. Specific details and scope of the project would be developed by the candidate in collaboration with Dr Evans and other collaborators, and depending on the candidate’s background, interest and career aspirations.

The ideal candidate would have proficiency in quantitative methods, especially the use of surveys and social network analysis. Willingness to develop some qualitative skills (e.g semi-structured interviewing) is desirable.