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.

Financial institutions, and particularly those whose largely rural portfolios are highly exposed to climate change and the depletion of natural capital, are increasingly seeking to factor climate and sustainability risks into their investments. Translation of such high-level sustainable investment policies into practice, however, is reportedly slow.

Aims: To develop and trial new methodological tools to assess the systemic and complex impacts of FoodLab Sydney. The current lack of such tools is of central concern to our partners, and is mirrored in the growing skepticism amongst the systems evaluation community that “[the] rhetoric urging complex systems approaches … is only rarely operationalised in ways that generate relevant evidence or effective policies” (Rutter et al 2017: 2602). With the support of the research team, this PhD project will develop and implement methodological tools to address this gap.

Work consists of literature reviews and data analysis leading to the production of publishable output such as academic articles and reports. The analysis of data is mainly centred on the APS Censuses, but these may be combined with other public data sources such as the Australian Censuses and HILDA. Knowledge of basic econometrics is highly desirable. Training will be provided.

Description of Work:

Possible projects could include: