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Setting Sights on 2030: An Innovative Finance Fund for Land Degradation Neutrality


While many of us have penciled in our resolutions for the next year, a group of innovative thinkers are aiming a bit beyond 2018—achieving the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement two years ago.

On the anniversary of the landmark agreement, at the One Planet Summit, French President Emmanuel Macron, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres called together international leaders and citizens from across the world to push forward on commitments made to tackle climate change.

At the close of The Summit, three of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Zero Gap grantees—Africa GreenCo, African Risk Capacity, and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification—were showcased and one project in particular, the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund (LDNF), received an official commitment from the One Planet participants.

The LDNF blends capital from institutional investors, impact investors, international finance institutions, foundations, and public donors to provide financial and technical resources to large-scale rehabilitation projects through financial intermediaries in smaller-scale projects that adopt sustainable land management practices. By investing in rehabilitation at scale, the LDNF will seek to reduce the stress on our natural resources while generating multiple environmental, social, and financial benefits—including greater food security, reduced poverty, greater gender equality, improved water availability, and biodiversity.

French President Macron recognizes the initiative as “a very concrete measure: It aims for land degradation neutrality by 2030, which is an achievable goal if we can quickly raise $300 million to start the financing process.”

The LDNF is representative of how public and private capital can come together to innovate and accelerate real solutions to combat climate change. Over the last three months, they have raised 30 percent of their target.

The Summit also showcased 20 solutions on their Projects for our Planet platform, including two additional grantees that received early-stage funding from the Zero Gap portfolio, Africa GreenCo and African Risk Capacity.

As we think about the New Year and our resolutions, let’s not forget the critical goals that nations across the globe committed to in Paris—to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future.

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