Globally, the financial underspend on environmental efforts is well recognised and in South Africa alone we currently face a 64% financial shortfall to address a multitude of environmental challenges. Yet, sustainable landscapes are critically important. They provide enduring benefits and ecological infrastructure for biodiversity, people and the economy and are significant for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Protected and conserved areas in particular require funding and capacity resourcing.
This is why Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) and WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) have joined hands to launch South Africa’s first Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition. This coalition brings together thought leaders, experts and stakeholders from private, public and civic sectors to address the financial needs of sustainable conservation landscapes across the country.
The Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition aims to advance the development and implementation of innovative finance solutions to support the delivery of optimal landscape conservation and the maintenance of ecological infrastructure; as well as provide enduring benefits for South Africa’s biodiversity, people and the economy.
Co-chair of the Coalition, Candice Stevens, of Wilderness Foundation Africa, comments: “This coalition will foster a cohesive and collaborative community of practice on a national level to capacitate higher impact and greater delivery of sustainable finance solutions for landscapes”.
Fellow co-chair Hendrik Pfaff, of WWF South Africa, adds: “This initiative will support the funding, redirecting and influencing of financial flows towards conservation and supports WWF’s vision of building a sustainable future in which people and nature thrive.”
The Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition will also host the Innovation Hub, a quarterly event to facilitate expert discussion and knowledge and advance sustainable landscape conservation finance in South Africa and beyond.
For more information about the coalition, please contact Candice Stevens