A number of asset owners will design an action plan to find innovative investment strategies to protect ocean and land ecosystems, as the investors address their approach to biodiversity.

“The action plan will focus on a number of questions [including] the current mood and status quo among investors, as to where investors currently stand on biodiversity,” Antje Biber, head of SDG office at German investment firm FERI, told IPE.

Discussions were held during a global asset owner meeting held in Frankfurt earlier this month on innovative investment solutions, ideas and objectives for investments in biodiversity.

The consortium – including FERI Cognitive Finance Institute, the research centre of the German investment firm, the European Commission’s BlueInvest Initiative, the Swiss pension funds association ASIP, and Blue Marine Foundation, organised the meeting and will work on the action plan in the next several months.

Talks among asset owners at the meeting revolved around green and labelled bonds (earmarked debt financing) that could lead to a bigger impact in addition to returns.

“This is a very dynamically-growing market. The aim would be to design a framework to invest in bonds with a clear focus on climate and environment/nature,” Biber said.

In private markets (private equity, venture capital, infrastructure), the consortium’s focus is on innovative technologies, multi-use infrastructure, scalable and high impact.

“In the field of nature solutions/blended finance, the focus is on creative investment solutions – biodiversity credits, nature tokens, nature equity – and blended finance as the most important to implement emerging markets [strategies],” Biber added.

Challenges to implement nature and biodiversity strategies, and how to overcome them, through data, measurement, regulation, for example, are also key in drafting the plan, she noted.

In fact, the consortium partners believe that investing in biodiversity and nature is top of many asset owners’ agendas, but insufficient know-how, and ambiguities in terms of general measurement, impact measurement and reporting represent an obstacle to boost allocations.

Moreover, there are currently not enough standards and specifications, and little knowledge about specific investment solutions, according to Biber.

The Swiss pension funds association ASIP is contributing with content definition for the action plan.

“ESG is a strategically important topic for ASIP; new developments and current topics need to be further explored. Many of our members also have the topic of biodiversity prominently on their agenda,” president Martin Roth said.

Michaela Attermeyer, executive board member of VBV’s provident fund (Vorsorgekasse), who was also present in the meeting, said it was particularly positive that the consortium partners created a platform for international cooperation to promote biodiversity.

“As VBV provident fund, we took part in the first global asset owner meeting, and have used this for an intensive exchange of know-how and experience with other leading international players and specialists in the field of biodiversity investments,” Attermeyer told IPE.

Germany’s nuclear waste disposal fund KENFO, the Dutch civil service scheme ABP, and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) also took part in the meeting.

For the next meeting, to be held in 2025, the consortium will add other organisations, asset owners and innovators to the list of attendees to further expand the group’s ideas, experiences and collaboration, Bieber said.

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