From Ambition to Action: Delivering the 2030 Goals
Conservation at scale is a common element for building resilience and accelerating progress toward globally important biodiversity and climate targets. PFPs can help deliver 2030 global goals by securing nature’s carbon, protecting nature and biodiversity, and building community resilience, benefits, and equitable partnerships.
The Project Finance for Permanence model is one of the prime strategies to help deliver global climate and biodiversity goals, with the potential to inhibit nature’s decline and deliver robust conservation outcomes.
Securing nature’s carbon: Intact ecosystems have a greater capacity to resist and adapt to climate change. Nature-based solutions such as conservation, restoration, and improved land management can provide one-third of the mitigation measures needed to hold global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius while also supporting ecosystems and communities in adapting to climate change. Enduring Earth will secure carbon stores to avoid greenhouse gas emissions by permanently protecting forests, grasslands, peatlands, mangroves, and other carbon-rich habitat. The PFP model offers a promising pathway for countries to deliver on their nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement.
Protecting nature and biodiversity: In December 2022 196 nations adopted the ‘Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework’ at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The historic new agreement includes a key target to protect and conserve at least 30% of lands, inland water, and coastal and marine areas globally by 2030—also known as “30 by 30.” It is the largest area-based target ever agreed, and Enduring Earth offers a pathway to implement and deliver this through an inclusive approach.
Community benefits, resilience, and equitable partnerships: Local participation in setting project goals is essential to establishing projects that will provide permanence for conservation. We work with Indigenous peoples—whose lands are home to more species around the world than anywhere else, protecting 80% of global biodiversity—and local communities to ensure that conservation and protection activities align with local values. Their active leadership and stewardship is paramount to lasting conservation and benefits for local cultures, economies, health, jobs, and future generations.
Enduring Earth partners have successfully used the PFP model to durably conserve more than 120 million hectares around the world. The most recent PFP closed in Colombia in 2022 and was the first to be completed with support from the Enduring Earth collaboration. Because this approach does not work everywhere, a rigorous vetting process is applied—grounded in science, policy, finance, and equity. The initial portfolio of projects were selected through a suite of criteria, where funding would be invested in places that are:
- Ecologically important
- Represent different biomes
- Have direct benefits for communities
- Are at-scale
- Represent life on earth
Current PFP Projects & Deals
Before Enduring Earth was established, partners had already worked with five nations, conserving nearly 90 million hectares, an area nearly four times the size of Gabon. Looking forward, by 2030, Enduring Earth aims to protect an additional half a billion hectares in partnership with at least 20 nations and mobilize nearly $4 billion in new funding.
Herencia Colombia (Heritage Colombia)
Heritage Colombia PFP aims to safeguard the country’s incredible natural places by expanding and effectively managing more than 8.8 million hectares of Colombia’s National System of Protected Areas, which includes 32 million hectares of Colombian landscapes and seascapes. Heritage Colombia also includes land outside of protected areas, such as private reserves, land managed by Afro-Colombian communities, and land owned by Indigenous communities.
Amazon Region Protected Areas for Life (ARPA for Life)
Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) for Life is the largest tropical forest protected areas program on Earth. Launched in 2014, ARPA for Life was created to expand, consolidate, and maintain Brazil’s 60-million-hectare network of protected areas, which will include 6 million hectares of new protected areas. By securing 15% of the Brazilian Amazon in strict and sustainable use protected areas, ARPA for Life is expected to avoid 1.4 billion tons of carbon emissions by 2050.
Bhutan for Life
Bhutan for Life is the first PFP initiative in Asia. Launched in 2018, Bhutan for Life permanently protects the nation’s 2-million-hectare network of protected areas and biological corridors and funds proper management of Bhutan’s protected area system—which constitutes 51% of the country, the highest percentage of land protected by any Asian country. Bhutan for Life also promotes renewable energy and biogas to reduce demand for firewood and forest degradation, community-based natural resource management, and resilient livelihoods.
Patrimonio Natural de Perú (Peru’s Natural Legacy)
Peru’s Natural Legacy was launched in 2019 and supports the expansion and effective management of 16.7 million hectares of the Peruvian Amazon, covering 87% of the country’s protected areas network. By protecting these forests from destruction, Peru’s Natural Legacy will secure the 6.7 billion metric tons of carbon they store, supporting greater resilience to climate change and benefitting 1.4 million people who depend on Peru’s rainforests for food, medicines, and clean energy.
Great Bear Rainforest Agreement
British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest stretches across 19 million acres, where old-growth forest shelters spirit bears and salmon thrive in the rivers. It is also the homeland of First Nations people who have cared for these forests, rivers and coastline for eons. In 2016, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement – the world’s first PFP – was signed between First Nations and the provincial government, creating 5 million acres of new protected areas as well as sustainable management on millions of acres of forests. The project also supported the leadership of First Nations communities with millions of dollars invested in resource management.
Forever Costa Rica
An historic agreement which closed in 2010, Forever Costa Rica secured $57 million in long-term financing and formulated a conservation and climate adaptation plan for the country’s marine and terrestrial protected areas. This PFP not only improved management effectiveness across all national parks, it also tripled the area of marine protection, filling a critical gap in the nation’s conservation efforts. Costa Rica has now durably and permanently protected 12,950 square kilometers of terrestrial habitat and 11,650 square kilometers of marine habitat due to the innovative approach of the PFP.
What is a PFP?
PFPs are a tool to enable governments and local communities, in partnership with funders and NGOs, to secure long-term management and financing for networks of conservation areas in the form of a deal with a single closing agreement. While every deal looks different, all PFPs share a set of common attributes:
- A private sector project finance approach: Structured as a deal with a single closing agreement that brings together all of the plans, funding and commitments needed to achieve agreed-upon conservation and community development goals.
- Large-scale impact: Broad networks of conservation areas and multiple communities.
- Rigorous plans: Detailed and thorough conservation and community development plans.
- Community engagement: Robust engagement and buy-in for and from Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and benefits linked to their own development and conservation goals.
- High levels of accountability: Independent governance of funds with disbursement conditions to ensure commitments are met.
- Leveraged funding: Private philanthropic and public funds catalyze significant investments from national governments and support the transition to full and sustained funding from local sources over time.
The PFP Approach
- A PFP begins by bringing partners together to develop an ambitious vision for conservation and community economic development.
- Partners jointly develop a robust and detailed financial model and budget to guide the project, leverage sustainable finance, and guarantee durability.
- Private and public donors commit funds to bring the project to life and trigger significant investments from a national government. Donor funds are payable only when the total fundraising target is reached, and a binding agreement is signed.
- The governments, civil society, and donors sign a single agreement that secures the complete set of resources, funds, and commitments.
- At closing, donations are put into an independent fund, the governance of which is defined by the stakeholders.
- As the PFP is implemented, payments from the fund are distributed according to the financial plan and the performance measures outlined in the agreement. The government increases its spending over time and eventually assumes the full, long-term costs of conservation.