The agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector is responsible for over half of greenhouse gas emissions in ASEAN, but is also an important contributor to national economies and rural livelihoods. While analysts report that billions of dollars of private sector capital are available for conservation finance, very little is being invested in activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from this sector. USAID LEAF, along with the USFS and USAID LEAD, recently hosted a two-day workshop in Bangkok that examined several promising mechanisms to attract more private sector finance to conservation efforts.
Experts discussed how developing and implementing improved environmental, social and governance (ESG) safeguards for the banking sector can facilitate both increased returns and improved outcomes, and also explored how a green bond mechanism that has been most commonly used for clean energy efforts could be a model for landscape bonds in the AFOLU sector. The group also examined the role that business incubators can play in developing a pipeline of investable projects, and opportunities for accelerators to support fund managers building their portfolios. Participants discussed strategies such as de-risking instruments and the provision of technical assistance for using public donor finance to leverage private investment to achieve more sustainable forest and land management in the region.