- Learning Network
EcoAgriculture Partners and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Liaison Office for North America are co-organizing the second in our High-Level Event Series Towards Sustainable Landscapes on May 29th, in conjunction with the Global Landscapes Forum Investment Case Washington, DC event May 30th.
This event aims to catalyze greater conversation among national and international investors, policymakers, and influencers in the D.C. area and beyond, about investment in sustainable landscapes.
Investments in sustainable landscapes (or integrated landscape investments) generate economic, environmental and social benefits and rely on landscape stakeholders and investors working collaboratively at a landscape scale. The success of these investments requires thoughtful sequencing, spatial coordination, and often involves blending or aligning government, donor or philanthropic funds that seek social and environmental returns with commercial capital that primarily seeks profit. A panel of eminent finance experts will address key issues surrounding investment in sustainable landscapes including:
Before the launch of Althelia Ecosphere, Christian’s professional background was in commodity structured finance and trading, serving as Director of Environmental Markets & Forestry within the corporate and investment banking division of BNP Paribas.
The vision brought by Christian to Althelia had roots stretching back to 2002, when he stepped away from energy finance and trading career to pursue his long-standing interests in the environment and conservation field, working for a year in sub-Saharan Africa before pursuing an MSc in Conservation Biology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology at the University of Kent (Canterbury). During his time there, he focussed extensively on the nexus between social, economic and environmental challenges. Post-graduate field work was conducted in Botswana on human-wildlife conflict and perceived trade-offs between land use decisions such as small and large scale livestock husbandry and wildlife conservation in a water-challenged Okavango landscape. This collective experience highlighted for him the growing importance of securing economically sustainable sources of finance for conservation, as well as the inescapable interdependence between the wellbeing of wildlife and natural ecosystems on the one hand, and growing human populations on the other. A desire to find long term solutions for these pressing challenges was the initial seed for the concept of Althelia Ecosphere, set up through his partnership with Sylvain Goupille forged during their time together at BNP Paribas.
Rob Parenteau serves as an investment strategist and heterodox economist to institutional investors like Allianz Global Investors through his consulting firm, MacroStrategy Edge. Rob taught Capital Markets to MBA candidates at Presidio Graduate School. Rob serves as a research fellow at the Binzagr Institute of Sustainable Prosperity and the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, and is a member of Slow Money Northern California. Rob earned a BA with honors in political economy at Williams College in 1983, became a Chartered Financial Analyst in 1989, taught CFA candidates from 1990-1999, and completed his Permaculture Design Certificate at Regenerative Design Institute in 2015. Rob also serves as a Senior Fellow of EcoAgriculture Partners, co-leading finance innovation for 1000 Landscapes.
As Director of the Conservation Innovations Team at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Kari provides strategic and operational leadership for the agency’s environmental markets and conservation finance activities (including development of the COMET greenhouse gas tool), and also oversees the Conservation Innovation Grants program. He has served over 15 years with NRCS, including stints managing the Conservation Innovation Grants program, coordinating agency Chesapeake Bay watershed activities, serving as NRCS’s Legislative Affairs Director, and serving as a senior advisor to the Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA.