With Scotland facing a £1 billion challenge to protect and rebuild its natural capital, a new podcast highlights three projects which are securing investment for nature-based solutions.
Natural resources, such as wood from trees, water and pollination, provide capital that businesses use to produce their goods and services, but previously, nature-based assets didn’t all have a financial value attached to them. The degradation of natural capital, including the loss of biodiversity and depletion of renewable stocks, poses a real risk for businesses, their earnings and investors.
The podcast, produced by Dr Hannah Rudman of the Thriving Natural Capital Challenge Centre at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), shows how communities and the public and private sector are coming together to develop natural capital investment projects that can deliver returns for investors while tackling global climate and biodiversity challenges.
The centre is supporting the Scottish Conservation Finance Pioneers network – of which Hannah is the co-leader – to attract the first £1bn needed for nature-based projects.
The podcast looks at Riverwoods – a partnership project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust to create a network of thriving riverbank woodlands and healthy river systems; a Landscape Enterprise Network in the southwest of Scotland supported by Nestlé UK and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA); and the Green Action Trust’s work on vacant and derelict land.
Hannah said: “We are at the start of a crucial decade of action for nature, and decisions made this year will impact future generations. That’s why we need to make sure these changes are included in important global agreements such as COP26, to lay the foundations for an equitable, nature-positive future with net-zero emissions.
“We’re going to need that £1bn to make sure that more projects get started. A low carbon, nature-rich future can revitalise our economy and take advantage of the exceptional natural capital we have in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
Information about more Scottish natural capital projects and how you can invest in them will be provided at the Finance for Nature at COP26 event, hosted by the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital and the Global Ethical Finance on 4 and 5 November.