The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and David and Lucile Packard Foundation have announced the launch of a $90 million impact investing fund aimed at addressing global climate change through the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of tropical forests.
The Terra Silva fund will mobilize private financing with a focus on three areas: accelerating reforestation, conservation, and afforestation efforts in tropical forest regions; creating more environmentally and socially sustainable forest management practices at scale; and improving the sustainability of emerging climate-smart forestry and agriculture practices. With the dual goals of expanding opportunities for commercial investments and building a market infrastructure for climate-smart forestry, the fund will provide flexible, risk-tolerant catalytic capital that can unlock additional investments that otherwise might not be feasible.
The fund is being launched with a mission-related investment from Packard, which has allocated more than $80 million to such investments for climate-smart solutions and innovations since 2010; a loan from MacArthur as part of its $150 million commitment to the Catalytic Capital Consortium, a partnership launched in March with the Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network; and a commitment from another mission-driven investor.
"Forests currently provide the only proven carbon-negative solution at scale," said Packard Foundation mission investing director Susan Phinney Silver. "Given the urgency of climate change, we are committed to using mission investments in new ways to amplify and accelerate efforts like Terra Silva to reduce greenhouse gases as fast as possible."
"Our goal is to inform, inspire, and empower investors who want to use catalytic capital to help realize the full potential of impact investing," said Debra Schwartz, managing director of impact investments at the MacArthur Foundation. "By fueling sustainable forestry solutions, Terra Silva will create immediate positive environmental and social impact and help build a market that is vital to fighting climate change."