Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) and WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) launched South Africa’s first dedicated Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition (SLFC) in October 2019.
Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition (SLFC)
The SLFC brings together thought leaders, experts, and stakeholders from private, public, and civic sectors to address the financial needs of sustainable conservation landscapes across the country.
Globally, the financial underspend on environmental efforts is well recognised and in South Africa (SA) alone we currently face a conservation finance shortfall of approximately 64%. This represents the financial shortfall to address a multitude of environmental challenges in SA. Yet, sustainable landscapes are critically important. They provide enduring benefits and ecological infrastructure for biodiversity, people and the economy. They are also significant for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and closer to home, South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 (NDP 2030).
The latter has as its primary objectives:
- Raising employment through faster economic growth;
- Improving the quality of education, skills development, and innovation;
- Ensuring that people have access to clean running water in their homes;
- Ensuring environmental sustainability and resilience to future shocks;
- Increasing the amount of land and oceans under protection.
Coalition Chair, Candice Stevens, comments: “The Coalition fosters a cohesive and collaborative community of practice on a national level to capacitate higher impact and greater delivery of sustainable finance solutions for landscapes, the economy and the South African people”.
Protected and conserved areas (PAs) contribute significantly to these NDP 2030 goals. As such, they require adequate and sustainable financing and capacity resourcing. The Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition aims to advance the development and implementation of innovative finance solutions to support the delivery of optimal landscape conservation and the maintenance of ecological infrastructure; as well as provide enduring benefits for South Africa’s biodiversity, people and the economy. Ensuring a Green Recovery post the Covid-19 crisis is part of this vision and incorporates the effective and sustainable management of our natural resources, particularly in green labour-intensive sectors.
The green recovery opportunities can be unlocked if key sectors are involved and investment is directed towards ‘green’ alternatives. Key sectors include the investment sector, banking, legal, development, academia, civil society, national fiscal policy and the national environmental mandate.