Finance Track

The ACES Conference has organized a number of opportunities to explore the role of finance in supporting ecosystem services as this is a critical component of implementation. In addition to the Sessions and Town Halls, there will be a Finance Reception Tuesday evening, and an all-day “Finance Doc” Clinic on Wednesday. By attending 4 or more events, you will be awarded a Finance Track Certificate and entered into a drawing at the closing plenary session for the chance to win a free registration to ACES 2018!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

11:45am-12:50pm | Town Hall - Grand Ballroom 1
Where Natural Capital Meets Conservation Finance | For All ACES Attendees-No finance background necessary

Moderators: Leigh Whelpton, The Conservation Finance Network and Eric Hallstein, The Nature Conservancy

Designed for ACES attendees not having specialized finance expertise, this interactive town hall discussion, come explore key concepts and emerging trends in conservation finance. Our goal is to build a shared understanding of where science and finance collide, and to highlight the sorts of conservation opportunities that may be appropriate for private sector funding. The session will offer practical advice on how conservationists and scientists may effectively engage with investors.

1:00pm-2:45pm | Grand Ballroom 1
Successful Financing of Large-Scale Watershed Protection and Restoration

Organizer: Peter Stangel, U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc.

This session presents a variety of examples of successful, multi-million dollar funding for watershed protection focusing on state revolving funds and water utilities. A key goal of this session is to provide practical guidance on how to employ these strategies in your own environment.

The need for financing for large-scale watershed protection is acute, as climate change, development, and other threats adversely affect watershed health. New approaches for financing are developing that can be used in many places and situations. A key challenge to scaling these approaches is sharing success stories and helping interested groups better understand how these options may be applied to their situation.

3:15pm-5:00pm | Grand Ballroom 1
Financing Watershed Protection: New Horizons

Organizer: Jeff Lerner, American Forests

This session focuses on exciting, new approaches for financing watershed protection and restoration. While these approaches may still be developing, they offer innovative approaches that can help diversify and grow financing opportunities for watershed protection.

5:15pm-6:45pm | Town Hall - Grand Ballroom 1
Where are the Markets? Where is the Money? How to Spend It

Moderators: Patrick Coady, Seale & Associates, Inc., Jessica Fox, Electric Power Research Institute and Kaola Swanson, The Freshwater Trust

What does it take to mobilize significant dollars for ecosystem projects? Extensive effort has been invested is developing ecosystem markets over a long period of time. This Town Hall will examine what comprises ecosystem markets, their estimated size and project implementation from a financial point of view. It will assess the current situation with wetlands, stream restoration, species and water quality market as well as emerging markets. It will pose the question, “If you were given a check for, say $100 million, how would invest it”

Finance Reception

7:00pm-8:30pm | 4th Floor, VIP Hospitality Mathews Suite, Room 4104

Chat with the Finance Track organizers, moderators and panelists.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

9:00am to 12:00pm
Make an Appointment with a “Finance Doc”

Got a financing problem? Make an appointment with a finance “doc” to explore remedies. Email Patrick Coady at with a one page summary of the project by 12:00 noon on Tuesday, December 6th. Appointments will take place in City Terrace 5.

10:00am-11:45am | Grand Ballroom 1
Financing Green/Grey Coastal Infrastructure (Coastal Resiliency)

Organizer: Erik Meyers, The Conservation Fund

This panel will examine the recent SAGE (Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering) Initiative to integrate green (natural and nature-based) approaches with traditional grey (engineered structures) infrastructure for coastal protection and the tandem effort to utilize more private funding, from philanthropic and impact investors to market-based needs, in green/grey coastal defense projects, providing greater resiliency to climate change and sea level rise impacts. Speaker experiences span private markets, large corporation, government and NGO/ philanthropic institutions.

1:15pm-3:00pm | Grand Ballroom 1
Forest Resilience Bond – Financing Fire Management for Water Benefits through Conservation Finance Approaches

Organizer: Todd Gartner, World Resources Institute

What if the Forest Service and other land managers could access capital from the private sector to accelerate the pace of forest restoration? This panel will focus on a new financial instrument under development, called the Forest Resilience Bond (“FRB”), which enables private capital to invest in natural resources by placing a value on ecosystem services (such as reduced wildfire risk and augmented water quality and quantity).

3:30pm-5:15 pm | Grand Ballroom 1
Pay for Success Strategies-Overcome Demand Uncertainties in New Markets

Organizer: Eoin Doherty, Environmental Incentives

The session will cover a range of pay-for-success and performance contracting strategies that can be used by government and philanthropic funders to invest in ecosystem service outcomes. Pay-for-success strategies discussed will range from direct payment for outcomes after they are generated by project proponents, to public-private partnerships that supply upfront capital to overcome uncertainties of innovative approaches, and overcome demand uncertainties of new programs. In addition, the pre-requisite infrastructure necessary to implementing pay-for-success strategies will be discussed, along with private and impact investor needs and lessons learned from implementing different pay-for-success strategies in greater sage-grouse states.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

10:00am-11:45am | Grand Ballroom 1
State of Private Investment in Natural Capital

Moderator: Ricardo Bayon, Encourage Capital

This interactive panel discussion will review the findings of a new report – State of Private Investment in Conservation – and will reflect both on the evolution of conservation finance and investment in natural capital in the last decade and on trends and opportunities for the immediate future.

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Post-Conference Items

Program Book
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Abstract Book
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Photo Galleries
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Speaker Presentations
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Poster Presentations
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Workshop Summaries
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Town Hall Reports
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