The continuing disappearance of Earth’s last healthy ecosystems, on land and in the oceans, is sadly no longer news. What is news is that saving these ecosystems is affordable and even profitable. An investor-driven approach to conservation finance has the potential to preserve these vital areas, and with them the planet’s natural capital stock of clean air, fresh water and species diversity.

Conservation finance represents an undeveloped private sector investment opportunity of major proportion. Our research suggests private investors—wealthy individuals, pension funds and other institutional investors and even mainstream retail investors—could supply as much as $200 billion to $300 billion per year needed to preserve the world’s most important ecosystems, ranging from the Borneo rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia to the African Rift lake system of Rwanda and Uganda.

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