In July and October, Alexander Rhodes, Head of Mishcon Purpose, was invited by the Milton Group to chair discussions between investors, conservation leaders and African Government and community representatives on how to secure livelihoods and biodiversity in Africa’s rural economies.
The first discussion brought together John E. Scanlon, African Parks Special Envoy, Kevin Pietersen MBE, cricket player turned conservation influencer and founder of SORAI; and Dr. Winnie Kiiru, Trustee of Kenya Wildlife Service and Advisor to various conservation organisations. It identified the fragility of the economic base of protected areas and local communities as the principal threat posed by the pandemic to Africa’s biodiversity. The panel identified an urgent need to diversify from tourism, and the opportunity for private impact investing to play a stimulus role, targeting resilient returns from broad-based natural capital approaches.
The second discussion, for the Urban Land Institute, took the next step. Alexander together with Clare Akamanzi (CEO, Rwanda Development Board), Charlie Mayhew MBE (CEO, Tusk), Tom Lalampaa (CEO, Northern Rangelands Trust), and Richard Meredith (Special Advisor, Larry Ellison Foundation) discussed how to create the necessary legal, fiscal and operational conditions to attract and support private capital. Critical amongst these is working with government to achieve robust, shared agreement as to the purpose and impacts of the investment, and structuring these to deliver measurable social and environmental impacts, as well as asset protection and financial returns.
Mishcon Purpose is advising investors and partners in conservation on approaches to impact investment in Africa following the pandemic. A summary of the discussions can be found in Milton Group’s latest 'The Difference' here.