New $250 Million, Women-Led Climate Fund Joins Forces with Conservation Organizations to Save Vast Forests in Asia, Africa and Latin America

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AlphaSource Climate Fund, the Rainforest Alliance, Wildlife Works, and Everland sign agreement to develop landscape protection programs that conserve endangered ecosystems and improve livelihoods for local forest communities.

"...Smallholder farmers and communities...will act as forests’ best line of defense while supplying end-consumers with sustainable and climate-smart products." - Nigel Sizer, President of the Rainforest Alliance

Impact investment advisor AlphaSource announced today that they have teamed up with conservation NGO the Rainforest Alliance; wildlife and forest protection experts Wildlife Works; and the newly-formed environmental product marketing company Everland; in an ambitious plan to protect vast tracts of critically endangered forests across the globe.

The consortium aims to develop and fund comprehensive landscape protection programs aligning incentives that benefit smallholders, communities, government, businesses and consumers as envisioned by the UN climate change mitigation mechanism known as REDD+, an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation.

The sustainable landscape protection programs will operate through a market-driven plan to provide buyers with certified sustainable supply chain goods. Buyers will be assured that forests and their surrounding areas are protected and that goods are produced in a sustainable and climate-smart manner. “We hope this will serve as a new model for large-scale conservation, where the production of goods is achieved in a way that is in harmony with nature, and where responsible commerce becomes the normal way of doing business,” said Gerald Prolman, President of Everland.

Priority areas include Indonesia, the Congo Basin, the Guinean Forest, and Amazonia. Both the Rainforest Alliance and Wildlife Works have decades of experience developing market based solutions for landscape conservation, and where national and sub-national REDD+ programs are being developed.

AlphaSource is contributing its impact investment expertise to raise $250 million for the new AlphaSource Climate Fund, the world’s first women-led climate change impact fund. The AlphaSource Climate Fund will provide global impact investors with a compelling vehicle to participate in forest conservation at scale. “We’re addressing the need for scalable and diversified opportunities for institutional capital to combat climate change without sacrificing returns,” said Noelle-Claire LeCann, President of AlphaSource Advisors.

Programs will build on the Rainforest Alliance’s network of 1.4 million farmers who are already trained in sustainable land management across 45.9 million hectares of farms and forestlands in 74 countries. This network of highly-trained farmers deliver commodities to the global marketplace, including to more than 4,000 companies that source their commodities from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, and use the Rainforest Alliance’s globally recognized tree-frog logo.

“The partnership will help catalyze finance to incentivize smallholder farmers and communities to implement sustainable land management practices,” said Nigel Sizer, President of the Rainforest Alliance. “They will act as forests’ best line of defense while supplying end-consumers with sustainable and climate-smart products.”

Wildlife Works brings technical expertise in large scale REDD+, as well as expertise in landscape interventions that reduce pressure on forests, as ultimately the measure of the alliance’s success will be how many hectares of forest are saved and how many tonnes of emissions avoided. “The success of these programs will be highly dependent on our ability to link the performance incentives emerging at national and sub-national levels to concrete performance rewards for the communities within these critical landscapes,” said Mike Korchinsky, President of Wildlife Works. “We must maximize the value that forest communities can earn from forest conservation in these landscapes to reverse decades of economically motivated forest destruction.”

Everland will market the verified emission reduction units (VERs) generated by the programs to companies who are seeking to offset their unavoidable emissions and achieve corporate social responsibility goals. VER sales are expected to enhance the income of hundreds of thousands of smallholder famers as well as bring significant benefits to the local communities, which is a key part of the strategy to minimize pressure on the forests.

About the Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance, established in 1987, is a non-governmental organization working to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. The Rainforest Alliance operates in 74 countries and has certified more than 45.9 million hectares of land to sustainable land management standards. The Rainforest Alliance has trained more than 1.4 million people in earth-friendly land management practices, and 1.3 million farms use Rainforest Alliance methods, designed to protect ecosystems, workers and local communities.

About The AlphaSource Climate Fund
The AlphaSource Climate Fund is focused on a market-based holistic landscape approach to sustainable development that will provide alternatives to the drivers of deforestation, combining climate finance, community engagement and facilitative, climate-smart technologies. The conservation of large threatened forests and associated emission reductions depends on a scalable strategy with differentiated access to impact and uncorrelated, diversified returns.

About Wildlife Works
Wildlife Works, established in 1997, headquartered in Mill Valley, CA, is the carbon market's leading REDD+ project development and management company. Under rigorous environmental and social standards with third-party audits, Wildlife Works REDD+ projects generate Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), where each VER represents the avoidance of one ton of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. VERs are purchased by corporations who voluntarily elect to reduce their unavoidable emissions. Proceeds from Wildlife Works VER sales are reinvested in green economic development for the forest communities, thus removing the threat to the forest. Wildlife Works REDD+ projects deliver unprecedented environmental and social benefits to seriously impoverished parts of Africa that are in desperate need of change.

About Everland
Everland is a forest carbon marketing company that is newly formed and built upon the success of Wildlife Works. The company was established to bring marketing support to a portfolio of high quality REDD+ project developers to help them monetize their REDD+ Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). Everland represents projects that conserve some of the world’s most threatened forests and wildlife and where project impacts are independently verified by internationally recognized environmental audit firms.

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Brittany Wienke, Communications and Media Outreach Associate