Tropical ecosystems are the most biodiverse in the world, and one of the most threatened. The main factor contributing to loss of habitat and biodiversity in these areas is the conversion of forest to agricultural land. Natural Capital aims to alter the incentive structures and economic drivers at play by redirecting capital and resources from current practices to more sustainable alternatives. This will generate real benefit not only in the short term but allow sustainable land use for future generations.
By pooling capital to direct towards such projects, we will create an alternative finance model. The impact of traditional charity and grant models can drop off significantly once funding is depleted; and mainstream private sector financing models, including lending or private equity, often lack the holistic approach necessary to alter underlying economic and social drivers - and individual investors to fund such commercially viable and holistic projects. We aim to be the bridge between commercial interests and long-term solutions. We connect capital with conservation.
In doing so, we create an asset class that allows direct investment into sustainable development. We aim to demonstrate that through carefully structured business models, it is possible to generate real returns: economically and ecologically.
Alex has developed sustainable land use projects in more than 20 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia with the UN and the private sector. Working with the Finance Unit of UN Environment for nine years, including as its REDD+ focal point person, he designed the largest global programme for UN Environment to help developing countries prepare to access the Green Climate Fund. He also co-managed a pilot programme in seven African countries to launch forest and agroforestry projects through the carbon markets, including one of the first registered African REDD+ projects; and developed various initiatives to mobilize and de-risk private sector investment in climate change initiatives.
Alex holds a University Master's Degree in Environmental Management and Restoration, the German University Law Degree and a University Diploma in Wildlife and Natural Areas Management.
After studying Ecology and Conservation as part of a Biology degree at university alongside Law, Oliver obtained a deep knowledge of investment structures by working at an elite global law firm. From the firm’s London, Moscow and Dubai offices, he advised private and sovereign wealth funds, governments, investment and development banks, private equity houses and corporates on establishing and structuring funds, infrastructure projects, mergers, acquisitions and other transactions across sub-Saharan and Francophone Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and East Asia and with a total deal volume in excess of USD 10 billion.
He also consults social enterprise start-ups in Latin America and elsewhere, such as a crypto-currency exchange platform to combat the currency crisis in Venezuela; and a women-lead indigenous fashion initiative in La Guajira, Colombia.