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Southern Ontario partners win International “Finance for the Future” Climate Leader Award

October 4, 2022 - The Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond (DZCIB) Leadership Team is delighted to receive an international 2022 Finance for the Future (F4TF) Climate Leader Award. DZCIB was recognized as a Climate Leader among 33 finalists from 13 countries at a ceremony in London, England on Tuesday.

“Being a climate leader is creating gifts for future generations. We are all accountable for or affected by the irreparable harm to people and nature through colonial economic systems.  This is one small way to start to shift those systems to make positive impacts,” said Michelle Kanter, Executive Director, Carolinian Canada Coalition at the ceremony livestreamed from London, England.

The F4TF awards highlight programs across the globe that are leading the way into building sustainable economies through innovation, community, and transformation. They are presented annually by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), A4S Accounting for Sustainability and Deloitte. The awards emphasize the importance of finance in long-term, sustainable futures and recognize important stories of financial leadership that inspire and influence positive change.

Launched in 2020, the DZCIB financing model is one of the first of its kind.  It was co-developed by the Leadership Team of Deshkan Ziibiing (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation), VERGE Capital, Thames Talbot Land Trust, Ivey Business School and Carolinian Canada Coalition, with the support of 3M, focused on projects in the traditional territories of Deshkan Ziibiing, near London, Ontario. As a “pay-for-success", outcome-based conservation finance instrument, groups and individuals can invest for monetary and/or environmental returns that restore resiliency to the landscape.

“Our current economic systems have not adequately accounted for the value of nature, and thus, do not sufficiently capture the impact and risks posed by environmental degradation,” said Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Associate Professor, Ivey Business School. “There is a fundamental disconnect between the way nature is addressed in mainstream economics and the intrinsic life-sustaining value it provides. The DZCIB will help shift how ecosystems and ecosystem services are valued.”

DZCIB is the first phase of the CIB model, but it has already made a big impact by accelerating improvement and resiliency of 169 hectares of nature-based solutions. Phase 2 is currently being launched in the Long Point area with support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and a growing circle of investors, supporters and partners.

“DZCIB is a joint effort of over 20 groups and 1100 people. It connects local world-class work of Indigenous, conservation and financial sectors of southern Ontario. Collectively, the DZCIB partners have created a Healthy Landscape Portfolio that supports 14 UN Sustainable Development Goals, kick-starts an ethical restoration economy and expands ethical space in the conservation sector with deep green impact on the ground,” noted Kanter.

DZCIB was selected as a Climate Leader for its collaborative approach.

“The name Deshkan Ziibi comes from the original Anishinaabemowin name given to the Thames River which translates to 'antlered or horned river.' It’s important to take time to build relationships, to listen, to learn and eventually trust one another when embarking on collaborative work,” said Emma Young, Deshkan Ziibiing Senior Environmental Officer. “Indigenous people have been stewarding the land on the Turtle Island since time immemorial and it’s imperative the conservation sector begins to acknowledge and work with Indigenous nations who hold vital knowledge on maintaining and revitalizing local ecosystems.”

The Awards acknowledge the passion, commitment and vision of all nominees that give hope in the face of the major challenges of our time.

“If we are to deliver meaningful progress for people and the planet by 2030, we need to move and act now… What really shone out to the judges was this group’s collaborative approach to harness the different knowledge, skills and experiences of the many different partners from Indigenous people and conservationists to the holders of capital to mobilize private capital towards reversing the trend of habitat loss in Canada’s most fragile ecoregion,” noted Veronica Poole, Vice-Chair of Deloitte UK, Global IFRS, when announcing the award.

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About F4TF Awards

The Finance for the Future Awards were created in 2012 by a partnership between Deloitte, A4S, and ICAEW. The awards recognize the organizations and individuals that are supporting the integration of sustainability into financial decision making. They drive awareness, inspire action and develop a community of finance leaders committed to creating sustainable outcomes for their organizations. 

Watch the Finance for the Future Awards 2022 here:

Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond (DZCIB)  

The DZCIB Leadership Team (Leadership Team) consists of representatives from Deshkan Ziibiing (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation), Carolinian Canada, VERGE Capital, Thames Talbot Land Trust, and the Ivey Business School at Western University. The goal of the Leadership Team is to design the DZCIB to be locally adapted with community partners and experts from a variety of disciplines. This includes defining impact goals for the bond, deciding on pay-for-success metrics upon which to evaluate impact, and participating in ongoing dialogue about the design of the DZCIB and related activities. The cross-sectoral and cross-cultural composition of the Leadership Team ensures representation of a variety of perspectives to reflect the variation of motivations, goals, and worldviews of broader partners of the CIB. The inclusion of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples on the Leadership Team is integral to the goal of taking a Two-Eyed Seeing approach to the design, implementation, and evaluation of the DZCIB. 

Experience the DZCIB Storymap, read the report and find out about phase 2, launching now.   

Quick Links

Read the Report  |  Watch the Webinar   |  Story Map   |  Press Release   |  Get Involved with Stage 2: Nature Based Services   |   Conservation Impact Bond Overview 


About Deshkan Ziibiing (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation) 

Deshkan Ziibiing (pronounced desh-kan-zee-bing) means ‘people along the antlered river’ - the Anishinaabeg, commonly known as Chippewas of the Thames First Nation - is located on the north bank of the Thames River approximately 20 kilometers southwest of London, Ontario. Chippewas of the Thames First Nation is an Anishinaabe community, whose shared traditional territory is located in Southwestern Ontario. 

About VERGE Capital 

VERGE Capital is a social finance program of Pillar Nonprofit Network that supports local economies and communities across Southwestern Ontario by investing in social enterprises that put people and planet first. Since 2015, VERGE has invested over $5.3M into local startups and small businesses, as well as green energy projects, nature conservation, affordable housing developments, and community hubs.

About Thames Talbot Land Trust 

Thames Talbot Land Trust protects and restores nature within Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, and Perth counties and the City of London, in the current and traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples including Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg, Lenaapeewak, Attawandaron, and Wendat Peoples. With a focus on healthy habitats for wildlife, our work also contributes to human well-being and helps address climate change. Since 2000, Thames Talbot Land Trust has protected more than 2000 acres of land and the homes of more than 50 species-at-risk.

About Carolinian Canada 

Carolinian Canada is a network of leaders growing a green future with healthy landscapes in the spirit and practice of reconciliation. Together we save wildlife, water and way of life for thriving, resilient communities. Find your place. 

About the Ivey Business School, Western University 

The Ivey Business School ( at Western University is Canada’s leading provider of relevant, innovative and comprehensive business education. Drawing on extensive research and business experience, Ivey faculty provide the best classroom experience, equipping graduates with the skills and capabilities they need to tackle the leadership challenges in today’s complex business world. Ivey offers world-renowned undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as Executive Education at campuses in London (Ontario), Toronto and Hong Kong. |