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Ground-breaking Investment Model for Sustainable Landscapes Scales Up Across Southern Ontario

LONDON, ON, May 10, 2023 - Today, partners of the Long Point Conservation Impact Bond announce the success of their conservation finance initiative to accelerate healthy and resilient landscapes in southern Ontario. The international award-winning Conservation Impact Bond (CIB), facilitated by Carolinian Canada, is an innovative, pay-for-success model that is scaling impact investment for sustainable landscapes backed by private, public and community financing. 

“The CIB outcomes have exceeded expectations. More habitat has been improved; more communities connected meaningfully to the land and to each other and the model has attracted attention from around the world,” said Michelle Kanter, Executive Director of Carolinian Canada. “The solutions we create here for the biodiversity and climate crises can be actioned in other regions.”  

The Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place in southern Ontario was selected as the focal region for this project as it supports a high level of biodiversity, significant numbers of species at risk, a concentration of mobilized and engaged conservation organizations, and has substantial environmental pressures. It is one of 11 regions across Canada that have been designated as a natural priority place by Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2017, and the only federally designated priority place in Ontario.  

“It is exciting to see the expansion of the Conservation Impact Bond into the Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place, further validating the untapped potential of conservation finance here in Canada,” said Diane-Laure Arjalies, Associate Professor, Ivey Business School. “As part of the evaluation team on this project, it is important to note many innovative ideas have been tried over time, but very few actually scale-up, grow and become sustainable. The CIB model has proven it can become a cornerstone solution to driving nature-based conservation.”    

The CIB is designed to return greater impact beyond the traditional charitable model by enabling more projects to be implemented faster. At the heart of the CIB are cross-sector leaders and change-makers from Indigenous, habitat, academic communities and impact finance communities who are working together in ethical space to co-create a healthy landscape investment portfolio

“The benefits of the bond are incredible; from supporting Indigenous leadership and reconciliation to boosting investment in natural capital to accelerating impact with evidence,” said Adam Spence, CEO of SVX. “The process of developing this bond from the very beginning attests to the collaborative strength of the cross-sectoral partners who took part in this financial innovation.” 

As of April 2023, the CIB is supporting 54 healthy landscape projects across the Carolinian Zone resulting in numerous ecological, sociocultural, and economic benefits including:  

  • Centering Indigenous goals and communities in land management 
  • Mobilizing 1.58 million dollars across funders, investors, and outcome payers and accelerating the improvement and resiliency of 269 hectares, including Deshkan Ziibi region and Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place 
  • Supporting local stewards who are growing 40,000 native plants, 825 gardens, and 65 learning spaces 
  • Supporting 41 jobs and connecting over 1,000 individuals across 20 communities in high quality learning activities, including decolonization training 
  • Receiving the international Finance for the Future Climate Leader award in 2022 

"The support provided through the Conservation Impact Bond has enabled Long Point Basin Land Trust to protect and care for the Stackhouse Forest Sanctuary, which contains over 20 hectares of pristine woodland and a provincially significant wetland,” said Rick Levick, Executive Director of Long Point Basin Land Trust. “We are proud to be working with partners across different sectors to collectively achieve impactful conservation goals here in the Carolinian Region."  

“The CIB has proven itself as an effective model,” said Michelle Kanter. “We look forward to bringing on new partners for future projects to accelerate its impact across southern Ontario.” 

Interested organizations and individuals can sign up to receive more information about future CIB projects here.


For more information, review background document here

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

LCIB Partners and Funders: 

CIB facilitators: Carolinian Canada, SVX 

Indigenous habitat partners: Kayanase, Indigenous led projects 

Habitat partners: Long Point Basin Land Trust, St. Williams Conservation Reserve Community Council, Long Point Region Conservation Authority  

Investors: VERGE Capital, Co-operators Community Funds, Oakville Community Foundation, Paul M. Butler 

Outcome payers: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dragonfly Ventures, 3M,  Ottercreek Woodworks 

Evaluators: Ivey Business School at Western University


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.