Supporting Recovery and Resilience
The crisis is an opportunity to rethink how tourism interacts with our societies, other economic sectors and our natural resources and ecosystems; to measure and manage it better; to ensure a fair distribution of its benefits and to advance the transition towards a carbon neutral and resilient tourism economy.
— WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION
The Africa Land Stewards Rescue Fund
The Fund is a revolving debt facility that will provide emergency support to SMEs hurt by the COVID crisis in key biodiversity hotspots. These carefully vetted SMEs demonstrate a deep connection to the land and to communities and can demonstrate biodiversity benefit. The Fund will initially focus on the underserved and vulnerable regions of Southern, Western, and Coastal Tanzania. It will then expand to other landscapes in Sub-Saharan Africa where the needs are most acute.
Saving jobs, stabilizing communities, protecting biodiversity.
The Fund focuses on SMEs, with a special focus on conservation and tourism-related businesses, given the role these businesses play in the economic, social, and conservation infrastructure of those regions. The Fund emphasizes SMEs that are locally-owned and play a keystone role in their communities and landscapes.
Phase 1: Tanzania
The fund will initially launch in Tanzania, a uniquely biodiverse country. We are further prioritizing Southern, Western and Coastal Tanzania in phase 1: these regions have significant biodiversity and wildlife conservation value and are particularly vulnerable at this time of crisis.
Building context knowledge through collaborations and partnerships
Investments will benefit from the experience of organizations that understand the conservation and business context in priority regions. The Fund is building relationships with business associations, conservation groups and other experts. These collaborations allow us to develop a holistic understanding of priority landscapes and of their biodiversity and business needs and opportunities.
A targeted, needs-based response
The Fund will support a select number of vetted enterprises in priority regions. Its diverse portfolio covers both landscapes and seascapes. It will focus on tourism and other conservation-related enterprises. The Fund will focus on SMEs that are large enough to justify the due diligence and small enough to be underserved by other financing providers.
Focusing on regions where biodiversity & wildlife are threatened.
The Fund will focus on landscapes where biodiversity and wildlife are especially vulnerable as a result of COVID-19. Following launch in Southern, Western, and Coastal Tanzania, the fund plans to expand operations to Zambia, Uganda, and other threatened landscapes. The Fund will benefit from the local knowledge of well-respected, locally-grounded field organizations.
How the fund works
The support will take the form of patient loans at highly concessionary terms. In selected regions, enterprises are selected based on their ability to sustain operations with the recoverable grant, preserve wildlife and biodiversity conservation achievements, demonstrate local ownership, and show community benefits. The Fund is administered by BankableLimited., a Tanzania-based fund manager with deep contextual knowledge. Bankable is supported by ProNatura International and other organizations that understand both the conservation and business landscape.
Building long-term resilience
Recognizing the need to look beyond the emergency, the Fund is the first phase of NatureCap - a bold, ambitious Biodiversity and Resilience Investment Platform for Sub-Saharan Africa that links funders with biodiversity-compatible sectors. Landscape economies are changing and creating new opportunities and value chains. NatureCap will support these transformations by identifying and supporting the next generation of innovative biodiversity ventures.