Earlier this month, I attended the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) conference in Toronto. I have been a certified RIA financial advisor since 2018 and always enjoy attending their functions, in person and online, and catching up with like-minded financial advisors and advocates.
Because of COVID, the 2023 conference was the first in-person RIA conference since 2019. It was great being able to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones. It was also encouraging to discuss trends in the industry and seek out opportunities to have a positive and profitable impact.
One of the most meaningful panel discussions I attended was called The Next Imperative: The Urgent Need for Investor Action on Biodiversity. As the first session of the second day, it worked well as a wake-up call for all the attendees. Much of the discussion was led by Anita De Horde. Her title is Co-Founder and Executive Director Finance, Biodiversity Foundation, Finance For Biodiversity Pledge.
Anita helped start BIOFIN ten years ago at the CBD COP 11. She has played a lead role in its growth ever since.
What is BIOFIN? I’m glad you asked
BIOFIN stands for Biodiversity Finance Initiative. And according to their website BIOFIN is “a United Nations Development Programme-managed global programme (that) exists to demonstrate how nature-positive economies can work for people and the planet.”
I’m not sure I could come up with a better definition of how we, as responsible investors, can hope to make the positive environmental impact we know we must achieve to save the planet and ourselves. Once again, we are confronted with the very real consequences of climate change right here in Canada. Wildfires struck from coast to coast - generally considered to be the worst ever. The problem of climate change will not go away. We must address it and we must address it now.
But once again, what must be addressed as a problem can also be considered an opportunity. Over the last couple of months, I have shared stories about governmental efforts both here in Canada and among our allies in Europe and the United States to make investments in a cleaner and more sustainable future.
What does BIOFIN hope to do?
According to the BIOFIN website, they are:
During her presentation, Anita made it clear that we are at a crossroads in world history. While climate change is a very real crisis, it is also offering us a very real opportunity to bring about a brand-new world – one that works for all of us. I could not help but feel excited by her story.
Together we can make a difference
This is the kind of discussion that inspired me to get involved in the practice of responsible investing in the first place. I believe that efforts like BIOFIN can make a difference.
While the work that BIOFIN is doing is important is only one small part of the overall effort to make this a better world for the planet itself and we humans as inhabitants of it.
So, let’s get to work
As usual, I have come away from the RIA conference with fresh confidence and a renewed commitment to making a difference. And I am here to help you make that commitment too. So, if you think there is still work you can do to increase the impact your investments can have, for you, your neighbours around the world and the planet itself, then drop me a line. I’d be happy to help.
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