Jersey Finance, in conjunction with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, is formally launching a new initiative today, aimed at protecting wildlife and ‘rewilding' ecosystems around the world.
The Jersey Fund for a Wilder World is being officially launched at Jersey Finance's Annual Review today, with the objective of effecting positive change on the restoration of global ecosystems, and is designed to give financial services firms in Jersey the opportunity to contribute a portion of their fees earned from sustainable finance workflows to a pooled central pot.
Contributing to the fund is voluntary, and is initially open to fund service providers, including administrators, law firms and accountancy firms, with the intention to ultimately open the fund up to a wider cross section of Jersey's finance industry.
By bringing together our own knowledge and experience of global conservation with the international expertise of Jersey's financial services industry, this fund can play an important role in realising our long-term goals."
The inward investment of capital in the fund will contribute towards Durrell's ‘Rewild our World' strategy, which undertakes projects aimed at reviving, restoring and rewilding diverse habitats around the world, from Jersey and the UK to Mauritius and India.
The launch of the fund forms part of Jersey's wider objective of positioning itself as a global centre of excellence for sustainable finance, with Jersey Finance shortly due to set out a long-term vision and strategy for the environmental, social and governance (ESG) space.
It also builds on the Jersey Financial Services Commission's consultation last year on enhancing disclosure and governance requirements for sustainable investments, Jersey being one of only seven pilot cities/territories taking part in the United Nations' ‘United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities' initiative, and the Government of Jersey's implementation of a Carbon Neutral Strategy.
Elliot Refson, head of funds at Jersey Finance, said: "The launch of this innovative scheme sends a clear message that Jersey is committed to the ESG agenda and to supporting global investment aimed at driving positive change, at a time when there is renewed vigour and accelerated progress in all areas of sustainable finance.
"I'm particularly pleased to be working with Durrell, which has such strong roots in Jersey but expertise and a reputation that extends right around the world, and to have already had such strong support from firms here in Jersey. This fund provides a fantastic opportunity for firms in Jersey to make a combined, clear and positive difference to natural environments around the world."
Durrell will also assume responsibility for monitoring, evaluating and providing a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the investment. Dr Lesley Dickie, CEO, Durrell, added:
"Through the Rewild our World initiative, we have set our sights on delivering significant change to the fortunes of threatened wildlife through a positive and bold vision for conservation. By bringing together our own knowledge and experience of global conservation with the international expertise of Jersey's financial services industry, this fund can play an important role in realising our long-term goals."
Tim Morgan, Chair, Jersey Funds Association said: "Jersey's funds industry has a long-standing track record in supporting ESG fund activity and we are seeing a strong uptick in investors choosing Jersey as their preferred platform for sustainable finance activity. Reflecting our ambitions to support and house cross-border ESG investment, our industry is overwhelmingly supportive of this fund, which has the potential to make a real difference around the world."
Simon Boas, Jersey Overseas Aid, added: "Jersey takes its responsibilities as a good global citizen very seriously and does enormous good around the world, both through our thriving overseas aid programme and our role as a conduit of capital into developing countries. This is yet another example of Jersey changing lives for the better and shows why the Island is increasingly the jurisdiction of choice for both impact investing and philanthropy."