ESG investment initiative of the year, Latin America: BTG Pactual & Conservation International

BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group (TIG) and Conservation International won ESG investment initiative of the year, Latin America for their collaboration on a $1 billion investment strategy to protect and restore natural forests in degraded landscapes across Latin America.

The initiative also aims to plant hundreds of millions of trees in sustainably managed, commercial forests.

Mark WishnieThe strategy seeks to deploy $1 billion over five years, with Conservation International acting as an advisor and monitoring body on environmental, climate, and social impacts related to conservation and restoration aspects of the strategy.

Mark Wishnie, chief sustainability officer and head of landscape capital at BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group, said: "The impact tools we developed aren't just limited to forestry, they can be used by other commodity sectors as well...the approach we're taking here is not necessarily limited just to forest investments, but can also extend to other commodities that have big impacts across landscapes, like crop farming in the agricultural sector, or cattle ranching.

"The strategy aims to deliver far more climate biodiversity and community benefits than you usually find in the forestry sector."

Miguel Moraes, a senior director at Conservation International, said: "My advice is: be realistic and pragmatic about the data that is available to you. Then you can have a clear theory of change on how you're trying to move away from business as usual and your scope for change."