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To be eligible to obtain an investment from Verde Ventures, a project must operate in a priority area of Conservation International (CI). CI defines its priority areas as:

1. Hotspots
2. Tropical Wilderness Areas and
3. Marine Priority Areas

The map below provides an overview of the geographic focus of investment for Verde Ventures. For more information on whether or not an area is included, please visit www.biodiversityhotspots.org or www.conservation.org.

View CI Priority Areas Map

Geographic Prioritization
Given the extent of geographic eligibility and need to target investments efficiently, Verde Ventures will give preference to projects in countries/regions which have:
  • An existing CI office or strong partner presence
  • An established CI "conservation corridor" and baseline biodiversity data for success measurement
  • Existence of funding opportunities from other sources in the sector
  • Established legal frameworks which provide investors with legal protection in the event of default
  • Relatively stable governments and economies predicted during the investment period.

Project Eligibility
Once geographic eligibility has been established, the following basic criteria must be met by all eligible projects: Make a direct contribution to CI's objectives (outcomes) which include:
  • creation of new protected areas;
    strengthening of existing protected area;
  • protection of a threatened species and/or;
  • improvements in biodiversity within a landscape between protected areas.

Additionally, the project should:
  • Have a strong management team.

  • Demonstrate commitment to and participation by a local community.
  • Have total business assets less than $ 5 million during the investment period.
  • Demonstrate sufficient cash flow or growth potential to repay investment within 3-5 years.
  • Demonstrate capacity to repay investment in US dollars despite local currency fluctuations.
  • Be able and committed to monitor changes in biodiversity during the life of the investment.

Investment Sectors
Verde Ventures will focus on those sectors which provide the best conservation enterprise opportunities for biodiversity conservation in a given region. Due to CI's experience in conservation enterprises and an analysis of demand for capital, Verde Ventures will focus its investments on agro-forestry (primarily conservation coffee), eco-tourism, non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and marine initiatives. However, additional sectors, such as reforestation, carbon sequestration and renewable energy projects can be considered if the link to biodiversity conservation is clear and demonstrable.

Conservation Coffee
Due to the importance of engaging the coffee sector for CI and the high levels of demand for capital in this sector, $2.5 million of Verde Ventures capital will be dedicated to coffee investments. Eligible projects will be those that demonstrate commitment to the principles of conservation coffee production.

Use of funds
Verde Ventures funds can be used by a project for key areas of business development such as:
  • working capital
  • inventory purchases
  • infrastructure enhancements
  • reforestation
  • training and capacity building
  • plant and equipment purchases
  • land purchase

The use of funds must be directly related to the project's business plan. Each prospective applicant will need to demonstrate how funding will contribute to the business's ability to directly support biodiversity conservation.


© CI, John Buchanan
Ghanian woman and her cocoa trees

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