The Nature Conservancy and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) announced today the establishment of NatureVest, a new initiative of The Conservancy. The program will seek to transform the way we protect natural capital – the soil, clean air and water, and other valuable resources that nature provides. NatureVest will capitalize on the growing impact investment sector to create a platform to advance investment in conservation. As part of that effort, NatureVest will convene investors; develop and execute innovative financial transactions; and continue to build an investment pipeline across multiple sectors, including agriculture, fisheries and environmental markets. JPMorgan Chase is the founding sponsor of NatureVest and has committed to provide multi-year support for its launch and development. “NatureVest is a natural extension of The Nature Conservancy’s work – it will open up entirely new avenues for investments that protect nature,” said Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. "By bringing together leaders in natural resource management and investment, we will unlock new sources of capital to deliver important conservation results." With the global population estimated to peak at 9 billion by 2050, there is a growing need to maximize the pace, scale and effectiveness of efforts to protect natural ecosystems – along with the cities and communities that rely on them. At the same time, there is clearly insufficient investment in conservation. According to the Global Canopy Programme, the current financial need to support global conservation efforts is approximately $290 billion per year. However, only about $51 billion is devoted to these activities annually, primarily from public and philanthropic sources. NatureVest will work to close this funding gap by creating new opportunities for the private sector to invest capital in conservation projects. “There is an urgent need to step up the scale and creativity of financial resources dedicated to the protection of natural ecosystems,” said Doug Petno, CEO of Commercial Banking at JPMorgan Chase. “We are delighted to collaborate with The Nature Conservancy to build NatureVest and demonstrate that profitability and sustainability can work hand in hand.” EKO Asset Management Partners (EKO) helped to design NatureVest and will serve as an ongoing adviser to The Conservancy. This year, NatureVest will publish the first piece of research to comprehensively size and characterize segments within the natural capital marketplace. Developed collaboratively with input from The Conservancy, JPMorgan Chase, EKO, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation the research is designed to help investors and other stakeholders better understand current opportunities and identify potential future prospects.