Conservation | January 4, 2023

Conservation fund Terratai launches to invest in biodiversity startups in Indonesia

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, January 4 – Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse countries on earth. Deforestation, overexploitation of natural resources, climate change and other issues are threatening the country’s natural ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.

Matthew Leggett, formerly with the Wildlife Conservation Society, launched conservation fund Terratai to invest in startups developing solutions to protect Indonesia’s biodiversity. The fund has backing from Hong Kong-based family office RS Group

Biodiversity ‘radiotherapy’

There are few durable NGO-led conservation initiatives, and startups are often too niche to scale, Leggett says.

“What we need is radiotherapy across the system,” he told EcoBusiness. The firm plans to invest in pre-seed-stage startups with potential to protect natural resources at scale.

Natural capital

A global biodiversity framework was agreed at last month’s COP15 summit in Montreal to quell the current wave of biodiversity loss and extinction. More than $700 billion is needed annually to reverse the decline.

A raft of experimental conservation finance models have emerged in recent years to help biodiversity-rich countries protect and restore natural resources. The Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility is helping Indonesia’s rubber producers protect virgin forests. Seychelles, Belize, Barbados, Ecuador are swapping national debt obligations for conservation commitments. Canada has committed to paying Indigenous communities to protect boreal forests. Australia-based New Forests is directing $200 million to protect African forests.