The Jersey Fund for a Wilder World allows finance companies to allocate a portion of their fees, earned from work in the area of eco-friendly sustainable finance, to a pooled central pot that will be used to support environmental initiatives.
Contributions to the fund will be voluntary and initially open to funds companies – including administrators, law firms and accountancy firms – with the intention of opening up more broadly across the finance sector at a later date.
Money received will help fund Durrell’s Rewild our World initiative, which involves projects aiming to revive, restore and rewild habitats around the world. As well as in Jersey, there are schemes in the UK, Mauritius and India.
Durrell will take responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the impact of any investments made.
Dr Lesley Dickie, chief executive of Durrell, said: ‘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.’
Elliot Refson, head of funds at Jersey Finance, said the launch of the scheme showed that the Island was committed to ‘global investment aimed at driving positive change’.
‘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,’ he said.
‘This fund provides a fantastic opportunity for firms in Jersey to make a combined, clear and positive difference to natural environments around the world.’
Simon Boas, of Jersey Overseas Aid, said that the initiative was an example of ‘Jersey changing lives for the better’.
‘Jersey takes its responsibilities as a good global citizen very seriously and does enormous good around the world,’ he said.
‘Both through our thriving overseas aid programme and our role as a conduit of capital into developing countries.’
The Island’s finance sector is hoping to position itself as a centre of excellence for sustainable finance, which will involve encouraging ethical investing and developing a environmental, social and governance, or ‘ESG’, strategy.
Last year, the Jersey Financial Services Commission held a consultation on the regulation of sustainable investments and Jersey took part in the United Nations’ ‘United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities’