Biodiversity Investment
Research & Advisory


About the partnership

ALU’s SOWC, Dalberg, and FSD Africa Investments bring together their in-depth understanding of biodiversity conservation and restoration as well as impact investments to form a partnership that will help investors measure and rate biodiversity outcomes

Biodiversity conservation and restoration is underfunded, despite the significant threat to humanity by biodiversity loss. Biodiversity loss is ranked as the third most significant threat to humanity, after carbon emissions and nuclear war. Yet, less than 16% of the required funding is currently available for biodiversity protection, leaving a US$ 700 billion funding gap for biodiversity conservation and restoration. Private capital can play a critical role in closing this funding gap while tapping into an attractive asset class that is poised to grow. However, investments are currently limited because there is no standard way to measure and communicate biodiversity impacts. Investors are looking for simple, credible tools based on biodiversity science.

Biodiversity Investment Research and Advisory (BIRA) is an initiative launched and hosted by the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation, Dalberg, and FSD Africa Investments. BIRA aims to make it easier for companies to measure and communicate their positive impact on biodiversity, which will help unlock investments for the sector and close the funding gap for biodiversity conservation and restoration.

BIRA is a partnership formed to develop a ratings framework for biodiversity investments. Recognizing the efforts of international business partnerships like TNFD and SBTN in developing frameworks for demand side investments in biodiversity, BIRA aims to address the need for an African advisory service that will focus on framing the demand side impact whilst matching supply side project design and metrics to ensure quality projects that meet compliance requirements in a robust and rigorous manner.

By providing advisory services to investors, BIRA aims to drive private investment in biodiversity conservation. It also seeks to help investors understand the potential for impact investing in the biodiversity sector, provide guidance to existing frameworks, and shed light on measuring biodiversity outcomes. The partnership's ultimate goal is to create simple measurement frameworks that enable investors to identify biodiversity-positive opportunities, set and track management targets, and support third-party audit and verification.

Partnership Details


The School of Wildlife Conservation (SOWC) is the conservation initiative of the African Leadership Group. It was established in 2016 to promote conservation as an African growth sector by developing the next generation of entrepreneurial conservation leaders at all levels through undergraduate, middle management, and executive programs. In combining innovative research and leadership talent cultivation, SOWC encourages entrepreneurship within the wildlife economy and provides a platform for young entrepreneurs to incubate their innovative conservation business models. At a macro level, SOWC seeks to influence the sector’s decision-makers to adopt sustainable business models and promote an entrepreneurial, business-minded approach to African conservation.


Dalberg is a systems-change actor in the economic development sector, committed to building a more inclusive and sustainable world where all people, everywhere, can reach their fullest potential. We provide high-level strategic, policy, and investment advice to the leadership of key institutions, corporations, and governments, working collaboratively to address pressing global problems and generate positive social impact.

FSD Africa Investments

FSD Africa Investments (FSDAi) is the investing arm of FSD Africa, a UK International Development funded regional programme operating in more than 30 countries from its Kenya base, to make finance work for Africa’s future. While FSD Africa supports market development through advocacy, thought leadership, and capacity support, FSDAi makes investments in support of these policy objectives in novel financial instruments, facilities and intermediaries that can accelerate the role of finance in Africa’s green economic growth.

The BIRA Framework

Understanding the needs of investors who are looking to invest in the biodiversity sector

Conducting a market scan of available measurement frameworks and assessing their fit with investor needs

Supporting third-party audit and verification of available tools

Advising existing tools on ways in which they can better meet investor needs

Spotlighting tools and data collection approaches that can meet investor needs and sharing case studies

Developing and conducting training for investors and other stakeholders

Investors will use BIRA to understand the best practices in measuring biodiversity and access available tools for investment purposes. Existing tool developers will also use BIRA to better understand investors’ needs and preferences and customize their tools for the investment sector.

While funders understand the magnitude of the funding need, their level of activity is not commensurate with this understanding, and funding is lagging behind the required commitment. On the one hand, financial investors, fortunately, understand the need for their involvement in biodiversity. In a Credit Suisse report, 84% of finance asset owners and managers were concerned about biodiversity loss, and 1 in 2 believe it is an urgent issue that should be addressed in the next 24 months. However, investors have not yet backed up their concerns with action; for instance, 9 out of 10 financial actors surveyed in the Credit Suisse study do not have measurable biodiversity-related targets. As a result, their participation is limited, which results in the biodiversity funding lag. Specifically, the funding gap for biodiversity conservation and restoration stands at over US$ 700 billion.

Contact us

If you have any questions, inquiries, or are seeking more information about the RIRA Partnership, get in touch with Mike Musgrave, by clicking the button below.