Nature Lead, UNEP Finance Initiative
Jessica Smith leads the Nature team at the UNEP Finance Initiative, promoting leadership on nature and nature-based solution from the banking, insurance and investment industries. She is a strategic and technical advisor on nature and finance and has led in setting up major initiatives such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and on private sector engagement into the CBD Conference of the Parties that led to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Jessica currently leads an applied research project with the Biodiversity Credits Alliance and other partners to promote investment in Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities-managed land- and seascapes and is otherwise active in thought-leadership at the forefront of nature and finance. For the previous 7 years she directed a consultancy firm undertaking environmental finance project development and evaluation, and leading secretariats for the Equator Principles Association (environmental and social risk in Project Finance for 100+ financial institutions) and the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (applying IFC performance standard 6 on biodiversity in oil & gas, mining, and finance). She has worked extensively to mobilise and evaluate environmental finance, globally and across Africa.