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Dear all,
Happy new year!

What will 2017 bring? EFN will be working hard to surface and share ideas from funders and the sector about how the movement can be effective given the challenges of a 'post-truth' world and the political disruption that 2016 brought with it. Stay tuned, and do consider sharing your own thoughts and ideas through our blog or suggestions for meetings.

Steph HilborneMonthly Brexit webinar: Stephanie Hilborne (RSWT), Friday 20 January, 16:00 - 17:30 (UK time)
Our next EFN Brexit briefing webinar will feature a talk from Stephanie Hilborne, chief executive of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, who is leading the Greener UK coalition's work on nature and pollution. Join us to hear more about the coalition's work to ensure high standards for UK nature protection and pollution control after we leave the EU.

RSVP: (login details to be sent out following registration)

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EFN Spring Lunch with Stephen Joseph of the Campaign for Better Transport, Wednesday 8 March, 12:00-14:15, London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London
If you're interested in healthy people, healthy ecosystems or healthy air, you should be interested in transport. Join us for an EFN lunch at the wonderful London Transport Museum to hear from one of the UK's top campaigners, Stephen Joseph OBE. Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Transport since 1988 and one of the country's foremost transport policy experts, Stephen will be giving a wide-ranging talk that will weave together the issues of biodiversity conservation, social welfare, health, well-being and climate change with transport as the thread. 


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Laura Sandys9th ANNUAL EFN RETREAT, Madingley Hall, Cambridge -- 2-3 February, 2017, with the option to join for dinner and networking on the 1st
The EFN Retreat is now fully booked, but you can join the waiting list here -- if it's a typical year, we will see some turnover, so there will be a good chance you'll make it if you join the list soon.

I'm delighted to announce that our two keynote speakers at the Retreat will be Laura Sandys (former Conservative MP and keen supporter of environmental issues) anJeremy LeggettJeremy Leggett (founder of Solarcentury and SolarAid, chair of Carbon Tracker and prolific documenter of the energy transition). Between them we hope to gain insights into the international and domestic contexts, both political and economic, for environmental work, from ensuring support for environmental issues in a time of rising populism to the state of the energy transition.

In addition, the Retreat will feature six breakout sessions led by EFN members, focusing on both specific issues (e.g. conservation finance and community-based energy) and aspects of effective philanthropy (e.g. convening grantees). 

Read more in the Retreat Programme, attached.

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Webinar: Aligning your investments with your mission — the basics, Monday, 20th February, 16:00 - 17:30 (UK time)
Dana LanzaJoin Dana Lanza for an introductory session that will run through the different approaches to aligning your trust’s investments with your mission and share trends in the field. From socially responsible investment to screening your investments to impact investing, the array of options can be bewildering. Dana runs Confluence Philanthropy, a US-based association of foundations, high-net-worth investors and investment advisors, which has the explicit focus of helping its members align their investments with their missions. Bring your questions! 

This webinar will follow an opportunity at the Retreat to hear Matthias Fiedler presenting on the investment policy of his foundation (Germany's Bewegungstiftung) and the process they took to develop it.

RSVP: (login details to be sent out following registration)

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Confluence Philanthropy's 7th Annual Gathering, 14-16 March, New Orleans - Discount for Europeans
Confluence Philanthropy, which helps foundations, individuals and family offices align their investments with their missions (see above) is offering a group discount to European Foundations when four or more individuals (from any number of foundations) register for their 7th Annual Confluence Gathering, featuring Jane GoodallJames Hansen and Kate Wolford as keynote speakers. The discount brings the cost down to $900 from $1250. Please contact Rebecca Kramer to learn more about how to coordinate your group’s participation. 

Three great new posts on the EFN Blog:
  • EFN member Harriet Williams and other members of the EFN Forest Funders group have trialled a new method for analysing forest grants data -- where the grants are going and what they're supporting. Read about what they discovered here.
  • Halina Ward and Tom Bigg have summarised the findings of a new report on how civil society organisations in the global South are both responding to and creating disruptive change and distilled the implications for funders here.
  • EFN member Carolyn Hayman OBE, chair of Preventable Surprises, urges funders with investments in energy utilities to use their power as shareholders to ensure the companies survive an energy transition and help us stay within 2 degrees of warming. Read her blog here

With leadership from several Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, Divest:Invest continued to pick up steam in 2016. Since divestment campaigns began a few years ago, the institutions and individuals that have committed to divesting from fossil fuels of one kind or another have assets under management totalling $5.2 trillion.  Meanwhile the people behind Divest:Invest and the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network have produced this Divest:Invest guide for funders.

Positive changes to the anti-lobbying clause
NCVO reported last month on welcome changes that have been made by the government to the anti-lobbying clause that was introduced in February 2016 (and subsequently frozen): “Our principal concern with the original clause was that it was counterproductive and would have meant grant-funded charities were unable to provide policy-makers with crucial insight that improves legislation, regulation and public services. This fundamental flaw has been recognised by government and the new guidance is crystal clear in saying that activities such as raising issues with ministers and civil servants, responding to consultations and contributing to the general policy debate are not only permitted but actively welcomed."

Briefing on the World’s Leading Cause of Premature Death: Pollution
In December, the international environmental health NGO, Pure Earth, gave an exclusive pre-publication briefing to funders on the findings of The Global Commission on Pollution & Health, hosted by EFN member the ERM Foundation. Richard Fuller, Co-Chair of the Commission and President of Pure Earth, and Commissioner Carlos Salinas, the former President of Mexico, presented the key findings and recommendations that will be published by The Lancet in the spring of 2017.

The researchers looked at all forms of pollution in the aggregate, and concluded that it is the largest cause of premature death globally. Close to 10 million deaths every year can be attributed to air, water and soil pollution, which is more than HIV, TB and malaria combined. 92 per cent of the global burden of disease from pollution occurs in low and middle-income countries. 
The Commission will be making several recommendations, chief among them that the international community increases funding and investment in research, data gathering, remediation projects and pollution control strategies. The report will also highlight the co-benefits that will result from investing in pollution control with slowing down global warming. (And think of the communications benefits of focusing on health and pollution rather than climate change.)  Recommendations for the energy and transport sectors will be a key part of the pollution control message.
For more information, contact Carol Sumkin at


The Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network has a rather marvellous online system called the Clearinghouse that allows funders to share applications they're funding or planning to fund with other funders in the network. Often a funder will offer up match funding and encourage others to respond. In a similar spirit but with less technological aplomb, I am happy to post your matched funding offers in my monthly newsletters, just send them my way. Here is one from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation:

Wildlife and Countryside Link - Communicating a Joint Voice for the Environment Sector
This project aims to build on Wildlife and Countryside Link’s achievements in improving communication, enhancing collaboration and building capacity within the environment sector in the UK. In particular, they want to ensure that Link, with its members, can build on its role in providing a joint sector voice for the environment and engage effectively with all their stakeholders - members, Government, statutory agencies and others - as the UK negotiates its position out of the EU. They are seeking £30,000 per annum for two years to hire a part-time Communications Manager. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has invited Link to apply for half of the funds (£15,000 per annum, for two years), on the basis that another charitable trust might match this investment in Link. The Gulbenkian Foundation’s Board will consider Link’s application in March and Link is now therefore seeking match funding. For more information, see the attached proposal or contact Louisa Hooper, Environment Programme Manager at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, or Elaine King, Director of Link. 

Finally, I leave you with this image from my family's trip over Christmas. Ten points to anyone who can identify the location.

Stay on the trail! Except, of course, when the trail leads to nowhere. 

With best wishes,
Copyright © 2017 Environmental Funders Network, All rights reserved.

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