Royal Whitepaper | Tamela Rich
I had an "aha moment" this morning. I decided to build a repository of white papers I like in different categories for general perusal. First up, The Prince's Rainforests Project Report, which I thank my Twitter follower, Dan Tefft for bringing to my attention.

Royal Whitepaper

When people take the time to read my b-card they’ll sometimes ask “What’s a whitepaper?”  I quote the verbiage on my site, which turns on the lights for about 2% of people.

With Google-driven marketing everyone should know what a white paper is and how they can use one.

Follow treebanker on Twitter
Follow treebanker on Twitter

I had an “aha moment” this morning.  I decided to build a repository of white papers I like in different categories for general perusal.   First up, The Prince’s Rainforests Project Report, which I thank my Twitter follower, Dan Tefft for bringing to my attention.

Three-purpose post

This post suggests changes to the paper that would make it more engaging, discusses its core idea of Rainforest Bonds, and then offers writing prompts for professionals in environmental and financial services.

Reading like an editor

Professionally, I prefer minimizing passive voice and maximizing design to help the reader navigate a dense document such as this (52 pages).  Certain professions prefer passive voice (government and academia top the list) so I suppose a report on behalf of  a Cambridge-educated Royal conforms to expectations.

The summary as written: “Reducing tropical deforestation will be vital if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change and preserve important ecosystem functions. An Emergency Package is needed to provide substantial funding to Rainforest Nations to help them address the drivers of deforestation and embark on alternative economic development paths. Rainforests cool the planet, regulate the water cycle and provide a home to countless species; it is right and essential that the world pays for these services.”

I’d rewrite: Rainforests cool the planet, regulate the water cycle and provide a home to countless species.  To preserve the world’s ecosystem functions and avoid catastrophic climate change, we must reduce tropical deforestation. The world should provide funding to Rainforest nations to help them address the drivers of deforestation and embark on alternative economic development paths.  Since the rainforests provide “services” essential to planetary life, justice dictates that those services be compensated.

Writing Prompts for Environmental, Financial Services

The Prince’s Report outlines a plan for “Rainforest Bonds,” a fixed-income security, issued in private capital markets.  Such bonds typically offer investors a fixed rate of return, normally an annual coupon, together with the repayment of the principal on maturity. Over US$400 billion of Sovereign, Supranational and Agency Bonds were issued in 2008. The Project has held discussions with pension funds and the insurance sector (through The Prince of Wales’ P8 and ClimateWise initiatives) which indicate that there would be significant demand for AAA-rated bonds with long-term maturities.

“Rainforest Bonds could be issued by the World Bank, or by an independent entity with support from the World Bank. The bonds would be guaranteed by developed country governments, which would be responsible for payment of the coupon and repayment of the principal.

“However, it may be possible to mitigate the financial calls on these governments, for example by channelling some of the money into green investments that would generate financial returns – this would have the added benefit of supporting broader clean development goals. Private sector bonds provide a way to raise large amounts of finance for tropical forests in the nearterm, while allowing underwriting governments the time to generate revenues for repayment from clean development investments, domestic carbon permit auctions or other schemes. The Prince’s Rainforests Project is working with the World Bank to develop this bond concept further.”

  • Is the World Bank the right entity?  Or the only entity?
  • In light of current global financial priorities, how would these bonds perform financially?
  • Environmentally, are these bonds a powerful incentive to change economic development and human behavior?
  • Any better options on the table?


About Tamela M. Rich

From Charlotte, NC, Tamela writes books, articles, speeches and presentations for business professionals. From "the road" she writes about the people, places and experiences she discovers and the life lessons she learns from them. Invite her to share some of her lessons from the road at your next event!

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2 comments

  1. Reading Like an Editor~
    I agree your edits improve the style and readability of the text. Brits have a tendency to write in a passive voice, just as their speech is often relatively passive. As an anglophile, I mainly watch British film and television, and I study British Literature. Because of my emersion, I often find myself writing in a passive voice. Nearly every time I write something, I have to go back and edit myself into a more American tone. (The fact that I’m writing a novel based in Europe doesn’t help, either.)
    I think Prince Charles (and whomever might have edited the piece on his behalf) wrote as he spoke, which is as Brits so often do, royally different from our own style.
    Just for the fun of it, I’ve gone ahead and left my passive voice in this posting, I really was born on the wrong side of the pond!
    Cheers,
    Wendy Wells

  2. I really think this whole idea of reading — and writing — like an editor is huge. If more writers knew how to edit (and not just for grammar, but for message, clarity, strategy, etc.), we’d have more writing that is consistently better. Not to devalue the skill, but let’s face it: most of us learned to string words together grammatically in the second grade. Great copy isn’t written; it’s edited into greatness.

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