⇐ BACK TO IMPACT INVESTMENT SUMMIT 2023 SPEAKERS
Nigel Sharp is an Australian environmentalist and biodiversity recovery practitioner known for his work throughout Australia with threatened species conservation, regenerative and sustainable agriculture, biodiversity sensitive urbanism and indigenous enterprise development.
Nigel began his career as a rural property valuer, which led to senior positions across the property funds management industry, including being CEO of an ASX listed property fund. In 2000 he acquired the predator-free ecosystem known as Mt Rothwell in Little River, Victoria and built his knowledge in biodiversity and threatened species recovery, introducing breeding programs for species such as the Eastern Quoll, Eastern barred bandicoot, Southern Brush-tailed Rockwallaby and many others.
Subsequently, Nigel founded several environmental focused organisations, most notably Tiverton Rothwell Partners, Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund, Dragonfly Enviro Capital and not-for-profit Odonata Foundation. Nigel works with investors and philanthropists to catalyse funds for the betterment of the planet and First Nations Self Determination. The highlights of Nigel’s work include:
Threatened Species and Biodiversity Recovery
Nigel is Executive Chairman of Odonata Foundation, which specialises in the business of biodiversity. Odonata designs and manages financially sustainable conservation projects and empowers businesses to embrace biodiversity recovery. Odonata’s work includes:
- The National Sanctuary Network, which delivers threatened species recovery programs throughout Australia. The network comprises of seven sanctuaries and is currently expanding to at least 30 by 2030.
- The Great Australian Wildlife Search, a citizen scientist project that uses leading edge eDNA technology to detect and map Australia’s wildlife. In Victoria, over 2000 samples were taken across the state, providing unparalleled wildlife data for the state.
- Odonata Academy, a coaching program platform designed to empower Australians to participate in threatened species recovery.
- Establishing multiple tertiary research partnerships, including with Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, Latrobe University and Western Sydney University.
- Establishing models for NGOs to be less reliant on grants and philanthropy or in other words for grants and philanthropy to go further.
- Odonata has successful breeding programs for the following species: Southern Brush-tailed Rockwallaby, Eastern Quoll, Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Eastern Long Neck Turtle, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Eastern Bettong, Rufous Bettong, Fat Tailed Dunnart, Platypus, Bush Stone Curlew, Swift Parrot, Southern Bent Wing Bat, Growling Grass Frog, Brolga, New Holland Mouse and Long-nosed Potoroo.
See video link for more information:
On a personal note, Nigel has assisted the Victorian Government to establish ‘Nature Fund’, which was launched in September 2022 and he also personally secured the critical breeding ground for Southern Bent Wing bat being the cave near Warrnambool for the Victorian Government in 2015.
Nigel is focussed on contributing solutions to the climate crisis, specifically around nature based carbon sequestration and biodiversity health. A brief summary is as follows:
- Establishing the registration of the largest cropping for soil carbon project in 2019. This project has paved the pathway for sustainably focussed cropping enterprises across Australia.
- Has lead and provided expertise to significant quantities of carbon sequestration through land and restoring major biodiverse corridors. This work contributes to the movement of preventing the climate catastrophe, and is in part delivered through Carbon Neutral’s giant Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor in WA.
- Works alongside Downforce Technologies leadership team, to assist calibrate their revolutionary soil carbon measurement and predictive technology.
- Led the collaboration, including providing personal investment, to provide a new headquarters for Greenpeace Australia. This will to be known as Rainbow Warrior House in Rosebery, Sydney and is planned for opening in February, 2023 – Reference Greenpeace Australia CEO David Ritter.
- Works with organisations and governments to develop and implement meaningful net-gain approaches to both biodiversity and carbon. This has included the creation of biodiversity corridors, the enablement of First Nations self-determination outcomes and helped catalyse threatened species recovery efforts.
First Nations Self-Determination
First Nations partnerships are criticality important to our cultural wellbeing and rejuvenating our planet. Through both Tiverton and Odonata, Nigel has worked with numerous First Nations organisations, to deliver self-determination outcomes. This includes:
- The establishment of the Kardutjaanup Rejuvenation Project, alongside Tjaltjraak in Esperance, WA. This project focusses on First Nations land ownership, economic development and employment creation to achieve true self determination. Please see link for more information:
- A specific focus on returning spirit to Country, releasing totem species back to traditional lands, while also working with those First Nations organisation to develop their skills in threatened species conservation. An example of this is the recent release of Eastern Quolls back to Eastern Maar Country in Victoria.
Sustainable / Regenerative Agriculture
Nigel is CEO of Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund, an organisation scaling regenerative farming to deliver net carbon sequestration, improved nutrient density in food production and enhancing biodiversity through specific on farm programs. These include:
- Demonstrating reduction in use of pesticides and herbicides, and investing into alternative product
- Pioneering soil and tree carbon sequestration, designed at generating co-benefits. This includes registering Australia’s first and largest cropping for soil carbon project as well as acquiring and expanding the biodiverse re-forestation organisation Carbon Neutral.
- Development of RegenAGE, a Liquid Biofertiliser to change farming for improved environmental outcomes and improved food quality and food security. This product has been proven on multiple broad acre and horticulture food production on large scale cropping properties.
- Leading private sector/NGO partnerships through the purchase of Juanbung station, a site of a globally significant conservation, and a project to restore the Great Cumbung Swamp in partnership with The Nature Conservancy Australia.
- Innovations such as designing fish pond networks to enable fish to pass around irrigation walls and including beneficial insects for pollination purposes.
- The specific establishment of sanctuaries for breeding threatened species programs.
Circular Economy Investment
Nigel is Executive Chairman of Dragonfly Enviro Capital, an organisation with a focus of bringing venture capital into highly rated ESG businesses, through early stage investing. This includes investment into several high impact organisations including leading wastewater and PFAS remediation company the Water and Carbon Group and carbon accounting company, Trace.
Nigel is a director at Pacific Bio, a circular economy focussed business that is setting a new standard in wastewater (sewerage) management, plant nutrition and sustainable aquaculture. Pacific Bio owns and operates ‘RegenAqua’, a nature based solution macroalgae to strip wastewater of environmentally harmful pollutants before they enter the ecosystem. This breakthrough technology is then used to create nutrient rich products for plants and animals. Originating in Northern Queensland, this work is critical to improving the state of Great Barrier Reef and now being taken up by Burdekin Shire, as well as expanding with trials with Sydney Water.
Knowledge Sharing and Education
Partnerships and collaborations are key to Nigel’s approach. He has focussed on mentoring and coaching multiple individuals and environmentally focussed organisations, as well as investing and developing sites and programs that act as knowledge sharing centres. These include:
- Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, VIC
- Wildbark, ACT
- Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, NSW
- Melbourne Skyfarm, VIC
- Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, NSW
- Wild Idea (Online environmental business incubator)
- Hatch in partnership with Taronga Zoo (Environmental business accelerator program), NSW
- Odonata Academy Sanctuary Coaching (Online private landholder engagement for conservation program planning)
Collaborations and Partnerships
Nigel continues to work alongside multiple partners throughout his career including:
- The Nature Conservancy
- Greenpeace Australia
- Greening Australia
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
- Trust for Nature
- Zoos Victoria
- Taronga Zoo
- Mulligans Flat (Woodlands and Wetlands Trust (Canberra)
- Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital
- The Australian Impact Investment Awards – Outstanding Individual Achievement (2020)
- Zoos Victoria – Lifetime Achievement Award (2019)