The Guide to Conservation Finance provides an overview of conservation financing mechanisms that have been implemented throughout the world.
The Guide to Conservation Finance provides an overview of conservation financing mechanisms that have been implemented throughout the world. The guide informs field practitioners about which of the available financing mechanisms they could apply to achieve their conservation aims. The various mechanisms are illustrated with short case studies that demonstrate both successes and challenges. In addition, the guide provides a list of resources and Web links for further exploration of the conservation finance field.
The primary funding sources for biodiversity conservation have traditionally been grants, donations and government budget allocations, the latter being largely determined by national priorities. Typical donors include multilateral and bilateral agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private corporations, foundations and individuals. Each type of donor differs in terms of its policies and priorities, with funding directed toward conservation projects that reflect the donor’s interests and timeframe and not necessarily the most urgent needs of a given place or species.
Foundations are philanthropic organizations generally established by wealthy individuals, corporations or other groups to fund charitable activities. Private companies usually contribute to conservation through foundations, special initiatives, and creative partnerships. NGOs raise hundreds of millions of dollars for conservation activities, leveraging technical expertise, supplies and equipment, and other critical resources to achieve conservation results. Bilateral donors typically provide direct assistance toward specific countries of strategic importance and work with host countries to achieve joint priorities. Multilateral agencies that fund conservation activities include the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. Those projects tend to be large in geographic scope or reflect multiple country priorities. Some multilateral agencies, such as regional development banks, provide loans to governments, rather than grants or donations. There are many existing resources published by WWF and other institutions that provide guidance on traditional fundraising.
This guide focuses on new sources of sustainable financing for conservation, including market-based economic instruments. The term “Payments for Ecosystem Services” (PES) describes a wide variety of payment arrangements in which the beneficiaries, or users, of ecosystem services provide payment to the providers of ecosystem services.