A daunting funding gap faces the global community of conservationists aiming to protect landscapes, ecosystems, and biodiversity around the world. Private, civic, and public organizations and institutions are developing innovative tools, mechanisms, and solutions to generate and secure the financial capital required to advance the pace and quality of land conservation in their juridictions. We share innovations and expertise in conservation finance from six continents, so that organizations large and small can catalyze, adapt, and replicate sustainable, long-term financing methods.
Resources & Education
Recent ILCN and external resources related to conservation finance.
2021 Global Congress Session Recordings
CF1: Mobilizing Private Capital to Reach the 30×30 Target
CF2: IUCN Guidelines- Incentives for Privately Protected Areas
CF3A: Impact Investing and ESG Investments
CF3B: International and Cross-Border Giving
CF4: Carbon Payments for Conservation: Authentic Additionality
CF5A: Blended Finance and the Role of Intermediaries
ILCN/ELCN Webinar: A Global Survey of Conservation Finance
This global survey provides an overview of conservation finance and explores a range of different approaches from around the world. Experts from the United States, Australia and South Africa share the regionally-unique political, social, and economic opportunities and challenges they have faced. Framed by the aggregate experience of practitioners, the session gives attendees a distilled understanding of creative solutions to financing land conservation and pathways for initiating, adapting, or replicating these solutions in different landscapes or jurisdictions.
CFA White Paper: Conservation Finance: A Framework
This white paper released by the Conservation Finance Alliance clarifies the definition and role of conservation finance to show how important its mechanisms and strategies are for addressing the underlying causes of nature loss as well as contributing to increasing sustainable funding flows to nature conservation, provides several conceptual frameworks to facilitate an understanding of the various concepts associated with conservation financ, and presents a taxonomy of conservation finance strategies and mechanisms.
ILCN/ELCN Webinar: Using EU LIFE Funding for Private Land Conservation
This webinar provides a programme manager’s perspective on LIFE funding opportunities for private and civic land conservation projects. Organisations that have developed projects and received EU LIFE funding share experiences and insights from the conservation practitioner and LIFE project manager perspective.
Scoping Paper- Expanding Finance Opportunities to Support Private Land Conservation in Australia- 2018
A desktop review of both international and domestic finance approaches which may be deployed and/ or expanded to support private land managers in restoring, conserving and managing Australia’s landscapes, waterways and populations of threatened species. 26 major finance approaches – spanning philanthropic giving, government financing and private investment – were assessed as to their relative deployment complexity, scalability and suitability in addressing Australia’s conservation finance gap.
BirdLife South Africa’s Fiscal Benefits Project has successfully included the very first biodiversity tax incentive for Nature Reserves in an annual tax return. Section 37D allows a landowner who has declared a Nature Reserve to deduct the value of the land from their taxable income. This was achieved on behalf of a landowner for the very first time in South Africa at the end of 2016.
Report on the Workshop on Emerging Innovations in Conservation Finance
In September 2016, 63 conservation practitioners, private landowners, finance experts, and elected officials from eight counties, primarily in the Americas, gathered in Chile to build on and sharpen concepts that are making, or have the potential to make, a substantial impact on conservation finance in the Western Hemisphere and beyond. This report is a compendium of the topics discussed at that gathering.
Peter is a Managing Director for The Lyme Timber Company, a a private timberland investment manager based in Hanover, New Hampshire USA. Peter joined Lyme in 1990 and has significant experience in conservation-oriented forestland and rural land purchases and dispositions. Peter develops conservation sale strategies on properties being evaluated or managed by Lyme and also leads Lyme’s conservation advisory business. Prior to his career with LTC Partners and Lyme, Peter was Senior Vice President of the Trust for Public Land where he directed conservation real estate acquisitions in the Northeast and Midwest. Peter lectures frequently at graduate schools and professional conferences on conservation investment structures and strategies. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Appalachian Mountain Club, the investment advisory board of Spring Point Partners, and the Advisory Board of Quantified Ventures. Peter is the co-founder of the Conservation Finance Network and the International Land Conservation Network. In addition, he is a former Board Chair of the Land Trust Alliance, served as a founding Commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Rose Smart Growth Real Estate Fund No. 1. In 2012, he received the Kingsbury Browne Award from the Land Trust Alliance and the 2012-3 Kingsbury Browne Fellowship from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Peter earned a B.A. with Highest Honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975 and was a Loeb Fellow and received a Certificate in Advanced Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 1981.
Executive Director, Conservation Finance Alliance
David Meyers is an environmental finance expert and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in sustainability, business strategy and management, environmental economics, international conservation and development, environmental impact assessment, training, education and research in ecology and evolution. David has launched and managed various companies including a financial services company providing online marketplaces for impact investing and environmental assets, a triple-bottom-line bamboo-flooring manufacturer in Madagascar, and a technology incubator. David has spent well over a decade in Madagascar and has worked in 46 countries. In Madagascar, he helped the country plan and execute a tripling of the area under conservation, including establishing the Makira Natural Park 370,000 hectare protected area using REDD+ financing. He holds a Doctorate in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Innovative Finance Lead, Wilderness Foundation Africa (South Africa)
Candice is a biodiversity finance expert and niche tax specialist who works at creating innovative finance solutions for landscape conservation. Candice introduced the first effective biodiversity tax incentive into the South African protected areas network and, together with the Government of South Africa, received the Pathfinder Award Special Commendation for this global innovation. She heads up Innovative Finance within Wilderness Foundation Africa, where she works extensively with multiple stakeholders and industry leaders across different sectors to ultimately plug South Africa’s biodiversity finance gap, with particular emphasis on protected and conserved areas. She sits on a number of national and international committees regarding area-based conservation and financing and resourcing. Candice has a background in both law and commerce as well as experience in protected and conserved area policy and expansion, biodiversity finance, environmental law and policy-making on financial incentives and is regarded as a global expert her in field.
Conservation Markets Manager, Trust for Nature (Australia)
Marnie Lassen works for Trust for Nature, a private land conservation organisation in Victoria, Australia. Marnie manages Trust for Nature’s Revolving Fund, Biodiversity Offsets Program, conservation finance initiatives and policy work. In 2017 she was selected to take part in the Kinship Conservation Fellows program in the United States, which examined how markets can be used to benefit the environment. In 2015, she participated in The Nature Conservancy’s Coda and Barbara Thomas Fellowship program, looking at how conservation is funded in North America. Before moving into conservation, Marnie worked as a lawyer in both the US and Australia.
Project Manager, WWF OASI (Italy)
Stefano Picchi is a senior naturalist with 18 years of experience in projects on nature conservation (LIFE/Natura2000) for the European Commission and private/public bodies, such as WWF OASI. He is an adjunct professor at Bologna University with the science faculty in Conservation finance and a teacher in some master courses. He has worked as a monitor of LIFE projects for the European Commission and as evaluator of new proposals. In recent years, Stefano has been an author and Project Manager of some projects on habitat and species conservation and ecosystem services, involving local communities in land conservation (LIFE MGN, LIFE MontidellaTolfa) and presently manages a project in the Venice Lagoon on the restoration of dune habitats named LIFE REDUNE and the Italian section of LIFE ELCN. Stefano is familiar with scientific communication and interested in Ecotourism. He is also a member of the board of LIPU Birdlife Italy. Stefano holds a Master’s degree in Natural Science, from Bologna University with honors. Stefano keeps an updated a blog on nature financing in Europe: http://europanatura.blogspot.it/
Director of Conservation Finance, Nature Conservancy of Canada
Rob Wilson joined The Nature Conservancy of Canada (“NCC”) in 2007 and is the Director of Conservation Finance at NCC. He is responsible for managing NCC’s carbon finance program and other conservation finance-related programs. He is also involved in a number of external groups developing carbon policy and impact investing approaches to conservation. His interest is in creative conservation and climate finance in order to mobilize capital to further conservation efforts across Canada and globally. Rob graduated from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in political science, a Resource Management diploma from its Faculty of Forestry program, and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
Program Director, Conservation Finance Network (USA)
Leigh Whelpton leads the Conservation Finance Network’s (CFN) effort to accelerate land and resource conservation by expanding the use of innovative funding and financing strategies. By sponsoring intensive trainings and supporting a growing number of public, private, and nonprofit professionals, CFN helps to increase the financial resources deployed for conservation. As Program Director, Leigh has spearheaded the development of new trainings and workshops while building a network to enable interaction and exchange among practitioners. Prior to Island Press, Leigh managed professional training programs and applied conservation initiatives for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. Leigh holds an M.E.Sc. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a B.S. (Hons.) from the University of California at Berkeley.