We are excited to share stories from ILCN members. If you have a successful conservation initiative, story, event, or webinar to share, then please contact us at ILCN@lincolninst.edu.
ILCN hosts study tour with European land conservationists in Colorado
In late October, ILCN staff led eight European conservationists from the newly formed European Private Land Conservation Network (ELCN) on a study tour of private land conservation projects in western Colorado. Then, the group attended the 30th Land Trust Alliance Rally in Denver. The purpose of the tour was to introduce the ELCN delegates to conservation tools and techniques that are not yet widely applied in the European Union and to discuss their potential transferability with private land conservation practitioners in the US. Over the course of the tour, participants were exposed to the use of easements, particularly on working lands; marketing environmentally friendly products; working with farmers/ranchers; how conservation can relate to water quantity and quality challenges; partnering with public agencies; and financing conservation areas.
Over several days, participants met with some of the agricultural producers who were at the forefront of the working lands conservation movement in Colorado. Ranchers and farmers alike shared their rationale for using voluntary conservation easements in order to preserve their properties as working lands for themselves and future generations, discussing the decision in terms of an economic decision, as well as a moral one. Participants were also able to meet with organizations including the Trust for Public Land, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, Mesa Land Trust (now the Colorado West Land Trust), and Boulder County Open Space—each of which have been instrumental in working alongside landowners to protect productive landscapes.
The study tour participants also had the opportunity to meet with conservation finance professionals who discussed how funding community conservation projects has boosted the economy in Colorado and developed broad support across the state. They learned about the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) program, which uses proceeds from the Colorado State Lottery to fund projects including land conservation easement transactions, open space grants, and habitat restoration projects. They also met with the Gates Family Foundation and the LOR Foundation, who discussed their roles in advancing land preservation and facilitating discussions about long-term conservation strategy.
Finally, the study tour concluded with the Land Trust Alliance Rally in Denver, which featured more than 1,800 participants and sessions on topics ranging from board management and finance, to land stewardship and monitoring, as well as opportunities to network with American and other international participants. The ILCN hosted an international breakfast at the Rally, which was attended by over 60 participants and featured presentations from the ELCN delegates on their pilot projects. ILCN partners from Chile also presented on the newly passed Derecho Real de Conservacíon, which sparked interest in sharing more international initiatives with American conservationists.
The study tour participants left with a sense of excitement to begin thinking about how some of the ideas and methods discussed in Colorado could be adapted and applied in their own countries. They will have another opportunity to come together and learn more about private land conservation within a Civil Code context during a second study tour in Chile immediately preceding the ILCN Global Congress in Santiago in January.
The ILCN would like to thank all the gracious organizations and landowners who hosted the study tour – your successes have taught and inspired us. For more information about the European Private Land Conservation Network, please contact Tillman Disselhoff, Project Coordinator at Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crowdfunding for Conservation
As crowdfunding platforms, like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, continue to grow in popularity and spur innovation in numerous sectors, some members of the conservation community are beginning to ask whether there might be a role for such a business model in land conservation.
Here, we profile two organizations that are exploring crowdsourcing to raise money for and engage the public in land conservation and management.
This is My Earth
Founded in 2015 as a democratic and inclusive model for private land conservation, This is My Earth (TiME) invites people from around the world to contribute to financing and decision-making to preserve biodiversity hotspots.
TiME is designed to engage the broad public by having membership cost as little as $1 USD and by having members directly vote on projects that TiME should support – each vote is equal, regardless of the level of contribution. TiME also crowd-sources volunteers, including lawyers, accountants, website managers, etc., meaning that 100% of donations go directly to the projects.
Organizations around the world may submit projects to compete for funding. If selected by an international scientific committee, they are featured on TiME’s website. Then, once a year, members vote on which projects they would like to see funded.
TiME’s fundamental policy is that project lands should be owned and managed by local organizations and people. Projects may range from purchasing and transferring land to a local NGO or community, to including paying a continual maintenance fee for stewardship and security, or donating land to the government.
In its first year, over 2,000 members voted to protect 66 hectares in the El Toro forest in Peru. In this case, TiME helped a local family, who works closely with the Asociación Neotropical Primate Conservation Peru, purchase the land, which they will protect and manage in exchange for a small parcel on which they could raise cows. A conservation agreement will ensure that no further logging will be allowed on the land. Now, in its second year, three new projects, in Belize, Kenya, and Peru, are open for voting.
TiME’s founders hope to engage everyone from philanthropists to school children in their platform, creating a global community working to conserve the world’s biodiversity.
For more information about TiME, contact Uri Shanas, CEO and Founder of TiME, at email@example.com.
PIC: Preserve in Community
Inspired by the idea of selling pixels on a webpage to raise money for a cause, Preserve in Community was born to create natural parks by and for people. Gaining attention through an Indiegogo campaign, startup competitions, and accelerator programs, Preserve in Community has quickly moved from an idea to a reality that will formally launch on December 22 of this year.
The premise is simple. Foundations from around the world can use the Preserve in Community platform to fund their projects. Each project is divided into ‘PICS’ to be preserved. One PIC represents one square meter of land and costs one USD per year. Once a PIC is bought, the member uploads a photo of him/herself to be shown on the map. Right now, PICS within six Chilean parks are available for purchase. Donated funds are currently used to finance specific conservation actions of existing parks; in the future, they could also be used to purchase new lands for conservation.
The last year served as a pilot, proof-of-concept, with 1,772 PICS being purchased, and $1,772 being delivered to NGOs managing the six pilot parks. After its launch this month, the platform will be expanded to include parks from all over the world.
The organization is also in the process of setting up unique views of the same platform to match corporate donors with on-the-ground projects managed by conservation NGOs. This will allow NGOs to post projects, such as building a hiking trail, and corporations to choose the project to which they would like to make a meaningful, traceable and transparent donation. This will enable unique “matches” that will enhance the capacity of traditional donation efforts. Parque Karukinka, managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, is the pilot for this new version of the platform.
Through the platform, Preserve in Community seeks to engage all potential stakeholders – individuals, corporations, NGOs, etc. – by creating opportunities at a range of levels, from one dollar to funding an entire project. By getting everyone to the table, working toward the same goal, the founders of Preserve in Community hope to accelerate land conservation and inspire members to explore the parks in which they have invested.
To learn more about Preserve in Community, contact Diego Rigo-Reghi, COO at Preserve in Community, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Africa Holds First National Biodiversity Stewardship Conference
Excerpted from a summary document provided by SANBI.
The inaugural South African National Biodiversity Stewardship Conference took place in KwaZulu-Natal from the 27th to the 28th of September 2017. Themed ‘Unlocking benefits through biodiversity stewardship’, the intensive two-day event was held in partnership between the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The event attracted more than 90 conference delegates representing government, provincial conservation agencies, the private sector, NGOs and biodiversity sector institutional partners.
The purpose of the conference was to provide a platform for engagement between decision-makers, provincial representatives and the broader biodiversity stewardship community of practice to fully recognize the benefits and challenges of implementing biodiversity stewardship, as well as identifying ways in which to unblock constraints in order to improve the flow of resources to provincial conservation agencies, enabling protected area expansion.
The conference’s sessions focused on topics including how to support communities and landowners, ways to involve women and the youth in biodiversity stewardship initiatives, and overcoming silos and encouraging government departments and traditional leaders to work closer together. Recent developments and case studies were also discussed, including presentations on how the new biodiversity stewardship tax incentive can serve as an example of structured biodiversity finance and how to increase the use and impact of biodiversity stewardship mainstreaming tools, such as South Africa’s Spatial Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA).
The conference served as an opportunity to celebrate recent accomplishments in South Africa’s national biodiversity stewardship and private land conservation movements and discuss shared challenges. Just as importantly, it offered participants the opportunity to continue building a shared vision for biodiversity stewardship in South Africa and beyond.
The ILCN was honored to be invited to present on how South African efforts fit into the global context and looks forward to continuing to work with the South African land conservation community.
For more information about SANBI and private land conservation efforts in South Africa, please contact Alex Marsh, Deputy Director for Ecological Infrastructure at South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) at email@example.com.
Australian Land Conservation Alliance holds annual conference
The Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA) held its fourth annual National Private Land Conservation Conference in Hobart, Tasmania from October 18-20. Organized by ALCA and hosted by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, the conference attracted around 250 participants from various sectors and backgrounds including conservation practitioners, landowners, policymakers, business leaders and academics from all parts of Australia and was attended representatives from New Zealand, as well. The theme for the conference was “Valuing Nature,” and presentations addressed issues relating to natural capital and ecosystem services, conservation finance, and the inherent of value of nature. The program also featured two international keynote speakers being Jennifer Morris, President of Conservation International (USA based) and Alan Saunders, Team Leader – Natural Heritage, Integrated Catchment Management, Waikato Regional Council, New Zealand.
Building on the approach of last year’s conference, there was a program of workshops and field trips the day before the start of the formal conference program.
At the conclusion of the 2016 conference, a working group was established to consider the issues involved in expanding the Australian Land Conservation Alliance. As a result of both this group’s discussions and a meeting in Hobart of representatives from Australia’s key private land conservation organisations, a decision has been taken to formally expand ALCA’s membership. This means that ALCA will continue in its goal to be a comprehensive and united alliance for private land conservation organizations in Australia. It will soon announce the expanded membership.
Next year’s private land conservation conference will be held in Brisbane in October.
For more information about the Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA), please contact Victoria Marles, CEO of Trust For Nature at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the speakers and program are available here.
Advisory Council Spotlight
Javier is the Coordinator of the Working Landscapes Strategy with The Nature Conservancy in Argentina (TNC). Trained as a biologist in Buenos Aires, and with a Master Degree in Wildlife Management from Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica), he has extensive experience in conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, and information management in support of decision-making. His MSc. Thesis was about fruit-selection and seed dispersal during seasonal movements of the Three-wattled Bellbird in the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. His interest in nature comes from very early in his life, mostly as a birdwatcher, passion that he continues cultivating actively wherever he goes.
Before joining TNC in 2008, he performed conservation-oriented roles in different national and global organizations, including UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (Cambridge, UK), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of UNESCO (FAO, Rome). Javier has paid special attention to enhancing the participation of the private sector in voluntary land conservation, first in Central America, and later in Argentina. In his current role at TNC, he has been coordinating efforts to extend the use of conservation easements, first in the Southern Temperate Grasslands of Patagonia, and now in other natural regions of the country. He participated in six Land Conservation Rallies (Portland, Hartford, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, and Providence). In the last two, Javier was engaged in the initial discussions that finally conducted to the establishment of the International Lands Conservation Network.
Javier is especially interested in engaging landowners and community members in the conservation and sustainable use lands and waters in Argentina. He is passionate about bringing together producers and conservationists to work toward the common goals of sustainable land use, and the development of a policy environment which enables greater participation by them in the sustainable management of working landscapes across Argentina.
To connect with Javier, email him at email@example.com.
Webinar: State of Biodiversity Mitigation 2017: Markets and Compensation for Global Infrastructure Development
December 11, 2017
This webinar will discuss findings from Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace's new "State of Biodiversity Mitigation 2017" report and consider new strategies for how biodiversity conservation can help manage negative impacts from the mega-wave of infrastructure development taking place in the first half of the 21st century. Registration is available here.
Webinar: Nesting REDD+ Projects into Programs
December 12, 2017
This webinar presentation will discuss the REDD+ findings of Ecosystem Marketplace's latest report, "Fertile Ground: State of the Forest Carbon Finance 2017." Lead report author Kelley Hamrick will share market trends of both REDD+ projects and REDD+ national programs. Guest panelists David Antonioli of the Verified Carbon Standard, Mike Korchinsky of Wildlife Works, and Silvia Gomez Caviglia of Greenoxx (tentative), will then share their insights into the current state of "nesting" REDD+ projects into national programs. Registration is available here.
ILCN Global Congress
January 24-26, Santiago, Chile
The International Land Conservation Network will hold its 2018 Global Congress at the Noi Vitacura Hotel in Santiago, Chile from January 24-26, 2018. Attendees from six continents will gather to network and hear presentations on conservation finance, law & policy, organization and governance, and land stewardship, restoration, and management. Registration is at capacity and the Congress is not accepting additional attendees at this time. More information is available here.
See more on the ILCN's Calendar of Events.
Many thanks to our content contributors: Emily Myron (Project Manager, International Land Conservation Network), Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler (Project Coordinator, International Land Conservation Network), Uri Shanas (CEO and Founder, This is My Earth), Diego Rigo-Reghi (COO, PIC Preserve in Community), Alex Marsh (Deputy Director for Ecological Infrastructure, South African National Biodiversity Institute) and Victoria Marles (CEO, Trust for Nature).