At the ILCN, we are constantly inspired by stories of private land conservation around the world. The commitment of landowners, communities, conservationists, land managers, financial experts, and institutions is truly remarkable. We are pleased to share the following stories from around the globe and also want to take a moment to remember a great friend of the ILCN and leader in the private land conservation movement, Elisa Corcuera.
Remembering Elisa Corcuera
Many conservationists in Latin America and beyond are mourning the loss of Elisa Corcuera who passed away on July 14th after a long illness. Elisa made so many contributions to conservation in Chile and elsewhere including as a founder of Asi Conserva Chile, the network of private reserves in Chile; as a key participant in the IUCN Private Protected Area Specialist Group; and as a founder with her family of Parque Katalapi in Puerto Montt, Chile.
I first met Elisa at the 10th Latin American Congress on Private Reserves and Indigenous Communities held in Valdivia Chile in 2013. Elisa was a primary organizer of the Congress and a key driver of its success. I appreciated the time she was able to spend with me there and during a trip to the Valdivian Coastal Reserve. I learned a lot from her in a short time.
Elisa was smart, committed, informed and passionate about land and resource conservation, and we want to remember with gratitude the wonderful contributions she made to the establishment of the ILCN. Elisa participated in meetings at which the ILCN was launched and remained a valued member of our Advisory Council. We will miss her wonderful smile and her passionate example of how to make a difference in the world. We send our condolences and best wishes to her family and her many friends around the globe.
--Laura Johnson, Director of the ILCN
Save the Date:
Join us January 24-26, 2018 in Santiago, Chile!
Learn more about the Congress here
or contact Emily Myron with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Estancia Cabeza de Vaca becomes Argentina's Second Conservation Easement
Last month, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Argentina completed the country’s second-ever conservation easement (called servidumbre real ambiental) on 40,000 hectares of land in Río Negro Province, Patagonia. The ranchland, called Estancia Cabeza de Vaca, is owned by the small Argentine company Wool For Ever. The ranch provides important grazing land, as well as critical habitat for species such as the Guanaco, a wild relative of the llama.
Since 2013, TNC has worked toward establishing a conservation easement on the land. They drew inspiration from the success of Argentina’s first easement deal in 2001, in which the Fundación para Conservación de Tierras Patagónicas (henceforth, the Foundation), a local land trust, put a conservation easement on 144 hectares in Epu Lauquen, northwestern Neuquén Province, also in Patagonia. “The idea this time was to do a more simplified process and replicate our success,” commented Javier Beltrán, Coordinator of Working Landscapes Strategy for TNC in Argentina.
TNC made a few adjustments to streamline their strategy, ensuring that the restrictions written into the Cabeza de Vaca easement contract would be more easily tracked and monitored. Those leading this project also cooperated closely with similar TNC programs in Wyoming and Colorado, drawing on best practice from across the hemisphere where conservation easements have been employed to protect working lands.
A conservation easement restricts the development rights on a property, ensuring its long-term contribution of habitat, ecosystem services, and—in this case—grazing land. Argentine code requires that a conservation easement be an appurtenant one, comprised of two properties with separate landholders. A dominant property holds the easement on a servient property, restricting development on the latter.
In order to fill the requirements of the easement, Wool For Ever donated a 50 hectare parcel to the Foundation to serve as the dominant parcel; they then retained a servient parcel of about 39,000 hectares. TNC negotiated the cooperation of the provincial authorities, and partnered with the Foundation to secure a plan for long term stewardship objectives, with partial financial support from the Idaho-based Patagonian Lands Conservation Trust.
Now, TNC Argentina is responding to the interest of other groups in Argentina who hope to replicate this kind of project in other areas.
For more information on this project, contact Javier Beltrán, Coordinator of Working Landscapes Strategy for TNC in Argentina, at email@example.com.
Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation To Develop Investment Blueprints
Despite the interest of multi-billion dollar investors in green revenues, and the increasing sophistication of conservation finance tools, the gap between available capital and conservation need persists. In some areas, the gap is widening, as familiar sources of conservation funding—public and philanthropic monies—are steadily diminishing. And in a time of tremendous development pressure and climate uncertainty, it is critically important to find ways to fill that gap in funding.
The need to address the insufficient flow of private capital to conservation issues inspired the launch of the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC) in September of 2016 at the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress. This multi-stakeholder initiative—spearheaded by four founding members: Credit Suisse, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the IUCN, and Cornell University—is dedicated to refining the options for private, return-seeking investment in conservation projects. Other supporters include the Conservation Finance Network, the World Wildlife Fund, Lyme Timber, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), TNC’s NatureVest, and the asset management company TCW Group. The group recently convened at the Rockefeller Foundation in June of 2017 (slides from the meetng are available here), and will meet again this September.
In the meantime, CPIC’s focus is on developing replicable, scalable blueprints for investment in conservation. These blueprints will provide depth and specificity, while still focusing on transferable elements. CPIC working groups are focusing on five primary areas: coastal resilience; forest landscape conservation and restoration; green infrastructure for watershed management; sustainable agriculture; and sustainable fisheries. Each team will produce a series of blueprints to help investors navigate these new markets.
CPIC also aims to use the blueprints to help develop an investment pipeline that would connect investors to viable projects worldwide. Over the coming years, expect a refined arrangement of the partners at CPIC, a series of blueprints for conservation finance vehicles, and a concerted drive toward conservation investment strategies that provide both conservation and financial returns.
CPIC is a global multi-stakeholder initiative focused on enabling conditions that support a material increase in private, return-seeking investment in conservation. For more information, see the CPIC website at or contact Peter Stein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wyss Foundation and Foundation Conservation Carpathia partner to protect 6,700 hectares of Romania’s Mountain Forest
Since its founding in 2009, the Romanian non-profit Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC) has fast become one of the largest private land conservation entities in Europe. FCC is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the natural Carpathian Mountains ecosystem, for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities alike.
The group’s efforts to conserve land received a substantial boost in 2016, when the Wyss Foundation donated 6,700 hectares of forest and alpine meadow in the Făgăraș Mountains of the greater Carpathian Range. The donation of land was accompanied by an additional €15 million from another US source, which allowed FCC to purchase an additional 4,000 ha. These donations also come with the promise of the continued support of the Wyss Foundation, as the FCC undertakes stewardship activities to support wildlife, soil, and forest health, as well as community conservation enterprises.
The Wyss donation brings the total land area under the FCC’s ownership to a total of 12,300 ha. FCC also manages another 8,000 ha of adjacent land, as well as two Natura 2000 sites in Romania.
FCC’s intervention in the region is both timely and crucial. The forests in their area of interest are among the most biodiverse in the Carpathian Mountains, but have suffered from heavy logging—much of it illegal and unsustainable—since 2005, at which time the Romanian government moved to restitute formerly-nationalized lands to private control.
FCC will hold the land and carry out protection actions on the forests until such a time as the Romanian government establishes a National Park in the Carpathians, into which the FCC land will then be incorporated. Last year, the Romanian government took a large stride toward this aim, adopting a memorandum and plan for the establishment of a Făgăraș Mountains National Park by 2020.
However, the project is not without challenges. “If you look at the states of the EU, you will find Romania at the bottom of the lists for economy,” said FCC Executive Director Christoph Promberger in an interview, “but when it comes to nature, Romania is on top.” Romania supports a large share of Europe’s remaining old-growth forest, a high proportion of Europe’s large carnivores, and some of Europe’s most extensive natural grasslands. To reconcile this disconnect, Promberger asserts, “we need a major change in land use to make these areas that are so important to biodiversity into economically important areas.”
There are also opponents to the project. Logging and timber interests have launched a negative PR campaign, suggesting that local people will be expropriated by FCC’s project. And, the project has been harried by turnover within the government, especially the Ministry of Environment, which has been led by three different ministers in the last year.
To overcome these obstacles, FCC is building their own PR campaign, and working to build trust in the local communities. FCC envisions a stronger, greener economy, with ecotourism, sustainable forestry in a buffer zone, and agriculture at its basis. To this end, the conservationists work directly with Forest Owner Associations, small landowners with growing associations, town halls, and mayors in the area, hoping to improve markets for local non-timber forest products and strengthen livelihoods. The FCC is also reaching toward civil society, think tanks, and corporate supporters as they develop a long-term financial strategy for stewardship.
Much of the groundwork has been laid for a successful protected area, and a National Park is not far off, but FCC is not in a rush to get there by 2020. “The goal is clear,” said Promberger, “but we need to make sure that the surrounding conditions are right.”
To learn more about this project, see the Wyss Foundation’s press release or contact Christoph Promberger, Executive Director or Foundation Conservation Carpathia, at email@example.com.
IUCN Specialist Group for Privately Protected Areas Convenes to Develop Best Practice Guidelines
There is an increasing understanding of the important role privately protected areas (PPAs) play in reaching global biodiversity and protected area goals, as PPAs provide the opportunity for voluntary contributions to conservation, complementing the role of governmental agencies, indigenous peoples and communities in caring for nature.
In response to the growing PPA movement, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) established the Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship Specialist Group (henceforth, the PPA Specialist Group) to elevate the recognition, understanding, and integrity of private conservation world-wide.
In June, the PPA Specialist Group convened representatives from 20 organizations and governments, from across six continents, at a meeting where they discussed current practices and common hurdles in establishing and managing PPAs. The meeting was organized by PPA Specialist Group leader Brent Mitchell (Quebec-Labrador Foundation, USA), as well as Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley, a consulting team based in the UK. Stolton and Dudley co-authored the IUCN report The Futures of Privately Protected Areas issued in 2014. Generous support for the meeting was provided by BfN (Bundesamt fur Naturschutz, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation), which hosted the meeting at its conference center, the International Nature Conservation Academy, on the island of Vilm, near Rugen in northern Germany.
The participants, including ILCN director Laura Johnson and ILCN Steering Committee members Tilmann Disselhoff (Germany) and Lisa McLaughlin (Canada), engaged in numerous discussions to inform a framework for IUCN guidance on management and governance of privately protected areas.
The intended outcome of the PPA Specialist Group will be the issuance of Best Practice Guidelines for PPAs. Guidelines are regularly developed and issued by IUCN on a broad range of topics. The document, expected sometime in 2018, will be a tool for sharing best practice and knowledge among all those interested and involved in PPAs globally. The PPA Specialist Group will be soliciting further input on the guidelines as they are developed.
More information on this effort is available here, and any questions may be directed to Brent Mitchell, Chair of the IUCN-WCPA Specialist Group on Privately Protected Areas and Nature, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accord in Panama to coordinate between Ministry of Environment and Network of Private Nature Reserves
In June, the Asociación Panameña Red de Reservas Naturales Privadas (the Panamanian Association’s Network of Private Nature Reserves) reached a new accord with Panama’s Ministry of Environment (MiAMBIENTE). The five-year agreement opens doors to many new forms of cooperation between the two entities, including ecotourism, research, and educational opportunities on private reserves.
The proposed agreement also provides for joint work plans and the exchange of technical information, so that the growing number of private protected areas can be integrated into Panama’s National Environmental Information System (SINIA). To support best practice in the management of the private reserves, the agreement suggests that there will be funds available for conservation projects and for exchanges among scientists and protected area managers.
Such a relationship may become a model for other countries seeking to strengthen the relationship between privately protected areas and national conservation ministries.
To learn more, see the MiAMBIENTE press release.
The ILCN is pleased to welcome Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, who was recently hired as Project Coordinator for Land Conservation Programs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Jivan’s work focuses on land and conservation policy and the power of conservation networks at various scales. Jivan will largely split his time between working with the ILCN and with Academics for Land Protection in New England (ALPINE), a network of colleges and universities catalyzing land protection across New England.
To contact Jivan, please email him at email@example.com.
Jivan traces his passion for land to his time studying at the College of the Atlantic, a stone’s throw away from Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine. He was inspired by what he learned of the evolution of that landscape, and by the parks and land trusts dedicated to protecting the area.
Jivan brings a flare for applying skills across sectors and spaces–an ability he honed while studying for his B.A. in Human Ecology and while working at the Beacon Group in Portland, Maine and with Bennet Midland in New York City. Jivan aspires to help other young professionals and students to engage in cross-boundary, cross-sectoral, and interdisciplinary land conservation efforts. He also intends to help such conservation programs become as inclusive and diverse as possible. When he’s not working to protect the planet, Jivan enjoys running, hiking, or kayaking in the beautiful Northeast USA.
International Conference of National Trusts
September 11-15, 2017, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
With the tagline “Our Cultural Heritage, the Key to Environmental Sustainability”, the 17th International Conference of National Trusts 2017 (ICNT 17) expects to bring together 200 + delegates from across the world who will explore the connection between their cultural traditions and concerns for sustainable development.
More information is available here.
Australian National Private Land Conservation Conference
October 18-20, 2017, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
This year's Conference theme "Valuing Nature" will provide the context to explore diverse aspects of value, from natural capital and ecosystem services, to community and cultural connections, and the inherent value of nature for its own sake. Join conservation practitioners, business leaders, scientists, land managers, policy makers, philanthropists, community champions and academics from across Australia and beyond to discuss the value of nature on private land, and how these benefits are measured and communicated. Topics covered will include natural capital, communication and education, conservation policy and the law, land management, and monitoring and evaluation.
More information is available here.
October 26-28, 2017, Denver, Colorado, USA
Land Trust Alliance Rally 2017
The Land Trust Alliance hosts its 30th biennial Rally this October. Nearly 2,000 land conservation practitioners from the US, Canada, South America and beyond will convene in Denver to discuss dedicated to conserving cherished places in local communities. More than 130 educational sessions will be on offer, covering land conservation topics, special networking events, field trips highlighting the region’s natural treasures, exhibits, a plenary session presentation, a Welcome Dinner and an awards presentation celebrating conservation leadership.
More information is available here.
See more on the ILCN's Calendar of Events.
Many thanks to our content contributors: Laura Johnson (Director, International Land Conservation Network), Christoph Promberger (Executive Director, Foundation Conservation Carpathia), Peter Stein (Managing Director, The Lyme Timber Company), Peter Malik (Director of Membership, The Global Impact Investment Network), Javier Beltrán (Coordinator of Working Landscapes Strategy, The Nature Conservancy, Argentina), Emily Myron (Project Manager, International Land Conservation Network), and Lance Gloss (Intern, International Land Conservation Network).