The Science of Funding: How Conservation Success is Measured by Funding Agencies

One of the key limiting factors to the implementation and sustainability of conservation initiatives is consistent funding. Despite the recognition that the global economy is dependent on natural resources and functional ecosystems, environmental degradation continues to grow, placing enormous pressure on the public, private and civil sectors. Globally, parameters for sustainable development and ecological restoration have been established by the United Nations and a joint finance report by the G20 countries, local and global, states that ''to meet all agreed biodiversity, land restoration and climate targets by 2050, the annual nature-based Solutions investments need to increase by at least 140%''. This session aims to support the development of a network, and forge relationships between conservation finance experts, practitioners, and organizations to explore long-term conservation finance solutions to achieve nature conservation outcomes, both locally and globally. Failure to provide adequate climate and biodiversity finance will be measured in the loss of ecological infrastructure and associated goods and services, ultimately threatening social resilience.

Conservation and management of the natural environment require financing at scales sufficient to achieve long-term impact for the benefit of not just current but future generations. Leveraging these funds is often difficult to navigate, painstaking to apply for and, if received, laborious to manage. There are thousands of funding agencies, including private companies, government, civil organisations, and public institutions. Each of these bodies provides various funding opportunities aligned with their core values and targets. However, there is often a disconnect between funding and conservation agencies in that each field has different technical jargon, objectives and systems of measurement. Towards addressing this gap, part of this session will be dedicated to encouraging dialogue between conservation practitioners and potential funders to connect perspectives of these industry concepts between the two different agencies. Furthermore, this session provides agencies with an opportunity to present their investment projects towards demonstrating the 'Science of Funding' by representing the indicators of conservation financing used to measure conservation success. Finally, funding agencies will be given the opportunity to workshop with representatives from conservation agencies on funding applications, related content and key indicators needed to measure change. In this workshop, the funding application process and timeframes will be detailed to improve understanding by conservation agencies.

Although the main objective of this 'triangulated' approach of sharing, discussion and teaching is to identify synergies and improve communication between funders and conservationists, this session also aims to:

  • Form, forge and foster relationships between conservationists and funders.
  • Share stories of change towards determining commonalities.
  • Create learning opportunities to expand conservation financing opportunities and processes.
  • Explore additional funding options that have not yet been leveraged or have not been effectively leveraged.

This special session will be held in three parts:

  1. Science of Funding: Stories of Measured Change (Funding agencies share case studies of investments made in conservation and how the success of these investments is measured)
  2. Panel Discussion: Currency of Conservation (Intra-agency on financial models - carbon trading and conservation investments - and approaches - partnerships, consortiums, etc. - towards self-sustaining conservation.)
  3. Workshop: Effective and Efficient Fund Raising

Open session – researchers and practitioners are encouraged to submit relevant presentations for inclusion in this session. Participation in the session during the Symposium is open to all. Submissions that cannot be incorporated into the session by the convener will be considered for general sessions in the remainder of the programme.

521 hits