Conservation Finance: gaps, comparative analysis and alternatives in a dynamic debate

The resilience of conservation initiatives, and their results and impact, depends in great measure on the availability and use of funding. In addition to government funding and revenues, there is often a gap, either for capital or recurrent expenditure, or to invest in revenue generation or benefit flows. The development of innovative financial arrangements that will implement and sustain conservation efforts over time, including best practices of governance, accountability and financial management, is a key aspect to address degradation of nature. This is all the more an issue when considering the commitments to the Aichi Targets, and particularly Target 20 that concerns conservation finance.

Managing systems of PAs effectively, for instance, is one of the most secure investments in maintaining ecosystem integrity in the face of ongoing degradation and global change, especially when applied at the scale of the landscape and seascape. In situations where there are funding gaps even to address the basis requirements, let alone meet the growing challenges, the need for a clear picture of the costs, business plans, funding sources, funding flows and investment policies, are crucial aspects for achieving well-managed and effective systems of protected areas.

Several efforts over the past few years are brought together in this workshop. Analyses of the costs and sources of funding at regional level, lessons learned regarding the utility of conservation trust funds and project financing, experiences with sustainable financing at system and site scale, and the prospects of innovative financing mechanisms will be presented. Most importantly, the workshop will take stock of the prospects for achieving success in the future. The Conservation Finance Alliance was formed at the time of the 2003 Vth IUCN World Parks Congress. With 2 years to go before the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, this workshop is an opportunity to galvanize efforts

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