Finance for Forests: A Guide to Conservation Finance Options for First Nations

The Province of British Columbia (BC) has begun a paradigm shift in the management of forests to recognize First Nations’ sovereignty and prioritize ecosystem health. These changes have been driven by decades of sustained First Nations advocacy, increased recognition of Indigenous Rights, public pressure, changing forestry economics, and the urgency of addressing biodiversity loss and climate change.

At the same time, governments and philanthropy have committed to addressing biodiversity loss, climate change, and Indigenous Rights, and are increasing the availability of finance (funding) for conservation.

While some conservation finance mechanisms already exist, new mechanisms are emerging that could support terrestrial (including forest-related) conservation and restoration activities. Indigenous communities are reasserting their stewardship responsibilities and are well-placed to scale up these efforts.

The increased availability of conservation finance presents significant opportunities for Indigenous communities. However, these opportunities can be difficult to navigate without guidance that focuses on First Nations’ needs.

This report provides First Nations with objective information on conservation finance opportunities relevant to forest conservation, restoration, and stewardship. In the Conservation Finance
Portfolios section, we outline scenarios of how conservation finance portfolios could help realize Indigenous community well-being priorities over different timescales.