Where Do I Start? The First Steps to Determine if Conservation Finance Can Work for You

Many individuals and organizations are eager to secure long-term funding for nature conservation, restoration and stewardship activities in Canada. But they may face uncertainty about where to start when it comes to conservation finance.

Fundamentally, conservation finance instruments are intended to provide sustainable funding streams and/or provide a return on investment. However, in order to deliver a return on investment, financial instruments need to align three different groups: those willing to pay for the services, those who benefit from their delivery, and those who will be compensated to deliver them. To create a business case for nature, there may be multiple buyers of several value streams that make an investment feasible.

While the Canadian land use and policy context is unique, and not all international conservation finance examples readily apply as a result, there are several financial instruments that can be utilized. These instruments are context dependent and their applicability needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, they share commonalities, and undergoing a few initial steps can help identify whether there is potential for conservation finance. Following these steps can help determine whether it is worthwhile to pursue more detailed investigations about appropriate instruments and strategies.

This short explainer outlines initial steps to help individuals and organizations determine if conservation finance is a beneficial option.

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