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Notes from the Field: Economic analysis in the Western Pacific

February was a month of non-stop travel for me. Having just started working with CSF I got shipped off on a whirlwind tour of Micronesia and Bali. Not a bad start I suppose!

Smart Conservation: CSF's Economic Tools Training Program

Conservation Strategy Fund has been training conservationists, natural resource managers, and policy-makers in the language of economics for nearly 15 years. Hear first-hand what our course participants and instructors have to say about why CSF's training programs are effective and make a big difference for conservation.

CSF People: Rhona Barr

Rhona standing in sand in the Namibian desert

CSF began working with International Consultant and Environmental Economist Rhona Barr in late 2012. Rhona brings to CSF a diverse set of practical and research experiences in tropical settings, including Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Born in North Wales, Rhona grew up on the island of Anglesey. From an early age, island life made her fascinated ("nearly obsessed!") with the outdoors and biology, particularly the watery ecosystems around her.

Business plans for the Tacana communal lands in Bolivia

a man zip lining in the Bolivian amazon

Under the second phase of the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) of the United States Agency for International Development and in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society, CSF is moving forward with the creation of three sustainable business plans for the indigenous Tacana community. The community, located in Bolivia's Amazon region north of La Paz, is home to approximately 5,000 people. Their land is known in Spanish as a Tierra Comunitaria de Origen, and is similar to a Native American reserve in the U.S., designated as a permanent home for the Tacanas to continue their traditions. It is located on the banks of the Beni River in the village of San Miguel del Bala.

The second year of the Public Lands Biodiversity Conservation in the Brazilian Amazon kicks off to a great start!

The second year of the Biodiversity Conservation on Public Lands in the Amazon has begun! Between October 22 and November 4, CSF staff conducted their second visit to assess the technical development of business plans in indigenous lands relating to the sale of Brazil nuts, açaí berries, and arapaima fish. In addition, staff collected data on Brazil nut production by the Apurinã indigenous families. They visited associations and organizations in the municipalities of Cacoal, Humaitá Lábrea, and the Caititu indigenous territory. For more information please visit our Projects page.

Completion of the Business Plans of Indigenous tourism

In October 2012 CSF completed and delivered business plans for Tourism in Indigenous lands (the Paiter-Surui and Parintintin). The plans were part of the Garah Itxa project on Ethnoenvironmental Corridors in the Brazilian Amazon. At the project's closing event, CSF launched a publication with the compilation of the main results of the project. To obtain this publication and learn more about business plans visit our Projects page.

Estimating the value of restoring coastal environments in the Marshall Islands

CSF is partnering with the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) and the Marshall Islands Conservation Society (MICS) to analyze the economic benefits of protecting or restoring coastal and marine areas in Majuro Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) from damaging activities such as overfishing, mining, and pollution. The project will also consider the role of marine and terrestrial protected areas in maintaining or enhancing these benefits.

Does economics have a place in conservation?

David Johnson, currently a professor at Harvard University, has been teaching microeconomics with CSF since 2004. When asked if economics can alter the way environmentalists approach conservation, he had this to say:

photo of river in the Bolivian Amazon

Cost-benefit analysis of the Cachuela Esperanza Hydroelectric Project

The Cachuela Esperanza hydroelectric mega-project is part of the South American Infrastructure Integration Initiative (IIRSSA). It refers to a 990MW hydroelectric dam that would be built on the Beni River on the outskirts of the Cachuela Esperanza village. This would provide energy to populations in Northern Bolivia and would allow the exportation of electricity to Brazil. The feasibility report, as ordered by the Bolivian government, shows that the environmental and social damages caused by this project would be massive - more than 900Km2 flooded and almost 100,000 people affected. Despite these impacts, the government considers this to be a beneficial project and has continually vowed the desire to move forward with it.

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