smart energy + transportation infrastructure

Infrastructure investments in remote areas can transform landscapes and watersheds, unleashing irreversible, destructive change. Projects' impacts vary considerably and their approval is dependent on small groups of public decision-makers. Investments, especially remote roads, are often economically inefficient and usually have unnecessarily large environmental and social impacts. These characteristics - variable quality, concentrated decision-making, economic flaws and design shortcomings - add up to a big conservation opportunity, one in which good economic analyses can be influential. CSF's Smart Energy + Transportation Infrastructure program provides training to conservationists and decision-makers, as well as comprehensive cost-benefit analyses of infrastructure projects, such as dams and roads. Keen understanding of these projects at multiple levels of society will result in better decisions and large-scale conservation gains.

CSF People: Irene Burgués Arrea

As CSF's new BUILD Program Operations Manager, Irene Burgués Arrea has found herself traveling all over the world in order to promote biodiversity conservation through infrastructure best practices. From her native country of Costa Rica, to the forest of Uganda (with stops in Bolivia and Brazil in between), Irene is jumping right in.

Alum José Serra collaborates with CSF on economic study of proposed Inambari dam

Inambari Dam

On January 17, CSF course graduate José Serra and CSF's Alfonso Malky presented an economic study of the proposed Inambari dam, designed to generate hydropower primarily for Brazilian consumers. The study, sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society's Peru office, examines the feasibility of the project, which would harness energy from an Amazon tributary in the country's southeastern jungle. Serra led the investigation, looking into the overall economic return, environmental costs, profits for the dam builder and impacts on various sectors of Peruvian society. Results showed that the project's feasibility depends on charging a relatively high electricity price and delivering benefits, in the form of flow control, to downstream dams in Brazil.

El Filtro de Carreteras: Un análisis estratégico de proyectos viales en la Amazonía

Series number: 

CSF partners with Uganda National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) for infrastructure program in Africa.

Antelope in Murchison Falls National Park

CSF's Irene Burgués and John Reid traveled to Uganda in November to establish our first long-term program in Africa. The program's initial focus will be on conserving ecosystems in the context of major infrastructure development in the Albertine Rift region shared by Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. The region is home to cloud forests, lowland rain forests and savannas, along with active volcanoes and endangered wildlife such as the mountain gorillas. CSF will work with government and NGOs to minimize the impact of new roads, dams and oil on these fragile resources. We are fortunate to have the partnership of the Uganda National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) as we begin this process.

Finding the Balance Between Biodiversity and Infrastructure

CSF will launch African and Himalayan initiatives and expand Andes-Amazon programs through $1.2 million agreement with Biodiversity Understanding in Infrastructure and Landscape Development (BUILD) program of USAID.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently announced a $1.2 million agreement with Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) to launch a comprehensive initiative in central Africa, expand CSF’s programs in the Andes-Amazon region, and initiate a limited program in Asia’s Himalayan region. The goal of the program is to promote biodiversity conservation through infrastructure best practices.

New conservation tools available for use on the CSF website

HydroCalculator 2.0 and the Roads Filter have just been released for use on CSF's website.

Both were showcased in early September in La Paz where CSF Bolivia staff rolled out the two strategic tools to prioritize conservation efforts in the face of road and dam development in South America. The first, the HydroCalculator enables people to quickly analyze the pros and cons of hydroelectric projects distinguishing between those that are relatively clean and efficient and those that are expensive and destructive. The hydro presentation is the third in a series that included similar events in Medellín, Colombia and Brasília, Brazil and ultimately aims to avoid destructive dam building.

picture of road in Amazon

Pucallpa - Cruzeiro do Sul Road Analysis

The Initiative for Regional Infrastructure Integration (IIRSA) is a series of road and energy projects that aims to connect South American countries. The proposed Pucallpa - Cruzeiro do Sul road between Peru and Brazil is a link in the Central Inter-Oceanic highway in IIRSA's Amazon Hub. The route's other sections are largely in place. However, some are still in the paving and rehabilitation process in both countries. This project would open a new road in a biologically and culturally unique area, known as the Sierra del Divisor (Serra do Divisor in Brazil) increasing deforestation. Important environmental services could be lost, and protected areas and indigenous lands in both Peru and Brazil could suffer damage as a result.

Building Economics Skills to Sustain Conservation in the Southern Tropical Andes

Fostering local talent in Conservation Economics is a key piece in the puzzle of protecting the rich biodiversity of the tropical Andes region. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and others, CSF is delivering an integrated training package to address this need. The project began in 2009 with Conservation Economics instruction for decision-makers and young economists. It has continued with a competitive program of research grants for economists interested in working on conservation themes in the rain forest regions of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

picture of road in Amazon

Roads Filter: A strategic analysis of road projects in the Amazon


p>The Roads Filter is an analysis tool developed by Conservation Strategy Fund to support conservation and sustainable development. The tool uses a comparative index that considers the environmental, economic, social and cultural implications of road construction projects. It can be used throughout the Amazon region to inform decision makers about a project’s risk levels and possible impacts. In 2011, we applied the Roads Filter to 36 proposed roads in the region.

Cost-Effective conservation in Peru: The value of apples and oranges.

Series number: 
Syndicate content