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Diary of a course graduate: Anita Escobedo

I am pleased to write an update on the activities and conservation initiatives that I have been working on after attending Conservation Strategy Fund’s 2012 course, Economic Tools for Conservation, in Stanford, CA.

Donor Spotlight: Rickshaw Bagworks

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p>Richshaw Bagworks Founder and CEO, Mark Dwight, has always cared for the environment. The company prides itself on minimizing waste in its local San Francisco facility, and Mark's personal passion for cycling inspires many of its products. Everything from custom messenger bags to iPad covers to baby changing kits are guaranteed to be locally produced, eco-friendly, and durable, not to mention stylish! Rickshaw has donated hundreds of its iconic custom “Zero Messenger Bags” (inspired by the power of “zero” waste) to CSF global trainees since 2010. The company has also hosted CSF supporters for fundraising auctions and factory tours.

Economic Tools for Conservation - 2012 International Course

"Taking this course was amazing because now I can link the ecological part of my work with the economic tools in order to provide or make stronger the public policy, no? In order to prove that preserving the prairie dogs is not just to preserve the nature but it’s also to preserve the productivity that is going to help the people in the region." -- Eduardo Ponce Guevara, CSF 2012 International Course participant

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.

CSF Fellows Research Update

As part of the ICAA fellows program, CSF held three methodological guidance workshops in November. The fellows traveled far and wide to visit each of their respective mentors and work on their final research profiles, which contain all of the definition methodology and data tools design collection. The workshops were held in Concepción, Chile, Bogota, Colombia and La Paz, Bolivia. In Chile, Karin Gonzales, Sophía Espinoza, Patricia Siles met with their mentor, Felipe Vásquez, who is a specialist in economic valuation of natural resources. In Bogota, Paula Zuluaga, Pablo David Campoverde, and Enrique de la Montaña Andrés met with Rocío Moreno, whose area of specialization focuses on game theory, economic valuation, and payments for environmental services.

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.

Sustainable economic development in Yap

CSF is helping Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia design a framework for sustainable economic development. Key stakeholders will explore scenarios for future development, learn how to measure environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts of different types of programs, and evaluate the potential of proposed projects to achieve sustainable development. This effort is one of several analysis projects being conducted in Micronesia following CSF's Economic Tools for Conservation in Micronesia course held in March of 2012.

Course participants discover the language of policy makers

For Angela Mojica, a marine biologist in Guatemala, this year's course forced her to think in a completely different way. Watch the video below to find out what had previously been missing in her conservation efforts.

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