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Analysis

Conservation Strategy Fund helps local conservationists use economic tools to find smart, efficient solutions to the most urgent environmental problems. Since its creation in 1998, CSF has conducted dozens of analysis projects in forests, rivers and coastal environments. Most of our work has focused in the tropics, where extraordinarily high levels of biological diversity are found. To maximize the reach and quality of our work, we involve leading experts and conservation organizations in all of our projects.
Wild Cacao

Wild Chocolate in Bolivia

The tree that gives us chocolate is native to the Amazon rain forests. It has long been domesticated and planted commercially in hot, humid climates around the world. But the "wild" cacao beans are still harvested from natural Amazon forests, such as those in Northern Bolivia. CSF helped local communities and our partners at Conservation International assess the Bolivian market for wild rain forest chocolate.

picture of road in Amazon

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

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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.

Business and Parks: CSF and the Brazilian National Park Service

CSF worked with the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), which is the Brazilian National Park Service, on financial aspects of businesses operating in national parks. Starting with five protected areas, in the Atlantic Coastal Forest, the Amazon and the Cerrado, CSF trained and assisted ICMBio staff on financial planning to provide services that will improve visitors' access and experience in the parks and strengthen the tie between Brazilians and their parks. The project was supported by the United States Forest Service and the United States Agency for International Development.

Why Rebuild BR-319? Economics of an Amazon Road

The route that once connected Manaus and Porto Velho is in a state of serious disrepair and has been impassable since 1986. The reconstruction of this route as part of the federal Accelerated Growth Plan (known by its Portuguese acronym PAC) has projected costs of R$557 million (US$265 million), which is that our analysis focuses on. Our analysis takes two scenarios: a “conventional” one, which reflects the approach commonly used in the evaluation of projects for road infrastructure, and an “integrated” scenario, which aims to incorporate environmental costs in the conventional scenario.

Photos of Madden Dam in Panama

HydroCalculator Tool

The HydroCalculator Tool empowers citizens to analyze the ecological, social, and financial impacts of hydroelectric dams. Click through below to see how you can analyze a hydro project online or see if someone else has already posted an analysis of the project in which you have an interest.

http://www.conservation-strategy.org/hydrocalculator-analyses

Tourism in Indigenous Lands

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p>Indigenous people's lands are among the best preserved natural places. In the Amazon Basin, these vast tracts have lower rates of forest loss than national parks and are home to unique cultures, stunning scenery and high concentrations of biological diversity. But they are also beset by poverty and managed by native people looking for economic opportunities. CSF is working with the Suruí and Parintintin peoples to evaluate whether tourism could be one such opportunity for them. The project is a collaboration with the Suruí's Metareila Association, the Kanindé Ethno-environmental Association, the Amazon Conservation Team and the International Institute for Education in Brazil, who together form the Garah-Itxa Consortiun.

Southern Tropical Andes Research Fellows

In 2008, CSF held a workshop for decision-makers to illustrate to key partners how economic analysis can help conservation initiatives. Many representatives attended from NGOs as well as government and cooperation agencies working in Peru and Bolivia. An advanced conservation economics course was then taught to 25 participants from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. We received over 200 applications for the course and out of those, accepted 25 participants.

Picture of sugar mill in northern Bolivia

Sugar Cane in the Bolivian Amazon

Over the past three decades, the Amazonian region in northern Bolivia has experienced a process of agricultural colonization in formerly pristine forestlands.

Forest conversion for agricultural projects is the basis of several national and local government development schemes. As of 2008, the most prominent development proposal in the region involved building a sugar mill and planting more than 20,000 hectares of sugar cane. However, consensus was lacking on whether and how such a project should be implemented, due in part to the absence of any rigorous feasibility studies.

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.

Image of Brazilian cattle at the edge of the rainforest

Subsidies, Credit and Cattle in Southern Amazonas

Cattle ranching is a leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Forests are razed for pasture when landowners perceive that more profits can be made from cows than from the various products of the intact forest. This calculation is influenced by the availability of subsidized credit, long used a tool to drive economic expansion on the agricultural frontier.