Economics and Finance for Environmental Leadership: Celebrating 25 years of CSF’s flagship international course with another successful cohort

Economics and Finance for Environmental Leadership: Celebrating 25 years of CSF’s flagship international course with another successful cohort

This August and September, Conservation Strategy Fund brought 43 participants together for the 25th iteration of our world-renowned Economics and Finance for Environmental Leadership Course. This course is designed for professionals at the forefront of global sustainability issues, to train them on key economic and financial mechanisms they can use in their work building sustainable conservation strategies. Our participants this year represented 33 different organizations and logged on from 23 countries for our lectures for the course’s fourth year in a fully virtual format.

Over seven weeks, our participants completed six unique conservation economics and finance modules hosted on CSF’s Numbers for Nature Training Institute platform: Environmental Economics, Natural Resource Economics, Environmental Policy, Conservation Finance, Environmental Valuation, and Cost-Benefit Analysis. Each module contained pre-recorded lectures and readings with two virtual live sessions, where participants engaged with course instructors and completed interactive exercises with their course peers.

Our seasoned course instructors joined us from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Conservation Finance Alliance, and Conservation Strategy Fund’s own staff, combining a range of teaching styles with impactful lessons, unique case studies, and captivating group discussions and games. A crowd favorite among participants was playing CSF’s own “Harvest Game,” which allowed participants to explore different natural resource management approaches. 

“Excellent course! It took me almost 10 years to almost reach the amount of time needed for it. I strengthened my knowledge and grew in my professional training. Thank you very much to all the instructors and colleagues who interacted in the live sessions and community board!” 

- Pablo Granados-Deiseldorff, Sustainable Fisheries Director for the Waitt Institute

Thanks to the generous support of the Dry Creek Foundation, CSF’s N4N training team was also able to offer dedicated scholarships to some participants. We are proud to have provided 7 partial and full scholarships to participants from 16 different countries, helping improve the accessibility and reach of this crucial economics and finance training. 


Participants, instructors and course staff in smile from their webcams. The CSF and Numbers for Nature logo are on the bottom left and right of the photo.
Some of our participants, instructors, and staff from our 2023 course.


Our 2023 participants were very satisfied with their course experience, rating the average overall quality and value of this course at a 4.72 out of 5. 

88% of participants also noted they were likely or very likely to recommend this course to a colleague and friend, and over half rated this training as “among the best” professional development they have received in their career.

By taking this course, participants have gained a new perspective on economic and finance, with clear applications to their work: 

“I'm working on two parametric reinsurance products at the moment and I know that what I learned will come in handy when it comes time to pitch the proposals to potential funders.”

- Ali Hochberg, Outreach Manager for the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme

“The course gave me a solid foundation to interact with economists and financial specialists and understand their language. I also hope to be able to translate the "environmental" language into something they can also understand and appreciate.”

- Francesco Ricciardi, Senior Environment Specialist for the Asian Development Bank

"My work is tightly related to markets and the private sector's role in conservation. I want to keep digging deeper into everything I learned through this course, to include it in all my conversations and future work with the corporate sector." 

- Anonymous 2023 Course Participant

CSF’s Numbers for Nature Training Institute has already begun planning for our 26th annual Economics and Finance for Environmental Leadership Course, which will be held this year. Sign up for the Numbers for Nature Training Institute’s newsletter or visit us at to learn more about our impactful capacity building and stay up to date on our newest training opportunities. 

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