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Bringing CSF’s Conservation Economic Tools Training to Development Banks

Last month, we had the opportunity to bring CSF’s economic analysis training to a new audience – the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington D.C.  The IDB approves over $11 billion dollars in loans each year, and is a major force in shaping the face of development in Latin America.  We delivered two training workshops for transport and water sector specialists from various country offices, and a shorter session for IDB Economists based in D.C.

These workshops were organized by the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) Program at IDB, with the overall goal of building internal capacity at IDB to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into the project appraisal process, and into Bank decision-making more generally.  

We crafted unique programs for each workshop, bringing a dozen expert instructors from institutions such as Duke University, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, WWF, The Natural Capital Project, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

Economic Tools for Integrating Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services into Transport Sector Investments brought together IDB and country government transport engineers from ten countries and four languages, including Brazil, Ecuador, Suriname, Haiti and Honduras.  Integrated Environmental-Economic Project Appraisal in the Water and Sanitation Sector brought together water and sanitation sector specialists from 13 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Belize, El Salvador and Guyana.  Our energetic microeconomics instructor, David Johnson, presented a challenging and entertaining task for the simultaneous translators!

The audiences, comprised of mostly engineers, appreciated the opportunity to learn about environmental goods and services, and how to incorporate them into cost-benefit analyses:

“A very good refresher course for microeconomics and CBA and very good insight of accounting and including environmental costs/benefits. “

“Your presentations mastered the art of presenting a complicated subject matter in a simplified and logical manner.”

These workshops also presented CSF staff with a great learning opportunity. IDB has positioned itself as a leader in integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into its decision-making processes, and we look forward to continuing to work together.