Capacity Building

Capacity Building

Why economics knowledge is essential for conservation

Training in economics changes the way conservationists view markets and incentives, making them more effective at solving environmental challenges.



Our unique and effective capacity building program gives environmental professionals the economic knowledge, skills, and language that are key for success. CSF courses are taught by experts who understand real-world conservation challenges and who demonstrate how economics can advance environmental goals in practical, strategic ways.

CSF courses are now available online, in virtual and self-paced formats on our Numbers for Nature Training Institute platform. This approach is crucial at a time when global-scale environmental changes are being driven by diverse economic factors, and when conservation leaders are striving to preserve critical ecosystems. CSF equips people with a solid understanding of economic tools and the ability to identify opportunities to apply them.

Our capacity building program has reached 3,000+ people working for 700+ organizations in 90+ countries. Our alumni are using economics to be more strategic in their work, and influence local, regional, and national-level decisions in favor of nature:

  • 95% say the CSF course was one of the most useful short courses they have ever attended
  • 95% say their CSF training experience changed how they approach their work
  • 82% say attending the CSF course contributed to a career advancement
  • 75% say the CSF training helped them achieve a specific success

Click here to view all of our courses, or read on to see the variety of training options we offer.

“This training is one of the greatest ideas in community-based conservation. It has empowered me as a key decision maker in a conservation organization to have a not just a voice, but a voice of reason. This is exactly what I needed, and now I have it, thanks to CSF.”
Titus Muia
Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, Kenya

In-Person Training

Over the last twenty years, we have offered our in-person courses in 25 countries and have become recognized as the premier applied economics training program for conservation professionals. We offer our flagship Economic Tools for Conservation course in multiple languages and lengths, including two-week, one-week, and three-day versions. Our intensive in-person courses include lectures by economics experts, interactive experimental games, applied exercises, case studies, role-playing, and a set of curated references. During these comprehensive courses, participants learn to use economics to be more strategic and successful in their conservation work, and experience a transformational shift in how they view environmental issues.

We also offer specialized courses in:

  • Marine & Coastal Conservation
  • Infrastructure Analysis & Planning
  • Fisheries Economics, Management & Policy
  • Economic Impact Analysis
  • Integrated Environmental-Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services
  • Economic Incentives for Conservation, Payments for Ecosystem Services, REDD+
  • Community Livelihoods & Sustainable Development Pathways
  • Conservation Finance & Business Planning

To learn more about in-person training and work with CSF to design a course, contact us at [email protected].

Online Training: Numbers for Nature Training Institute

CSF has expanded our online training offerings on the Numbers for Nature Training Institute platform, where participants can enroll in self-paced and virtual courses throughout the year. With this platform our unique and effective capacity building programs are more accesible and scaleable and will enable even more conservation leaders to demonstrate how economics can advance environmental goals in practical, strategic ways.

Numbers for Nature Training Institute

CSF’s Economic Video Lessons are an on-demand resource for our alumni, current students, and the broader public. These videos have been viewed more than 1.1 million times by people all over the world, and are currently being translated into multiple languages.

Online Video Lessons

Course By Theme

We offer specialized courses on a variety of themes, for all types of institutions. To see courses that focus on our four major program areas, follow the links below:

Incentives for Thriving Landscapes
Oceans & Fisheries
Protected Areas
Smart Energy & Transportation Infrastructure