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 nearly 5,000 people working for 3,000+ organizations in 131 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

Online Training: Numbers for Nature Training Institute

Since 2020, CSF has expanded our online training offerings. The launch of the Numbers for Nature Training Institute platform in 2022 now allows participants to take in self-paced and synchronous virtual courses throughout the year. With this platform our unique and effective capacity building programs are more accessible 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

In-Person Training

Over the last 25 years, we have offered our in-person courses in 131 countries and have become recognized as the premier applied economics training program for conservation professionals. We have offered our flagship course, Economic Tools for Conservation 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 have also offered 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].