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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.

Water Services and Protected Areas in Peru

Similar to other national protected areas' systems across the world, Peru’s national parks are underfunded. SERNANP, the national protected areas agency, is currently evaluating the funding needs of the national parks under its responsibility, to prepare a plan to address this gap. The Project Finance for Permanence initiative (or Patrimonio del Peru–PdP, as known locally) is based on similar experiences in Brazil and Costa Rica, where governments and donors agree to provide funding to permanently support the financial needs of the protected areas, while contributions are conditional to compliance with commitments to achieve protection goals and increase public funding for protected areas, within an agreed period of time.

A strong case needs to be made for a government to decide the allocation of scarce public funds to conservation, considering competing needs (health, education, public infrastructure, etc.). CSF is collaborating with WWF to estimate the economic benefits generated by Peru’s protected areas through the supply of water services for human consumption, irrigation and energy generation. A similar project carried by CSF in Colombia showed that each hectare in a protected area can generate up to $217 per year, by controlling sediments and reducing dredging and treatment costs. We expect that our work in Peru will help SERNANP demonstrate to decision–makers that allocating public funds to protected areas is not an expense, but an investment to improve the welfare of the national population. This, in turn, will strengthen the argument for the government to commit to increase public funding for protected areas and fill the funding gap.