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.
Serra do Cipó, Minais Gerais, Brazil

Upgrading Brazil's Official Conservation Investment Model

Managing national parks and reserves requires reliable information about needed investments in equipment, infrastructure and research. CSF recently revamped the model, called the Minimum Conservation Investment model (IMC), used by Brazilian public land managers to calculate these needs. The project was a partnership between CSF-Brasil, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment and GiZ, the German overseas cooperation agency.

In this process, CSF adapted and integrated financial models we had previously developed for protected areas. We reviewed and corrected unit cost figures used by the IMC and built in the capacity to forecast investments over a ten-year period. Finally, we added a feature to permit forecasting investment needed to create new protected areas.

Costos y beneficios del proyecto hidroeléctrico del río Inambari

En junio de 2010, los gobiernos de Perú y Brasil firmaron un Acuerdo Energético que prevé que compañías brasileñas construyan en ríos de la Amazonía peruana centrales hidroeléctricas para exportar energía al Brasil. El proyecto hidroeléctrico del río Inambari, con una potencia instalada de 2,200 megavatios, es el primero de cinco posibles proyectos en contar con un Estudio de Factibilidad (EF) realizado por la compañía promotora EGASUR.

picture of road in Amazon

Pucallpa - Cruzeiro do Sul Road Analysis

The Initiative for Regional Infrastructure Integration (IIRSA) is a series of road and energy projects that aims to connect South American countries. The proposed Pucallpa - Cruzeiro do Sul road between Peru and Brazil is a link in the Central Inter-Oceanic highway in IIRSA's Amazon Hub. The route's other sections are largely in place. However, some are still in the paving and rehabilitation process in both countries. This project would open a new road in a biologically and culturally unique area, known as the Sierra del Divisor (Serra do Divisor in Brazil) increasing deforestation. Important environmental services could be lost, and protected areas and indigenous lands in both Peru and Brazil could suffer damage as a result.

Biocultural Conservation Amazon Rainforest Deforestation Brazil Nut

Biocultural Conservation of the Amazon Rainforest: Preventing Deforestation in the Karib and Mondé-Kawahiba Ethnoenvironmental Corridors

The aim of the Biocultural Conservation of the Amazon Rainforest Project is to contribute to the prevention of deforestation and livelihood improvements in populations living in the ethnoenvironmental corridors of Karib and Mondé-kawahiba in the Amazon region of Brazil. These ethnoenvironmental corridors are formed of Conservation Units and Indigenous Lands situated in the states of Amazonas, Rondônia, Mato Grosso, Pará, Amapá and Roraima. Together these corridors contain approximately 46 million hectares of protected areas, representing 20% of the Brazilian Amazon.

British Columbia Salmon Farming

Conservation Strategy Fund provided economic analysis to a joint initiative of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) and the fish-farming firm, Marine Harvest Canada (MHC). This cooperative venture sought to understand the financial and environmental costs and benefits of different approaches to raising salmon in the coastal province of British Columbia. CSF’s team included consulting economists Glenn Jenkins, George Kuo and Leonard Leung, of Queens University in Ontario. Findings of the analysis will serve the company and CAAR members as they pursue environmental quality in the context of ever-growing seafood market.

Economic Opportunity Cost Model for the Amazon

Solving our global climate crisis hinges on doing a number of things right. One is slowing - eventually stopping - deforestation, which now accounts for 15-20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To do that we need to know how much stopping deforestation costs and where on the Earth's vast tropical belt it can be done most cost-effectively. With the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, CSF has designed an "opportunity cost" analysis method that works at the level of individual farms and single land uses, even scalable up to the level of entire regions.

Wild Cacao

Wild Chocolate in Bolivia

The tree that gives us chocolate is native to the Amazon rain forests. It has long been domesticated and planted commercially in hot, humid climates around the world. But the "wild" cacao beans are still harvested from natural Amazon forests, such as those in Northern Bolivia. CSF helped local communities and our partners at Conservation International assess the Bolivian market for wild rain forest chocolate.

picture of road in Amazon

Roads Filter: A strategic analysis of road projects in the Amazon


p>The Roads Filter is an analysis tool developed by Conservation Strategy Fund to support conservation and sustainable development. The tool uses a comparative index that considers the environmental, economic, social and cultural implications of road construction projects. It can be used throughout the Amazon region to inform decision makers about a project’s risk levels and possible impacts. In 2011, we applied the Roads Filter to 36 proposed roads in the region.

Business and Parks: CSF and the Brazilian National Park Service

CSF worked with the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), which is the Brazilian National Park Service, on financial aspects of businesses operating in national parks. Starting with five protected areas, in the Atlantic Coastal Forest, the Amazon and the Cerrado, CSF trained and assisted ICMBio staff on financial planning to provide services that will improve visitors' access and experience in the parks and strengthen the tie between Brazilians and their parks. The project was supported by the United States Forest Service and the United States Agency for International Development.

Why Rebuild BR-319? Economics of an Amazon Road

The route that once connected Manaus and Porto Velho is in a state of serious disrepair and has been impassable since 1986. The reconstruction of this route as part of the federal Accelerated Growth Plan (known by its Portuguese acronym PAC) has projected costs of R$557 million (US$265 million), which is that our analysis focuses on. Our analysis takes two scenarios: a “conventional” one, which reflects the approach commonly used in the evaluation of projects for road infrastructure, and an “integrated” scenario, which aims to incorporate environmental costs in the conventional scenario.