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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.

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.

Photos of Madden Dam in Panama

HydroCalculator Tool

The HydroCalculator Tool empowers citizens to analyze the ecological, social, and financial impacts of hydroelectric dams. Click through below to see how you can analyze a hydro project online or see if someone else has already posted an analysis of the project in which you have an interest.

http://www.conservation-strategy.org/hydrocalculator-analyses

Tourism in Indigenous Lands

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p>Indigenous people's lands are among the best preserved natural places. In the Amazon Basin, these vast tracts have lower rates of forest loss than national parks and are home to unique cultures, stunning scenery and high concentrations of biological diversity. But they are also beset by poverty and managed by native people looking for economic opportunities. CSF is working with the Suruí and Parintintin peoples to evaluate whether tourism could be one such opportunity for them. The project is a collaboration with the Suruí's Metareila Association, the Kanindé Ethno-environmental Association, the Amazon Conservation Team and the International Institute for Education in Brazil, who together form the Garah-Itxa Consortiun.

Southern Tropical Andes Research Fellows

In 2008, CSF held a workshop for decision-makers to illustrate to key partners how economic analysis can help conservation initiatives. Many representatives attended from NGOs as well as government and cooperation agencies working in Peru and Bolivia. An advanced conservation economics course was then taught to 25 participants from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. We received over 200 applications for the course and out of those, accepted 25 participants.

Picture of sugar mill in northern Bolivia

Sugar Cane in the Bolivian Amazon

Over the past three decades, the Amazonian region in northern Bolivia has experienced a process of agricultural colonization in formerly pristine forestlands.

Forest conversion for agricultural projects is the basis of several national and local government development schemes. As of 2008, the most prominent development proposal in the region involved building a sugar mill and planting more than 20,000 hectares of sugar cane. However, consensus was lacking on whether and how such a project should be implemented, due in part to the absence of any rigorous feasibility studies.

Building Economics Skills to Sustain Conservation in the Southern Tropical Andes

Fostering local talent in Conservation Economics is a key piece in the puzzle of protecting the rich biodiversity of the tropical Andes region. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and others, CSF is delivering an integrated training package to address this need. The project began in 2009 with Conservation Economics instruction for decision-makers and young economists. It has continued with a competitive program of research grants for economists interested in working on conservation themes in the rain forest regions of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Image of Brazilian cattle at the edge of the rainforest

Subsidies, Credit and Cattle in Southern Amazonas

Cattle ranching is a leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Forests are razed for pasture when landowners perceive that more profits can be made from cows than from the various products of the intact forest. This calculation is influenced by the availability of subsidized credit, long used a tool to drive economic expansion on the agricultural frontier.

Interoceanica Sur Road in Peru

Tropical forests of southeastern Peru hold the highest biodiversity levels in the world. This unique region is threatened by the construction of a paved road linking Brazil to Peruvian ports on the Pacific Ocean. CSF carried out a study to identify priority areas for conservation investments to mitigate the so-called "Interoceánica Sur" road's impacts. To do this, we analyzed the road’s effects on land-use profits, information we combined with data on the distribution of wild plant and animal species. The economic and biological data was overlaid to find where the greatest conservation gains can be achieved at least cost. Finally, we considered socio-political factors that might favor or restrict conservation.

Photo of a deep sea giant turtle swimming in clear tropical sea water.

Ocean Economics - Abrolhos Reef, Brazil

Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) conducted economic valuation research of Marine areas in Belize, Panama and Brazil. This work was supported by Conservation International’s Marine Management Area Science program. Valuation of ecosystem goods and services was carried out within three formally protected marine areas: Gladden Spit (Belize), Coiba (Panama) and Abrolhos (Brazil).

Ocean Economics - Coiba National Park, Panama

Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) conducted economic valuation research of Marine areas in Belize, Panama, and Brazil. This work was supported by Conservation International’s Marine Management Area Science program and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Valuation of ecosystem goods and services was carried out within three formally protected marine areas: Gladden Spit (Belize), Coiba (Panama) and Abrolhos (Brazil). CSF's Coiba research was led by one of our training graduates, Ricardo Montenegro, of the Alliance for Conservation and Development, a Panamanian NGO.