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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.

Expanding the Panama Canal

CSF helped the Centro de Asistencia Legal Popular (CEALP) analyze plans to expand the Panama Canal. After participating in a CSF training in 1999, CEALP lawyer Erya Harbar proposed a legal and economic analysis of infrastructure that would effect both natural ecosystems and campesino communities. The study examined the economic efficiency and equity of the proposed $8 billion expansion proposed in 1999. The proposal involves three new dams plus aqueducts, transmission lines and roads in a remote 500,000-acre area of forest and small towns. The goal of CSF's work with CEALP was to inform affected rural communities and stimulate consideration of the financial and environmental tradeoffs of canal expansion in the national policy debate on the issue.

Amarakaeri Indigenous Reserve

Working with Peruvian biologist Carmela Landeo, CSF helped examine the real economic impact of roads and logging on Amazonian indigenous communities. Landeo, who participated in CSF's first training in 1999, studied changes wrought in the forest and in household incomes where industrial timber extraction has drawn indigenous villages toward the cash economy. Landeo studied the communities of Shintuya and Shipeteari, both on the fringes of the Manu National Park and the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve.

Paracas Reserve

Paracas National Reserve in Peru is home to several species of sea lions, otters, vast anchovetta schools, blue-footed boobies, Inca terns, pink flamingos, pelicans, dolphins and large stocks of scallops. The large reserve has been bolstered in recent years by a volunteer park ranger program, which brings in students to maintain the protected area, clean the beaches and provide outreach to nearby communities. Despite its many contributions, funding for this program is constantly in doubt. In 2000, Course graduate Cecilia Rivas, a biologist and now a professor at the San Ignacio de Loyola University, used skills she learned from CSF to demonstrate the value of the volunteers.

Photo of yellow fishing boat on beach in Abrolhos

Abrolhos Marine Reserve Economic Monitoring

Abrolhos literally means "eye opener". The Abrolhos reef in Brazil won its name because of its unique coral formations and because its shallow waters are frequented by large numbers of reproducing humpback whales. The peculiar mushroom-shaped coral heads there are composed mostly of species completely unique to Abrolhos. The high degree of species "endemism" (uniqueness) is a result of Abrolhos' total isolation from other coral reefs.

Roads and Dams in Madidi and Pilón-Lajas, Bolivia

The region of Northwest Bolivia where the Andes meet the Amazon plain is considered by some to be a rich natural treasure and by others to be under-developed. In 1995, the Bolivian government officially protected 1.8 million hectares of rain forest, cloud forest, rare deciduous forest and an array of plant and animal species nearly unsurpassed in the world's nature reserves.

Chalillo Dam

In 2000 CSF worked with the Belize Alliance of Conservation Non-Government Organizations to provide Belizeans with an independent analysis of a proposed dam on the Macal River. The upper Macal and its tributaries provide habitat for rare scarlet macaws, Morelet's crocodiles, river otters, tapirs and jaguars. But it also has potential to supply electricity to consumers throughout Belize.