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Conservation finance in a post-covid world

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Rogelio Luque-Lora.

Two new projects in the department consider the way conservation is funded, particularly in the context of the collapse in certain funding models as a result of the Covid pandemic. In this session we will provide a brief introduction to these two projects, before a general discussion of the political ecology issues that they raise.

Yuan and Bhaskar’s project will explore sustainable financing alternatives for conservation landscapes post-Covid. The pandemic has disrupted traditional conservation finance models relying on private market flows. Landscapes are composed of multiple natural capital assets (i.e. the stock of natural resources) functioning as an integrated system, providing ecosystem services (i.e. benefits we receive from nature) that can be considered as public goods. It is important to find alternative finance models that recognise multiple values of nature to support better-informed landscape decisions.

Meanwhile, Sophia and Chris are focusing on conservation and development in Galapagos. Covid-19 has highlighted the fragility of the socioeconomic system of the archipelago, with the collapse in the (unsustainable and damaging) tourism industry putting thousands at risk of falling into poverty. Both local and national governments wish to transform Galápagos into a Sustainable Development Goals ‘Territory’ and move toward a more knowledge-focused economy and away from tourism reliance. This project aims to support Galápagos decision makers in this aim, which will include consideration of alternative methods of revenue generation for conservation.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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