Using economics in conservation practice: Insights from a global environmental organization

Nathaniel Springer, Jessica Musengezi, Eric O. Hunter, Charlotte Kaiser, Priya Shyamsundar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Identifying and implementing successful strategies to conserve nature is a central goal of environmental practitioners. Conservation tools increasingly have an economic rationale to them, expanding the array of means available to trigger environmental actions. Missing is a comprehensive list of economic and financial instruments for conservation practitioners that highlights their current applicability, context, and relative success. To address this gap, we assembled such a list and surveyed units of The Nature Conservancy, a global conservation organization, to understand how these instruments are being used in varied contexts. We find that the majority of respondents have used economic or financial instruments, with the most common types being markets and price premiums, investments and funds, and payments for ecosystem services. A variety of factors influence the choice of instruments, including stakeholder interests, experience, and replication possibilities. Institutional constraints act as a significant barrier to implementation. These findings identify and offer insights on an expanded set of instruments that the non-profit conservation sector can use, replicate, and develop to meet conservation goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere377
JournalConservation Science and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge and deeply appreciate the generous support the Craig and Susan McCaw Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Conservation Science and Practice published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology


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