How External Financing Influences National Commitments to Biodiversity Conservation (Spring 2020)

Using expert interviews, this Bass Connections team compiled and analyzed a set of case studies exploring the conditions under which low- and middle-income nations finance some, or most, of their protected areas’ operating costs. This project was conducted in partnership with the Conservation Measures Partnership, a consortium of conservation organizations that seek better ways to design, manage and measure the impacts of conservation actions.

By designing an interview instrument and conducting 15 semi-structured interviews of conservation professionals working on specific protected areas and protected area networks, the team analyzed and synthesized findings across three global regions: Asia/Pacific, Africa and Latin America.

In addition to qualitative data collected through interviews, the team collected data on the protected area systems, and basic legal, historical and economic information for each focal country.

The team found that internal funding for protected areas was generated by park entry fees, ecosystem service payments and general taxation, while external funding was largely supported by international nongovernmental organizations and private foundations. The overwhelming majority (90%) of respondents discussing protected area networks indicated that internal and external funds were not evenly distributed across all the protected areas within a network. For specific protected areas, they found that the most common funding mechanisms are conservation trust funds and public-private partnerships.


Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Financing of Protected Natural Areas (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)

This Team in the News

Quartet of High Achievers Take Home 2022 Outstanding Undergraduate Awards

Image: Measuring impact, courtesy of Conservation Members Partnership


Team Leaders

  • Sara Mason, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
  • Lydia Olander, Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability

/graduate Team Members

  • Ha Do, International Development Pol, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy
  • Fanqi Jia, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Climate Science and Applications (C)
  • Katherine Lyons, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation
  • Courtney McCorstin, Master of Environmental Management, Business and Environment
  • Hannah Royal, Geospatial Analysis, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation
  • Mariana Vedoveto, International Dev Policy, Masters of Public Policy

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Autumn Burton, Environmental Sci/Policy (AB)
  • Jwalin Patel, Economics (BS)
  • Justin Zhao, Computer Science (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Richard Carroll, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Elizabeth Losos, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Alexander Pfaff, Sanford School of Public Policy
  • John Poulsen, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Paulina Arroyo, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Conservation Measures Partnership
  • David Wilke, Wildlife Conservation Society