Financing protected areas in a post-COVID world

Sonnie Hiles
Sonnie Hiles

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that human and planetary well-being are intertwined, that the economy and the health of our planet go hand in hand. That the ecosystems of our economies are embedded within our natural ecosystems. And protected areas have a key role to play. 

Protected areas – national parks, nature reserves, protected forests and so on – play a central role in biodiversity conservation, while at the same time contributing to livelihoods, particularly at the local level including indigenous communities.

Protected areas are at the core of efforts towards conserving nature and the services it provides us – food, clean water supply, medicines and protection from the impacts of natural disasters. That's why BIOFIN is heavily involved in identifying numerous financial solutions for boosting protected areas. 

Some of the finance solutions relevant to protected areas finance include results based budgeting, resource mobilization, and modernization of entrance fee system.

Recognizing the role of communities within protected areas as partners in management, 33 finance solutions are designed with communities in mind. Among these are human-wildlife conflict insurance, concession agreements, and impact investment for biodiversity enterprises. Meanwhile, finance mechanisms with wider scope and geographic application but with potential to benefit PA finance include trust funds, payments for ecosystem services, and leveraging funds from biodiversity and carbon offsets and green bonds.

From working on protected areas entrance fees in Botswana, to carbon-offsets in Kazakhstan with a leading tech company, implementation of fee collection scheme in Vietnam, or crowdfunding campaigns from Ecuador to Philippines, BIOFIN provides 51 solutions that are linked to protected areas and community financing. 

On 12 October BIOFIN will be presenting it's work at Colorado State University's 'Virtual Conference on Protected Area Tourism in a Post-COVID World' presenting some of our notable efforts in recent years to generate finance for protected areas and communities. 

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