WEBINAR: Incentivizing Market Transformation

Join 2005 Kinship Fellow Katie McCann from Earth Innovation Institute and 2013 Kinship Fellow Jos Hi

Assessing the Economic Value of Public Lands

By Delilah Jaworski (2013 Fellow) The debate on how to value America’s public lands is highlighted

Environmental Conservation off Cuban Shores

Ebb and Flow: Environmental Conservation off Cuban Shores By Fernando Bretos (2011 Kinship Fellow) I


WEBINAR: Incentivizing Market Transformation

March 28, 2014 in Kinship Webinar Series, Mechanisms for Market-based Conservation

Join 2005 Kinship Fellow Katie McCann from Earth Innovation Institute and 2013 Kinship Fellow Jos Hill from Olazul as they describe different approaches aimed at moving both small and large scale markets towards sustainability. Katie and Jos explain some of the tools that can be used to transform markets, such as: certification, traceability, and use of technology.

They also discuss the challenges and opportunities of implementing supply chain interventions in their own projects. Jos describes Olazul’s work helping small scale collectors of marine ornamental fish design and adopt sustainable practices and deliver a “boutique” product to market. Katie discusses Earth Innovation’s work with commodity markets in the tropics (soy, beef, sugar, palm oil) and their efforts to accelerate the transition towards sustainability.

Presenter bios:

Hill, JosJos Hill is a marine ecologist and entrepreneur with over ten years of international practice in conservation. She has worked on sustainable seafood issues, designed conservation programs, advised on incentive based resource management initiatives, supported business and operational planning for sustainably-minded organizations and has led capacity-building workshops on coral reef monitoring and protected area management in the Indo Pacific and Caribbean. Jos is also a two-time Packard Environment Fellow and a Kinship Conservation Fellow. Before joining Olazul, Jos founded and led Reef Check Australia, an award-winning non-profit that engages the general public in coral reef monitoring and education. Jos holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Biology from the University of Leeds in the U.K., a Masters of Applied Science in Natural Resource Management from James Cook University, Australia and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School, USA.

McCann, KatieKatie McCann, Program Director of the Earth Innovation Institute, has more than 13 years of experience developing strategic environmental and sustainability initiatives.  With professional experience in the foundation, nonprofit, international development, and sustainable business sectors, Katie has established strong project management skills and a proven track record of forging successful relationship across and among diverse stakeholder groups.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an Master of Business Administration specialized in sustainable business and ecosystem services from Presidio Graduate School. Katie was a 2005 Kinship Conservation Fellow.

Presentation slides:

Katie McCann, Earth Innovation Institute

Jos Hill, Olazul

Webinar Recording and Storify feed:

WEBINAR: Incentivizing Market Transformation Stories of Consumers and Commodities in Transition from Kinship Conservation Fellows on Vimeo.

Assessing the Economic Value of Public Lands

March 27, 2014 in Funding, Fundraising, and Finance, Mechanisms for Market-based Conservation

By Delilah Jaworski (2013 Fellow)

The debate on how to value America’s public lands is highlighted in a recent article in High Country News that addresses Sen. Tom Coburn’s report on national parks. The centerpiece of this debate is the contribution of public lands to job creation. This is a variation on a debate that I have seen and been involved in numerous times. Politicians and the public expect economists to tally the number of jobs that a project or policy will “create.” The push for such estimates accelerated in the years since the recession due to persistent unemployment and the need to justify agency expenditures in a tight budget climate.

Here’s some of what we’ve learned: the recreation industry in the US accounts for approximately six million jobs, which is nearly 10-times the number of jobs in the mining sector. But average wages in the mining sector are among the highest, while those in recreation are among the lowest. So how do we use this information to assess the economic value of different public land uses? Typically, we don’t.

The value of public lands is in their contribution to social well-being.

Jobs are a politically salient measure, but employment estimates don’t reveal the economic value of national parks, national forests, and other public lands. The value of public lands is in their contribution to social well-being. Market activity and the associated jobs are only one part of the total economic value of our public lands. An emphasis on jobs will tell us about commodity production and visitor spending, but much of what we value is excluded from these calculations. Additionally, failure to account for externalities (e.g., air pollution from oil and gas operations) will overstate the social value of market activities on public lands.

Much of what we value is not traded in the marketplace: the provision of clean water to downstream communities, carbon sequestration, protection of habitat for threatened and endangered species, and the value to visitors beyond what they spend while traveling to the site. All of these ecosystem services contribute to social well-being, yet they do not translate into employment. In contrast, ecosystem destruction could create jobs, for example, as water treatment plants are needed to compensate for the loss of natural purification capacity. Consideration of non-market goods and services is essential to ensuring that conservation of our public lands is seen as an economic benefit, not just a cost.

Federal land managers increasingly recognize the importance of accounting for non-market sources of value in decision-making. The Forest Service’s 2012 Planning Rule incorporates ecosystem services. The Bureau of Land Management recently released guidance on the consideration of non-market values in decision-making. The Park Service regularly incorporates non-market values in its economic analyses. Nevertheless, it remains challenging to quantify, let alone monetize, the flow of ecosystem services and other non-market values from public lands. This challenge makes it appealing to focus on something observable and easily calculable, such as jobs. The expansion of environmental markets, particularly for water and carbon, improves our ability to describe the economic value of goods and services that typically lack prices. Nevertheless, such markets remain the exception in the United States.

Debates on how to prioritize limited budgets will be more fruitful if we can focus our attention on improving social well-being: understanding how and why federal lands are valuable to the public. This approach can incorporate the desire for stable employment in rural communities as well as the need for climate regulation and water purification. Moving away from a job-centric view may improve public land management, as conservation and economic prosperity need not be opposing goals.

Jaworski, DelilahDelilah is a social scientist with the TEAMS Enterprise Unit of the U.S. Forest Service. She works with natural resource and land management agencies across the United States to incorporate social and economic considerations into National Environmental Policy Act and long-term planning documents. She began her career as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Denver, Colorado. During her tenure in government, she has completed rotational assignments to the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and the Gila District Office of the BLM in southern Arizona. Much of her work focuses on the inclusion of ecosystem service values in project and policy evaluation. Delilah has an M.Sc. in environment and development from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies from the George Washington University. She was a 2013 Kinship Conservation Fellows. 

Environmental Conservation off Cuban Shores

March 24, 2014 in Ecosystems & Biodiversity

Ebb and Flow: Environmental Conservation off Cuban Shores

By Fernando Bretos (2011 Kinship Fellow)

A typical Cuban fishing boat shot from the upper deck of the Felipe Poey, the University of Havana’s research vessel. Red Flag Magazine

A typical Cuban fishing boat shot from the upper deck of the Felipe Poey, the University of Havana’s research vessel. Red Flag Magazine

I stand on the Havana malecón — this bustling city’s majestic seawall only 90 miles from Key West. Ironically, it was built by the Army Corps of Engineers during the 1898 American occupation of Cuba. I look north toward “La Yuma,” the quirky name Cubans call the United States. In my 15 years working in Cuba, no one can fully explain the name’s origin. For some Cubans, Yuma means the lurking Yankee imperialist, while for others it is a place worth risking one’s life to get to.

I strain my eyes scanning the northern horizon. I try my hardest, but even on a clear tropical night I can’t make out the bright lights of America’s southernmost outpost of Key West. But I know it’s there. I know it’s close. My flight from Miami was in the air for all of 35 minutes.

As a biologist with The Ocean Foundation based at the Miami Science Museum, I have spent almost half of my 38 years studying the close biological links between Cuba and the United States and the rich marine habitats along Cuba’s 3,000 miles of coastline. The links are numerous; not only do almost two million Cubans live in the US, but our cultures and histories are intricately woven.

Cuba and the US have been associated long before there were people around to notice. Sea turtles, manatees, and the tiniest suspended offspring of fish and lobster have flowed back and forth well before Miami or Havana were large enough to light the evening sky. Later on, Hernando de Soto explored Florida and the southeastern US from a base in Havana in 1527. Pedro Menendez de Avilés, the conquistador and governor of Cuba, discovered the site of Miami and later actually founded St. Augustine, America’s oldest city. He was also operating from Havana.

My own family has been a part of these transmigrations. In 1895, during the Cuban War of Independence, my great-great grandmother went into exile in Tampa. My parents followed three generations later as “Pedro Pan” migrants: teenagers who left their families behind in Cuba at the height of the Cuban Revolution. Their thinking was that they would reunite in a matter of months. My mother has never returned to the island.

As a conservationist, the link that interests me most is biological. Florida and Cuba are joined by a narrow yet fast moving body of water called the Gulf Stream. This conveyor belt of biological and human passage has one stubborn feature: It only flows north. As a result, one country benefits more than the other.

This conveyor belt of biological and human passage has one stubborn feature: It only flows north.

All of the seawater departing the western Caribbean for the Gulf of Mexico passes south of the Florida Keys via the Florida Straits. Fish and lobster larvae, coral spawn, migrating sea turtles, and sharks hitch a free ride on this ocean freeway. This is the same body of water that hundreds of thousands of Cuban rafters have crossed to reach La Yuma.

This body of water is not the only thing separating our countries, which haven’t gotten along for almost six decades in part due to the embargo that has sought to overthrow the Cuban government with no success. As a result of academic restrictions, Cuba is a black hole in terms of our scientific comprehension of its biological riches. More than 50% of Cuba’s plants are endemic, meaning that they only grow in Cuba. The island is home to four massive coral reef chains that, if lined up, would be three times larger than the lush Mesoamerican Barrier Reef that stretches from Mexico to Honduras. Three of four of these Cuban reefs are almost as large as the Florida Keys. Cuban forests and plains host swaths of migrating birds making the rounds between their winter and summer homes. Cuba is home to amazing creatures, like the smallest hummingbird and the tiniest frog. Or the secretive almiqui, an ant-eating shrew that seems more likely to be found in Australia or Africa.

In 1999, I set out to prove that the Gulf Stream’s constant flow could move small marine organisms from Cuban waters to American shores. I wanted to dramatize that – no matter the political posturing on both sides of the Straits – protecting Cuba’s marine resources was critical to ensuring the health of our own reefs and fisheries all the way up to Massachusetts and as far west as Texas. I got a chance to work on an oceanographic research vessel out of Texas A&M University that received permission to sail from Cancun into Cuban waters to study oceanic currents. I hitched a ride on that vessel eager to prove a point.

My plan was to release 1,900 bottles off the southern coast of Cuba, each with a conspicuous yellow note inside. The nutrient rich and shallow, sunlit waters of the southern Cuba platform form one of the most highly productive marine areas in the Caribbean. On each piece of bright-yellow paper, the finder was asked to provide the date and the place where the bottle was found. Coral and fish larvae only live so long and in order to move passively over hundreds of miles, they would have had to get there quickly or succumb to the high seas.

My study was a crapshoot with little upside and plenty of drawbacks. For one, here was a self-proclaimed environmentalist and defender of the oceans essentially dumping glass into the ocean. I was sure to hear about this later.

We released our bottles off the coast of Cuba’s Isle of Youth and I returned to Washington, D.C., to wait. A few letters with yellow notes arrived in my mailbox and I eagerly opened them all. Most came from the Cayman Islands. But one day, precisely 46 days after our launch, a letter arrived from West Palm Beach, Florida. A week later, another bottle was reported from Port Aransas, Texas. I shouted with joy! If a vial had made the crossing to Florida in only six weeks, so could tiny fish or lobster larvae. And larger animals that swim would have it even easier.

This is critical to understanding the marine connectivity between our countries. Florida is home to 18 million residents and annually hosts upwards of 90 million tourists. Florida has seen unprecedented overuse of its coastal and reef habitats. The Everglades has been sucked dry and we spend billions of dollars importing sand onto our eroding beaches. We have taken too much out of the system and are relying on importing fish to feed the demand. Biologically, Florida and the US east coast are at the end of the supply chain. These areas rely on pristine habitats upstream more then ever. We depend on healthy Cuban marine habitats more than Cuba depends on ours.

Fortunately, our neighbor to the south has taken a progressive stance in terms of crafting environmental legislation and managing natural resources. Cuba also enjoys a low population density, hosts only three million tourists per year and practices small-scale organic agriculture out of necessity, all factors that have led the nation to be coined by a recent PBS Nature documentary an “accidental Eden.” Cuba has declared a goal of designating 25% of its land and water as protected areas by 2020, a goal that is halfway complete.

Not all the grass on the other side is green. Without help from the Soviet Union, Cuba turned to tourism in order to survive. While tourism figures are paltry compared to those in Florida, they are on the rise.

My experiment was by no means the first nor the last to demonstrate this phenomenon. Oceanographic studies have detected the movement of larvae and algae over broad stretches of the Florida Straits. In 2012, I got another chance to prove my point. In this case, instead of glass bottles, I decided to see if sea turtles born on Cuban beaches would make their way to the US. My Cuban colleagues from the University of Havana and I tagged the backs of five sea turtles nesting at Guanahacabibes National Park in August 2012.

Sea turtles are enigmatic creatures. They have been on the planet in an unchanged form for over 200 million years, making them quite highly evolved organisms. Out at sea for most of their lives, we know very little about them except that female turtles return to land to lay their eggs on the same sandy beaches. This roughly annual homecoming provides a unique opportunity to peer into their curious life histories. However, wherever they migrate, we know that sea turtles display what is called philopatry, meaning that a turtle hatched from one beach will return to that same area to nest. So while we couldn’t expect our Cuban turtles to nest on American beaches, we could learn quite a bit about where these turtles go to feed or mate.

I have worked on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula since 2001, studying a significant population of green sea turtles. It is a wild place, home to dense forests and beautiful coral reefs. The conditions are difficult, but we affixed our tags on our indifferent hosts’ carapaces and waited for a response. Initially, two of the five turtles beelined straight for Florida. I watched their tracks every morning from my office computer. Were they traveling to Florida to feed on seagrass beds in Miami’s Biscayne Bay? Ultimately, Harriet and Conchita made a U-turn to the south halfway from Florida. The good news is they found ample feeding grounds on seagrass beds in southern Cuba, Mexico, and Nicaragua.

Cuba and Florida are among the most important sea turtle nesting areas in the northern Atlantic. My study solely proved that turtles and other marine life do what they need to survive a tough life at sea. In a conservation context, it also showed that we have more work to do to develop cross-boundary policies to protect shared resources such as sea turtles. But how can we create effective policies to ensure the protection of migratory species when two countries don’t talk to each other?

We need to take a step further in engaging with one of our closest neighbors, especially with so much at stake. With an increase in tourism to Cuba comes an increased pressure on Cuba’s fisheries and coral reefs. The status quo of international relations relegates the US to the sidelines. By working with the conservation community in Cuba, my hope is that building bridges between our countries will ensure that Cuba avoids our mistakes, and that both countries formulate conservation decisions that effect species shared on both sides of the Florida Straits. Though more work needs to be done to understand what is at stake, marine science provides one of the few avenues for legitimate cooperation with Cuba. And as I stand on the Havana malecón, I still can’t make out Florida’s lights, though I know we are connected by something more important.

This article was published in the Winter 2014 Edition of Red Flag Magazine.

Bretos, FernandoFernando Bretos (2011 Kinship Fellow) is curator of ecology at Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in  Miami, Florida. There, Fernando directs The Ocean Foundation’s Cuba Marine  Research and Conservation Program. He has worked in Cuba for 15 years on major  marine biodiversity expeditions, coral reef health assessments and an effort with the  University of Havana to study a green sea turtle population at Guanahacabibes National Park.  As curator at the museum he is also helping design marine science based exhibits for a 250,000 square foot state-of-the-art museum and aquarium in downtown Miami where  the museum will relocate in late 2015. A 2011 Kinship Fellow and 2010 Audubon  Together Green Fellow, he holds a master’s degree in marine affairs and policy from  the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a  bachelor’s degree in biology from Oberlin College.

Conservation Finance is Gearing Up for Wall Street

March 19, 2014 in Funding, Fundraising, and Finance

Conservation Finance is Gearing Up for Wall Street

By: Logan Yonavjak (2013 Fellow)

Welcome to the third phase of conservation finance. Over the last 25 years, we have moved beyond public and philanthropic capital and begun to witness the growth of private sector involvement in conservation. This process has involved the emergence of mitigation banking, carbon finance, and nutrient trading, and we are now seeing replicable and scalable models, like water funds, emerging worldwide.

However, in order to truly preserve the health of natural ecosystems globally, a much larger amount of capital is needed – not to replace, but rather, to supplement traditional sources of conservation capital. Moreover, while many conservation finance mechanisms have already been tested, most of the work has been focused on the conservation objective and how to meet financing demand for conservation initiatives. However, the supply side of conservation finance – essentially the perspective of investors and their investment approaches – has received much less attention.

A recent report by Credit Suisse, McKinsey, and WWF identified, among other findings, a concrete number to put some perspective on the global need for conservation funding. The authors found that investible cash flows from conservation projects need to be at least 20-30 times greater than they are today, reaching $200-300 billion per year (if we assume that current government and philanthropic funding at least doubles). The good news is that if we can capture just 1 percent of the new and reinvested capital from high net worth/ultra-high net worth individuals, retail, and institutional investors, we can meet this goal.

It is within this context that a team of representatives from Credit Suisse, Equilibrium Capital, Lyme Timber, and Coady-Diemar Partners, joined forces to convene a discussion on how to move conservation beyond donor funding toward an investor-driven approach. In January 2014, more than 50 conservation finance professionals – including public agencies, NGOs, natural resource funds, and institutional investors and advisors – met to discuss scalable conservation finance models at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Broadly, the workshop goal was to identify the conditions needed to attract and redirect private capital toward conservation. Specifically, the conveners wanted to begin to match a number of direct conservation finance strategies and available investible funds with the long-term intent of creating a conservation finance asset class.

“More and more of our clients are looking for opportunities that can deliver conservation impacts while also generating a return,” said Fabian Huwyler, Vice President of Sustainability Affairs at Credit Suisse Group, “that means we need some investible deals that can accept higher volumes of capital.”

The problem is finding the investible deals. Investors need transparency, clear information on risks and return, and assurance that investments will have a tangible conservation impact. Currently, there are several reasons why conservation projects remain underinvested; a major one is that projects are not set up with the same focus on return/impact maximization and replication as traditional business models. For instance, immediate beneficiaries of conservation investments are often difficult to identify, which makes generating a cash flow difficult.

To catalyze the effort to identify investible deals, each workshop participant was asked to submit an idea that either is currently investible, or has the potential to scale and attract larger scale investor capital. The short story is that specific markets and products are at different points along the ‘S curve’ of investability, which ranges from early-stage, and often concessionary capital to large-scale, market-rate finance. Wetlands mitigation banks are fully investible, for example, while many fisheries projects are not. Temperature trading is one project arguably poised and ready for scale.

Case Study: Temperature credit trading

The Freshwater Trust, under the guidance of Joe Whitworth (2003 Kinship Fellow) has operationalized water quality trading in Oregon and is now working to scale up this model nationally. Under this water quality trading framework, a regulated entity (e.g. wastewater treatment facility) signs a contract with a qualified organization with restoration expertise to generate a certain number of temperature credits – built to rigorous quality specifications – which the entity will use to offset the impact of warm liquid effluent it discharges into streams and rivers and comply with the Clean Water Act.

In return, the offset projects entail planting native trees on the streambank within the affected watershed of the effluent discharge and cool the watershed – a cheaper approach than building large cooling towers to treat the effluent.

In terms of meeting large-scale investor requirements:

Transparency: Projects are third party certified, registered, maintained, and monitored annually for a minimum of 20 years.

Risk/return: In addition to the regulated buyers, agreements have been secured with the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to purchase credits that will be retired for conservation purposes.

Clear impact: The conservation impact is clear: temperature reduction.

Next steps

Follow up from the January meeting will involve the development of concrete committees that can begin working on some of the most promising ideas discussed, and also looking at a clear communications strategy that can continue to educate the investing community about the opportunities in conservation finance. The plan is to host a follow-up event in early 2015.

In order to develop appropriate financing structures and ensure that private sector conservation finance results in measureable conservation outcomes, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations must experiment and define their respective roles and approaches. We also need clear policy drivers, new financial products, incubation opportunities for new products and funds, and to keep track of investible deals and projects. For further discussion on making conservation finance investible, here is a recent discussion article that features perspectives from six conservation finance professionals.

We have a new opportunity for collaboration that can help preserve natural capital for future generations – the private sector is starting to see promise in the emerging conservation asset class – let’s start bringing more deals up the S curve.

Kinship_Yonavjak, Logan (2013)Logan has been an independent consultant since 2012. Most recently, she has been consulting with Beartooth Capital, a private equity firm that performs ecological uplift for ranchland in the western U.S.; Working Lands Investment Partners, a private equity fund focused primarily on wetland mitigation banking in the eastern U.S.; and the Conservation Private Capital Group, a team of conservation finance experts working to launch a new U.S. fund for land conservation.

Logan is a freelance writer for Nextbillion.net, Ashoka Changemakers, and Forbes. She received her B.A. with Distinction from UNC-Chapel Hill in Geography with a concentration in GIS. She is a 2012 Property and Environment Research (PERC) Fellow, a Fellow with Tule Partners, and a 2013 Kinship Conservation Fellow. She is also a class of 2015 Master of Forestry candidate at Yale.

Environmental Funds are Network Hubs

March 17, 2014 in Funding, Fundraising, and Finance

Environmental Funds are Network Hubs

By Camila Monteiro (2013 Kinship Fellow)

Environmental Funds (EFs), also called Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs), have occupied an important part of the conservation finance discussion. EFs are a unique type of institution. They are the link between conservation funders and practitioners, intermediating not only financial resources from one side to the other, but also providing the specific conditions that each side needs to achieve their conservation objectives.

They provide a multitude of services to both funders and grantees including: financial control, monitoring and reporting, asset management, procurement services to parks and projects, capacity building to beneficiaries, and design of financial mechanisms for conservation issues.

As intermediaries, EFs always work in partnerships, being a network hub that connects the different audiences, including governmental agencies, park staff, NGOs, community-based organizations, international cooperation partners, private companies, and other Funds.

This position is one of the main advantages of EFs because it provides the capacity to leverage resources from different funders to specific issues, by co-funding agreements and coordinated investments.

Another key advantage of EFs, is the ability to ensure transparency and accountability  in conservation investments, and to provide continuity  in long-term projects, which often depend on close relationships with governmental bodies that are subject of changes due to government cycles.

Most Funds were created after the Rio 92 summit, as mechanisms to implement the international conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). At that time, the main sources were the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and debt-for-nature swap agreements, such as the Tropical Forests Conservation Act (TFCA). Since the nineties, EFs have evolved and diversified their roles. From pure grantmaking agencies, mainly funding Protected Areas, they now operate a variety of mechanisms to support conservation.

Market-based instruments are becoming a more relevant source of funding and there are EFs managing PES revenues, REDD+ credits and funds, and offset projects and portfolios. Funds are also learning how to better work with the private sector, including high impact extractive industries, acknowledging that the relationship with those companies requires Funds to have clear guidelines and limits in place to ensure the validity of the project. Corporate Social Responsibility is one way for extractive industries to offset their impact, but Funds are now looking at the companies’ liabilities and providing solutions as well.

Many new challenges are posed to EFs. To add value, they need to continuously enhance their services while keeping their administrative costs at a minimum. They also have to deal more and more with impact evaluation of the investments, providing not only fiduciary services, but also assessing and aggregating conservation results reported by diverse partners in the field.

Despite some criticism faced by EFs for adding structures and steps to the conservation process, Funds continue to be created in different countries and regions, covering a variety of conservation issues, and increasingly include climate change.

Mentoring new Funds to become quickly operational is a new service that more consolidated Funds are now providing. The Funds’ networking skill has allowed them to gather frequently, exchange experiences, collaborate in collective initiatives and enhance the quality of their services. Networks such as RedLAC (LAC Funds), CAFÉ (African Funds) and the Conservation Finance Alliance – CFA (EFs’ main funders) congregate Funds and their supporters producing collaborative projects. RedLAC has published a series of handbooks for Funds covering their potential roles on PES, REDD+ and offsets, and also covering operational issues such as fundraising, resources mobilization, governance, communication, monitoring and strategic planning. The CFA has published relevant studies on EFs, such as the Rapid Review of CTFs (2008) and an annual survey on Funds’ performance in their investments – the Conservation Trust Investment Survey (CTIS). It has developed an online library of EFs’ documents, the EFs Toolkit. In 2014, the CFA is about to launch a set of Practice Standards for CTFs to guide new and existing Funds.

The Funds community keeps on growing in number and production as EFs start to be known and used by a broader group of institutions interested in conservation.

Monteiro, CamilaCamila Monteiro was born in São Paulo and currently lives in Rio de Janeiro. She joined Funbio in 2005 and became the Executive Secretary for the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC) in 2007. She served as RedLAC Executive Secretary for four years, where she worked with more than 40 Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, to systematize innovative financial mechanisms, best management practices and organize educational exchanges. Currently, she is the Communication & Networks Coordinator at Funbio, leading knowledge sharing projects aimed at strengthening CTFs. She is also part of Funbio’s team studying innovative investment models for creating new approaches to the territorial projects supported by the fund.

WEBINAR: Building a Market for Urban Wood

February 26, 2014 in Kinship Webinar Series

Urban Wood: Turning a Natural Resource Challenge into an Economic Opportunityfeb2014_urbanwood_400x400

Eve Pytel, Director at Delta Institute, discusses how the emerald ash borer crisis, a regional natural resource challenge, presents a unique opportunity to build a regional market for urban wood. Pytel shares some of Delta Institute’s work to explore market potential for different urban wood utilization strategies thanks to support from Grand Victoria Foundation.

Click here to view Pytel’s presentation slides.

Eve Pytel - for PREve Pytel is a Director at Delta Institute and currently manages Delta’s portfolio of work to transform waste from an environmental liability to an economic asset.  Prior to Delta, Pytel most recently served the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus in Chicago as Director, Environmental Initiatives and led the Clean Air Counts Program. In addition, Pytel served as associate director of environmental initiatives at Chicago’s LEED (Local Economic and Employment Development) Council. Pytel has won numerous awards and published nearly a dozen papers, including several regarding the devastating effects of emerald ash borer. She earned a master’s degree in urban planning and public policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

Delta Institute’s mission is to work in partnership with business, government and communities in the Great Lakes region to create and implement innovative, market-driven solutions that build environmental resilience, economic vitality and healthy communities.

Watch the webinar recording and read the Storify story (compilation of the live Tweet Up) below.

WEBINAR: Urban Wood Turning a Natural Resource Challenge into an Economic Opportunity from Kinship Conservation Fellows on Vimeo.

The Business Virtue of Generosity

February 6, 2014 in Economics and Business, Leadership and Business Skills

The Business Virtue of Generosity

BY RUTH NORRIS (Kinship Faculty Member)

In this article, Ruth reviews the book, “Give and Take,” written by Adam Grant, a professor of management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ruth also presented Kinship’s January webinar, “Business Planning 101: The Basics (Part I).” Stay tuned for Part II, which will be featured in the spring.

I’ve been reading Adam Grant’s fascinating book Give and Take.  It’s a wonderful collection of stories, case studies, and scientific research showing that in the business and professional world, nice guys finish first.

Basically, it comes down to this.  In the short term, people who are generous –giving advice, taking time to help others, sharing knowledge and information –do pay a price in terms of personal success and achievement.  But in the long term, generosity pays off.  People who help others have stronger networks and relationships.  Their teams are more successful. They get more good press and referrals.  And, they get more satisfaction in their work.

Most of us are inclined to be “givers” in our personal lives.  At work, though, a different dynamic comes into play.  “Takers” – people who are competitive, quick to claim credit, and do favors only in the expectation of getting something in return – build better resumes and advance more quickly out of the starting block.  (Gender stereotypes play a role, too: women are expected to be more giving and men get more reinforcement from taking.) Even natural “givers” might become “matchers,” being careful to maintain fairness and balance in their giving and taking, to avoid being labeled “wishy washy” or “a doormat.”  Indeed, behavioral science supports the notion that humans are hard-wired to appreciate fairness and reciprocity, and there are business and fundraising coaches who will tell you that the best way to get help from someone is to first give them a gift or a favor.

Grant offers both science and anecdote to support the conclusion that hiring and supporting givers results in better collaboration and teamwork and improved overall performance.  The book contains practical advice about how to spot givers during the recruitment and interview process (for example, pay attention to their use of personal pronouns – saying “we” instead of “I” when referring to successes is a good sign of a giver.  And on the candidate’s Facebook page, the number, size, and quality of photos of oneself can indicate self-promoting or taker tendencies).  Give and Take also offers practices to build an organizational culture of generosity, and to bring out the “giver” tendencies in your team as a whole, drawing on the power of social norms.

Finally, Give and Take devotes two chapters to the “nice guys finish last” problem, with the surprising insight that generosity is different from selflessness, and that success correlates with high giving in combination with high attention to meeting your own needs.  That is, looking out for yourself is not the opposite of looking out for others: it is defensible, necessary, and possible (a learned skill) to avoid being taken advantage of by takers, and to practice professional generosity in ways that lead to renewed energy and well-being instead of burnout.

Ruth NorrisRuth Norris is an executive coach and organizational effectiveness consultant whose clients include philanthropic foundations, bilateral and multilateral development assistance agencies, and social change organizations, particularly in the field of environmental conservation.  She has worked with the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness program, grantees of Resources Legacy Fund and the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and was a leader in the development of programs funded by the World Bank Global Environment Facility and USAID/Enterprise of the Americas Initiative establishing national environmental endowments in developing countries.

Her consulting practice focuses on managing organizational culture and teams, business and revenue planning, and entrepreneurial approaches to conservation and social change, including messaging and marketing.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and mass communications and a master’s degree in journalism. She has also completed extensive nondegree academic and practical studies in human and organizational psychology and behavior, as well as organizational management and leadership.  She is fluent in Spanish.

WEBINAR: Business Planning Series – The Basics

January 30, 2014 in Kinship Webinar Series

Business Planning Series: The Basics (Part 1)

In today’s public sector, having a basic understanding of business principles and planning is both highly valuable and increasingly important.  Watch the webinar video below to join management consultant Ruth Norris, a member of the Kinship Fellows Faculty, as she explains the elements of a solid business plan.  This presentation sets the stage for a case study analysis of social sector business revenue models featuring the work of Kinship Fellows (Part 2) later this spring.  Click here to review the presentation slides.

WEBINAR: Business Planning Series: The Basics (Part 1) from Kinship Conservation Fellows on Vimeo.

Ruth NorrisRuth Norris is an executive coach and organizational effectiveness consultant whose clients include philanthropic foundations, bilateral and multilateral development assistance agencies, and social change organizations, particularly in the field of environmental conservation.  She has worked with the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness program, grantees of Resources Legacy Fund and the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and was a leader in the development of programs funded by the World Bank Global Environment Facility and USAID/Enterprise of the Americas Initiative establishing national environmental endowments in developing countries.

Her consulting practice focuses on managing organizational culture and teams, business and revenue planning, and entrepreneurial approaches to conservation and social change, including messaging and marketing.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and mass communications and a master’s degree in journalism. She has also completed extensive nondegree academic and practical studies in human and organizational psychology and behavior, as well as organizational management and leadership.  She is fluent in Spanish.

Reflections on Being a Fellow

January 21, 2014 in About Kinship

In this series for The Kinship Lens, Kinship Fellows provide applicants to the 2014 cohort with a glimpse inside the program b reflecting on how attending the program affected them, both professionally and personally.

BY ADAM KLAUBER (2011 Kinship Fellow)

Bellingham was sunny and warm when I landed in June, but I was anxious.  A month is a long time away from family and I was unsure how Kinship would benefit my job. Professionally, I was at a crossroads.  Although I had contributed to a number of recent federal transportation sustainability successes, the passion that originally compelled me to pursue an environmental career path had faded.

My career began by guiding students in the wilderness and teaching them how to live lightly upon the land.  Life consisted of vigorous physical challenges, fulfilling adventures with my colleagues and students and daily living in the natural world.  Seven years as a desk-bound environmentalist, sitting within a large government agency, had dulled the connection to nature.  While my actions were still rooted in environmental sustainability, the instinctual urgency to act quickly was beginning to fade.

Kinship Conservation Fellows 2011Initial concerns quickly disappeared.  Kinship broke through my self-imposed limitations.  One of the most valuable activities was to learn how to truly convince listeners and stretch beyond merely delivering “the right” data to the audience.  I learned the power of fully embracing one’s own role in a project and value of sharing personal anecdotes as part of a presentation.  Within my workplace, I had believed that engineers and scientists respond exclusively to analysis grounded in empirical data.  It had seemed that the best approach was to eliminate the emotional aspects of communication for message purity and efficiency.  I was forgetting what really motivates people.

2011 Kinship Conservation FellowsThe fellowship helped me to focus on what is essential and was a reminder of the value of mid-career renewal.  Daily routines afford few opportunities for reflection and work re-evaluation.  I appreciate Kinship for granting me the chance to learn and above all for the time to live and connect with the Fellows that my group appropriately named “co-hearts.”

The truly illuminating gift from the Kinship experience is the people.   Kinship staff are dedicated and engaged, and the foundation is made up of people who are supportive, generous, and deeply curious.  Kinship invited speakers who provide excellent examples of how to implement change and harness market mechanisms for positive change.  And the Kinship Fellows are now extended family.

Across the diverse Kinship group, the exuberance, pathos, humor, and shared drive renewed my own core joy of working with others to enhance the environment.   One commonality across the group was the ability to forge creative solutions within rigid constraints.  Every person in my Kinship cohort is large-hearted, exuberant, motivated and extremely interesting.  Undoubtedly I learned as much from my peers’ diverse perspectives and experiences as from the actual Kinship Fellowship planned curriculum.  It was a huge privilege to share time with the dynamic and talented Kinship Fellows.

Back at home and in the office the memories of the fellowship are still fresh.   A few years later, I am reminded about the power of shared personal stories and humility.  And more fundamentally, I remember passion and interpersonal connection are at the heart of effective conservation.   Thanks to Kinship for providing the opportunity to rekindle the burning embers.

Adam Klauber, Kinship Conservation FellowsAdam Klauber, a 2011 Kinship Fellow, leads the ICF aviation sustainability business development initiative. He is connecting ICF SH&E airline and airport expertise with ICF legacy climate & sustainability capabilities. Adam was the sustainability domain lead at the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center. His recent projects include managing the Massachusetts DOT carbon neutral airport initiative, leading the FAA NextGen Facility High Performance Sustainable Building designs, and piloting a robust aircraft fuel burn carbon footprint tool for the FAA Office of Environment and Energy. He has earned numerous sustainability and innovation awards including the U.S. DOT departmental individual “sustainability leader” in 2012.


Kinship Conservation Fellows - apply nowThis series of articles is featured annually on The Kinship Lens while applications are open for Kinship Conservation Fellows. To read more articles written by Fellows about their experience at the Program, click here. Click here to learn more about Kinship and access the online application.

Reflections on Being a Fellow

January 14, 2014 in About Kinship

In this series for The Kinship Lens, Kinship Fellows provide applicants to the 2014 cohort with a glimpse inside the program by reflecting on how attending the program affected them, both professionally and personally.

By Hugh Doulton (2013 Kinship Fellow)

Kinship Fellows couldn’t have come at a better time for my work, or for me personally. I had just come to the end of five years running a conservation project in the Comoro Islands, which intersected with our creation of a local NGO to take the work forward. Finding the time for strategic thinking had always been tricky amidst my different responsibilities, and this was the right moment to foster new ideas as the NGO started up. Nevertheless, it took me awhile to decide to apply to Kinship. Could I really leave everything behind for a month, and would it really be worth it? In the end I took the plunge, persuaded by the quality of the training program and an enthusiastic write-up from a partner organization.

Hugh Doulton - Kinship FellowsThe lectures proved to be as stimulating as I had hoped – a mix of interesting case studies and relevant theory. But these were only a small part of the experience. The opportunity to listen to and interact with leaders in the conservation world was a privilege, whether in the classroom or over drinks in the evening. The individual coaching sessions on personal and project development were invaluable, and the opportunity was open to extend these relationships beyond the program. And as I had hoped, it was a treat to spend all that time looking at the bigger picture and how to apply recent developments in conservation thinking and practice to our work. The chance to spend a month sharing ideas, experiences, and problems with a group of other conservationists who struggle with similar challenges was something I was particularly grateful for, coming from a fairly isolated working environment. I had an amazing time, and learned so much from the other Fellows, both in and out of the classroom.

It’s always difficult to keep up these sorts of relationships when everyone is spread out all over the world, but it was such a valuable experience that the 2013 cohort is doing its best. I visited with Njenga Kahiro in Kenya, learning more about his work and thinking about how we can apply some of his participatory planning processes and sports initiatives in the Comoros. After that, I headed to a reunion with all the 2013 Fellows linked in some way to the UK – and caught up with all the other 2013 Fellows over Skype. I’ve also looked to branch out to the Kinship Community beyond our cohort. With a couple of other 2013 Fellows, I’m working on collaborating with a previous Fellow from Australia on community conservation planning methods. And, last month I was able to use Kinship as a calling card to visit a potential partner in Madagascar, and we’re now looking at ways we might work together.

Becoming part of this Community was one of the main reasons why Kinship gave me such a bolt of energy. I went back to the Comoros full of renewed enthusiasm for my work, keen to apply all that I had learned, and with the tools to take it all to another level, knowing that I now had a much enlarged support network – from the course director and the coaches, to the rest of my cohort and beyond – to try and help me make that a reality.

Doulton, HughHugh’s professional life has been spent in the remote Comoros archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean. He first visited the islands in 2005, leading a team of five undergraduates to research ecological trends and the causes of deforestation in partnership with government and local NGOs. He started as Comoros Project Coordinator for BCSF in 2007 and has lived in Anjouan ever since. The project aims to reduce deforestation while improving the livelihoods of the local population. It developed into a major initiative with 25 employees and over £1 million in funding. The organization recently created a local NGO, for which Hugh served as technical director. Having demonstrated sustainable livelihood improvements for over 6000 beneficiaries, the organization is now looking to integrate biodiversity protection measures into wider landscape management. Hugh has a degree in biological sciences from the University of Oxford, and a master’s in environment and international development from the University of East Anglia.

Kinship Conservation Fellows - apply nowThis series of articles is featured annually on The Kinship Lens while applications are open for Kinship Conservation Fellows. To read more articles written by Fellows about their experience at the Program, click on the following links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, and Part 12. Click here to learn more about Kinship and access the online application.