WWF works to provide long-term, sustainable financing to biodiversity conservation by partnering with governments, private industries, communities and other non-governmental organizations. We develop financing solutions to protect and sustainably manage some of the most valuable natural resources in the world. Our work includes comprehensive assessments of potential sustainable finance mechanisms in target countries, negotiations with governments and donor agencies, and execution of complex financial deals that result in actual revenue for conservation.
WWF has worked with the U.S., French, German, Dutch, and other creditor countries to structure foreign debt-for-nature swaps, including the first one in Ecuador in 1987. Since 2001, WWF has helped design several debt-for-nature swap agreements under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (and previously under the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative). Both mechanisms were formed to relieve the debt burden of developing countries owed to the U.S. government, while generating funds in local currency to support tropical forest conservation activities. Capital raised through debt-for-nature swaps can be applied through trust funds or foundations specifically set up to channel funding to local biodiversity conservation.
Conservation Trust Funds
Conservation trust funds provide sustainable financing that can be used to finance conservation program costs through debt swaps, grants or donations, or other financing mechanisms such as earmarked taxes and fees.
WWF believes that carbon finance, if used appropriately, will play a critical role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to biodiversity conservation, and promoting a range of local economic and social values. WWF is developing pilot carbon projects in Peru, Brazil, Central Africa, Indonesia and Nepal to capitalize on the rapidly growing potential for carbon finance. We contribute to these efforts by securing private and public financing for carbon projects and providing technical support to implement carbon finance mechanisms.
Financing Protected Areas
WWF works strategically with governments, partners and stakeholders in the field to secure funding that supports long-term conservation goals of protected areas. We serve as catalysts to pilot revenue generating mechanisms that attract funding from different donors and have cost-and-benefit sharing arrangements. Most protected areas rely on a combination of funding sources, including annual government budget allocations, grants and donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and donor agencies, and user fees and taxes specifically earmarked to fund protected areas.
WWF sets up financial tools that generate tourism revenues with a triple bottom line approach to benefit local tourism operators, local communities, and the environment. The collection of visitor access fees and taxes can help ensure that a constant stream of revenue can be applied towards preserving ecologically sensitive areas and supporting local communities. WWF helps to establish user fees and taxes and fund community-based enterprises in Belize, the Philippines, the Galápagos Islands, Thailand, and Namibia.