The Business of Conservation

Feb 21, 2020 | Conservation

On 25 November 2014, Paul Tudor Jones II delivered the second Andrew Carnegie Lecture at the University of Glasgow. His remarks focus on solutions, which are as valid today as they were five years ago.

Every year, 12 million hectares of land are lost to drought and desertification at the breathtaking rate of 23 hectares per minute.

The list of species to have gone extinct in just the past 10 years includes the golden toad of Costa Rica, the Baiji dolphin of the Yangtze River, the Pyrenean ibex of Spain and the West African black rhino. According to [the International Union for Conservation of Nature], more than 17,000 species on this earth are endangered. That includes 21% of all known mammals, 30% of all known amphibians, 12% of all known birds and 28% of all known reptiles.

For over a century, we have had hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life actively engaged in the conservation movement—scientists, naturalists, government officials, philanthropists and a multitude of passionate and committed individuals, many of whom go to heroic lengths.

But there is one group of people that has been conspicuously absent from much of our conservation, a group that we need now, and that is investors.

Paul explained that we need to be open to involving investors in the conservation movement for two reasons. First, the movement needs money. Second, the investors have it. In a joint study commissioned by Credit Suisse and the World Wildlife Fund it was documented that:

  1. Private conservation funding worldwide needs to be $200 billion to $300 billion per year, which is 20 to 30 times more money per year than it’s currently getting.
  2. That number, while sounding enormous, is very achievable, as it corresponds to about 1% of total private sector annual investments globally.

Paul went on to make some very compelling arguments and outlined so practical solutions…..

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