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Centre for Building Sustainable Value · Matthew Lynch

Ivey researcher awarded new funding for conservation finance project

Jul 14, 2020

Conservation Finance 2

Ivey Assistant Professor Diane-Laure Arjaliès has been awarded $60,000 from the Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network (EEPRN) for her research on innovative conservation finance instruments.

The EEPRN is a joint initiative of Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Smart Prosperity Institute, which funds and disseminates cutting edge research on economics and environmental policy priorities for Canada.

The project is focusing on the new Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond (CIB). The Deshkan Ziibi CIB – the first of its kind in Canada – has been developed to improve natural infrastructure and ecosystem health on 400 hectares of Carolinian zone in Southwestern Ontario, one of the most fragile and unique systems in North America.

This new instrument has been developed through a unique partnership of conservation organizations, First Nations, social finance institutions, and the Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value through the involvement of Dr. Arjaliès. The CIB is raising $3 million to deliver a suite of conservation and community outcomes.

The EEPRN-funded research will draw on lessons from the CIB and international experience to establish a ‘Canadian model’ for the CIB instrument, that can then be applied to other ecosystems and communities across the country.

The research work has already commenced with the involvement of a team of Ivey Summer students. The student research team is investigating the development of the CIB, the integration of Indigenous accounting principles within the instrument, and potential models for valuation of conserved land. The preliminary findings of the work will be presented in Fall 2020.

“It is absolutely essential to collectively engage to protect our planet and its biodiversity”, said Dr. Arjaliès. “Without healthy ecosystems, society and the economy simply cannot function. We need to shift from an exploitative to a regenerative mode of production, in which we give natural resources the time to renew. Conservation finance is a way to do so.”

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