Conservation leaders across the Americas to meet in Chile

quinta-feira, Janeiro 8, 2009

For Immediate Release
Contact: Anthony Flint 617-661-3016 x116

Cambridge, Mass. (January 8, 2009) -- Experts in the protection of land and biodiversity from across the Americas will meet in Valdivia, Chile January 17-19 to discuss innovations in conservation finance, in a conference co-sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Conservation Capital in the Americas, coordinated by James N. Levitt, director of The Program on Conservation Innovation at The Harvard Forest, Harvard University, in partnership with Professor Antonio Lara, dean of the Faculty of Forest Science at the Universidad Austral de Chile, Steve Reifenberg, director of the Santiago field office of Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and Armando Carbonell, senior fellow and chair of the department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln institute, will confront the complex challenges of protecting land and biodiversity in the western hemisphere.

These include adapting to the impacts of global warming, fighting the proliferation of invasive species that threaten to out-compete rare and beautiful native species, and confronting the spread of residential and industrial development, from southern Patagonia in Chile and Argentina to the Northern Forest in the United States and Canada.

“Conservationists will need generous capital resources – that is, money – to protect and be good stewards of a representative sample of our natural treasures, and of the ecosystem services that are essential to life on earth,” said Levitt. “The good news is that there is an abundant supply of ingenuity in the growing conservation community.”

Conservation finance specialists are coming up with a variety of innovative methods to underwrite land and biodiversity conservation projects across North, Central and South America. These innovations cut across geographic boundaries and economic sectors, engaging individuals from public agencies, private companies, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

Nearly 100 invited conservation practitioners, educators and students from North, Central, and South America will gather to hear presentations from the Chilean Senator from Valdivia, Andres Allamand; the United States Ambassador to Chile, Paul Simons; Christopher Elliman, president of the Open Space Institute based in New York; Laurie Wayburn, president of the San Francisco-based Pacific Forest Trust and the Lincoln Institute’s Kingsbury Browne fellow; Victoria Alonso, private lands coordinator at The Nature Conservancy in Santiago, Chile; and Jose Gonzales, special advisor to the Caral Project in Lima, Peru.

Topics will include:

· Limited Development and Sustainable Land Use

· Financing for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Sustainable Enterprises

· Conservation Investment Banking

· Tax and Fiscal Incentives for Conservation, and

· Ecosystem Service and Forest Carbon Markets.

Partners and funders for the conference and for a forthcoming book to be based on presentations made at the meeting include the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, Forrest Berkley and Marcie Tyre, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, the Environmental Leadership and Training Institute (a joint initiative of the Smithsonian Institution and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies), Jesse and Betsy Fink, the Harvard Forest, the Horizon Foundation, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Trust for Public Land, the Nature Conservancy and the Universidad Austral de Chile.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

in Chile: contact Francisco Morey at (011 55) 63-293-480, or franciscomorey@uach.cl

in the United States: contact Jim Levitt, 1-617-489-7800, or james_levitt@harvard.edu.

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