Expanding Conservation Impact through Enterprise Development (EXCITED)

The Convention on Biological Diversity 2011-2020 Strategic Plan aims to integrate biodiversity values into local and national development strategies. At the same time, it is widely recognised that local communities require economic - amongst other - incentives if they are to change practices that threaten biodiversity. However, efforts by conservation organisations to support the livelihoods of natural resource dependent communities often fail to provide lasting economic benefits, to have impact at scale or to reduce pressure on biodiversity. Reasons for this failure lie in capacity gaps among key actors.

For conservation organisations, these include:

  • poor understanding of market systems, as evidenced by initiatives producing handicrafts or other ‘biodiversity-friendly’ products and services that target tiny niche markets in which supply exceeds demand and/or poor and marginalised rural producers face high barriers to entry (e.g. certification).
  • lack of skills and experience in engaging private-sector actors and in supporting government agencies to create an enabling environment for sustainable development.
    For small and growing enterprises, they include:
  • challenges accessing investment capital and crucial business development services, including business management training in skills such as accounting and financial forecasting and management, business planning, strategy development and marketing
  • insufficient knowledge of the values of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services
  • few examples of economically viable, socially sustainable, biodiversity-positive business models

This project will help address these crucial capacity gaps. The project will contribute to the development and practical implementation of viable business models that provide positive social, economic and conservation impacts in landscapes of strategic biodiversity value. This will be achieved through an innovative capacity-building programme that combines – firstly, support to conservation practitioners and post-graduate students to identify - and facilitate development of - market systems with high potential for positive biodiversity impact and secondly, business incubation and development support to enterprises and social/environmental entrepreneurs identified as candidates for conservation impact investment (this will be continued after the project duration).

This project is funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation.

 

Project Aims

The project aims to contribute to the development and practical implementation of viable business models that provide positive social, economic and conservation impacts in landscapes of strategic biodiversity value.

Key Activities

This will be achieved through an innovative capacity-building programme that combines:

  • support to conservation practitioners and post-graduate students to identify - and facilitate development of - market systems with high potential for positive biodiversity impact
  • business incubation and development support to enterprises and social/environmental entrepreneurs identified as candidates for conservation impact investment (this will be continued after the project duration)

Conservation Impact

Our vision of success is that conservation enterprises in Indonesia have received valuable and appropriate support and training that enables them to develop their enterprises in a more sustainable way. Longer term we aim to see these enterprises growing, continuing to provide economic benefit to local people while protecting and conserving biodiversity, and providing much-needed examples of viable business models.

Outputs

  • Existing Participatory Market System Development (PMSD) training materials adapted for the conservation impact context based on action learning in Indonesia.
  • Increased knowledge, skills and expertise of FFI staff and partners, and Judge faculty and students, in PMSD and application of business development support in a biodiversity conservation context
  • Enterprises within the target landscape in Indonesia have increased capacity to manage and grow their businesses, thereby demonstrating viable business models that aim to achieve positive social, economic and conservation impacts.

CCI partners Involved

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, delivering global and regional programmes of conservation and community projects.
Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) provides innovative business management and entrepreneurial learning across a portfolio of undergraduate, graduate and executive programmes. Research...
The Department of Geography's research clusters focus on society and environment, development and political ecology, culture and demography, environmental processes, landscape modelling and climate...

Other Organisations Involved

Related Resources

Resource Title Description Type
Market System Selection Tool Over the years, conservation organisations have made significant investments in ‘alternative livelihoods’ to try to compensate people for restricted access to natural resources and/or to incentivise... Toolkits
Paper: Building organisational capacity for Participatory Market System Development in Conservation This paper, Participatory Market System Development (PMSD) in conservation: Learning from early experiences, is designed to capture and share reflections and lessons learnt from the early stages of... Handouts and booklets

Project blog posts

2 Apr 2016
The project aims to contribute to the development and practical implementation of viable business models that provide positive social, economic and conservation impacts in landscapes of...
1 Nov 2016
So far the experience of collaborating on this project has been very positive, see earlier blog entries here. The partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) on the MBA project was very...