We work to increase the resources available for forest conservation by:
- Developing markets for the benefits and services provided by forest ecosystems
- Establishing partnerships with private capital investors, such as Conservation Forestry, LLC
- Creating financial incentives that improve forest management.
Forest Ecosystem Services
Forests provide a range of direct and indirect ecosystem services that benefit people: non-timber forest products, watershed protection, the ability of trees to absorb carbon pollution from the atmosphere and produce oxygen, and ecotourism and recreational opportunities.
Sadly, poverty compels people to deplete their forests and other natural resources to meet their basic needs for living. And forest owners often will sell land when faced with development pressure if they have little economic incentive to maintain their working forests.
The Nature Conservancy is working to develop markets that capture sources of income from things other than logging, such as ecotourism and carbon credits. We also aim to create systems to ensure that the financial benefits derived from forests accrue to local communities, thus helping improve their quality of life and lift them out of poverty.
We have advanced the concept of conservation forestry, providing income and jobs through good forest practices while protecting biodiversity. We have also pioneered working conservation easements, voluntary land protection agreements that protect conservation values while maintaining economically productive forestlands in private ownership.