Bringing about Innovation in Conservation Efforts
This year (2019), the DRCLAS RO supported and hosted a panel discussion that is part of the "Peer Learning Exchange for Large Landscape Conservation", organized by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the International Land Conservation Network. The panel was hosted by James N. Levitt, manager of Land Conservation Programs at the Lincoln Institute and Director of Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University.
The panel responds to growing interest and urgency in the conservation of large landscapes in Chile and the United States, and brings together practitioners from both countries to leverage collective learning and expertise in advancing initiatives in landscapes ranging from the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve around San Francisco, California, to the Ruta de Los Parques in Chilean Patagonia. Panelists shared the history, challenges, and opportunities in their respective landscapes and address the role of peer learning in achieving their objectives. You can learn more about this initative by clicking: here.
In 2018, the DRCLAS Regional Office was one of the institutional organizers of the 2018 Global Congress From Communities to Countries: Visionary Conservation in a Changing World, a project of the Lincoln Institute's International Land Conservation Network (ILCN) to promote private and civic land conservation, which was held from January 24-26, 2018 in Santiago, Chile. The congress in Santiago was attended by 160 people, representing 24 countries, and offered three plenaries and a field trip. Said two-day field trip was hosted at Las Majadas previous to the Congress. There, the ILCN gathered experts from all over the world to discuss environmental issues in dynamic private sessions.
The inauguration of the Congress took place at the Transoceanica Building and was hosted by Christoph and Nicola Schiess, who emphasized the importance or environmental collaborations for land conservation. Congress participants built relationships across the globe, discussing current challenges and the latest innovations in private land conservation management, policy, governance and financing. The congress aims to create collaborations among conservation practitioners in concrete fields, such as tax and carbon finance.
This congress is built upon the momentum that has emerged over the past several years amidst different events including the Workshop on Emerging Innovations in Conservation Finance, held in Santiago in September 2016 (more information below).
Media Coverage & Past Events on Conservation Innovation: click here.
History behind Conservation Innovation
The Workshop on Emerging Innovations in Conservation Finance is part of our initiatives in issues of conservation which date back to 2008. After a few years after initial activities, the Workshop on Emerging Innovations in Conservation Finance was organized. Held in Santiago in September of 2016, this three-day event was the product of a collaboration that the DRCLAS Regional Office had with Las Majadas de Pirque, and other important partners. David Foster, Director, Harvard Forest, James Levitt, Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation, Harvard Forest, and Rand Wentworth, Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, participated in the workshop, alongside experts in land conservation and conservation finance from Chile, Colombia, Brazil, and the United States.
In January of 2010, a year after the Workshop on Emerging Innovations in Conservation Finance, a book was published. The aim of the book, published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in collaboration with the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School and Island Press, is to bring light to the most effective practices and emerging innovations in the field of conservation finance.
In addition to the initial Conservation Capital in the Americas: Exemplary Conservation Finance Initiatives in the Western Hemisphere conference, on November of 2009, DRCLAS co-sponsored the seminar on the concept of Derecho Real de la Conservación (Real Law of Conservation), an opportunity to lead and innovate in environmental conservation in the Southern Cone. As part of the seminar, James Levitt, Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation, Harvard Forest, also made a presentation detailing how land trusts in US have positively influenced conservation initiatives in the US, and how lessons learned are relevant in Chile and throughout Latin America. He provided participants with a preprint version of the foreword and chapter 4 from the then-forthcoming book "Conservation Capital in the Americas". Thanks to a DRCLAS translation grant, a Spanish version of the text was also available to all participants.
In 2008, Harvard University, with the support of a DRCLAS Grant, organized the Conservation Capital in the Americas: Exemplary Conservation Finance Initiatives in the Western Hemisphere, which took place in Valdivia in January of 2009. This event brought together 120 experts from across the continent, including representatives of the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors, as well as students, to discuss exemplary cases and outstanding opportunities for the conservation finance community that works to fund projects that protect land and biodiversity across the hemisphere.