Economics allows us to quantify the benefits nature provides people and make clear the interdependence of people and nature. In doing so, it can help us discover and create market-based solutions to conservation problems. There are myriad ways we can deploy economics: to create markets, to improve markets, to influence markets and to understand the limits of markets.

By combining economics, conservation science, and the new data streams and communication pathways enabled by technology, we can develop key insights for changing “business as usual” and develop incentives and structures that support large-scale change.

Just as the Conservancy helped create a market for private land protection through conservation easements and the acquisition of other property interests, the organization is now poised to leverage market-based approaches to solve more complex conservation problems. 

Science in Action

Freshwater | Terrestrial | Technology | Economics | Science

Dynamic Conservation

In an era of rapid global change, how can conservationists provide habitat where and when nature needs it most?

Freshwater | Terrestrial | Technology | Economics | Science

BirdReturns

How can we get water in the right place at the right time to help migrating birds?

2017 | Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Technology | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

Dynamic conservation for migratory species

Mark D. Reynolds, Brian L. Sullivan, Eric Hallstein, Sandra Matsumoto, Steve Kelling, Matthew Merrifield, Daniel Fink, Alison Johnston, Wesley M. Hochachka, Nicholas E. Bruns, Matthew E. Reiter, Sam Veloz, Catherine Hickey, Nathan Elliott, Leslie Martin, John W. Fitzpatrick, Paul Spraycar, Gregory H. Golet, Christopher McColl, Scott A. Morrison

What if instead of buying habitat, conservationists could rent it when and where nature needs it most? The Conservancy is using predictive models of shorebird movements, data from the citizen science program eBird, and NASA satellite wetland habitat data to create a habitat marketplace of…


2017 | Freshwater | Terrestrial | Economics | Publications & Reports

Market-Based Mechanisms For Securing Environmental Water In California

Sarah Heard, Siobhan King, Eric Hallstein

California’s water supply is becoming increasingly unreliable. During dry times, consumptive use often outstrips supplies. As a result, people and nature suffer. This imbalance of supply and demand will likely grow worse if future demand for agricultural and urban water increases alongside a warming climate.…


2016 | Marine | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

Market and design solutions to the short-term economic impacts of marine reserves

Daniel Ovando, Dawn Dougherty, Jono R. Wilson

No-take marine reserves are a management intervention that can provide long-term fishery benefits. But, impacts of reserve implementation can negatively affect fishermen profits in the short term. This study examines how to overcome the losses in profit associated with implementing reserves. The authors found that creative…


2015 | Terrestrial | Planning | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

Executive Summary: Integrating Land Conservation and Renewable Energy Goals in California: A Study of Costs and Impacts Using the Optimal Renewable Energy Build-Out (ORB) Model

The Nature Conservancy (Dick Cameron, Erica Brand, Laura Crane), Grace C. Wu, Nick Schlag

Integrating ecological data into long-term energy planning is critical to meet both California’s long term energy and conservation goals. The full report assesses the potential trade-offs associated with renewable energy build-out by evaluating the land and water use implications and cost of a range of potential…


2015 | Terrestrial | Planning | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

Integrating Land Conservation and Renewable Energy Goals in California: A Study of Costs and Impacts Using the Optimal Renewable Energy Build-Out (ORB) Model

The Nature Conservancy (Dick Cameron, Erica Brand, Laura Crane), Grace C. Wu, Nick Schlag

Integrating ecological data into long-term energy planning is critical to meet both California’s long term energy and conservation goals. This report assesses the potential trade-offs associated with renewable energy build-out by evaluating the land and water use implications and cost of a range of potential…


2013 | Marine | Economics | Publications & Reports

Fort Bragg Central Coast Risk Pool Annual Summary Report 2012

Kate Labrum, Dwayne Oberhoff

In 2011, the west coast groundfish fishery transitioned into a catch share fishery, or Individual Fishing Quota management system. Under this type of management system, the annual total allowable catch is divided into shares, or quota, and allocated to individual fishermen. This report describes a…