The Little Book of Investing in Nature


As the impacts of human activity on the natural world have become increasingly clear in recent years, alongside human dependence on a healthy environment, the conversation has shifted from “Should we save nature?” to “How do we pay for it?”. Few in government or business today doubt the inherent value of nature or the importance of managing it sustainably. The interest in halting the loss of biodiversity is enormous and is coming from unexpected quarters. Meeting after international meeting closes with strongly worded calls to protect nature, and the dialogue among the public sector, business, and civil society has never been more active. But once economics rears its head, then the dialogue becomes muffled, and participants start shuffling papers and shifting their eyes nervously. 

The Little Book of Investing in Nature aims to energise that dialogue by clearly laying out options for financing biodiversity conservation. While some measures to protect biodiversity may come at an economic cost, others are likely to generate strong returns, economic and otherwise. This book presents evidence that, if a well-considered series of measures to protect nature is implemented, nature may be able to pay for itself. 

As the international community considers how to finance biodiversity protection for the next decade and beyond, the publication aims to help governments, NGOs, the private sector and others compare existing and future options for financing conservation in a clear and consistent way. To do so, this publication introduces an overarching framework that organises biodiversity financing mechanisms into the following categories: revenue generation, better delivery, expenditure realignment, avoidance of future expenditures, and catalysts. A comprehensive biodiversity financing plan is likely to include options from more than one of the categories.

Global Canopy
Publication Date
Monday, 11 January 2021
Applicable location
Sustainable land use
Forest conservation and management
Biodiversity conservation
Forest landscape restoration
Climate change
Learning materials