There is perhaps no topic of greater interest to the MPA field than financing. A search through the MPA News archives reveals that over the years we have covered the subject dozens of times — from how to diversify funding streams, to starting successful endowments, to building strong fundraising programs, and much more.

The fact remains that most MPAs still do not have the funds necessary to address all their management needs. The majority of funding for protected areas still comes from government sources (governments account for 80% of biodiversity finance worldwide), and such funding can fluctuate with changes in government and policy. Furthermore, many MPA managers have no background in business or financing, making it hard to develop robust new revenue streams. As a result, there is still a great need for financial expertise and non-government funds in the global MPA field.

The good news is that this may be changing. Organizations have emerged to help managers navigate the challenges of financing. Creative new opportunities are arising that could generate substantial new revenue streams for protected areas. And the private investment sector is looking at conservation as a chance to fund conservation and make money at the same time.

These developments signal substantial opportunities for growth in MPA financing. Perhaps most exciting is that they are already coming into practice.

This MPA News coverage of financing is broken down into four parts:

December 2016 issue

  • How organizations with financial expertise are partnering with protected areas to develop new revenue streams;
  • A library of resources for more information on MPA financing in general;

January 2017 issue

  • The potential for private investment in the MPA field, including how some investors are already looking for good marine conservation projects to fund; and
  • A new revenue stream that could help fight wildlife crime while funding MPAs at the same time.