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In 2004, U.S. consumers spent $5.2 billion purchasing bottled water while the government only invested 5 percent of that amount to purchase critical watersheds, parks, and wildlife refuges-systems vital to clean water and healthy environments. How can we reverse the direction of such powerful economic forces?
A group of dedicated business-people-turned-environmental-entrepreneurs is pioneering a new set of tools for land conservation deals and other market-based strategies. These pragmatic visionaries have already used these methods to protect millions of acres of land and to transform the practices of entire industries. They are transforming the very nature of conservation by making it profitable.
Drawing on his vast experience in both business and land conservation at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), William Ginn offers a practical guide to these innovative methods and a road map to the most effective way to implement them. From conservation investment banking, to emerging markets for nature's goods and services, to new tax incentives that encourage companies to do the "right" thing, Ginn goes beyond the theories to present real-world applications and strategies. And, just as importantly, he looks at the lessons learned from what has not worked, including his own failed efforts in Papua New Guinea and TNC's controversial compatible development approach in Virginia. In an era of dwindling public resources and scarce charitable dollars, these tools reveal a new, and perhaps the only, pathway to achieving biodiversity goals and protecting our lands.
Conservation professionals, students of land conservation, and entrepreneurs interested in green business will find Ginn's tales of high-finance deals involving vast tracts of pristine land both informative and exciting. More than just talk, Investing in Nature will teach you how to think big about land conservation.
WILLIAM GINN is a businessman-turned-conservation practitioner who has helped The Nature Conservancy protect over 1.5 million acres of forestland through dozens of innovative deals. He is currently director of the Forest Conservation Program at The Nature Conservancy.