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Crowdfunding Biodiversity Conservation

By Eduardo Gallo-Cajiao and Carla Archibald

Crowdfunding is a new addition to the portfolio of conservation finance mechanisms with real potential to create valuable additional resources.

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In a world experiencing massive declines in biodiversity coupled with inadequate government expenditure, raising funds from the public is becoming increasingly important for saving species. One new mechanism of funding to emerge in recent years is

Because crowdfunding has only recently been added to the conservation finance portfolio, most of what we know is anecdotal. The emergence of a novel financial mechanism requires scrutiny so that pitfalls and opportunities can be identified. Consequently, we undertook a global empirical analysis to better understand how crowdfunding is being used for biodiversity conservation.

We found that crowdfunding for biodiversity conservation has now become a global phenomenon. Since 2009 almost 600 crowdfunding campaigns associated with biodiversity conservation have raised around A$6.5 million, with an average value of A$11,170. While the campaigns were delivered across 80 countries in all continents, proponents developing each project were based in just 38 countries.

This pattern signals a potential mechanism for resource mobilisation similar to international aid, where funds are transferred from high-income countries to lower-income ones. Importantly, some of the countries with the highest inflow of projects include regions containing high levels of biodiversity (internationally recognised as global conservation...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.