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New Harvard Forest Publication: Conservation Finance

Sunday, January 1, 2006
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Levitt, J.N. (ed.). 2005. From Walden to Wall Street: Frontiers of Conservation From Walden to Wall Street CoverFinance. Island Press and Lincoln Institute.

From Walden to Wall Street brings together the experience of more than a dozen pioneering conservation finance practitioners to present groundbreaking ideas for dramatically expanding the availability of capital for land and biodiversity conservation in the United States. The authors explore a wide array of promising opportunities, including: mainstreaming environmental markets; enhancing government ballot measures for land conservation; using new forms of tax-advantaged financing; and leveraging the power of private debt and equity markets.

In the absence of such innovations in the field of conservation finance, a daunting funding gap faces conservationists aiming to protect America's system of landscapes that provide sustainable resources, water, wildlife habitat, and recreational amenities. Experts estimate that the average annual funding gap will be between $1.9 billion and $7.7 billion over the next forty years. The creativity and insight of From Walden to Wall Street offers considerable hope that, even in this era of widespread financial constraints, the American conservation community's financial resources may potentially grow dramatically in both quantity and quality coming decades.

James N. Levitt directs the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest and is a research fellow at the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. 

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