Exploring new ways to finance conservation Innovative funding for Nature and People

Exploring new ways to finance conservation. Innovative funding for Nature and People

Protected Areas provide a wide range of services to larger society, from fresh water and clean air, to places to unwind and enjoy. Frequently, the benefits of our Parks and Protected Areas go quietly unnoticed. Is there a way to better value them?

In recent years, it has become clear for many Protected Areas and nature conservation organisations that to keep delivering the best results for nature and people, alternative funding streams need to be found.

In this webinar, we dove into the world of nature financing. Through two case studies focussed on Payment for Ecosystem Services and Nature-based Solutions, participants discovered new and innovative ways to finance conservation.

The case studies

Forest-Based Payment for Ecosystem Services Systems in Central Europe – Hanns Kirchmeier & Jana Baumgartner
Discover how innovative PES systems are being developed to offer alternative income opportunities for forest owners and managers in three target areas: Eisenwurzen Nature Park in Austria, Poloniny National Park in Slovakia, and the Kočevsko region in Slovenia. This project aims to enhance biodiversity, carbon storage, and resilience by mapping the current status of ecosystem services, including timber and fuelwood production, protection against natural hazards, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and recreation and tourism. Based on these insights, an action plan will be crafted to meet both present and future needs, while developing and testing PES systems tailored to these regions.

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Revere Windermere Water Quality Finance Platform – Phoebe Dunklin & Tim Duckmanton
The Revere Windermere Water Quality Finance Platform seeks to provide strategic nature based solutions through an innovative finance platform to improve long term water quality in Lake Windermere. In this case study, the speakers briefly reviewed these water quality issues and how the Lake District National Park Authority is managing this together with National Parks Partnerships and Palladium. This case study also shared learning about the process of developing nature based financed projects that move from the feasibility and design stages to the delivery phase for creating and funding natural interventions.

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The speakers

Dr. Hanns Kirchmeir, forest ecologist and managing director of the E.C.O. Institute for Ecology in Klagenfurt.

Hanns’ core competencies lie in the areas of land use management, ecological GIS modelling, sustainable use of natural resources and development cooperation. In recent years, he has been intensively involved in international cooperation projects in several countries (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, Sub-Saharan Africa, Slovakia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine). He coordinated a joint project on the assessment of ecosystem services for the “Austrian Federal Forest Enterprise” and leads several projects dealing with forest-based ecosystem services.

Jana Baumgartner MSc, project manager on forestry, forest policy and geography, E.C.O. Institute for Ecology in Klagenfurt.

Jana has more than 15 years of professional background in forest policy and international forest policy processes. She joined E.C.O. in February 2023 and is working on projects related to ecosystem services payment schemes, training of Natura 2000 managers in forest management, forest restoration based on natural based solutions and institutional transformation of protected areas management. Her specialties are policy processes, forest resilience, and stakeholder communication and mapping. She has a master degree in  forest policy and economics and is currently completing her second master’s degree in Geographic Systems Science at the University of Klagenfurt.


Phoebe Dunklin, Nature-based Solutions project Developer at Palladium.

Phoebe Dunklin has a background in sustainability and strategy consulting. As a project developer, she designs Nature-based Solutions platforms that enhance the natural capital of the UK landscape and are funded through a blend of public and private finance.

Tim Duckmanton, Team Leader for Strategy and Environment at the Lake District National Park.

Tim covers a portfolio of policy, strategy, programme development and project delivery that includes farming, landscape, water, nature recovery and climate action. Tim works closely with other Windermere stakeholders to look after what is special about the place and is the project manager for the Revere Windermere Water Quality Finance Platform project.