Environmental Funds – also known as Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) – have been a valuable mechanism for catalyzing resources for environmental and conservation goals for over 25 years. Conservation Trust Funds are private, legally independent institutions established to catalyze resources and provide stable, reliable, long-term sources of funding for the protection and sustainable management of natural resources in areas of high biodiversity. CTFs typically encompass one or more endowments and/or sinking funds. Coupled with other financing mechanisms, CTFs use income from investments to provide a reliable source of support for management of protected areas, long-term investment in conservation programs and projects, and financing for indigenous communities. Many of the CTFs grow to become significant resource mobilization and grant-making institutions, effectively managing and disbursing funds from a variety of sources to support conservation and sustainable livelihood projects. There are currently over 100 CTFs around the world in some stage of creation, operation or wind-down, ranging from small institutions that protect the habitat of a single species, to large institutions funding management costs for national protected area (PA) systems.

This Tool Kit shares the experiences of Environmental Funds – their legal documents, manuals, plans, and communication materials. The goal is to help guide the creation and start up of new CTFs, promote best practices for existing CTFs, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these vital institutions.

This website offers an ongoing means of sharing documents among CTFs and conservation finance practitioners. The Tool Kit is intended to provide ideas and examples – no effort has been made to qualify or rank the value of the documents. They are original documents, in original languages, without claim to their relative merits, and are not intended for copying sample text verbatim. All users need to craft and adapt their documents to local legal systems, cultural norms and institutional alliances, and consult the document’s owners and experts as appropriate for advice.

The Tool Kit is a community resource for Conservation Trust Funds, and benefits from the free sharing of documents and materials. Please submit new documents as as ongoing way to strengthen all CTFs in their efforts to be ever more effective in securing and disbursing reliable and long-term funding for biodiversity conservation.

 The Environmental Funds Tool Kit was originally developed as a joint project of the Conservation Finance Alliance and RedLAC in 2010, with funding from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and WWF. Additional resources for CTFs include the CFA’s Conservation Trust Investment Surveys that can be found here.






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