Innovation Working Group

Conservation faces serious challenges. The long-term nature of conservation requires a focus on building reliable and long-term sources of funding. Innovation on conservation finance is rapidly expanding and creating new opportunities to increase private sector financing, better align incentives, and deliver better conservation.  Solutions can include creating new financing mechanisms linked to markets, insurance, banking, ecosystem services, supply chains, and much more.

The Innovation Working Group is focused on the development–research and application– of emerging finance mechanisms to meet conservation objectives. This WG will review new approaches that seek to value ecosystem services and address sustainable development through community and private sector partnerships. Thus, it will explore pilot opportunities such as mortgage-backed securities, derivatives and effluent credit trading, and wildlife friendly commodity markets to protect threatened landscapes and species, demonstrating how new ideas can contribute to conservation.

The objective of Innovation Working Group is to identify, research, field-test and disseminate information about a range of finance mechanisms which can be applied to achieve conservation outcomes.  The CFA Incubator will be developed through a Task Force under the Innovation Working Group. 

Specifically, the activities of the group include:

·      Identify new or emerging financing mechanisms with the potential to contribute to long-term conservation financing

·      Where practical, support field-application of these mechanisms on a pilot basis, raising funding as needed or working with organizations/groups who already have funding

·      Develop and implement an Incubator for innovative conservation finance solutions

·      Compile lessons learned and case studies from innovative pilot activities and develop effective information dissemination approaches

·      Coordinate and collaborate with existing initiatives focused on innovative financing and seek to complement on-going efforts undertaken under the auspices of other organizations

·      Organize at least one annual symposium on innovative financing mechanisms at special policy events and/or conferences to advance adoption of new approaches to support financial sustainability for conservation.

Interested in Joining the CFA Innovation Working Group?

First, make sure you are registered as a CFA member.

Then, use the form below to contact Ray Victurine with your name and a short message about your interest in Innovation Working Group.


71 Members from 27 Countries


Chair: Ray Victurine

Ray Victurine; Executive Committee.jpg

Ray Victurine is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Business and Conservation Initiative, which he launched in 2007. The program engages with industry, governments and other stakeholders to explore innovative approaches to balance conservation and development interests through design and implementation of best practices aimed at reducing and compensating for impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ray works with companies and governments to promote achievement of no net loss of biodiversity through voluntary programs, national-level policy initiatives, and market mechanisms which lead to the long-term funding of priority biodiversity and sustainable development outcomes.

Ray also directs WCS’s Conservation Finance Program which focuses on the development of sustainable financing mechanisms that contribute to positive biodiversity conservation and sustainability outcomes. Ray has contributed to the design and development of a variety of endowment and conservation funding institutions around the world and has been leading an annual study on the financial performance of conservation trust funds. In addition he is actively involved in exploring new investment opportunities for conservation-related businesses in an effort to mainstream conservation into business decisions.

Ray serves on the Boards of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, the Conservation Finance Alliance, and has been active with organizations engaged with the carbon market. He is also a member of the Biodiversity and Livelihood Advisory Committee for Total Uganda. He is trained as a natural resource economist, and has worked on conservation and sustainable development issues in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for more than 30 years.