Protected Areas Finance Working Group

The PA Finance Working Group will advance global thinking and planning for sustainable financing of protected area systems, including the following broad activities:

·      Help develop global guidance on key issues for PA financing systems

·      Share information and best practices to support national level PA financing systems and projects

·      Work with national governments to identify status of PA financing and initiate coordinated support program

·      Prepare a global report on the status of PA Finance

·      Prepare a Practice Standards document for PA Finance topics (Business Planning, Entrance and Activity Fees, etc.)

·      Present results of the work at the Conferences of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity

·      Act as the PA Finance Working Group for the WCPA / IUCN


43 Members from 23 Countries


Chair: Charles Besancon

Charles Besancon; Executive Committee.jpg

Charles Besançon is a conservation planner and policy specialist with over 20 years professional experience. As a trained planner for national parks and protected areas in the USA, he brought his field experience to global policy jobs with the United Nations, international organizations and national governments. He spent 6 years as the Head of the Protected Areas Programme at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge UK developing and aggregating global information on protected area systems and presenting this to global policy makers. He spent 4 years as a staff member of the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal Canada coordinating the LifeWeb Initiative that assisted developing countries in leveraging funds to build and strengthen protected area systems, help ecosystems adapt to climate change and manage invasive alien species, among other issues. He has extensive experience in project and programme development, proposal writing and fundraising. He has lived in the USA, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada and has worked and travelled in over 80 countries. Charles is currently working as a consultant from Missoula Montana, close to intact ecosystems and scenic beauty.



webinar to relaunch Protected areas finance working group

Join us for a the first webinar of the Working Group on Protected Area Finance on November 5th at 15:00 UTC. Annabelle Bladon will present the work she is doing for the Conservation Finance Guide on protected area entry and activity fees. 

Abstract: Entrance and activity fees are charged to tourists for access to a protected area or natural site of interest, for use of its facilities, and for specific site-based recreational activities. If revenues are retained by a protected area system, or otherwise earmarked for conservation use, they can be a significant source of sustainable finance for biodiversity conservation. If practice standards are followed, entrance and activity fees can have a range of additional benefits, but there are also risks and challenges to implementation. A thorough scoping and feasibility assessment are important first steps to determining whether fees are appropriate and viable mechanisms to capture revenues from tourism, and feasibility assessment findings should inform design. Key design features include pricing structure, location of site or activity, type of activity, type of governance, and use of revenues. Pilot fee systems with simple pricing structures should be conducted at one or two sites, and these should be evaluated before a full-scale fee system is implemented. Monitoring allows the management authority to respond to issues and changes in visitor preferences through adaptive management. Consistent and transparent reporting on revenues is critical for building public acceptance and justifying national and international support for protected areas.

The webinar will also include a short presentation from me on short and longer-term priorities of the CFA Working Group on Protected Areas Finance including developing best practice guidelines on PA Finance, a semi-annual global report on PA Finance for the Convention on Biological Diversity and other international bodies and targeted support to national governments on PA finance options and implementation. David Meyers, the new Executive Director of CFA will be on hand to discuss overall CFA priorities and some upcoming CFA events.


Best wishes,

 Charles Besancon

Chair, Working Group on Protected Area Finance

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Interested in Joining the CFA Protected Areas Finance Working Group?

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

Then, use the form below to contact Charles Besancon with your name and a short message about your interest in CFA Protected Areas Finance.