Crowdfunding biodiversity conservation

Gallo-Cajiao, E., Archibald, C., Friedman, R., Steven, R., Fuller, R.A., Game, E.T., Morrison, T.H., Ritchie, E.G., and UNSPECIFIED (2018) Crowdfunding biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology, 32 (6). pp. 1462-1435.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13144
 
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Abstract

Raising funds is critical for conserving biodiversity and hence so too is scrutinizing emerging financial mechanisms that might help achieve this goal. In this context, anecdotal evidence indicates crowdfunding is being used to support a variety of activities needed for biodiversity conservation, yet its magnitude and allocation remain largely unknown. We conducted a global analysis to help address this knowledge gap, based on empirical data from conservation‐focused projects extracted from crowdfunding platforms. For each project, we determined the funds raised, date, country of implementation, proponent characteristics, activity type, biodiversity realm, and target taxa. We identified 72 relevant platforms and 577 conservation‐focused projects that have raised US$4 790 634 since 2009. Whilst proponents were based in 38 countries, projects were delivered across 80 countries, indicating a potential mechanism of resource mobilization. Proponents were from non‐governmental organizations (35%), universities (30%), or were freelancers (26%). Most projects were for research (40%), persuasion (31%), and on‐ground actions (21%). Projects have focused primarily on species (57.7%) and terrestrial ecosystems (20.3%), and less on marine (8.8%) and freshwater ecosystems (3.6%). Projects have focused on 208 species, including a disproportionate number of threatened bird and mammal species. Crowdfunding for biodiversity conservation has now become a global phenomenon and presents signals for potential expansion, despite possible pitfalls. Opportunities arise from its spatial amplifying effect, steady increase over time, inclusion of Cinderella species, adoption by multiple actors, and funding of a range of activities beyond research. Our study paves the way for further research on key questions, such as campaign success rates, effectiveness, and drivers of adoption. Even though the capital input of crowdfunding so far has been modest compared to other conservation finance mechanisms, its contribution goes beyond funding research and providing capital. Embraced with due care, crowdfunding could potentially become an increasingly important financial mechanism for biodiversity conservation.

Item ID: 54370
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1523-1739
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 02:00
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 40%
14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics @ 40%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1502 Banking, Finance and Investment > 150201 Finance @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics @ 50%
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