Question: How do you tip a local economy towards conservation? Answer: Make it worth more to work with nature than to destroy it.
Sounds simple enough, but this alignment of conservation and economic incentives has eluded many organisations working in high biodiversity landscapes before. In the Leuser, we see a bright glimmer of hope – dream big, start small and involve the right partners from the get go. The big idea is to create a scalable green economy in Aceh, via appropriate market structures and investment vehicles. To this blend, LEAF’s collaborators are adding a host of relevant partners, including conservation finance experts and supportive local politicians, as well as global brands and investors who could link ‘Made in Aceh’ products and services through to Western markets. This is one of the most ambitious pieces in LEAF’s funding portfolio, and incredibly important for the ecosystem’s long-term survival.