CSF's International Flagship Course

Join a global network of environmental leaders.

Course graduates join a network of more than 3,000 CSF alumni in 40 countries. Our course is for professionals at the forefront of global conservation issues, and our past alumni come from government, NGOs/CSOs, academia, the private sector, and multilateral institutions. By taking this course, you will be connected with peers from all over the world in learning how applied economics and finance can help them to address some of today’s most pressing issues and urgent environmental challenges. 

2021 Course

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Course Dates

    The course runs from July 12th to July 30th. Daily 1-2 hour live sessions are held starting at 7am PDT (2pm UTC).

  • Enrollment Deadline

    Enroll by July 5th to participate in all live sessions of the course this year, including pre-course technical support.

  • Discount

    Enroll by June 21st for early-bird pricing! Use code EARLYBIRD20 at check out for 20% off.


In this course, you will gain:

  • An essential foundation in basic economic concepts and language.

  • Insight into the drivers of environmental problems, including market and institutional failures.

  • Tools to evaluate the costs and benefits of natural resource management approaches and development decisions, including values of ecosystem services.

  • Skills to incorporate economic incentives in order to formulate more effective strategies and policies for conservation, including sustainable finance solutions.

  • The ability to articulate environmental values in a language that communities, businesses, and governments can understand.

  • World-Class Teaching

    Our talented instructors include University professors, CSF staff and experts from the Conservation Finance Alliance, who all also have a deep understanding of real-world conservation challenges.

  • Time Commitment

    The course lasts three weeks, with an expected time commitment of 3-4 hours per day in a combination of interactive virtual sessions and pre-recorded lessons and on-demand resources.

  • Inclusive & Diverse

    Conservation and sustainable development practitioners from every country and background are invited to enroll. Previous training in economics is not required. Participants must be comfortable reading and speaking in English.

Choose Payment Option

Use code EARLYBIRD20 for 20% off the course price if you enroll by June 21st! Contact us at training@conservation-strategy.org with any questions regarding course costs and payment.

  • $1,500.00

    One-Time Payment (Paypal or VISA)

    Enroll Now
  • 3 x $500.00

    3 Monthly Payments (VISA only)

    Enroll Now


Our instructors are drawn from CSF staff, as well as leading academic and international institutions such as, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Hawai’i, and Conservation Finance Alliance.

Kim Bonine

Conservation Strategy Fund

Kim leads CSF’s Economics for Environmental Leadership training program, with activities in over 40 countries and five continents. Over the past 15 years, Kim has led the design and implementation of environmental economics courses and analysis projects in Africa, Asia and North and South America on themes such as wildlife conservation, infrastructure development, fisheries management, tourism economics and sustainable development scenarios. She has teaching expertise in natural resource economics, environmental valuation, conservation finance, behavioral incentives, environmental policy, cost-benefit analysis, and strategic communication.

David Johnson

University of Wisconsin-Madison

David is currently an Economics Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Prior to moving to UWM, he taught Microeconomics and Macroeconomic analysis at Wellesley College, Harvard University and Stanford University. He has received wide recognition for his teaching talent and animated style, and strives to make his courses interesting, important and relevant. David has been teaching CSF courses since 2004.

David Meyers

Conservation Finance Alliance USA

David is an environmental finance expert and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in sustainability, business strategy and management, environmental economics, international conservation and development, environmental impact assessment, training, education, and research in ecology and evolution. He is currently the Executive Director of the Conservation Finance Alliance. From 2012 until 2018, David was a Sr. Technical Advisor for the BIOFIN/UNDP project. He holds a PhD in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

John Lynham

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

John is an Associate Professor of Economics and a UHERO Research Fellow at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He is the Director of the Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate and an Affiliated Researcher at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University. John holds an MA and a PhD in Economics from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). He also holds an MS in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from UCSB. John’s research interests are in environmental and resource economics, marine ecology, and behavioral economics. John received the Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2013.

Corbett Grainger

University of Wisconsin Madison

Corbett is an Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he specializes in environmental and natural resource economics. His research studies the effects of environmental regulations on different demographic groups, the political economy of environmental policies, ambient air pollution monitoring, and market-based approaches to environmental management. His recent work utilizes remote sensing and satellite data to study the effects of environmental policy. He has taught Environmental Economics at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as courses in applied econometrics. He has a PhD in Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Course Content

This course will cover the following topics:

Economic Fundamentals

  • Key economic concepts
  • Market theory: supply, demand, market equilibrium, and competition
  • Why markets are inefficient when it comes to environmental protection: externalities, market failures, property rights, and public goods

Natural Resource Economics

  • Capital theory: how the time value of money and interest rates influence the use of natural resources
  • Behavior and incentives: game theory, open access and management of common resources
  • Economics of renewable resources: forestry and fisheries economics, management and policy

Ecosystem Services and Environmental Valuation

  • Links between ecosystems services and human benefits
  • Environmental values and valuation methods, including best practices and lessons learned
  • Case study examples of valuation studies to influence policy decisions 

Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • Overview and framework
  • Financial versus economic analysis, including incorporation of externalities and sensitivity analysis
  • Case study examples evaluating the economic feasibility of small-scale and large-scale projects

Conservation Finance Solutions

  • Finance solutions framework and systems thinking
  • Public and private sector finance solutions 
  • Scalable solutions and emerging tools and opportunities

Environmental Policy

  • Environmental policy instruments and evaluation criteria
  • Command and control regulation versus economic incentives and market-based instruments
  • Economics of illegal behavior, including wildlife poaching and overfishing

Melissa Carmody

Wildlife Conservation Society, Chile

"The course showed me the power of economics to help understand the complexity of managing our natural resources. I now see why many of the strategies that conservationists put in place don't have the impact we expect.”

Joyce Wang

Wildlife Conservation Network, USA

"The CSF course far exceeded my expectations. The depth of the material and quality of instruction, combined with the breadth of knowledge and experience brought to the table by the rest of the participants made for a really effective, inspiring, and practical learning experience. The cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exposure made every topic so interesting. I wish everyone in the conservation space had the chance to take this course."

Mohamed Bakarr

Global Environmental Facility, USA/Sierra Leone

"The course is definitely the most cost effective way of making environmentalists literate in economics.”

Isabel Felandro Llanos

Lawyer, Peru

“I not only learned about economic concepts that will help me in my career, facing environmental issues, but also this course gave me the opportunity to meet wonderful people from around the world. These people have inspired me to believe and to have hope for the challenges we are facing."

Charles Karangwa

International Union for Conservation of Nature, Rwanda

“I’ve already had six countries request support with the implementation of forest landscape restoration initiatives. One of the key deliverables is financial and economic analysis. Because of this course, I will be able to help perform this task better.”

Join our 2021 Cohort of International Leaders

Course Begins on July 12th!

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For additional information, contact us at training@conservation-strategy.org.