Corporatizing Conservation: An Analysis of Funding and Board Membership of Canadian Land Trusts




Price, Christina

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Private land trusts have become an important avenue for biodiversity conservation today and, in Canada, land trusts are growing rapidly in size and scope. The goal of this research was to study trends in funding of major land trusts, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada, over the past 15 years to investigate the relationship between conservation and the private sector in Canada. Data were acquired by reviewing annual financial reports and categorizing donor and board member information. An overall trend of increasing corporate funding to the major land trusts studied was observed, as well as an increasing percentage of board members with major corporate affiliations, especially those in the resource and extraction industries. There was also a trend towards increasing government funding, especially federal funding. Conservation occurs in a distinct political, social, and economic context, and understanding these relationships can help illuminate the power and governance landscape of major non-state conservation initiatives in Canada. This study supports the hypothesis that there is an increasing trend in the number and types of relationships and partnerships that exist between the corporate-capitalist sector and major conservation organizations. Further research will help determine how these observations may be changing the nature of conservation in Canada.



private conservation, land trusts, neoliberalism, corporatization,