Our client is Conservation Forever (CF), a conservation-focused nongovernmental organization (NGO). CF has asked McKinsey to help prioritize restoration and conservation efforts.
The degradation of nature is a major cause of the twin global climate and biodiversity crises. That is why McKinsey commits pro bono resources to nature conservation worldwide.
Our client, CF, was formed in 2011 at the start of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.
CF aims to permanently conserve large areas of land and ocean over the next decade. Land-use planning in these natural areas will be conducted in such a way that it considers biodiversity outcomes as a priority. This will require restoring natural habitats and ecosystems.
Biodiversity, or the variety of life on Earth at the genetic, species, or ecosystem level, has enormous intrinsic value, but is also essential to human well-being and our economies. It provides essential ecosystem services, such as clean air, food security, and fresh water. Investments in biodiversity can therefore contribute directly to reducing poverty and safeguarding sustainable development.
However, biodiversity is in severe decline, putting its intrinsic value and its ecosystem services to indigenous peoples, local communities, and economies worldwide at risk.
Large conservation projects at the scale required to reverse this loss entail significant upfront financing, complex legal frameworks, and extensive coordination between all parties involved, such as civil society, government, NGOs, and donors.
Due to the complexity and magnitude of these projects, conservation efforts must be carefully selected early on. CF shortlisted three candidate geographies: the coastal areas of Peru, the steppe grasslands of Ukraine, and the mountain forests of Uganda.
As part of a pro bono study, McKinsey has offered to help CF prioritize these geographies and the activities it should focus on.
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