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The Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond Report

On Conservation Finance, Decolonization, and Community-Based Participatory Research
“The name Deshkan Ziibi comes from the original Anishinaabemowin name given to the Thames River which translates to “antlered or horned river.” It’s important to take time to build relationships, to listen, to learn and eventually trust one another when embarking on collaborative work. Indigenous people have been stewarding the land on the Turtle Island since time immemorial and its imperative the conservation sector begins to acknowledge and work with Indigenous nations who hold vital knowledge on maintaining and revitalizing local ecosystems.”

- Emma Young, Deshkan Ziibiing Senior Environmental Officer

One of the first of its kind in the world, the Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond (DZCIB) financing model was conceived to mobilize increased capital toward reversing the trend of habitat loss and accelerating the growth and long-term stewardship of healthy landscapes. Groups and individuals can invest for monetary returns or environmental gains. Developed and launched in 2020 by the DZCIB Leadership Team consisting of Deshkan Ziibiing (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation), VERGE Capital, Thames Talbot Land Trust, Ivey Business School and Carolinian Canada Coalition, with the support of 3M, Phase 1 is the first step towards a goal of improving 400 ha / 1,000 acres of Ontario’s Carolinian Zone. Located between Toronto and Windsor, this area represents Canada's most complex and fragile ecoregion, and is home to many Indigenous Nations, some of the country’s most diverse flora and fauna, and approximately 25% of Canada’s human population.

DZCIB marks the successful launch of a pilot that is being scaled out in southern Ontario to protect one-third of Canada’s rare and endangered wildlife; drinking water for 11 million people; and a sustainable way of life for 25% of Canadians who live here.

As of July 2021, the DZCIB pilot has supported 53 healthy landscape projects in the Deshkan Ziibi region resulting in numerous ecological, sociocultural, and economic benefits. 69 hectares (171 acres) of habitat in southern Ontario have been improved, 39,000+ native plants have been planted, and approximately 450 people have been engaged in high-quality learning and activities on the land.

For a visual representation of the DZCIB pilot project check out this storymap here.


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The Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond Project: On Conservation Finance, Decolonization, and Community- Based Participatory Research

The Ivey Business School report, which was co-funded by the Smart Prosperity Institute, examines and evaluates principles of the DZCIB model from a conservation finance perspective. The report establishes five evaluation pillars that stand as guideposts for projects on the landscape and aim to track holistic impact including (1) connecting healthy habitats, (2) connecting opportunities, (3) connecting knowledge/circling and learning, (4) connecting our hearts and minds, and (5) connecting our bodies.

The report is presented in part below. If you can't see the embedded pdf, you can access it here

Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond Project