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Below is a sample of some of the ways we’ve helped clients improve the environment and increase social welfare, both here in the U.S. and around the world.

Development of the California Biodiversity Initiative PilotSupport of the California State Wildlife Action Plan

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Support of the California State Wildlife Action Plan

Development of the California Biodiversity Initiative PilotChallenge

California’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) ensures a sustainable future for the state’s diverse plant and animal species. The plan’s success hinges on support from partners and on properly applying extensive institutional resources.

Solutions

Blue Earth Consultants helped the California Department of Fish and Wildlife draft SWAP and develop collaborative frameworks for working with partners and an operations strategy for implementing the plan. We produced nine sector-specific Companion Plans, facilitated meetings within each sector to align priorities and strategies for implementation, then built buy-in across stakeholder groups by managing an expert and public review process. We also developed a new, innovative operations strategy that specified project objectives, governance and staffing arrangements, an assessment of potential donor partners, and a plan for pilot testing a new implementation approach for SWAP and the Companion Plans.

Results

SWAP is the top guiding document for the California Biodiversity Initiative (PDF), a September 2018 executive order signed by former Governor Jerry Brown.

Client

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Related Publication

Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry FundPartnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry Fund

Global Environment Fund

Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry Fund

Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry FundChallenge

The Global Environment Fund invests in companies and endeavors that return measurable social and environmental benefits in addition to financial ones. To help maximize the impact of its sustainable forestry fund, GEF called on Blue Earth Consultants to identify, reach, and engage partners across nine African countries.

Solution

Blue Earth Consultants conducted market research and audience analysis to identify strategic partner organizations, then built a database to categorize each organization by country and by sector (e.g., biodiversity and conservation, health, etc.). We then worked closely with GEF to craft an outreach strategy and marketing materials for recruiting target partners and drafted a best practices document for building strong partnerships. We also drafted a document that outlined best practices and recommended next steps to build strong partnerships.

Results

GEF launched the Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund, a 12-year investment fund targeting $150 million in commitments for investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and formed partnerships to address the most significant environmental and social issues in the region.

Client

Global Environment Fund

Related Publications

Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) underwater with the sun on the surface casting light rays down.Enhancing Management of California's Marine Protected Area Network

California Ocean Protection Council

Enhancing Management of California's Marine Protected Area Network

Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) underwater with the sun on the surface casting light rays down.Challenge

In 2012, California officials and nonprofit partners completed an ambitious redesign of the state’s marine protected area (MPA) network. The California Ocean Protection Council asked Blue Earth Consultants to develop guidance and governance to help the state’s resource managers, funders, and stakeholders make the most effective use of the multifaceted network.

Solution

Our team played a crucial role in both the design and implementation of the state’s strategic plan for its MPAs. We interviewed and surveyed program participants and stakeholders to develop a shared vision and goals for the partnership between the state, MPA Collaborative Network, member collaboratives, and MPA Statewide Leadership Team. We managed the MPA Network’s small grants program, which helps fund member collaboratives. We worked with a state-appointed grant review committee to develop a request for proposals, review and approve grant requests, document project results lessons learned from grants, conduct technical assistance, and monitor the effectiveness of the program.

Results

Twenty-six entities formally signed on to the shared vision for advancing management of California’s MPA Network. In addition, MPA Collaborative Network Small Grants Program awarded $210,000 in grants ($140,000 in state funding and $70,000 in match from anonymous foundation).

Client

California Ocean Protection Council

Related Publications

Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences InitiativeStrategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences Initiative

University of California, Davis - Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory

Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences Initiative

Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences InitiativeChallenge

The Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Lab at the University of California, Davis support world-class research and teaching in coastal and marine sciences and policy. When CMSI and BML decided to create a collaborative initiative to address the economic, ecological, and social challenges of the rapidly changing land-sea interface in California, they turned to Blue Earth Consultants to chart the way forward.

Solution

We conducted extensive research on existing university institute and lab partnership models, documenting both the competitive landscape of multi/interdisciplinary degree programs and the market for such efforts. In addition, we compiled a database of potential donors to the partnership, combing through our existing academic and donor databases, and gathered insights and buy-in on governance and strategy through focus groups, online surveys, and individual phone interviews. Finally, we combined this information into a strategic business plan that included both a 30-year vision and a 5-year strategic business plan.

Results

CMSI and BML officially merged and launched this year with a new website, logo, and approval for three new academic hires. They now have over 150 students and this academic year received a $3 million graduate training grant from the National Science Foundation.

Client

University of California, Davis - Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory

Evaluation of San Francisco Bay Area Conservation ProgramEvaluation of San Francisco Bay Area Conservation Program

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Evaluation of San Francisco Bay Area Conservation Program

Evaluation of San Francisco Bay Area Conservation ProgramChallenge

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s San Francisco Bay Area Program provides grants to conserve native habitat and species across 10 Bay Area counties. When the Foundation wanted to improve the effectiveness of its grant-making, it turned to Blue Earth Consultants.

Solution

We examined 47 Moore Foundation land protection grants (which directly fund projects) and another 36 enabling intervention grants (which support collaboration, research, and capacity building). Our team conducted extensive research ranging from web-based literature review to analysis of grantee documents, in-person site visits, interviews, online surveys, and both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. We supplemented our big picture research with a deep dive analysis of seven enabling intervention case studies and spatial analysis of land protection grants.

Results

The results showed the Bay Area Program grantees have protected and restored over 118,264 acres of threatened and ecologically valuable land in the Bay Area and leveraged over $218M in dedicated funding mechanisms (e.g., endowments, organizational budgets) to support site stewardship.

Client

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Related Publications

Planning and Implementation of Fourth Coastal Resilience WorkshopPlanning and Implementation of Fourth Coastal Resilience Workshop

University of California, Irvine

Planning and Implementation of Fourth Coastal Resilience Workshop

Planning and Implementation of Fourth Coastal Resilience WorkshopChallenge

The University of California at Irvine hosts an annual workshop that brings together a broad array of participants to share tools, resources, and advice on ensuring the resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems. Ensuring the success of complex, ambitious events requires a mastery of the subject matter and finely-honed logistical expertise. That’s why the university turned to Blue Earth Consultants for a fourth straight year.

Solution

We began by developing workshops themes and objectives around coastal resiliency that accounted for a diverse set of attendees that would include technical experts, practitioners, policymakers, and community members coming from the local, state, federal, and international level. We developed themes that would accommodate a wide variety of experience levels, then identified and coordinated with keynote speakers and expert panelists, and developed a facilitation plan to keep the workshop focused and productive. Our team developed and executed a marketing plan to ensure broad attendance, coordinated day of logistics, and developed and administered a follow-up survey with participants.

Results

“The range of panel speakers and the different aspects of coastal resilience presented (scientific tools, planners and city officials, outside California speakers) was effective. It was great to get different perspectives on the same topic.” – Government workshop participant

Client

University of California, Irvine

Market and Needs Assessment to Inform the Design and Development of a UCSC Coastal Sustainability Degree ProgramMarket and Needs Assessment to Inform the Design and Development of a UCSC Coastal Sustainability Degree Program

University of California, Santa Cruz

Market and Needs Assessment to Inform the Design and Development of a UCSC Coastal Sustainability Degree Program

Market and Needs Assessment to Inform the Design and Development of a UCSC Coastal Sustainability Degree ProgramChallenge

Starting a new university degree program comes with a lot of unknowns. Will students choose the program? Will alumni help fund it? Will employers hire its graduates? The University of California at Santa Cruz hired Blue Earth Consultants to answer those questions about its proposed coastal sustainability degree program.

Solution

We began by helping university faculty define “coastal sustainability” and identify the themes and issues that the new program could address. With that information in hand, we assessed the job market, performed a competitive analysis of similar degree programs, and analyzed the Universities goals and internal capacities. Our research included both web-based reviews and in-depth individual interviews. We compiled our findings and recommendations into a memo documenting best practices for designing, developing the new program.

Results

The Coastal Science and Policy Program welcomed its first cohort of 10 students in Fall 2018 to design and implement solutions to the complex social, ecological, and technological problems facing the worlds coastal ecosystems and communities.

Client

University of California, Santa Cruz

Related Publications

Monitoring and Evaluation Work Plan and Scorecard AssessmentsMonitoring and Evaluation Work Plan and Scorecard Assessments

Orange County Community Foundation

Monitoring and Evaluation Work Plan and Scorecard Assessments

Monitoring and Evaluation Work Plan and Scorecard AssessmentsChallenge

You’ve built a strategic funding plan, and you’re executing it to the letter. But how do you know if it’s working? If you’re the Orange County Community Foundation, you ask the Blue Earth Consultants team that helped you develop your plan in the first place to help build a monitoring, evaluation, and learning work plan and scorecard.

Solution

Any good monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan starts by talking to people. Our team brought together a group of the Foundation’s grant recipients for annual meetings to gather input on proposed performance measures and collaborative solutions. These sessions allowed us the opportunity to collect baseline data on the Foundation’s grant-making activities to date. Armed with that information, we constructed a set of performance measures which we applied to grantee project assessments and conducted follow-up interviews to assess the new measures. In addition, we integrated grantee spatial data to develop GIS maps highlighting ecological impact over time. We also helped the Foundation coordinate their first donor roundtable in September 2018 focused on public and private funders supporting endangered species efforts in Orange County.

Results

The Foundation is about to begin its third year of grant-making under its new performance measures. To date, Foundation grants have helped protect, acquire, and/or restore over 1,800 acres of key endangered species habitat.

Client

Orange County Community Foundation

Strategic Planning ProcessStrategic Planning Process

Water Foundation

Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Planning ProcessChallenge

The best-run foundations rest upon a well-tuned governance and operational infrastructure. But when you’re a brand new foundation, you don’t have the institutional knowledge necessary to build that infrastructure. That’s why the Water Foundation hired Blue Earth Consultants.

Solution

Our team served as the project manager throughout the Foundation’s strategic planning process. As part of that role, we helped build a set of best practices for Board meetings and staff retreats, and we will design and facilitate the Foundation’s new Strategic Planning Committee. We also conducted the research necessary to inform strategic plans, including holding focus groups, interviewing key stakeholders such as Board members and funders, and conducting competitive analyses of similar organizations. Working in close collaboration with Foundation staff, we synthesized research results to guide the final strategic plan for the Foundation.

Results

In Spring 2019, the Water Foundation launched a new strategic framework that takes a systems approach–tackling urgent water problems in ways that alter system drivers, such as social inequality and outmoded infrastructure.

Client

Water Foundation

Fishing for Energy Gear Collection Program 10-Year ReviewFishing for Energy Gear Collection Program 10-Year Review

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Fishing for Energy Gear Collection Program 10-Year Review

Fishing for Energy Gear Collection Program 10-Year ReviewChallenge

Derelict fishing gear–sometimes called “ghost gear”–damages ocean habitats and can entangle and kill ocean wildlife, making it a significant risk for endangered species and a financial hazard for fishermen. That’s why the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation created a Bin Program to collect old, unwanted fishing gear that might otherwise end up in the ocean. Bin Program partners re-purpose the gear by either recycling or converting it into energy to power nearby communities. NFWF hired Blue Earth Consultants to assess the program’s effectiveness at its 10-year mark.

Solution

We conducted an online survey and phone interviews with Bin Program partner organizations and stakeholders, and performed random-intercept questionnaires with fishermen. Our research addressed the program’s organizational and logistical effectiveness and explored environmental and socioeconomic impacts. We distilled our research into a set of recommendations for guiding the next decade of NFWF’s Bin Program.

Client

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Due Diligence and Building High-Impact PartnershipsDue Diligence and Building High-Impact Partnerships

Anonymous

Due Diligence and Building High-Impact Partnerships

Due Diligence and Building High-Impact PartnershipsChallenge

What happens when you take the best parts of venture capital funding and combine it with philanthropic grant-making? That was the question a new foundation hired Blue Earth Consultants to investigate.

Solution

Our team performed a confidential research analysis and risk assessment of existing investments in ocean science, conservation, and technology. We assessed the the ocean investment landscape of foundation, government, and private company investors supporting ocean issues and performed due diligence on an innovator for potential investment.

Results

The foundation launched a new venture philanthropy arm based on our landscape analysis, and is actively providing grants to innovative ocean technologies.

Client

Anonymous

Sustainable Financing Conservation Monitoring and Evaluation ToolSustainable Financing Conservation Monitoring and Evaluation Tool

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Global Conservation Fund

Sustainable Financing Conservation Monitoring and Evaluation Tool

Sustainable Financing Conservation Monitoring and Evaluation ToolChallenge

The Global Conservation Fund (GCF) administered more than 35 projects, all funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF). Monitoring each of those 35 projects individually was consuming too many of the Foundation’s resources, so the two groups asked Blue Earth Consultants to help find a better way forward.

Solution

We helped both the GBMF and GCF transition away from individual project oversight to portfolio-level oversight–meaning that the Foundation would track the effectiveness of the Fund’s projects collectively rather than individually. That approach called for an entirely new set of metrics and a new set of tools for measuring those metrics. Our team combined in-depth interviews with the Foundation and Fund staff as well as sustainable financing experts and our own extensive knowledge of best practices to create a portfolio level reporting dashboard. We then worked closely with both the Foundation and the Fund to socialize and pilot the new tool, and then refined, further optimizing reporting templates for the Fund’s project-level grantees.

Results

Portfolio level reporting streamlined grantee oversight and aligned Foundation and Fund on key governance, management and financing needs and priorities prior to release of Foundation funding for protected area long-term financing. Since 2001, the GCF has supported the protection of 81 million hectares (200 million acres) around the world and GBMF invested with GCF more than $200 million for conservation outcomes.

Client

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Global Conservation Fund

Developing a Caribbean Coastal Capital Center of ExcellenceDeveloping a Caribbean Coastal Capital Center of Excellence

Inter-American Development Bank

Developing a Caribbean Coastal Capital Center of Excellence

Developing a Caribbean Coastal Capital Center of ExcellenceChallenge

Coastal and marine ecosystems do not always respect national boundaries–especially when that ecosystem has as many national boundaries as the Caribbean. So when the Inter-American Development Bank decided to establish a Caribbean Coastal Capital Center of Excellence to improve cooperation in promoting the region’s biodiversity and ecosystem, it turned to Blue Earth Consultants for help.

Solution

We began with situational, functional, and organizational analyses to understand and inventory the region’s current capacity to monitor, evaluate, assess, and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to better understand the region’s opportunities, needs, and demand for services. We supplemented those analyses with a literature review as well as in-depth interviews with individuals from government, research institutions, universities, NGOS, and funders. The first phase concluded with a Blue Earth-developed action plan for developing feasibility studies and a draft proposal for the Center. Those feasibility studies–which we will be conducting in the coming year–will ultimately inform a business strategy for the new Caribbean Coastal Capital Center of Excellence.

Results

The Inter-American Development Bank continues to move forward with the project, recently launching Phase 2, in continued collaboration with Blue Earth.

Client

Inter-American Development Bank

Enhancing Regional Management of the Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish FisheryEnhancing Regional Management of the Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish Fishery

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism

Enhancing Regional Management of the Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish Fishery

Enhancing Regional Management of the Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish FisheryChallenge

Flyingfish are ingrained in the culture throughout the Eastern Caribbean, where they have long been a source of food and income. Flyingfish are also highly migratory, so sustaining their populations means working across national borders. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism turned to Blue Earth Consultants to help update and implement the Eastern Caribbean flyingfish fishery management plan.

Solution

Implementing a region-wide plan across countries requires considerable coordination. We conducted online surveys, interviews, and multi-person meetings with local stakeholders, then incorporated our findings into an updated regional fishery management plan, a regional data collection and sharing policy, and a cooperation agreement among the countries that fish for flyingfish. We also drafted a set of model regulations for flyingfish vessel licensing–a model that is general enough to be used in every country in the region, yet flexible enough to be tailored to specific local needs. In fact, many of the products developed will be useful for fisheries beyond flyingfish.

Client

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism

Lessons Learned, Fundraising, Concept Development for Program Related InvestmentsLessons Learned, Fundraising, Concept Development for Program Related Investments

Forever Costa Rica Association

Lessons Learned, Fundraising, Concept Development for Program Related Investments

Lessons Learned, Fundraising, Concept Development for Program Related InvestmentsChallenge

Although relatively rare, some foundations issue low-interest loans to fund projects that have the potential to generate revenue. When the Forever Costa Rica Association wanted to launch such a program, it turned to Blue Earth for advice.

Solution

We began with an extensive literature review and supplemented those findings with in-depth interviews to document best practices and identify possible pitfalls when launching a program related investment (PRI) initiative. Our team also assessed funding opportunities and constructed a fundraising plan. The plan identified potential funders, outlined donor pitches, and provided draft messaging for communicating the PRI program’s goals and strategies. We also developed a strategy concept note, highlighting key goals and outcomes, along with a series of recommended next steps and key milestones (e.g., working groups, partnerships, communications) that – when implemented – will help ensure that the Association has the tools to significantly impact its mission through this new PRI initiative.

Results

The Association’s new investment initiative will be the first of its kind in Latin America and represents a forward-thinking way of using conservation trust funds to finance mission driven, sustainable entities.

Client

Forever Costa Rica Association

Development of an Operational Strategic Plan for Global Sharks and Rays InitiativeDevelopment of an Operational Strategic Plan for Global Sharks and Rays Initiative

Wildlife Conservation Society

Development of an Operational Strategic Plan for Global Sharks and Rays Initiative

Development of an Operational Strategic Plan for Global Sharks and Rays InitiativeChallenge

When you’re protecting species that are found all over the world, you can’t afford to take a provincial view. So when the multi-institutional Global Sharks and Rays Initiative wanted to form a new international partnership, it turned to Blue Earth Consultants to guide the process.

Solution

Our team began by identifying six case study global partnerships for detailed analysis. Through web research and in-depth phone interviews, we distilled key themes on successful approaches, uncovered common challenges, and documented lessons learned. Working in close consultation with the Initiative, we created a partnership-based operational plan that included guidance on governance, staffing, marketing and communications, fundraising, data sharing, and financing.

Results

The six Global Sharks and Rays Initiative partner institutions developed a joint 10-year global strategy to halt the decline of sharks and rays.

Client

Wildlife Conservation Society

Program Evaluation of the Upper Gulf of California Legacy ProgramProgram Evaluation of the Upper Gulf of California Legacy Program

The Sonoran Institute

Program Evaluation of the Upper Gulf of California Legacy Program

Program Evaluation of the Upper Gulf of California Legacy ProgramChallenge

Measuring a program’s success is one of the toughest challenges in public policy. So when the Sonoran Institute wanted to assess the effectiveness of its Upper Gulf of California Legacy Program, it turned to Blue Earth Consultants.

Solution

We began with a three-day visit to project sites in the Colorado River Delta where we interviewed predominantly Spanish-speaking partners, government staff, and various other stakeholders. Our evaluation focused on the Institute’s partnerships with other institutions and government agencies as well as determining the overall return on investment for wetland restoration projects. Following data collection, we assessed the program’s progress toward goals and outcomes and overall strategic impact on bi-national policy discussions. We then developed a summary report detailing recommendations for strengthening the program.

Results

Based on our recommendations, the Sonoran Institute expanded its effort across the U.S. and Mexico border. Those efforts are paying off: recently the river flowed through the Delta and reached the Upper Gulf of California for the first time in a decade.

Client

The Sonoran Institute

Evaluating MPA Management Effectiveness, Scaling NGOs, and Strategic Business PlanningEvaluating MPA Management Effectiveness, Scaling NGOs, and Strategic Business Planning

Fundación de la Isla del Coco

Evaluating MPA Management Effectiveness, Scaling NGOs, and Strategic Business Planning

Evaluating MPA Management Effectiveness, Scaling NGOs, and Strategic Business PlanningChallenge

When you’re charged with protecting a remote UNESCO World Heritage Site that is both the only Island tropical rainforest in the eastern Pacific and a world class scuba diving destination, you want to make sure you get it right. That’s why the Fundación Amigos de la Isla del Coco turned to Blue Earth Consultants to develop its strategic business plan and assess sustainable financing options.

Solution

We began with a thorough review of the organization’s internal documentation and financials (in English and Spanish) before conducting an extensive literature search and in-person interviews to uncover current practices, needs, opportunities, and costs. We then developed a database of potential funders and interviewed particularly promising leads to build political and financial support for the organization. Finally, we combined our research with our deep understanding of leading-edge practices in the sector to develop a strategic business plan to guide the organization’s activities in the near-term and build capacities for the long-term.

Results

“My experience working with Blue Earth Consultants has been excellent. The team assembled for [the] project [was] of the highest level, very knowledgeable and their insight and level of performance was impressive. [The] results [for our strategic business plan] were excellent and surpassed our expectations. A key element in both was supervision and high level involvement [of senior staff]. I would recommend Blue Earth Consultants any time.”

Client

Fundación de la Isla del Coco

Strategic Business and Sustainable Finance Planning SupportStrategic Business and Sustainable Finance Planning Support

Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Strategic Business and Sustainable Finance Planning Support

Strategic Business and Sustainable Finance Planning SupportChallenge

Despite its relatively small size, Saint Lucia is a biodiversity hotspot, boasting 17 major vegetation types and over 200 endemic species. It’s also an ecology in peril, as development and climate change claim forests and species. Protecting the island’s biodiversity is a big job, so the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund turned to Blue Earth Consultants to make sure the job is done right.

Solution

We began by surveying current and potential funders and stakeholders to identify sustainable revenue sources. We supplemented those findings with in-depth interviews that helped the Fund understand the most promising areas for expanding its grant-making programs. We worked with the Fund’s board and staff to help prioritize new revenue streams and strategies to ensure that the island’s biodiversity continues to flourish.

Results

Massy Stores SLU Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund, to manage a portion of the funds (EC$150,000) collected from the plastic charge. This is the charge, which the supermarket initiated last year, as part of a plan to transition customers to reusable bags.

Client

Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Planning, Facilitation Support, and Report Development for Marina Dunes Science Visioning WorkshopPlanning, Facilitation Support, and Report Development for Marina Dunes Science Visioning Workshop

Anonymous Non-profit

Planning, Facilitation Support, and Report Development for Marina Dunes Science Visioning Workshop

Planning, Facilitation Support, and Report Development for Marina Dunes Science Visioning WorkshopChallenge

When you need to close down and reclaim the last coastal sand mine in the United States, you need a lot of help. So when an anonymous non-profit convened leading experts and key decision-makers for a one-day workshop to identify the most scientific approach for managing, conserving, and restoring the old CEMEX mine, they turned to Blue Earth Consultants for help.

Solution

Our work began long before the meeting, as our team helped an anonymous non-profit and other key partners define topics to be covered, develop agendas, and plan meeting logistics. During the meeting, we provided expert facilitators who helped elicit the diverse scientific knowledge needed to craft a set of recommendations to guide the future acquisition, ownership, restoration, and long-term management of the property.

Client

Anonymous Non-profit