Maki Tazawa

Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Master of Environmental Management, 2019

Maki Tazawa is an environmental professional and writer focused on making systems-led change that considers both human and environmental needs across the food, agriculture and conservation spaces. Maki is currently a Sector Manager at the CREO Syndicate covering natural-based impact investing solutions for climate and sustainability needs. Her writing has appeared on the Conservation Finance Network, Clean Energy Finance Forum, GreenBiz, and blogs.

She completed her Master of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her focus was on sustainable food systems, entrepreneurship, and finance and investment. Through her work with the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale and the Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, she led programs around corporate social responsibility, social innovation, and plant-based foods.

Having originally worked in wildlife conservation, she managed international sustainable development programs with the National Audubon Society. She holds an undergraduate degree from the George Washington University in International Affairs and Environmental Studies, where she was also part of the first graduating cohort of GWU’s sustainability minor.

She is currently based in Boulder, Colorado and originally grew up in Rhode Island. She enjoys running, diving and baking in her free time, and loves narwhals.

Authored Articles
Forest in Royalston, MA

Royalston, MA / Tyler Frost / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Conservation’s Role in Philanthropic Giving Is Changing

Several recent reports, as well as observations from experts in the field, demonstrate a changing landscape of philanthropic conservation giving. Now, foundations more often incorporate broader social and environmental issues into conservation work. They also frequently approach conservation through the lens of climate change.
Panda in Chengdu

Companies Can Stave off Forest Tipping Points

What does it take to make a forest collapse ecologically? How can the corporate sector prevent this collapse of its natural capital? According to Kerry Cesareo, vice president of the Forests Program at World Wildlife Fund, there are threats to the natural capital of the private sector that lie outside its current practices and need to be addressed. Along with traditional conservation programs and partnerships, the private sector is seeking to play a larger role in investing in programs that keep forests from reaching their ecological tipping points.
Poplar trees near water

Voluntary Surcharges

This article by Story Clark and Maki Tazawa is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. Voluntary surcharge programs have raised millions of dollars for local land preservation. They are a financial tool for conservation in areas working to balance the draw of recreational and natural areas for visitors and the development pressures on those places.

Ecotourism Investment Begins to Flourish

Ecotourism is beginning to catch the eye of private investors and other funders who are interested in financing sustainable development, land rehabilitation, wildlife reintroduction, and/or conservation research. Examples from Africa show how ecotourism can synergistically build support for these goals.
Green Wheat image

An Interview about Agriculture and Conservation in the Next Farm Bill

In 2018, the Farm Bill will be up for renewal. It will shape the future of federal conservation finance. The bill, initially enacted in 1933, is the defining legislation on agricultural law in the United States. A number of organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund, actively work to find ways to maximize environmental gains that can be made through its policies.