Conservation funding from a water monitoring lab on Roatán


Wolfs Company analyzed the potential and built a business case to support the introduction of a local water monitoring lab as a new source of conservation funding for BICA Roatán.

Untapped opportunities for funding and conservation

BICA Roatán previously worked on partnerships for a business model with the hotel sector after joining a regional peer-to-peer workshop with the MPAConnect network. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that this model is reliant on tourism rates, and has underlined the importance to diversify funding sources and create more resilient financing strategies. Introducing a business model around the local water monitoring lab can be one way to realize this.

The lab, now mainly used for research purposes, has the potential to offer water quality tests to customers such as hotels, restaurants and home owners that are interested in the analysis of fresh and marine water quality. The outcomes of a successful lab expansion would be aligned with BICA’s mission and have a double effect: First, additional funds generated through the lab expansion would financially support the activities of BICA Roatán. And second, the overall increase in testing itself will also create a positive local impact on water quality and sanitation by promoting investment in sanitation infrastructure on the Bay Islands.


Water quality sampling in Roatán (source: BICA Roatán)

Analyzing the lab’s potential

Wolfs Company assisted BICA Roatán with further analyzing the financial viability of a lab expansion so that it would be able to deliver the additional testing, taking into account the associated costs, investments and potential to generate an income. Wolfs Company collected the necessary data and built a financial model with different investment scenarios to provide insights into the costs and benefits related to the lab expansion. 

A simplified illustration of the projected increase in profits and costs for the two investigated expansion scenarios

Building the business case for a lab expansion

Building on the analysis, Wolfs Company created a business case that is assisting BICA Roatán in justifying seed funding that covers the investments required for the lab to expand its testing capacity. Potential donors have expressed interest in supporting the lab expansion, but need some assurance that their funding would have a positive and sustainable impact on BICA Roatán and its broader mission to conserve the Bay Island’s ecosystems. The insights from the analysis and business case serve this purpose and illustrate how an investment in the lab would indeed create desirable and sustainable outcomes for the nature and communities of the Bay Islands.