This session will present the results of a study on Indigenous peoples and responsible investing, the
Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond (DZCIB) pilots, and a new research revolving around
scaling and replicating the CIB. The authors would like to generate comments and suggestions from
the CSEAR community.
The DZCIB is the world's first Indigenous-led and community-based Conservation Impact Bond
(CIB). With two pilots implemented since 2020 and 150 acres already improved through native tree
replanting and conservation improvements, it is time for the DZCIB to expand its impact. This study
attempts to answer this global challenge by building an audit mechanism of the CIB that will help
replicate the DZCIB, enabling this nature-based climate innovation to scale up, deep, and out. The
accountability literature has been relatively scant on auditing and measuring practices concerning the
cultural beliefs of the stakeholders (e.g., Indigenous communities) and its implications for
accountability discourse, especially in Canada.
Through a community-based participatory research methodology, this study will answer the following
question: How can an audit mechanism be designed in accordance with Indigenous views so that the
DZCIB be replicated to scale, to maximize biodiversity benefits and carbon mitigation?
As the DZCIB model develops, third-party standards and independent evaluations will be essential to
communicating the credibility of the CIB. This requires specific measurement and verification
protocols (and sufficient scale to make the associated costs worthwhile) and can be accomplished by
certifying against third-party carbon, greenhouse gas, or biodiversity standards. This highlights the
significance of a better understanding of creating a framework to scale up, deep, and out of the
DZCIB. Therefore, this study is highly relevant to the accounting community, both academics and
While the CIB (e.g., contracts, partnerships) can easily be replicated from one pilot to another,
creating safe and ethical spaces takes time, nurturing, and commitment.
Scaling spurs changes that may proceed at different speeds, in different directions, and at different
scales. From a social innovation perspective, large-scale change necessarily involves changes to rules,
resource flows, cultural beliefs, and relationships in a social system at multiple spatial or institutional
scales. Studying those changes and providing capital to nature-based innovations will be at the core
of this study.
The authors would like to emphasize that this study should not be seen as a license to instruct other
cultures from an assumed vantage point about what is best for them. In light of the injustice done to
Indigenous Peoples and their culture, there is an urgent need for accounting researchers to contribute
to raising awareness and open the discussion to decolonize accounting practices and, consequently,
find innovative solutions to fight some of the grand challenges society is facing. This research is
conducted with Indigenous communities, not about them