Plan Conservation Projects

Overview

Three broad, overarching features typically characterize successful land management projects:

  1. A vision of success,
  2. A set of clearly and specifically identified land values, strategies to mitigate all threats to those values, and
  3. Implementation of adaptive management of the land to promote those values until the vision is achieved. 

There are nuances and components to each of these three hallmark features that will vary from project to project, but these three form the core.  While these features are typically part of a process that occurs after the land is acquired, it is also valuable to consider these key issues before any conservation project is attempted.  A clear understanding of the issues related to all three elements is instrumental in determining whether a conservation project is feasible.

These three overarching ideas underpin the more numerous steps to successful conservation projects. These twelve components form a roadmap for conservation planning and outline an integrated process of adaptive management. Some projects may rely on or emphasize some of the steps more than others, but all are essential. 

Conservation values are managed and management techniques are evaluated and adjusted based on the successful achievement of goals and objectives. The notion of conservation management should include broad approaches to management, including biological land management, legal issues, and relations with neighbors and partners. The twelve steps in fact form integrated clusters of connected activities: Context, Understanding, Action, Evaluation, and Communication.

Roadmap for Conservation Planning

  1. Clearly delineate the site and its boundaries.
  2. Identify conservation targets (i.e., resource values).
  3. Identify threats to these targets.
  4. Understand and describe the ecological and sociological context outside the border of the site.
  5. Articulate general Goals for each conservation target.
  6. Develop a conceptual model that encapsulates the current understanding of the socio-ecological system.
  7. Articulate specific Objectives for each conservation target.
  8. Prioritize work. Multiple objectives and goals often require prioritization.
  9. Develop and implement management strategies that address targets and threats.
  10. Develop measures of success and measure progress relative to the objectives.
  11. Evaluate new information and reconsider goals and objectives.
  12. Communicate with the stakeholders.

Successful Site Conservation Planning

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