Foundations of Success

Point of Rocks, MD, United States

Foundations of Success

Point of Rocks, MD, United States
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Rao M.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Rao M.,National University of Singapore | Johnson A.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Johnson A.,Foundations of Success | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Management | Year: 2014

Declining biodiversity in protected areas in Laos is attributed to unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. At a basic level, an important need is to develop capacity in academic and professional training institutions to provide relevant training to conservation professionals. The paper (a) describes the capacity building approach undertaken to achieve this goal, (b) evaluates the effectiveness of the approach in building capacity for implementing conservation and (c) reviews implementation outcomes. Strong linkages between organizations implementing field conservation, professional training institutions, and relevant Government agencies are central to enhancing effectiveness of capacity building initiatives aimed at improving the practice of conservation. Protected area management technical capacity needs will need to directly influence curriculum design to insure both relevance and effectiveness of training in improving protected area management. Sustainability of capacity building initiatives is largely dependent on the level of interest and commitment by host-country institutions within a supportive Government policy framework in addition to engagement of organizations implementing conservation. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.

Johnson A.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Johnson A.,Foundations of Success | Goodrich J.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Hansel T.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 6 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2016

Many remaining wild tiger populations persist in small numbers at sites where densities are less than half of their estimated carrying capacity and will continue to decline if not protected from poaching. Although law enforcement is frequently used to protect tigers and their prey, the conditions under which enforcement is likely to be effective in recovering small populations of wild tigers are not well understood. We evaluated the effectiveness of a law enforcement strategy to recover tigers and their prey in Lao PDR where extensive habitat provided favorable conditions for large increases in tiger numbers if protected from poaching. Over a seven-year period, we monitored along a theory of change to evaluate assumptions about the causal linkages between intermediate results and biological outcomes. Although we found a strong positive correlation between funding for enforcement and days patrolled (rs = 0.786, n = 7, p = 0.05) and a significant negative correlation between days patrolled and overall hunting catch per unit effort (rs = − 0.893,n = 7, p < 0.05), ultimately a proliferation in snaring was associated with decline in several indices of tiger abundance. We conclude that actions were sufficient to reduce poaching and increase prey populations, but insufficient to curtail extirpation of tigers. Recovering small populations of high-value wildlife such as tigers in promising source sites is dependent on establishing a complete enforcement regime, complimentary strategies that build support for the enforcement regime, and a nimble monitoring and evaluation system for agile adaptive management. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Dietz L.A.,University of Maryland University College | Brown M.,Foundations of Success | Swaminathan V.,Foundations of Success
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2010

To assure a future for endangered primates and many other species, we must develop and carry out projects for their conservation as quickly and effectively as possible, even with only limited information about the complex systems of biological, political, social, economic, and cultural factors influencing the conservation situation. Adaptive management, defined as the integration of design, management, and monitoring to systematically test assumptions to learn and adapt, provides practitioners a method for improving strategies to achieve and sustain the desired conservation impact. The Conservation Measures Partnership, a joint venture of conservation NGOs, developed the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, a freely available framework that guides practitioners through implementation of best conservation practices. Using this process, project teams are explicit about the assumptions behind the strategies they choose, and thus able to trace their successes and failures back to good or poor theory, implementation, or a combination of the two. The Open Standards comprise five steps that constitute the project management cycle: (1) Conceptualize what you will achieve in the context of where you are working-involves defining your project team, scope, vision, conservation targets, critical threats, and analyzing the situation; (2) Plan your actions and monitoring-involves developing an action plan including goals, strategies, assumptions, objectives, and activities; a monitoring plan including indicators for measuring the status of goals, objectives, and assumptions; and an operational plan specifying the resources needed; (3) Implement your actions and monitoring-includes developing and implementing detailed work plans and ensuring sufficient resources, capacity, and partners; (4) Analyze, use, and adapt-involves managing monitoring data, regular analysis to convert them to useful information, and adapting the project plans accordingly; and (5) Capture and share learning-involves sharing lessons with key external and internal audiences to promote a learning culture. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Margoluis R.,Foundations of Success | Stem C.,Foundations of Success | Swaminathan V.,Foundations of Success | Brown M.,Foundations of Success | And 4 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2013

Every day, the challenges to achieving conservation grow. Threats to species, habitats, and ecosystems multiply and intensify. The conservation community has invested decades of resources and hard work to reduce or eliminate these threats. However, it struggles to demonstrate that its efforts are having an impact. In recent years, conservation project managers, teams, and organizations have found themselves under increasing pressure to demonstrate measurable impacts that can be attributed to their actions. To do so, they need to answer three important questions: (1) Are we achieving our desired impact?; (2) Have we selected the best interventions to achieve our desired impact?; and (3) Are we executing our interventions in the best possible manner? We describe results chains, an important tool for helping teams clearly specify their theory of change behind the actions they are implementing. Results chains help teams make their assumptions behind an action explicit and positions the team to develop relevant objectives and indicators to monitor and evaluate whether their actions are having the intended impact. We describe this tool and how it is designed to tackle the three main questions above. We also discuss the purposes for which results chains have been used and the implications of their use. By using results chains, the conservation community can learn, adapt, and improve at a faster pace and, consequently, better address the ongoing threats to species, habitats, and ecosystems. © 2013 by the author(s).

Salafsky N.,Foundations of Success
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

If a project team is integrating human socio-economic development into its conservation work, there are three options for structuring the project: (1) have an integrated mix of conservation and development ends, (2) use development means in service of strict conservation ends, and (3) explicitly link the project's conservation ends to broader development ends. Although Option #1 is the most common solution, in this essay I argue that careful articulation of the theories of change behind conservation strategies reveals that it is often the worst choice. Project teams ultimately have to select either conservation or development goals, or risk achieving neither, especially in cases in which there is minimal linkage between the goals. Instead, a far better choice is Option #2 under which conservation agencies and organizations use the resources allocated to them by society in service of strict conservation ends. Under this option, project teams cannot ignore development concerns. Instead, they need to consider human needs in the context of both the threats at the site and their strategies - to use development means to achieve their desired conservation ends. Finally, in situations in which conservation teams need to increase available resources, it may be useful to show how conservation ends can also be a means to help achieve broader development ends over the long-term. Under Option #3, creating a clear "results chain" showing the team's theory of change enables teams to explicitly explore and make use of the links between human and natural welfare needs, and provide appropriate authorities with the information needed to weigh tradeoffs and make required decisions. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Geyer J.,Eberswalde University Of Applied Sciences | Kiefer I.,Eberswalde University Of Applied Sciences | Kiefer I.,Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants | Kreft S.,Eberswalde University Of Applied Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2011

Conservation actions need to account for and be adapted to address changes that will occur under global climate change. The identification of stresses on biological diversity (as defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity) is key in the process of adaptive conservation management. We considered any impact of climate change on biological diversity a stress because such an effect represents a change (negative or positive) in key ecological attributes of an ecosystem or parts of it. We applied a systemic approach and a hierarchical framework in a comprehensive classification of stresses to biological diversity that are caused directly by global climate change. Through analyses of 20 conservation sites in 7 countries and a review of the literature, we identified climate-change-induced stresses. We grouped the identified stresses according to 3 levels of biological diversity: stresses that affect individuals and populations, stresses that affect biological communities, and stresses that affect ecosystem structure and function. For each stress category, we differentiated 3 hierarchical levels of stress: stress class (thematic grouping with the coarsest resolution, 8); general stresses (thematic groups of specific stresses, 21); and specific stresses (most detailed definition of stresses, 90). We also compiled an overview of effects of climate change on ecosystem services using the categories of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and 2 additional categories. Our classification may be used to identify key climate-change-related stresses to biological diversity and may assist in the development of appropriate conservation strategies. The classification is in list format, but it accounts for relations among climate-change-induced stresses. ©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.

Salafsky N.,Foundations of Success | Redford K.H.,Archipelago Consulting
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

Conservationists often must take action in the face of uncertainty about the costs and benefits of different options. Although this uncertainty can be paralyzing when the stakes are high, there is obviously a cost to inaction as well as action, and decision makers need to be encouraged to act when appropriate. Many other fields of human endeavor such as law, medicine, and public safety have formally developed the "burden and standards of proof" that decision makers have to meet in choosing to take action. In this paper, we review the standards developed in these other fields to help define a similar framework for conservation. Specifically we propose that a conservation decision maker must assume the burden of proof when there is a decision to act that substantially affects others, in which the decision maker has professional standing, where there is not immediate urgency, and where there is some, but not complete certainty about the outcomes of acting versus not acting. Once these initial tests have been met, in situations in which the decision maker is more worried about the consequences of not acting, then a relatively low standard of proof is required for taking action. If the decision maker is concerned with the consequences of acting in error, but the action is relatively reversible, then a medium standard of proof is required. And finally, if there are concerns about the consequences of acting in error, but the action is relatively irreversible, then a high standard of proof is required. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and 5 more.
Type: | Journal: Ambio | Year: 2016

The growing complexity and global nature of wildlife poaching threaten the survival of many species worldwide and are outpacing conservation efforts. Here, we reviewed proximal and distal factors, both social and ecological, driving illegal killing or poaching of large carnivores at sites where it can potentially occur. Through this review, we developed a conceptual social-ecological system framework that ties together many of the factors influencing large carnivore poaching. Unlike most conservation action models, an important attribute of our framework is the integration of multiple factors related to both human motivations and animal vulnerability into feedbacks. We apply our framework to two case studies, tigers in Laos and wolverines in northern Sweden, to demonstrate its utility in disentangling some of the complex features of carnivore poaching that may have hindered effective responses to the current poaching crisis. Our framework offers a common platform to help guide future research on wildlife poaching feedbacks, which has hitherto been lacking, in order to effectively inform policy making and enforcement.

News Article | November 1, 2016

London, November 1, 2016 -- The ZSL (Zoological Society of London) Awards Committee has presented the ZSL Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. John Robinson, Executive Vice President of Conservation and Science at the Wildlife Conservation Society. The ZSL Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made exceptional, long-term contributions to the conservation of wildlife and habitats. Dr. Robinson, a primatologist, received the award today at the ZSL London Zoo. "You, above all, have demonstrated excellence and achievement in implementing significant conservation action for the benefit of the international conservation community over many years, " said Jonathan Baillie, ZSL Conservation Programmes Director, about Dr. Robinson. "Your input into initial discussions with Georgina Mace and Glyn Davies to draw up a memorandum of understanding between our two organisations provided the framework for the establishment of a permanent WCS presence in Europe and a close, on-going relationship between WCS and ZSL. Over the years since scientific symposia on several issues of critical conservation importance have been held, both our organisations have worked with The Royal Foundation on the ground-breaking United for Wildlife Initiative, and coordinated on issues of common interest including the World Heritage Convention." While accepting the award, Dr. Robinson said: "Like ZSL's programs, at WCS, we emphasize the importance of scientific knowledge to define conservation action, we rely on field-based conservation implementation, and we work closely in partnership with national governments and local institutions. Our two organizations have a very distinct niche within the conservation world. There is an emphasis on the conservation of species." Dr. Robinson, also WCS Chief Conservation Officer, oversees the WCS Global Conservation Program in the Americas, Africa and Asia and in all the world's oceans. Under his leadership, the WCS field program has developed into one of the most effective science-based conservation efforts around the globe. Throughout his career, Dr. Robinson has been influential in all aspects of wildlife conservation, including in the field, in scientific research, in academia, and at the top levels of policy and global strategy. He has been a pivotal figure in forming WCS's great history of wildlife conservation. Said Cristian Samper, WCS President and CEO: "John has been one of the founders and leaders of conservation biology, using science to inform conservation practice. He has built the WCS conservation program from a collection of field research projects to a portfolio of long-term conservation programs spanning 60 countries. We extend our congratulations to John and thank our ZSL colleagues for recognizing his great impact on helping to save wildlife and wild places." Dr. Robinson received his doctorate in zoology from the University of North Carolina in 1977, focusing on primate behavior and ecology. His postdoctoral studies were with the Smithsonian Institution. In 1980, Dr. Robinson established the University of Florida Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation, a graduate program providing training to students from tropical countries. He joined WCS in 1990 as Director of Wildlife Conservation International. He is Past President of the Society for Conservation Biology, and is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Dr. Robinson has served on boards of the Christensen Fund, the Tropical Rainforest Foundation, TRAFFIC, and Foundations of Success. Since 2012, he has served as Councilor for North America with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). He serves as a Council member for United for Wildlife, and a Board member of Science for Nature and People, two multi-organizational partnerships. In 2003, Dr. Robinson was inducted into the Royal Order of the Golden Ark by King Bernhard of the Netherlands, in recognition of lifetime achievement and service to conservation. Through the years, Dr. Robinson has written extensively on the impact of subsistence and commercial hunting in tropical forests and has a long interest in the sustainable use of natural resources. He is often turned to as a leader in the areas of the relationship between conservation research and practice, and the application of conservation theory to conservation policy and implementation. He has over 180 publications, including "Neotropical Wildlife Use and Conservation" (1991), co-edited with Kent Redford, "Hunting for sustainability in tropical forests" (2000), co-edited by Elizabeth Bennett, "The Cutting Edge. Conserving wildlife in tropical forests" (2001), co-edited with Robert Fimbel and Alejandro Grajal, and "Conservation of exploited species" (2001), co-edited with John Reynolds, Georgina Mace and Kent Redford, and "Protected Areas. Are they safeguarding biodiversity?"(2016), co-edited by Lucas Joppa and Jonathan Baillie. MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world's oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

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