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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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

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). Source

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