Our Approach

Increas­ing­ly, peo­ple and nature face con­nect­ed chal­lenges pre­sent­ed by larg­er human pop­u­la­tions, high­er con­sump­tion rates, larg­er-scale devel­op­ment projects, and dimin­ish­ing and degrad­ing nat­ur­al resources, all inten­si­fied by a chang­ing cli­mate. In this con­text, con­ser­va­tion efforts have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to enhance the chances for nature to flour­ish by offer­ing solu­tions to some of earth­’s great­est social and eco­nom­ic chal­lenges. Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on these oppor­tu­ni­ties requires a robust, sci­ence-based con­ser­va­tion approach that draws on exist­ing strengths, and expands to embrace new dis­ci­plines from eco­nom­ics to anthro­pol­o­gy, from demog­ra­phy to health.

The Con­ser­va­tion by Design 2.0 con­ser­va­tion process builds off of the strong and wide­ly adopt­ed approach of adap­tive man­age­ment. Adap­tive man­age­ment is a struc­tured, iter­a­tive process of sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly test­ing assump­tions to learn, adapt and improve deci­sion-mak­ing in the face of uncer­tain­ty. From pre­vi­ous, com­mon appli­ca­tions of this approach in con­ser­va­tion, Con­ser­va­tion by Design 2.0 has evolved to incor­po­rate four major advances: 1) explic­it­ly con­sid­er link­ages between peo­ple and nature, 2) design inter­ven­tions focused on cre­at­ing sys­temic change, 3) inte­grate spa­tial plan­ning with the devel­op­ment of new con­ser­va­tion strate­gies, and 4) robust­ly draw upon and build the evi­dence base for con­ser­va­tion. We believe that these advances will lead to bet­ter con­ser­va­tion strate­gies and bet­ter con­ser­va­tion out­comes, for both nature and peo­ple. These four advances are inter­re­lat­ed and each is elab­o­rat­ed upon in this website.

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