Appendix E — Detailed Explanation of the Conservancy’s Human Well-Being Focal Areas and Associated Components

This appen­dix pro­vides a more detailed descrip­tion of the eight focal areas in Con­ser­va­tion by Design 2.0 human well-being frame­work. Focal areas pro­vide a start­ing point for sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly con­sid­er­ing how human well-being is direct­ly and indi­rect­ly affect­ed by nature and con­ser­va­tion actions. They are pur­pose­ful­ly broad, and are meant to be intu­itive to lay audi­ences yet spe­cif­ic enough to lend them­selves to study. Because human well-being is con­text-depen­dent and often local­ly defined, it is impor­tant to engage ear­ly with stake­hold­ers to explore if there are any miss­ing focal areas or com­po­nents. It is also impor­tant to work in part­ner­ship with stake­hold­ers deter­mine the spe­cif­ic desired com­po­nents of each focal area. For exam­ple, a project pro­po­nent may assume women in a vil­lage want to walk less dis­tance to get water, while the women actu­al­ly pre­fer to walk a greater dis­tance, as this may be their only oppor­tu­ni­ty to leave the house and bond with each oth­er. In oth­er vil­lages, walk­ing to get water may be one of the most dan­ger­ous activ­i­ties for women, and walk­ing less dis­tance to get water may be an urgent mat­ter of per­son­al safe­ty. In all these sit­u­a­tions it is impor­tant to seek out the par­tic­u­lar stake­hold­ers involved and engage in a time, loca­tion and lan­guage that is com­fort­able for them, to ensure that these focal areas and com­po­nents are well-under­stood to those involved in design­ing and car­ry­ing out the project.

Note that equi­ty is a cross­cut­ting focal area that touch­es on the dis­tri­b­u­tion of the oth­er sev­en focal areas. For instance, a con­ser­va­tion strat­e­gy aim­ing to decrease heat island effects in urban areas may only ben­e­fit wealth­i­er areas of the city. Here the ben­e­fits may be decreased house­hold ener­gy costs via decreas­es in air con­di­tion­ing use. The ben­e­fits are unequal­ly dis­trib­uted, fur­ther exac­er­bat­ing the dis­par­i­ty between advan­taged and dis­ad­van­taged pop­u­la­tions. The impact of con­ser­va­tion pro­grams is unlike­ly to be the same across the pop­u­la­tion, and it is impor­tant to pay par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to how risks and ben­e­fits vary by sub­pop­u­la­tion (e.g., women, chil­dren, the elder­ly, low income, indige­nous groups). Using stake­hold­er analy­sis and engag­ing ear­ly on and through­out the project life-cycle with sub­pop­u­la­tions can pro­vide insight into the poten­tial neg­a­tive impacts from a con­ser­va­tion strat­e­gy. It is impor­tant to con­sid­er not just over­all neg­a­tive impacts (e.g., jobs decrease as a result of a pro­tect­ed area), but the dis­tri­b­u­tion of any neg­a­tive impacts (e.g., job loss­es par­tic­u­lar­ly high among indige­nous groups). Spe­cial atten­tion should be paid to his­tor­i­cal­ly dis­ad­van­taged groups or groups that may lack voice and agency (see Risks below). Depend­ing on the con­text, this can include groups such as women, indige­nous groups, and children.

Table 6: Focal area def­i­n­i­tion with exam­ple components

Focal Area: Liv­ing standards
This cap­tures the mate­r­i­al needs of basic life includ­ing income, wealth, mate­r­i­al goods, and neces­si­ties. Com­mon com­po­nents include income (or pover­ty), shel­ter, access to clean water, belong­ings (bike, tele­vi­sion, car), and mate­r­i­al wealth (sav­ings, assets). Con­ser­va­tion may direct­ly affect liv­ing stan­dards through activ­i­ties such as lend­ing pro­grams (micro­fi­nance), poli­cies that increase or lim­it access to nat­ur­al resources (pro­tect­ed areas or no-take zones that reduce or increase har­vest rates or income), sub­si­dies or incen­tives includ­ing pay­ments (income), or mate­ri­als (fenc­ing, hous­ing mate­ri­als, water infra­struc­ture). Oth­er strate­gies may indi­rect­ly affect liv­ing stan­dards by improv­ing envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions that sup­port the pro­vi­sion of basic needs. This can include water fil­tra­tion by healthy water­sheds, wood avail­abil­i­ty for char­coal or home con­struc­tion, sus­tain­able for­age pro­duc­tions in cul­tures where live­stock are used for income and/or as assets, sus­tain­able har­vest of envi­ron­men­tal prod­ucts sold for income (fish, rat­tan, bush­meat, tim­ber), or oppor­tu­ni­ties for recre­ation­al activ­i­ties that gen­er­ate income.

Exam­ple com­po­nents for liv­ing stan­dards: Income, shel­ter, assets

Focal Area: Health
Health relates to any com­po­nent of peo­ple’s men­tal or phys­i­cal con­di­tion. Health cap­tures every­thing from nutri­tion to cog­ni­tive func­tion, preva­lence of vec­tor-borne dis­eases, to life expectan­cy. Con­ser­va­tion projects may invest direct­ly in improv­ing health to enable greater par­tic­i­pa­tion in con­ser­va­tion, as the Con­ser­van­cy did for mater­nal health in Lake Tan­ganyi­ka. Changes in the envi­ron­ment can also affect health indi­rect­ly through nutri­tion by alter­ing the avail­abil­i­ty of food (pro­tect­ed areas, sus­tain­able har­vest, agri­cul­tur­al inten­si­fi­ca­tion, pol­li­na­tion, pest con­trol), through res­pi­ra­to­ry health by expand­ing forests that can fil­ter par­tic­u­lates from the air, stop­ping unplanned for­est fires whose smoke can cause pneu­mo­nia or low­er child birth weight, or by pro­vid­ing places for con­tem­pla­tion and exer­cise that alter atten­tion and mood (men­tal health).

Exam­ple com­po­nents for health : Nutri­tion, cog­ni­tive func­tion, vec­tor-borne dis­ease, men­tal health

Focal Area: Education
Edu­ca­tion includes any trans­fer of knowl­edge, either through for­mal or infor­mal means. For exam­ple, edu­ca­tion cap­tures learn­ing new skills from neigh­bors, school atten­dance, tra­di­tion­al knowl­edge passed down from elders to youth, or tech­ni­cal train­ings, among oth­er modes. Con­ser­va­tion often has direct impacts on edu­ca­tion, as many con­ser­va­tion strate­gies include train­ing, capac­i­ty and edu­ca­tion pro­grams in con­cert with oth­er inter­ven­tions like pro­tect­ed area estab­lish­ment, pay­ments for ecosys­tem ser­vices, alter­na­tive liveli­hoods pro­grams, or sci­en­tif­ic tool devel­op­ment. Much out­reach and com­mu­ni­ca­tion is direct­ly tar­get­ed towards edu­ca­tion, while some efforts may also have indi­rect impacts on edu­ca­tion. For exam­ple, recent research sug­gests increas­ing nature in ambi­ent envi­ron­ments can enhance a per­son­’s focus, mood, and abil­i­ty to learn.

Exam­ple com­po­nents for health: Tech­ni­cal train­ing, school atten­dance, and literacy

Focal Area: Work and leisure
The most pop­u­lar com­po­nent of work and leisure is employ­ment, but this focal area also includes time use, fam­i­ly life, and per­son­al activ­i­ties beyond work. Con­ser­va­tion can alter employ­ment direct­ly by cre­at­ing or reduc­ing the avail­abil­i­ty of jobs through strate­gies such as hir­ing park guards, buy­ing out fish­ing quo­tas, and cre­at­ing alter­na­tive liveli­hood options. Many con­ser­va­tion strate­gies are like­ly to alter time use indi­rect­ly by mak­ing resources more avail­able such that peo­ple have to spend less time acquir­ing them. For exam­ple, sus­tain­able graz­ing projects may increase for­age enough so that herders have to spend less time tak­ing live­stock to graze, water­shed invest­ments may increase water sup­ply or qual­i­ty such that women and chil­dren have to spend less time walk­ing to a clean water source, sus­tain­able fish­ing prac­tices may increase fish stocks so fish­er­men can stay clos­er to home and bring in a catch. Alter­na­tive­ly, marine pro­tect­ed areas may result in increased leisure and decreased employ­ment by decreas­ing the area avail­able for fishing.

Exam­ple com­po­nents for work and leisure: Employ­ment, labor mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ties, free­dom of choice over time, fam­i­ly life, per­son­al life, per­son­al activities

Focal Area: Governance
Gov­er­nance is fun­da­men­tal­ly about pow­er, rela­tion­ships, and account­abil­i­ty. In oth­er words, who has influ­ence and deci­sion-mak­ing author­i­ty, and how are peo­ple or insti­tu­tions held account­able? This focal area broad­ly cap­tures com­po­nents across local, nation­al, and glob­al scales, and in for­mal (laws) and infor­mal (norms and taboos) forms. Con­ser­va­tion strate­gies com­mon­ly affect gov­er­nance direct­ly. This may be through process­es like ensur­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in a deci­sion process, encour­ag­ing trans­paren­cy, estab­lish­ing ben­e­fits-shar­ing mech­a­nisms, devel­op­ing stake­hold­er groups and process­es, estab­lish­ing deci­sion-mak­ing bod­ies (like water fund boards and sus­tain­able graz­ing coali­tions), and influ­enc­ing poli­cies (cre­ation of pro­tect­ed areas, for­mal­iz­ing land tenure, estab­lish­ing man­age­ment zones, mit­i­ga­tion laws, agri­cul­tur­al sub­si­dies). Incom­plete or inap­pro­pri­ate engage­ment with stake­hold­ers in any of these process­es can neg­a­tive­ly affect governance.

Exam­ple com­po­nents for gov­er­nance: Laws, norms, and taboos, rules, enforce­ment, corruption

Focal Area: Social cohesion
Social cohe­sion cap­tures social cap­i­tal, com­mu­ni­ty con­nect­ed­ness, trust, and spir­i­tu­al or cul­tur­al oppor­tu­ni­ty. Cul­ture is broad­ly defined, and cap­tures val­ues famil­iar to con­ser­va­tion­ists such as aes­thet­ic val­ues and exis­tence val­ue (the inter­est in know­ing a cer­tain species of place exists, even if it is nev­er vis­it­ed or seen). Con­ser­va­tion work can direct­ly affect social cohe­sion when process­es, laws, or reg­u­la­tions change group inter­ac­tions (reduc­ing con­flict, increas­ing cul­tur­al exchanges, knowl­edge shar­ing) or alter access to places or resources that are spir­i­tu­al­ly, cul­tur­al­ly, or com­mu­nal­ly impor­tant (re-estab­lish­ing tra­di­tion­al har­vest areas, secur­ing access to cul­tur­al­ly impor­tant species or places, restrict­ing access to spir­i­tu­al sites).

Exam­ple com­po­nents for social cohe­sion: Inter­group cohe­sion, cul­tur­al and spir­i­tu­al oppor­tu­ni­ty, trust, social net­work density

Focal Area: Security
This focal area cap­tures not only phys­i­cal secu­ri­ty, but also oth­er aspects of secu­ri­ty includ­ing those crit­i­cal to sta­ble liveli­hoods such as eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal, legal, and food secu­ri­ty. Con­ser­va­tion may alter secu­ri­ty direct­ly by cre­at­ing or enforc­ing con­flict-relat­ed insti­tu­tions (doing joint park patrols with gov­ern­ment enforcers, cre­at­ing peace dis­cus­sion groups, estab­lish­ing inter­na­tion­al trade bans), pro­vid­ing pro­grams that diver­si­fy and/or sta­bi­lize income (alter­na­tive liveli­hoods, con­nect­ing to mar­kets, job train­ing), or help­ing to secure rights (land tenure, com­mu­nal har­vest rights, water access rights, man­age­ment rights). Con­ser­va­tion may indi­rect­ly affect secu­ri­ty by chang­ing envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions that dri­ve con­flict (increas­ing water sup­ply, for­age or crop pro­duc­tion, tim­ber growth, reg­u­lat­ing or con­tain­ing crop raid­ing wildlife), or improv­ing or diver­si­fy­ing food sources.

Exam­ple com­po­nents for secu­ri­ty: Safe­ty, income sta­bil­i­ty, food security

Focal Area: Equity
Equi­ty refers to the fair dis­tri­b­u­tion of ben­e­fits among peo­ple. This is very much a cross­cut­ting focal area and should be con­sid­ered in ref­er­ence to every oth­er focal area. There can be inequity in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of food sources, pol­lu­tion, income, edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties, legal rights, jobs, hous­ing, spir­i­tu­al oppor­tu­ni­ties, and so on. When­ev­er human well-being is being con­sid­ered, spe­cif­ic groups of peo­ple who may be affect­ed dif­fer­ent­ly should be iden­ti­fied, and atten­tion should be paid to how impacts will accrue across these groups. As with all oth­er focal areas, con­ser­va­tion has the poten­tial to have both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive impacts on equi­ty. Our work will very often set up the poten­tial for trade­offs among groups (lost income to large cor­po­rate actors vs. gains in local employ­ment), and clear iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of pos­si­ble inequities can help design strate­gies that avoid them (see Social Safe­guard guid­ance ques­tions in DESIGN: Risks). Con­ser­va­tion can improve equi­ty by pro­vid­ing ben­e­fits to vul­ner­a­ble and under­rep­re­sent­ed groups when possible.

Exam­ple com­po­nents for equi­ty: Gen­der income equi­ty, age employ­ment equi­ty, rep­re­sen­ta­tion in deci­sion making

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.