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Appendix H — The Nature Conservancy’s Approach for the Global-to-Regional Situation Analysis to help identify the most significant challenges to nature and people


Increas­ing­ly, peo­ple and nature face con­nect­ed chal­lenges pre­sent­ed by larg­er human pop­u­la­tions, high­er con­sump­tion rates, and dimin­ish­ing and degrad­ing nat­ur­al resources, all inten­si­fied by a chang­ing cli­mate. While efforts by soci­ety to pro­vide food, water, ener­gy, and oth­er resources for peo­ple have too often come at the expense of nature, there is a grow­ing under­stand­ing that this ‘vicious cycle’ can be trans­formed into a ‘vir­tu­ous’ one, where nature — and the ben­e­fits it pro­vides — are seen as part of the solu­tion to press­ing human needs at local to glob­al scales.

In this con­text, Con­ser­va­tion by Design 2.0 advances a new vision state­ment for the Con­ser­van­cy: We envi­sion a world where the diver­si­ty of life thrives, and peo­ple act to con­serve nature for its own sake and its abil­i­ty to ful­fill our needs and enrich our lives.

This vision state­ment rais­es an impor­tant ques­tion: What are the key chal­lenges affect­ing nature and peo­ple that the con­ser­va­tion move­ment, and the Con­ser­van­cy in par­tic­u­lar, should focus on to make the great­est dif­fer­ence for the future of all life on Earth?

The glob­al-to-region­al sit­u­a­tion analy­sis will take an impor­tant first step towards answer­ing this ques­tion by pro­vid­ing an evi­dence-based frame­work to iden­ti­fy the major linked nature-peo­ple chal­lenges that need to be addressed, giv­en cur­rent con­di­tions and pro­ject­ed future trends, to move towards a sus­tain­able future. The glob­al-to-region­al sit­u­a­tion analy­sis there­fore sup­ports our com­mit­ment to dri­ving sys­temic change through strate­gic and coor­di­nat­ed con­ser­va­tion actions at local, region­al, and glob­al scales.

This work is being advanced by a tech­ni­cal team spon­sored by the Chief Con­ser­va­tion Office and the Office of the Chief Sci­en­tist, in part­ner­ship with staff from the glob­al pro­grams (Lands, Water, Oceans, Cities, Cli­mate) and all four regions (Africa, Asia Pacif­ic, Latin Amer­i­ca, North Amer­i­ca). The analy­sis will be com­plet­ed and released in 2016 to inform orga­ni­za­tion­al pri­or­i­ties and to con­tribute to the dia­logue in the broad­er con­ser­va­tion movement.


Appro­pri­ate­ly, the glob­al-to-region­al approach uses the sit­u­a­tion analy­sis approach described in is a Phase 1 of CbD 2.0. The entry point for this work is the socio-eco­log­i­cal sys­tem rep­re­sent­ed by the entire plan­et, both at a glob­al scale and sub-glob­al scales rep­re­sent­ed by the regions where the Con­ser­van­cy works (Africa, Asia Pacif­ic, Latin Amer­i­ca, North America).

The core ques­tions being addressed by the glob­al-to-region­al sit­u­a­tion analy­sis are as follows:

  1. What are the key chal­lenges to nature?
  2. What are the key chal­lenges to peo­ple and society?
  3. Which are con­nect­ed, and how? And where is there evi­dence for the strongest nature-peo­ple connections?

The answers to these ques­tions inform the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of sig­nif­i­cant con­ser­va­tion chal­lenges that need to be addressed. This then lays the foun­da­tion for con­tin­ued analy­sis, inte­grat­ing and build­ing on the many orga­ni­za­tion­al con­ver­sa­tions already under­way, about strate­gies to address these chal­lenges — with CbD 2.0 Guid­ance pro­vid­ing a struc­ture for this analy­sis through results chains, strat­e­gy and oppor­tu­ni­ty map­ping, the­o­ry of change, and oth­er steps.

In con­duct­ing this work, we will lever­age the sub­stan­tial advances on sci­ence and strate­gies that have been devel­oped recent­ly by glob­al pro­grams, regions, and oth­er busi­ness units that pro­vide impor­tant orga­ni­za­tion­al context.


The analy­sis will begin with iden­ti­fy­ing the key chal­lenges and con­nec­tions at the glob­al scale and then dis­ag­gre­gate and dif­fer­en­ti­ate these chal­lenges and con­nec­tions for each of the major regions. Impor­tant­ly, this approach will facil­i­tate under­stand­ing of where major glob­al and region­al chal­lenges are most strong­ly aligned to help focus efforts towards sys­temic change.

The gen­er­al steps in the sit­u­a­tion analy­sis are as fol­lows, informed by the core ques­tions stat­ed above and the guid­ance for con­duct­ing a sit­u­a­tion analysis:

  • Iden­ti­fy pri­ma­ry inter­ests that rep­re­sent major focal points for nature (e.g., ter­res­tri­al, fresh­wa­ter, and marine bio­di­ver­si­ty) and soci­ety (e.g., food secu­ri­ty, water secu­ri­ty, ener­gy secu­ri­ty, human health). These pri­ma­ry inter­ests are meant to be rel­e­vant inter­nal­ly for the Con­ser­van­cy as well as exter­nal­ly to the diverse groups work­ing on con­ser­va­tion and devel­op­ment issues globally.
  • Iden­ti­fy and review key sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture per­ti­nent to the pri­ma­ry inter­ests, includ­ing peer-reviewed lit­er­a­ture, tech­ni­cal reports and data­bas­es from major glob­al and region­al bod­ies (e.g., IUCN, World Health Orga­ni­za­tion, Food and Agri­cul­tur­al Orga­ni­za­tion), sci­ence from Con­ser­van­cy pro­grams, and oth­er sources as rel­e­vant. Com­ple­ment infor­ma­tion from the lit­er­a­ture with infor­ma­tion devel­oped by the glob­al and region­al programs.
  • From the lit­er­a­ture and dis­cus­sions with glob­al and region­al staff, iden­ti­fy and syn­the­size chal­lenges to the pri­ma­ry inter­ests, and the social, eco­nom­ic, and eco­log­i­cal dri­vers of these chal­lenges, includ­ing where chal­lenges con­nect to nature and peo­ple interests.
  • Cre­ate an inte­grat­ed con­cep­tu­al dia­gram to rep­re­sent the major dri­vers and chal­lenges to nature, to peo­ple, and nature-peo­ple linkages.
  • Review and syn­the­size evi­dence to quan­ti­fy the strength of link­ages between nature and peo­ple dri­vers, chal­lenges, and pri­ma­ry inter­ests. From this analy­sis, and sup­port­ed by the glob­al and region­al pro­grams, iden­ti­fy the most crit­i­cal link­ages at region­al and glob­al scales.
  • Con­duct iter­a­tive rounds of review and incor­po­rate feed­back to strength­en the analy­sis and gen­er­ate final products.

Fig­ure 14: Con­cep­tu­al frame­work for the glob­al and region­al sit­u­a­tion analy­ses. The frame­work focus­es on using evi­dence to iden­ti­fy the strongest link­ages between nature and peo­ple that relate to human activ­i­ties. For nature, the analy­sis defines pri­ma­ry inter­ests includ­ing: ter­res­tri­al, fresh­wa­ter, and marine ecosys­tems, and the cli­mate. For human well-being, the analy­sis defines pri­ma­ry inter­ests includ­ing: food secu­ri­ty, water secu­ri­ty, ener­gy secu­ri­ty, and human health. Fur­ther­more, the analy­sis con­sid­ers cur­rent con­di­tions and pro­ject­ed future dri­vers relat­ed to key socioe­co­nom­ic fac­tors such as pop­u­la­tion growth, eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, ris­ing stan­dards of liv­ing, and urbanization.

Con­tri­bu­tion of the Glob­al-to-Region­al Sit­u­a­tion Analysis

Through com­plet­ing the glob­al-to-region­al sit­u­a­tion analy­sis, we will advance a uni­form frame­work for iden­ti­fy­ing major glob­al and region­al chal­lenges, link­ing those chal­lenges to the work of the glob­al and region­al pro­grams, and iden­ti­fy­ing poten­tial gaps where strong nature-peo­ple link­ages could be addressed by new strate­gies. As such, this sys­tem­at­ic approach aims to pro­vide a com­mon point of ref­er­ence for under­stand­ing how the Con­ser­van­cy selects major orga­ni­za­tion­al pri­or­i­ties and the sci­ence that sup­ports those decisions.


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