All Glossary terms found in this site are listed below.

Adaptive Management: A structured, iterative process of systematically testing assumptions to learn, adapt and improve decision-making in the face of uncertainty. Adaptive management encompasses the design, management and monitoring of a strategy.

Biodiversity: the variability within and among all living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Biodiversity includes ecosystem or community diversity, species diversity, genetic diversity and the ecological and evolutionary processes that sustain it.

Community of Practice (CoP): As defined by Etienne Wenger, who coined the term, a CoP is a group "of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly...[reflecting] the fundamentally social nature of human learning." A CoP exists when a learning community shares a domain, a community and a practice.

Conceptual model: A conceptual model is a tool for visually depicting the context we want to change and, in particular, the major forces that are influencing nature and people within the scope analyzed.  It is a diagram that uses a series of boxes and arrows to succinctly represent a set of causal relationships among factors that are believed to impact one or more conservation targets.

Conservation Action Planning (CAP): CAP is the precursor to the Open Standards for Conservation. CAP is a framework developed by The Nature Conservancy in the 1990s to help practitioners focus their conservation strategies on a limited number of biodiversity elements (conservation targets), articulate the threats to these conservation targets, and then measure and adaptively manage the resulting strategies over time. CAP was a foundational conservation planning approach for the Conservancy used extensively internally and by partners until the mid-2000s. Since the mid-2000s, the Open Standards (see below) has expanded and improved on CAP, and thus it is the more current methodology. Conservation by Design 2.0 and the Open Standards are intended to update and replace that workbook and we urge practitioners to use them instead of CAP.

Conservation Business Planning: this was the previous iteration of the Conservancy's conservation planning approach. CbD 2.0 Guidance replaces Conservation Business Planning (CBP). Note that the majority of CBP attributes were carried forward into this Guidance. The principle objective of conservation business planning was to clarify expectations and help managers and teams focus on what is most important and useful in planning, as well as produce brief, useful and dynamic conservation business plans. Interested staff can find archived information about CBP here

Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet): A formal network of practitioners who have been trained in the Open Standards and in coaching others to use them. CCNet is global, with over 500 trained coaches from 60 countries. Please see Appendix B for more information about CCNet.

Conservation Target: is a type of primary interest that is directly associated with biodiversity. It is defined as entities, traits, processes or values we aim to conserve, it can include species, ecosystems and other aspects of biodiversity, as well as, environmental services or natural processes.

Driver: A generic term for an element of a conceptual model including direct and indirect threats, opportunities and stakeholders. Also known as a factor or root cause in Open Standards.

Economic barriers: Obstacles to entering a given market. These hindrances may include government regulation such as education or licensing requirements, or patents, technological challenges, high sunk costs, or high start-up costs.

Economic value: The benefit an individual receives from a good or a service. Equal to the maximum willingness of the individual to pay for that good or service.

Ecosystem services: The benefits nature provides to people. Ecosystem services can provide material benefits (such as food, water and employment) or intangible benefits (such as spiritual values and intellectual satisfaction) and can contribute to any component of human well-being.

Evaluation: an assessment of a program’s impact.

Evidence: the body of reported data and information that we draw from or build in the design and implementation of conservation strategies.

Excludable good: A good or service whose use or possession can be prevented for those who have not paid for it.

Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC): the principle that anyone has the right to give or withhold information or knowledge that they possess, and any community or individual has the right to give or withhold consent to proposed projects that may affect the lands they customarily own, occupy or otherwise use. It implies the absence of coercion and outside pressure (Free), having sufficient time to allow for information-gathering and full discussion; including translations into traditional languages, before a project starts (Prior); having all the relevant information available reflecting all views and positions (Informed); and the demonstration of clear and compelling agreement, in keeping with the decision-making structures of the communities in question, including traditional consensus procedures (Consent). See Appendix C for more information

Goal, or Minimum Goal Statement: generated early on in the conservation process and describes the lowest acceptable threshold for success, for nature and connected human well-being interests. Minimum goals are converted to outcome statements when strategies are selected and the theory of change is articulated.

Healthy Country Planning ("HCP"): An approach used by Indigenous Australians, facilitated by conservation coaches, that adapts the Open Standards to guide Indigenous communities in making a plan to look after their country, culture, and people, and to identify ways to develop livelihoods while managing their lands appropriately. HCP puts the decisions about the planning approach, the use of the planning tools, the planning content, and the strategic decisions that emerge from it, back in the hands of the people whose country it is. It is planning with people and place, not for people and place.

Human Well-Being: A state of being in which one's needs are met, one can act meaningfully to pursue chosen goals, and one enjoys a satisfactory quality of life. Human well-being is a complex state that can be defined by multiple components, including basic sustenance, health, education, work and leisure, governance, social cohesion, security, and equality.

Human well-being focal area: Broad aspects of life that broadly define human well-being. The Conservancy has developed a human well-being framework that includes eight focal areas. Please see Appendix E for more details.

Human well-being interest: a type of primary interest that deals specifically with people. It specifies the human well-being focal area or component that the Conservancy and other project partners care about. Typically the draft goal statement and final outcome statements are set for only a subset of identified human well-being interests.

Impact: The desired future state of a conservation target or human well-being.

Intermediate result: essential precursors to achieving outcomes. Intermediate results are often the near-term focus of strategies and evidence that the theory of change is playing out as expected.

Knowledge sharing: the spectrum of activities through which information, skills, and expertise are exchanged.

Market forces: Factors that determine the supply and the demand for a good or a service.

Market transactions: The voluntary exchange of goods and services.

Market value: The amount of resources an individual must give up to obtain the good or the service in question. Indicates the minimum willingness to pay of a consumer for the good or service in question.

Measures: express the results of monitoring and analysis in the context of outcomes and management decisions.

Monitoring: the act of collecting information over time to provide data on a project's status.

Nature: Biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as the processes necessary to maintain them.

Open Standards: A project of the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) to combine principles and best practices in adaptive management and results-based management from conservation and other fields to create the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. The Open Standards bring together common concepts, approaches, and terminology in conservation project design, management, and monitoring in order to help practitioners improve the practice of conservation.

Outcome: statement detailing desired impact of project, such as the desired future status of a conservation target or human well-being interest. An outcome statement should be linked to conservation targets and/or connected human well-being interests, impact oriented, measurable, time limited and specific.

Outcome Mapping: "an approach to planning, monitoring and evaluation that puts people at the centre; defines outcomes as changes in behavior; and helps measure contribution to complex change processes.”

Primary interests: A general term for the topics that planning organizations, influential actors, and important stakeholders care about in the context of the socio-ecological system or problem, and their desires for conservation. There are two major types of primary interests: nature (i.e., biodiversity, conservation target) and people (i.e., human well-being interest). Typically draft goals and outcomes are set for only a subset of identified primary interests.

Relevant groups: the people that are affected – positively or negatively – by environmental change and conservation actions.

Results Chain: A results chain is a diagram that depicts the assumed causal linkage between an intervention and desired impacts through a series of expected intermediate results.

Return on Investment (ROI): A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. In conservation strategies, return on investment assess the increase in the conservation outcomes per unit cost of the conservation action.

Rival resource: A good or a service that can only be used or consumed by a single user. Precludes use or consumption by others.

Situation analysis: an assessment that identifies and weighs the key challenges affecting primary interests in a place or problem, including the political, socioeconomic, institutional, and ecological factors creating impacts or threats, driving change, and providing opportunities for conservation intervention.

Social safeguards: are a means to ensure we uphold human rights and achieve long-term sustainable conservation outcomes in addition to being a risk assessment and mitigation tool.

Socio-Ecological System: defined by Singh et. al 2012 as: 1) a coherent system of biophysical and social factors that regularly interact, 2) a system that is defined at several spatial, temporal, and organizational scales, which may be hierarchically linked, 3) a set of critical resources (natural, socioeconomic, and cultural) whose flow and use is regulated by a combination of ecological and social systems, and 4) a perpetually dynamic system with continuous adaptation.

Stakeholder: Any individual, group, or institution who has a vested interest in the natural resources of the project area and/or who potentially will be affected by project activities and have something to gain or lose if conditions change or stay the same.

Strategy: The set of actions or interventions that a project implements in order to achieve a desired impact for nature and people.

Strategy Mapping: spatial representation of the impact of different candidate strategies, based on the distribution and status of conservation targets, human well-being targets and threats, and mapping of enabling conditions of intermediate results.

Systemic Change: refers to creating or strengthening the social, economic, political, and cultural systems that comprise and sustain a socio-ecological system.

Theory of Change: The description of a sequence of events that is expected to lead to a particular desired outcome. It shows a causal pathway from the current to the desired situation by specifying what is needed for goals to be achieved, articulating underlying assumptions which can be tested and measured.

Whole System: a term commonly used by the Conservancy to describe social-ecological systems, which have a recognizable, unifying ecological or physical feature. They are large enough to be resilient to significant disturbances and sustain ecosystem services that human communities rely on as well as key ecological processes. Whole systems are mosaics of high ecological integrity areas embedded in a matrix of lands and waters that vary in quality but are critical for providing habitat, increasing effectiveness of protected areas, and contributing to connectivity.

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