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Follow these steps to create a situation analysis diagram.

If you have not done a sit­u­a­tion analy­sis before, or have large­ly done them in the past with a focus on con­ser­va­tion pri­ma­ry inter­ests, these steps may be a help­ful way to go through the process.

  • Start by list­ing the pri­ma­ry inter­ests, both con­ser­va­tion and human interests.
  • Write all of the pri­ma­ry inter­ests in a col­umn in the mid­dle of a white­board, or using sticky notes on a wall, or on a large piece of paper.
  • From each pri­ma­ry inter­est as a start­ing point, draw links to the left reflect­ing spe­cif­ic direct dri­vers of cur­rent chal­lenges to the pri­ma­ry interest.
  • Fur­ther to the left, add in links to indi­rect dri­vers or con­tribut­ing fac­tor. Be as spe­cif­ic as pos­si­ble. For exam­ple, instead of list­ing exist­ing laws as a dri­ver, state what about the law leads to the cur­rent unde­sir­able sit­u­a­tion (e.g. law not strin­gent enough, law not enforced)
  • Return to the pri­ma­ry inter­ests, and draw to the right any direct envi­ron­men­tal, social or eco­nom­ic out­comes of the cur­rent state of pri­ma­ry inter­ests. For exam­ple, if declin­ing urban for­est extent is a pri­ma­ry inter­est, it could be dri­ving pop­u­la­tion declines of species of con­cern, con­tribut­ing to local tem­per­a­ture increas­es (both direct envi­ron­men­tal out­comes) and reduc­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for urban recre­ation (direct social outcome).
  • Then add fur­ther to the right any indi­rect envi­ron­men­tal, social or eco­nom­ic out­comes of the cur­rent state of pri­ma­ry inter­ests. Con­tin­ue these path­ways until you have con­sid­ered whether each may end in a social or eco­nom­ic out­come. It is like­ly that all will either through ecosys­tem ser­vice path­ways or through intrin­sic val­ue. Con­tin­ue draw­ing fac­tors (dri­vers and oppor­tu­ni­ties) and links until your dia­gram includes all the rel­e­vant actors and stakeholders.
  • You may find in this process that some pri­ma­ry inter­ests are dri­vers or out­comes of oth­ers. This is the nature of com­plex socio-eco­log­i­cal sys­tems, and these link­ages help us see which con­ser­va­tion and human pri­ma­ry inter­ests are con­nect­ed. Pri­ma­ry inter­ests may also be con­nect­ed by shared dri­vers. Keep in mind that the pur­pose of this exer­cise is to start the explo­ration of the socio-eco­log­i­cal sys­tem, and the pri­ma­ry inter­ests do not need to remain in any spe­cif­ic ori­en­ta­tion through this process. Fig­ure 5, above, is an illus­tra­tive sit­u­a­tion analy­sis for wind ener­gy devel­op­ment in the Cen­tral Great Plains that includes many of the attrib­ut­es described here (e.g., pri­ma­ry inter­ests, direct and indi­rect drivers).

In Phase 2 of CbD 2.0 (map strate­gies and places) strate­gies are gen­er­at­ed by con­sid­er­ing inter­ven­tion points and how the actions of actors could be altered to ben­e­fit the con­ser­va­tion and human well-being inter­ests, so this step should include the cur­rent influ­ence path­ways of all the actors you may seek to engage with your strategies.