Multi-Area Conservation Strategies

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Multi-Area Conservation Strategies. Purposes. Multi-area conservation strategies should explicitly serve one or more of the following purposes: To abate threats at multiple conservation areas To enhance the viability of conservation targets at multiple conservation areas - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Multi-Area Conservation Strategies

  • PurposesMulti-area conservation strategies should explicitly serve one or more of the following purposes:To abate threats at multiple conservation areasTo enhance the viability of conservation targets at multiple conservation areasTo build capacity or generate demonstrable leverage towards the successful application of some other conservation strategyThe multiple conservation areas may be within or across operating units, political jurisdictions, large-scale project areas, ecoregions, or other relevant aggregations

  • Types of Multi-Area StrategiesEstablishing Systems of Conservation AreasSecuring Public Funds for ConservationSecuring Tax or Market-Based Incentives for ConservationDeveloping Conservation InstitutionsReplicating Successful Strategies Across Multiple AreasImproving Public Policies to Abate Threats

  • Systems of Conservation AreasPublic or private officially designated systems of conservation areasDegree of assured protection may vary greatly -- from strictly voluntary to high levels of statutory protectionTNC role may range from providing information to decision-makers to active development of conservation area systemsExamples:Wilderness Act (no major TNC involvement)State Nature Preserve SystemsState registry programs -- voluntary landowner agreementsProviding ecoregional or site-specific information to USFS for designation of natural areas or for 10-year plans Westvaco designation of natural areas on company lands

  • Public PoliciesMany public policies to abate threats are regulatory in nature, but can be an important toolExamplesEndangered Species ActNEPA and Clean Water Act (no major TNC involvement)State Heritage inventory programs were one of the original multi-area strategies, beyond their basic inventory function, by connecting to NEPACalifornia NCCP (conservation planning for coastal sage scrub)State and federal fire management policiesStatewide, regional or county-level growth management policies TNC role may range from providing information to decision-makers to active engagement -- but is always non-confrontational and solution-oriented

  • Public Funds for ConservationIncludes both direct public funds and tax incentivesExamplesLWCFParks in PerilState & local bond initiatives and other dedicated funding sourcesState tax credits for easement donations50% capital gains exclusion on conservation salesDebt-for-nature swaps & conservation trust fundsCarbon mitigation funds1 cent water tax to protect source of water/watershed Transportation mitigation fundsFarm Bill

  • Conservation Institutions Has been a cornerstone strategy with partners internationally, as well as internally for TNC in the United StatesInstitutions may be focused country-wide, statewide, regionally, or on one or more functional landscapesExamplesDevelopment of TNC state programs in the late 1970s and 1980s were one of the original multi-area strategiesDevelopment of new in-country organizations Australia Conservation Fellows: Eight TNC veterans have provided expertise, experience & technical assistance to four leading conservation organizations on targeted assignmentsBroad or deep capacity-building support to country and regional NGOse.g. Pronatura Noreste; Colorado Cattlemans Land Trust

  • Replicating Successful StrategiesDeveloping innovative strategies at action sites and replicating those that prove successful -- e.g.Bargain sales & govt. co-op land purchases -- from the early 1970sDemonstration of successful fire management practicesConservation buyersLocally funded PDR programs (purchase of development rights)Application of HCPs (Habitat Conservation Plans) and safe-harbor agreementsWeed co-ops with local ranchers & agenciesWorking with Corps of Engineers on dam operationsApplications of many varied federal programs -- e.g. fencing cattle from riparian areas & providing alternative water sourcesNeed to consider more systematic approach for diffusion of innovations

  • Diffusion of InnovationsSuccessful diffusion of an innovation depends upon:Relative advantage to which the innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supercedesCompatibility with the existing values, past experiences and needs of the potential adoptersSimplicity -- the degree to which the innovation is not difficult to understand and useTrialability -- the degree to which the innovation may be experimented with on a limited basisObservability -- the degree to which the innovation is visible to others

  • Diffusion of InnovationsDiffusion is fundamentally a social processMost people depend upon a subjective evaluation of an innovation that is conveyed to them by people like themselves (interpersonal networks with near peers)The greater the members are connected by interpersonal networks, the better the diffusionOpinion leaders who influence others informally in a desired way with relative frequencyWeak ties can be more important than strong ties

    From Diffusion of Innovations, 4th edition, by Everett Rogers

  • Other Multi-Area StrategiesThe preceding five categories capture the largest number of multi-area strategies. Other potential fruitful arenasMarket-based incentives for conservationCertification of forest products or sustainable forestry practicesEngagement with the forest industry to develop sustainable forestry standardsValue-added premiums for conservation-based production, such as Conservation BeefConservation scorecardsConservation organizations use varied scorecards (e.g. 10 most endangered parks, rivers, etc; Chesapeake Bay Fdtns annual State of the Bay) to point attention to areas or issues

  • Multi-Area Strategies to Abate ThreatsConditions RequiredAbating a threat (or enhancing viability) requires that strategic action be taken at a scale beyond individual sitesThe threat is ranked High or Very High across multiple occurrences of a targetThe threat manifests itself in a similar way across multiple occurrences of a common targetOrCapacity for strategic action across multiple areas (e.g. $$) can be better developed at a larger scale than individual sites (e.g. state/province/national)

  • Formulating Multi-Area Strategies to Abate ThreatsThe Same as Single-Area Strategies...Clearly link the source to the stress to the system & a key ecological attribute... in order to show real impact on a targets viabilityDetermine the desired outcome from abating the threat - the objective that we seekObjective must be related back to a key ecological attribute benchmark for GoodDevelop compelling strategic actions & action steps to achieve the objectiveAssess Benefits/Feasibility/Cost to compare the proposed strategy to othersSecure lead individual to assume responsibility for implementing the strategy

  • Trade-OffsThere is a probable trade-off to consider between single-area strategies and multi-area strategies: conservation impact vs. scope Highly focused strategies at functional landscapes may be more likely to achieve tangible, enduring results (impact) -- but at a fewer number of conservation areas (scope)Strategies that seek to influence conservation at multiple areas have a broader reach (scope) -- but not produce as much certainty of tangible, enduring results (impact)

  • IMPACT: Tangible Enduring Results -- Threat Abatement & Enhanced Health of Targets

    SCOPE: Number of Areas ImpactedHighHighTangible, Enduring Results vs. Working at ScaleLowABC

  • Not Either-Or...Single-area & multi-area strategies are not mutually exclusiveFocused action at a small number of landscapes will achieve enormous & enduring portfolio conservationIn a typical U.S. ecoregion, an average of 25 functional landscapes captures:All coarse-scale ecological systems, across an array of environmental gradientsTwo-thirds of the conservation targets in each ecoregion, on the averageOver half of all target occurrences, on the averageDirect action at functional landscapes also provides benefits in relation to multi-area strategiesA testing and proving ground for new strategiesHigh credibility for TNC with agencies, partners & donors

  • Locus of ActionThe best locus of action will differ for each multi-area strategyThe locus for a given strategy might be:Large-scale conservation program area, with multiple sitesState/province -- within a state/province or statewideRegional -- networks of conservation areas with similar targets, threats, institutions, etc.National -- within a country or country-wideInstitutional -- focused within a targeted agency or organizationEcoregions are an ideal locus for setting priorities; however, for most multi-area strategies ecoregions are not an ideal locus for taking actionStructure follows strategy -- the development of the strategy should guide the locus for action and implementation structure, not vice-versa

  • Evaluating StrategiesBoth single-area and multi-area strategies can be evaluated by the same broad conceptual framework: Benefits, Feasibility & CostBenefits include impact, scope, duration & leverage, plus TNCs value added:ImpactDegree of threat abatement secured, and the criticality of threatsDegree of enhanced viability for conservation targetsScope: number of conservation targets and/or areas impactedDuration: probable duration of the impacts (i.e. potential for enduring results)Leverage: in some cases, engagement in a particular strategy may generate leverage for other conservation strategies (e.g. development of political support)TNC Value Added: What degree of contribution and improvement to the benefits is TNC likely to make with its proposed engagement ?

  • Evaluating Strategies (continued)Feasibility of successful implementation is determined byAvailability of talented staff to lead the st

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