About Conservation Standards


Helping conservation teams
achieve lasting impact

Photo Credit: Simon Horsburgh

Our Mission


The Conservation Standards (CS) are a widely adopted set of principles and practices that bring together common concepts, approaches, and terminology for conservation project design, management, and monitoring. Developed by the Conservation Measures Partnership and regularly updated in collaboration with the broader community, this open-source, strategic process helps conservation teams achieve lasting impact.

About Conservation Standards (CS)


The Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, or Conservation Standards (CS) for short, are a product of the collaborative work of CMP. Version 1.0 (2004) drew upon the results of the Measuring Conservation Impact Initiative, a 2002 study that reviewed experiences across seven fields, including conservation, to determine common approaches to good project design, management, and monitoring.

Around the same time, CMP conducted a “Rosetta Stone” exercise to cohere existing planning systems and terminology used by member organizations. The CMP member organizations then contributed their project implementation experience to develop and refine the Conservation Standards and focus them specifically on biodiversity conservation.

Photo Credit: Jason Houston

Implementation of the Conservation Standards is an ongoing, dynamic process that involves the development of closely aligned organization-specific standards, production of detailed guidance materials, and training of teams across the globe. The efforts of CMP members and partners to operationalize the Conservation Standards have made the standards common and accepted practice within the conservation community.

To sustain this progress, the Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet) serves as a global mechanism to promote the Conservation Standards and build capacity to implement them. The wide-scale application of the Conservation Standards through various mechanisms has provided CMP with helpful feedback for ongoing improvement.

Photo Credit: Jason Houston

Software Solutions

CMP’s Data Systems Project explores and identifies software solutions to support the Conservation Standards.

Miradi desktop software and Miradi Share online collaboration platform support practitioners who use the Conservation Standards. This helps teams document evidence, develop models, prioritize and make decisions, store data, and record progress over time. Miradi has helped to create a visual language that facilitates communication among practitioners. Miradi Share supports team collaboration and cross-project and -organizational learning.

Coaching and Help


Photo Credit: Dan Salzer

Coaches: Support for the use of the Conservation Standards is available from organizations, individual consultants, and coaches affiliated with the Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet). CCNet, a close partner of CMP, aims to foster an engaged cadre of coaches on every continent to support teams working to protect the most important places and solve the most challenging issues for their regions.

Global Forum: If you have specific questions related to the Conservation Standards or about using good conservation practices more broadly, you can share them with and learn from a global community via CCNet’s listserv. Request to join CCNet’s listserv.

User Forum


If you have specific questions related to the Conservation Standards or about conservation practices more broadly, you can share them with and learn from our global community via the Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet) listserv. Request to join CCNet’s listserv.

For a complete walkthrough on how to use the Listserve and how to set it up, we invite you to download the presentation. It is really easy and gives you a good overview on the possibilities it offers and the groundrules of usage.

Download CS

The Conservation Standards is the product of inputs, field tests, and discussions among members of the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP), which has final editorial authority over the Conservation Standards. Substantial input was also provided by members of the Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet) and other CMP partners.

Photo Credit: Felix Cybulla

Resource Library

An open-source library of Miradi results chains for the most common conservation actions. CAML is based on the idea that we can be more efficient and effective by learning from one another. CAML entries are organized by the IUCN-CMP classification of conservation actions and contain generic results chains, as well as standard objectives and indicators.

Photo Credit: Ashleigh Baker

Support CS

The biodiversity conservation community is tackling large, complex, and urgent environmental problems where the stakes are high. However, we don’t have a fully functional system to assess the effectiveness of our actions. Without more rigorous measurement of effectiveness and disciplined recording of our efforts, we cannot know or demonstrate that we are achieving desired results.

Photo Credit: Felix Cybulla

Our Collaborators

Every organization, agency, project, and individual has its own preferred set of terms. There is no right answer – the most important thing is that the members of your project team and the people with whom you work have a clear and common understanding of whatever terms you choose to use.

Photo Credit: Chris Scarffe

Contact Us

To inquire about supporting Conservation Standards (CS) or for general inquiries, please contact us at CMPinfo@ConservationMeasures.org

Photo Credit: Nature Conservancy of Canada