Although there is a broad assumption that using an adaptive management framework in conservation leads to improved conservation efficiency, effectiveness, and impact, there is little robust and consolidated evidence supporting this hypothesis. The Conservation Standards Effectiveness & Impact Learning Initiative aimed to investigate what evidence exists to verify that increased adoption of “good” conservation practice leads to more successful conservation projects. We developed a theory of change documenting the intermediate results we were expecting to be achieved following the successful adoption of an adaptive management framework. Data collected in an evidence library was linked to key results along the theory of change to assess the quality and quantity of evidence that exists, and generic indicators, possible methods and tools associated with results along the theory of change were identified. Through this initiative, we have an increased understanding of the positive outcomes that may result following the adoption of an adaptive management framework. Although the availability of empirical evidence is limited, we recognize the value of anecdotal data and continue to support the sharing of personal observations and testimonies to build the evidence base. However, considering the most commonly identified barriers, such as the time and financial investment, associated with transitioning to a framework like the Conservation Standards, there is an urgency to collect robust, empirical evidence to prove that the use of an adaptive management framework is likely to lead to increased conservation impact.
More information on the initiative can be found here.
Final products are linked below.