Defining and Using Evidence in Conservation Practice (2019)

This excellent journal paper seeks to integrate evidence-based conservation with the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation and is freely available online here from the new SCB journal Conservation Science and Practice.

Being a journal paper rather than user guidance, some of the concepts and explanations may be difficult to grasp, but to enhance usability, the results from this work are being incorporated into Version 4.0 of the Open Standards as well as into Miradi Software.

A Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) working group brought together leading experts from both practice and academia to explicitly incorporate principles of evidence-based conservation into the Open Standards.

Evidence-based practice in medicine, education and other fields were reviewed to develop a working definition and typology of evidence in conservation. Guidance for realistically using evidence in day-to-day conservation practice across all steps of the Open Standards cycle was developed, plus a theory-of-change-based road map as to how the conservation community could better generate, disseminate, and use evidence across the discipline.

For more info or to join the CMP working group for this, please contact Nick Salfsky (

Share this open-source article using hashtags #ConservationEvidence  #CMPOpenStandards as well as its DOI: 10.1111/csp2.27

Schematic representation of criteria for weighing evidence. We can think of “weighing the evidence” as literally putting all the different sources of evidence used to evaluate a given hypothesis on a balance.

Download document(s)