The Future of Conservation NGOs
Resource Library

How can we collectively reimagine integrated, innovative and impactful pathways for conservation NGOs in a rapidly changing world?

The Future of Conservation NGOs project was initiated with an aim to reimagine and redesign the future of conservation work, and test new approaches that are better equipped to help build a just, inclusive and regenerative future. 

This resource library offers wisdom and insights from experts in the sector, an in-depth report, and more about our Four Key Themes for Change and Innovation Challenge.

The need for change
A starting point for change must be to understand the problem and why there is a need for change. This section gathers insights from thought leaders and experts, offering a deep analysis of current challenges facing conservation NGOs. It serves as a foundation for understanding the "what" behind transformation.

Thinking Together:
Exploring possible futures
This report is intended to help kickstart a journey of reimagining how nature conservation is organised and approached.

“The context in which conservation NGOs operate has changed greatly and, as a result, the organisations themselves need to change too,” said Anca Damerell, Director of Innovation at Unearthodox. “This report sets out some bold and innovative thinking around how conservation NGOs can shift towards possible new roles, filtered through lenses that capture our fast-changing world.”
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Four key themes for change

Through a series of conservations with a diverse range of practitioners, academics, funders and more, the Future of Conservation NGOs project identified four broad themes that impact conservation effectiveness. These form our foundational themes – areas where change is most needed. 

Redesign the operational, financial, and governance models.
Challenge dominant Global North narratives, embrace different and plural voices & knowledge.
Dismantle racist and discriminatory structures, decolonise conservation practices.
Embrace a more inclusive approach, collaborate & engage with a diverse range of actors.
“We have asked ourselves whether we are the right organisation to lead this conversation. Acknowledging that we, too, are part of the status quo and have to be honest and also turn the mirror on how we can do better as part of this exploration and community. We are committed to including a highly diverse set of voices in this initiative and incorporating critiques with the aim to help spark a necessary radical transformation of the nature conservation sector.”
Melanie Ryan, CEO of Unearthodox
Pathways for change

In this section, you’ll find real-world examples from across the globe, as well as actionable strategies and pathways to shift systems. There is also some practical guidance on how to have a meaningful impact.

Insight: How to challenge the conservation status quo
In this insight piece, Sudha Iyer asks how the conservation sector can collaboratively build a future that is equitable and regenerative.
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Email the project team at
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