Key themes we’re exploring

Antony Weerut / AdobeStock
11 November 2022

As part of the Future of Conservation umbrella project (2021-2023), we identified four broad themes that impact conservation effectiveness. These form areas where we believe change is most needed.

Power and Legacy

There is a need to address and dismantle discriminatory structures, rebalance power, move away from colonial conservation approaches, and address the consequent disparities in the distribution of financial aid and resources. 

Keywords: Shift Mindset | Decolonise | Rebalance

Sub-themes: Power Imbalance | Principles & Values | Education & Learning | Power & Funding | Mindset Shifts

Interdependence and Inclusivity

The conservation sector must embrace a more inclusive approach to external collaborations, and engage with a diverse range of conservation players. The scale of the challenge – encompassing climate change, the ongoing sixth mass extinction of species, water scarcity, pollution, inequity, poverty and more – means that solutions require new and unexpected forms of cooperation among different actors.

Keywords: Diversify | Include | Integrate

Sub-themes: Partnerships & People | Interdisciplinarity & Interdependency

Communication and Narratives

Nature conservation’s dominant Global North narratives need to be questioned, challenged and reframed. We need to bring together not just different narratives but, crucially, different and plural voices embedded in shared knowledge, values and visions.

Keywords: Challenge | Listen | Reframe

Sub-themes: Communication Methods & Tactics | Power & Communication | Changing Narratives

Operational and Funding Models

The conservation sector is constrained by both a traditional linear approach to solving problems and a short-term, project-based approach. This often leads NGOs to miss the big picture and struggle to obtain limited, short-term financing. With a multitude of interdependent and complex social, environmental and economic challenges, the conservation sector needs to reimagine and redesign its operational, financial and governance models.

Keywords: Simplify | Cooperate | Reimagine

Sub-themes: Funding Models & Partnerships | Operational & Governance Models

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