75 results found
Cheng SH, Costedoat S, Sigouin A, et al., 2023, Assessing evidence on the impacts of nature-based interventions for climate change mitigation: a systematic map of primary and secondary research from subtropical and tropical terrestrial regions, Environmental Evidence, Vol: 12
Background: Nature-based interventions (NbIs) for climate change mitigation include a diverse set of interventions aimed at conserving, restoring, and/or managing natural and modified ecosystems to improve their ability to store and sequester carbon and avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Recent projections estimate that terrestrial NbIs can lead to more than one-third of the climate change mitigation necessary to meet the Paris Climate Agreement by 2030. Further, these interventions can provide co-benefits in the form of social and ecological outcomes. Despite growing recognition of the potential benefits, a clear characterization of the distribution and occurrence of evidence which supports linkages between different types of NbIs and outcomes for climate change mitigation, ecosystems, and people remains poorly understood. Methods: This systematic map assesses the evidence base on the links between NbIs and climate change mitigation, social, and ecological outcomes in tropical and subtropical terrestrial regions. We searched three bibliographic databases, 65 organization websites, and conducted backward citation chasing within 39 existing evidence syntheses to identify relevant articles. Additionally, we reached out to key informants for additional sources of evidence. We then used machine learning to rank returned results by relevance at the title and abstract stage and manually screened for inclusion using predefined criteria at the title, abstract, and full text stages. We extracted relevant meta-data from included articles using an a priori coding scheme. Lastly, we conducted a targeted, complementary search to identify relevant review and synthesis articles to provide broader context for the findings of the systematic map. Review findings: We included 948 articles in this systematic map. Most of the evidence base (56%) examined links between protection, natural resource management, and restoration interventions with changes to ‘proxy’ outcomes f
Mahajan SL, Tanner L, Ahmadia G, et al., 2023, Accelerating evidence-informed decision-making in conservation implementing agencies through effective monitoring, evaluation, and learning
Evidence-informed decision-making can help catalyze the development and implementation of effective conservation actions. Yet despite decades of research on evidence-informed conservation, its realization within conservation implementing agencies and organizations still faces challenges. First, conservation decisions are shaped by individual, organizational, and systemic factors that operate and interact across different temporal and spatial scales. Second, the different cultures and value systems within conservation implementing agencies fuels continued debate on what can and should count as evidence for decision-making, and ultimately shapes how evidence is used in practice. While the importance of evidence-informed conservation is increasingly recognized, we have witnessed few changes within conservation implementing agencies that could enable better engagement with diverse types of evidence and knowledge holders. Based on our experience supporting monitoring, evaluation and learning systems in conservation implementing agencies, we argue that to realize evidence-informed conservation we need a better understanding of the process and context of conservation decision-making within organizations, an alignment of institutional systems and processes that generate evidence relevant to information needs, and changes that help conservation organizations become learning organizations. These actions could help transform how conservation practitioners and organizations learn to enable more evidence-informed decision-making within the complex systems they work in.
Tedesco AM, Lopez-Cubillos S, Chazdon R, et al., 2023, Beyond ecology: ecosystem restoration as a process for social-ecological transformation, TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, Vol: 38, Pages: 643-653, ISSN: 0169-5347
OGarra T, Mangubhai S, Jagadish A, et al., 2023, National-level evaluation of a community-based marine management initiative, Nature Sustainability, Pages: 1-17, ISSN: 2398-9629
Community-based approaches to conservation and natural resource management are considered essential to meeting global conservation targets. Despite widespread adoption, there is little understanding about successful and unsuccessful community-based practices because of the challenges of designing robust evaluations to estimate impacts and analyse the underlying mechanisms to impact. Here we present findings from a national scale evaluation of the ‘locally managed marine areas’ network in Fiji, a marine community-based management initiative. Using data from 146 villages selected using matching methods, we show that engagement in the Fijian locally managed marine areas network leads to improvements in all mechanisms hypothesized to generate conservation outcomes (participation, knowledge, management and financial support). Yet these mechanisms translate to few social outcomes and have no effect on the perceived ecological health of a village’s fishing grounds. Our findings show that practitioners may need to carefully evaluate and adapt the mechanisms that they expect will generate impact from community-based projects to improve outcomes for people and the rest of nature.
Lewis-Brown E, Jennings N, Mills M, et al., 2023, Comparison of carbon management and emissions of universities that did and did not adopt voluntary carbon offsets, Climate Policy, ISSN: 1469-3062
The urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, remove carbon from the atmosphere and stabilize natural carbon sinks has led to the development of many carbon management measures, increasingly including voluntary carbon offsets (VCOs). We studied carbon management in universities, institutions with large carbon footprints and considerable influence in climate science and policy fora. However, concerns that VCOs may deter adopters (including universities) from adopting other carbon reduction measures and limit emissions reductions, for example, through moral hazard, have been raised but understudied. We compared the carbon management characteristics (priorities, policies, practices and emissions) of universities that did and did not adopt VCOs. We found adopters measured carbon emissions for longer, and had set targets to reach net zero earlier than had non-adopters. Adopters of VCOs also undertook more carbon management practices in both 2010 and 2020 than non-adopters. We also found that both adopters and non-adopters significantly increased their carbon management practices over the decade studied, but with no difference between groups. Gross CO2 emissions were reduced significantly over time by adopters of VCOs but not by non-adopters, whereas carbon intensity and percentage annual emissions reductions did not relate to adoption status. Consequently, our study showed no indication of mitigation deterrence due to adoption of VCOs at the universities studied. Rather, greater emissions reductions correlated with earlier net zero target dates, and a higher number of policies and carbon management practices. However, our study was constrained to universities that were affiliated with a national environmental network, so research beyond these organizations, and with individuals, would be useful. The survey was voluntary, exposing the study to potential self-selection bias so the findings may not be generalized beyond the study group. Finally, we found the carbon ac
Salazar G, Ramakrishna I, Satheesh N, et al., 2022, The challenge of measuring children's attitudes toward wildlife in rural India, INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH IN GEOGRAPHICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, Vol: 31, Pages: 89-105, ISSN: 1038-2046
Cheng SH, Costedoat S, Sterling EJ, et al., 2022, What evidence exists on the links between natural climate solutions and climate change mitigation outcomes in subtropical and tropical terrestrial regions? A systematic map protocol, Environmental Evidence, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-17, ISSN: 2047-2382
BackgroundNatural climate solutions (NCS)—actions to conserve, restore, and modify natural and modified ecosystems to increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—are increasingly regarded as important pathways for climate change mitigation, while contributing to our global conservation efforts, overall planetary resilience, and sustainable development goals. Recently, projections posit that terrestrial-based NCS can potentially capture or avoid the emission of at least 11 Gt (gigatons) of carbon dioxide equivalent a year, or roughly encompassing one third of the emissions reductions needed to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals by 2030. NCS interventions also purport to provide co-benefits such as improved productivity and livelihoods from sustainable natural resource management, protection of locally and culturally important natural areas, and downstream climate adaptation benefits. Attention on implementing NCS to address climate change across global and national agendas has grown—however, clear understanding of which types of NCS interventions have undergone substantial study versus those that require additional evidence is still lacking. This study aims to conduct a systematic map to collate and describe the current state, distribution, and methods used for evidence on the links between NCS interventions and climate change mitigation outcomes within tropical and sub-tropical terrestrial ecosystems. Results of this study can be used to inform program and policy design and highlight critical knowledge gaps where future evaluation, research, and syntheses are needed.MethodsTo develop this systematic map, we will search two bibliographic databases (including 11 indices) and 67 organization websites, backward citation chase from 39 existing evidence syntheses, and solicit information from key informants. All searches will be conducted in English and encompass subtropical and tropical terrestrial ecosystems (forests, grasslands
Shennan-Farpon Y, Mills M, Souza A, et al., 2022, The role of agroforestry in restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest: Opportunities and challenges for smallholder farmers, PEOPLE AND NATURE, Vol: 4, Pages: 462-480
Qian J, Mills M, Ma H, et al., 2022, Assessing the effectiveness of public awareness-raising initiatives for the Hainan gibbon <i>Nomascus hainanus</i>, ORYX, Vol: 56, Pages: 249-259, ISSN: 0030-6053
Davis KJ, Alfaro-Shigueto J, Arlidge WNS, et al., 2021, Local disconnects in global discourses-The unintended consequences of marine mammal protection on small-scale fishers, CONSERVATION LETTERS, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1755-263X
Santos AJB, Bellini C, Santos EAP, et al., 2021, Effectiveness and design of marine protected areas for migratory species of conservation concern: A case study of post-nesting hawksbill turtles in Brazil, BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, Vol: 261, ISSN: 0006-3207
Lewis-Brown E, Beatty H, Davis K, et al., 2021, The importance of future generations and conflict management in conservation, CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, Vol: 3
Romero-de-Diego C, Dean A, Jagadish A, et al., 2021, Drivers of adoption and spread of wildlife management initiatives in Mexico, CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, Vol: 3
McCormick H, Salguero-Gomez R, Mills M, et al., 2021, Using a residency index to estimate the economic value of coastal habitat provisioning services for commercially important fish species, CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, Vol: 3
Mahajan SL, Jagadish A, Glew L, et al., 2021, A theory-based framework for understanding the establishment, persistence, and diffusion of community-based conservation, CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, Vol: 3
Dunn ME, Mills M, Verissimo D, 2020, Evaluating the impact of the documentary series<i>Blue PlanetII</i>on viewers' plastic consumption behaviors, CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, Vol: 2
Mills M, Magris RA, Fuentes MMPB, et al., 2020, Opportunities to close the gap between science and practice for Marine Protected Areas in Brazil, PERSPECTIVES IN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, Vol: 18, Pages: 161-168, ISSN: 2530-0644
Archibald CL, Barnes MD, Tulloch AIT, et al., 2020, Differences among protected area governance types matter for conserving vegetation communities at-risk of loss and fragmentation, BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, Vol: 247, ISSN: 0006-3207
Hintzen RE, Papadopoulou M, Mounce R, et al., 2020, Relationship between conservation biology and ecology shown through machine reading of 32,000 articles, Conservation Biology, Vol: 34, Pages: 721-732, ISSN: 0888-8892
Conservation biology was founded on the idea that efforts to save nature depend on a scientific understanding of how it works. It sought to apply ecological principles to conservation problems. We investigated whether the relationship between these fields has changed over time through machine reading the full texts of 32,000 research articles published in 16 ecology and conservation biology journals. We examined changes in research topics in both fields and how the fields have evolved from 2000 to 2014. As conservation biology matured, its focus shifted from ecology to social and political aspects of conservation. The 2 fields diverged and now occupy distinct niches in modern science. We hypothesize this pattern resulted from increasing recognition that social, economic, and political factors are critical for successful conservation and possibly from rising skepticism about the relevance of contemporary ecological theory to practical conservation. Article Impact statement: Quantitative literature evaluation reveals that the research topics of ecology and conservation biology are drawing apart. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Strassburg BBN, Beyer HL, Crouzeilles R, et al., 2020, Strategic approaches to restoring ecosystems can triple conservation gains and halve costs (vol 3, pg 62, 2018), NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, Vol: 4, Pages: 765-765, ISSN: 2397-334X
Carrasco J, Price V, Tulloch V, et al., 2020, Selecting priority areas for the conservation of endemic trees species and their ecosystems in Madagascar considering both conservation value and vulnerability to human pressure, Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol: 29, Pages: 1841-1854, ISSN: 0960-3115
Madagascar is one of the most biodiverse countries in Africa, due to its level of endemism and species diversity. However, the pressure of human activities threatens the last patches of natural vegetation in the country and conservation decisions are undertaken with limited data availability. In this study, we use free online datasets to generate distribution models of 1539 endemic trees and prioritise for conservation and restoration considering threat, alongside conservation value and cost. Threats considered include illegal logging, forest degradation and agriculture or slash and burns activities. We found that the areas with the highest potential concentration of species are along the north and south-east of the country where more than 400 tree species can be found. Most scenarios identify a common conservation and restoration priority area along the north east of the country. Our findings guide managers, conservation organizations or governments in decisions about where to invest their limited conservation resources.
Davis KJ, Alfaro-Shigueto J, Arlidge WNS, et al., 2020, Disconnects in global discourses—the unintended consequences of marine mammal protection on small-scale fishers
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Globally, the populations of many marine mammals remain of critical concern after centuries of exploitation and hunting. However, some marine mammal populations (e.g. pinnipeds) have largely recovered from exploitation, and interactions between these species and fisheries—particularly small-scale fisheries—is once again of concern globally. The large scope and widespread scale of interactions highlights the local disconnect between two global policies: marine mammal conservation and small-scale fisheries protection. In this research, we explore these conflicting global policies by assessing the perceptions of coastal small-scale fishers in Peru and Chile regarding their interactions with pinnipeds, including the South American sea lion (<jats:italic>Otaria flavescens</jats:italic>) and South American fur seal (<jats:italic>Arctocephalus australis</jats:italic>). We surveyed 301 gill net fishers and assess perceptions using a best-worst scaling methodology. We find that fishers are chiefly concerned with the increase in pinniped populations, perceive that their interactions with pinnipeds have significantly increased over the past 80 years, and report pinniped-driven catch and income losses ≥ 26 per cent. Surprisingly, fishers do not believe that compensation schemes will resolve this issue—instead they overwhelmingly call for pinniped population culls. The reported number of pinnipeds illegally killed by fishers suggests the potential for large negative impacts on these protected species, and a loss of legitimacy in marine regulation. Collectively, our results portray a sense of marginalisation from fishers’—that global policy treats them as less “important” than marine mammals. Our results highlight the increasing disconnect in global policy, which on one hand seeks to protect threatened marine mammal populations, and on the other seeks to
Although a major portion of the planet’s land and sea is managed to conserve biodiversity, little is known about the extent, speed and patterns of adoption of conservation initiatives. We undertook a quantitative exploration of how area-based conservation initiatives go to scale by analysing the adoption of 22 widely recognized and diverse initiatives from across the globe. We use a standardized approach to compare the potential of different initiatives to reach scale. While our study is not exhaustive, our analyses reveal consistent patterns across a variety of initiatives: adoption of most initiatives (82% of our case studies) started slowly before rapidly going to scale. Consistent with diffusion of innovation theory, most initiatives exhibit slow–fast–slow (that is, sigmoidal) dynamics driven by interactions between existing and potential adopters. However, uptake rates and saturation points vary among the initiatives and across localities. Our models suggest that the uptake of most of our case studies is limited; over half of the initiatives will be taken up by <30% of their potential adopters. We also provide a methodology for quantitatively understanding the process of scaling. Our findings inform us how initiatives scale up to widespread adoption, which will facilitate forecasts of the future level of adoption of initiatives, and benchmark their extent and speed of adoption against those of our case studies.
Catalano AS, Lyons-White J, Mills MM, et al., 2019, Learning from published project failures in conservation, Biological Conservation, Vol: 238, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0006-3207
Conservation professionals need to know what has worked and what has not when designing, implementing, evaluating and refining conservation projects. Project failure reporting is an important, but largely unexploited, source of learning that capitalizes on the learning opportunity of failure provided through the experience of navigating research-implementation ‘spaces’. Learning from others through reading available literature is one way to supplement learning gained through direct experience. Learning vicariously is especially effective when presenting failure as opposed to success experiences. We reviewed the peer-reviewed conservation science literature to identify the extent and characteristics of failed project reporting, focusing our analysis upon social dimensions as opposed to biological causes, which have been comparatively well addressed. We quantified the degree to which articles reported activities commonly applied to learn from failure in business, medicine, the military and commercial aviation. These included activities for identifying, analyzing, correcting and sharing project failures. We used qualitative thematic analysis to identify the social causes of project failure. Reports of failed project experiences are rare and lack standardization. Human dimensions of project failure, such as stakeholder relationships, are more commonly reported than other causes of failure. The peer-reviewed literature has the potential to become a useful repository of lessons learned from failed projects. However, practical challenges such as identifying individuals' cognitive biases, cultivating psychological safety in teams, mainstreaming systemic team learning behaviors, addressing varied leadership styles, and confronting fear of failure in organizational culture must be overcome if conservation professionals are to effectively navigate research-implementation ‘spaces’.
Harris L, Gore M, Mills M, 2019, Compliance with ivory trade regulations in the United Kingdom among traders, Conservation Biology, Vol: 33, Pages: 906-916, ISSN: 0888-8892
Global demand for elephant ivory is contributing to illegal poaching and significant decline of African elephant (Loxondonta africana) populations. To help mitigate decline, countries with legal domestic ivory markets were recommended by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to close domestic markets for commercial trade. However, implementing stricter regulations on wildlife trade does not necessarily mean compliance with rules will follow. Using an online questionnaire, we examined the relationship between self‐reported compliance with ivory trade regulations among 115 ivory traders in the United Kingdom and 4 dimensions (control, deterrence, legitimacy, and social norms) hypothesized to influence compliance with conservation regulations. Although most traders supported regulations, a large number did not always check that they comply with them when trading objects containing ivory. The main factors influencing compliance with ivory trade regulations were traders’ ability to comply and their perceptions of the regulations and punishments to deter illegal trade. These findings demonstrate the utility of conservation criminology to improve wildlife trade regulations and identify opportunities to reduce illegal ivory entering the market in the United Kingdom. Compliance could be improved by clearer regulations that facilitate easier detection of illegal ivory products and stronger prosecution of violations.
Kidd LR, Garrard GE, Bekessy SA, et al., 2019, Messaging matters: A systematic review of the conservation messaging literature, Biological Conservation, Vol: 236, Pages: 92-99, ISSN: 0006-3207
Changing human behavior and attitudes are key to conserving global biodiversity. Despite evidence from other disciplines that strategic messaging can influence behavior and attitudes, it remains unclear how to best design messages to benefit biodiversity. We conducted a systematic literature review to investigate the status of conservation messaging research, and to evaluate whether studies address essential elements of message design and theory from other disciplines. We show that academic interest in conservation messaging is growing rapidly. However, our results suggest that conservation scientists are not effectively drawing from the long-standing expertise of disciplines with well-established messaging techniques. Many studies do not draw on established behavior change theories or audience segmentation techniques. Given the urgent need to address the loss of biodiversity, we discuss how conservation messaging can draw on existing empirical and theoretical knowledge, with a focus on the application of established techniques used in messaging for pro-environmental behavior.
Wilson B, Mills M, Kulikov M, et al., 2019, The future of walnut-fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan and the status of the iconic Endangered apple Malus niedzwetzkyana, Oryx: journal of fauna and flora international, Vol: 53, Pages: 415-423, ISSN: 0030-6053
Forest ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services, but are declining worldwide. Malus niedzwetzkyana, an Endangered wild relative of domesticated apples, is an important component of the walnut–fruit forests of Central Asia. Its iconic pink blossom and genetic properties give it special cultural and scientific significance, but livestock grazing and firewood collection threaten its survival. The conservation of the species and its native forest ecosystem is critical and urgent. This study provides information on the ecology and population of M. niedzwetzkyana and the threats affecting its habitat, improving our understanding of its distribution and proposing measures to reduce threats. We collected ecological data and assessed population structure and threats at four forest sites in southern Kyrgyzstan. We mapped 149 individuals, creating the largest known dataset for this species. We developed species distribution models for M. niedzwetzkyana to identify climatically suitable regions and potential areas for restoration. Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve contained the largest expanse of pristine forest and the most stable M. niedzwetzkyana population, followed by Kara-Alma Forestry Unit. Forests in the Gava Forestry Unit and Dashman Reserve were most extensively damaged by humans and livestock. The wild apple's favoured habitat was south-west facing slopes with a gradient < 30° and a relatively open canopy. Overall, the study population was vulnerable to extinction with limited regeneration potential. We recommend short-term population enhancement through planting projects and increased protection of individuals in pristine sites. Community-based conservation initiatives should be prioritized in extensively damaged sites, and larger-scale reforestation of these forests needs to be considered.
Marine protected areas are advocated as a key strategy for simultaneously protecting marine biodiversity and supporting coastal livelihoods, but their implementation can be challenging for numerous reasons, including perceived negative effects on human well-being. We synthesized research from 118 peer-reviewed articles that analyse outcomes related to marine protected areas on people, and found that half of documented well-being outcomes were positive and about one-third were negative. No-take, well-enforced and old marine protected areas had positive human well-being outcomes, which aligns with most findings from ecological studies. Marine protected areas with single zones had more positive effects on human well-being than areas with multiple zones. Most studies focused on economic and governance aspects of well-being, leaving social, health and cultural domains understudied. Well-being outcomes arose from direct effects of marine protected area governance processes or management actions and from indirect effects mediated by changes in the ecosystem. Our findings illustrate that both human well-being and biodiversity conservation can be improved through marine protected areas, yet negative impacts commonly co-occur with benefits.
Salazar G, Mills M, Veríssimo D, 2019, Qualitative impact evaluation of a social marketing campaign for conservation, Conservation Biology, Vol: 33, Pages: 634-644, ISSN: 0888-8892
Social marketing campaigns use marketing techniques to influence human behavior for the greater social good. In conservation, social marketing campaigns have been used to influence behavior for the benefit of biodiversity as well as society. However, there are few evaluations of their effectiveness. We used General Elimination Methodology, a theory-driven qualitative evaluation method, to assess the long-term impacts of a social marketing campaign on human behavior and biodiversity. We evaluated a 1998 Rare Pride Campaign on the island of Bonaire, designed to increase the population of the lora (Amazona barbadensis), a threatened parrot species. To evaluate the campaignâ€™s impacts, we interviewed a range of stakeholder groups to understand their perceptions of the drivers of the changes in the lora population over time. We used this data to develop an overall Theory of Change to explain changes in the lora population by looking at the overlap in hypotheses within and between stakeholder groups. We then triangulated that Theory of Change with evidence from government reports, peer-reviewed literature, and newspapers. Our results suggest that the observed increase in the lora population can be largely attributed to a decrease in illegal poaching of loras and an associated decrease in local demand for pet loras. The decreases in both poaching and demand have likely been driven by a combination of law enforcement, social marketing campaigns (including the Rare campaign), and environmental education in schools. General Elimination Methodology proved to be an illuminating post-hoc evaluation method for understanding the complexity around how multiple interventions have influenced conservation outcomes over time. There is a need for evidence-based evaluations of social marketing interventions to ensure that limited resources are spent wisely. Here we present a new approach for evaluating the influences of social marketing campaigns on both human behavior
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