Category Archives: FOS News

FOS M&E How-To Guide now available!

Conservation projects tend to have limited resources and need to choose M&E designs that match those resources and that help them make good management decisions. This new guidance document provides a basic overview of M&E to clarify some common areas of confusion and misuse of terminology and to distill the basic components of M&E design into a series of simple concepts. This guide should help you understand key decisions you need to make and how those decisions may influence your ability to draw conclusions from your M&E efforts.

Download the guide here and start improving your M&E efforts today.

Researchers Allen Enokenwa and Peter Njumbe tracking data on chimpanzee nests in Southwest Cameroon.

This guide is one in a series of how-to guides designed to help conservation practitioners using the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation develop and operationalize their strategic plans. These guides are sta

nd-alone documents, but practitioners will get the most value out of them when they use them together to support the broader process of moving from planning (Step 2) to implementation (Step 3).

The current list of guides (available at www.fosonline.org/resources) includes:

  • Conceptualizing and Planning Conservation Projects and Programs (manual for implementing Steps 1 and 2 of the Open Standards)
  • Conceptual Models: An FOS How-To Guide
  • Results Chains: An FOS How-To Guide
  • Designing Monitoring and Evaluation Approaches for Learning: An FOS How-To Guide (this guide)
  • Developing High-Level Work Plans and Budgets: An FOS How-To Guide

FOS staff will continue to develop guides and other training materials for various steps across the Open Standards cycle. As the guides are published, they will be available on the FOS website and the Open Standards website (along with a peer-reviewed rating). The Open Standards website also contains implementation and operationalization guidance from other organizations, with Bush Heritage Australia providing numerous documents and examples based on their own experiences.

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A Bird in the Bush Equals Money in the Hand

 

FOS’s Arlyne Johnson and colleagues Paul Frederick Eshoo, Sivilay Duangdala, and Troy Hansel find that an ecotourism direct payment approach for wildlife sightings reduces illegal hunting.

Tourists spot a deer during a NamEt-PhouLouey Safari Credit: Leigh Vial

 

Vientiane – Lao-PDR  (2017) – A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Foundations of Success (FOS) finds that an ecotourism strategy based on “direct payments,” where local people are compensated for the amount of wildlife seen by tourists, has resulted in a reduction in illegal hunting and an increase in wildlife sightings.

In the study, the scientists tested a new model in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)’s Nam-Et-Phou Louey (NEPL) National Protected Area (NPA) that used a direct payment approach to encourage villagers to reduce illegal hunting and trade, which is driving wildlife decline.  The model included a contractual payment to villages that was directly tied to the numbers of wildlife seen by eco-tourists as well as a reduction in payments for occurrences of hunting violations.  The approach was designed to reduce illegal hunting pressure, increase wildlife sightings, and ultimately wildlife numbers, while generating ongoing economic incentives for conservation.

The scientists implemented and then monitored this approach for four years. Results indicated a three-fold increase in hunting signs in the non-tourism sector of the NPA as opposed to no increase in the ecotourism sector. Additionally, an overall increase in wildlife sightings was observed. A wide range of threatened species benefited from the program, including Sambar deer, barking deer, primates and small carnivores.

“If eco-tourism or nature tourism is going to help increase these wildlife populations, there must be a direct link between the incentives for communities and the wildlife itself, “said Bounpheng Phoomsavath, Director of Nam Et — Phou Louey National Protected Area. “Many projects claim to be benefiting wildlife but they often lack this direct link.  Villagers get benefits but the wildlife populations continue to decline.  The direct links are the key to our success.”

In cases where ecotourism is used as a biodiversity conservation strategy, projects are often questioned for lack of resulting proof that threats to biodiversity have been averted or conditions for biodiversity have been improved.

“This study illustrates the importance of monitoring along a theory of change to evaluate if and how a conservation strategy is leading to expected outcomes and to inform adaptive management,” said WCS Lao PDR Country Deputy Director Dr. Santi Saypanya.

The scientists say the case “provides key lessons on the design of a direct payments approach for an ecotourism strategy, including how to combine threat monitoring and data on wildlife sightings to evaluate strategy effectiveness, on setting rates for wildlife sightings and village fees, and the utility of the approach for protecting very rare species.”

“Design, monitoring and evaluation of a direct payments approach for an ecotourism strategy to reduce illegal hunting and trade of wildlife in Lao PDR,” appears in the current edition of PLOS One. Authors include: Paul Frederick Eshoo and Troy Hansel; Sivilay Duangdala of WCS-Lao PDR; and Arlyne Johnson of Foundations of Success (Bethesda, Md.)

This project was supported by funding from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, the European Union, the French Agency for Development (AFD), the German Development Bank (KFW), the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

For a copy of the paper, please click here. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.018613

 

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Lessons from the Field December 2017

Photo by: Suzi Eszterhas

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to be sure you’re not investing your precious conservation dollars in ineffective strategies? You’re in luck! There’s a framework set up to help teams assess their work and adapt based on new information. In this month’s Lessons from the Field, we bring you a shining example of what that framework, the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, has done for one small NGO, Proyecto TitíThe Proyecto Tití team and FOSer, Armando Valdés, have been working and learning together for several years. Proyecto Tití has been a champion of the Open Standards as they continue to implement, monitor, learn, adapt, and share the result of their work with the conservation community.

 

Highlights include:

  • Charismatic monkeys
  • Adaptive management useful for small, community-focused NGO
  • The Open Standards helped prioritize strategies & funding with low budget
  • Strong leadership allowed team to stay on track as they institutionalized the use of Open Standards tools and Miradi Software

Read more: Lessons from the Field December 2017

 

 

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Adapting Strategies with the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme

 

Using the Open Standards to plan and prioritize in the Munella Mountains.

The Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme has completed another loop around the Open Standards adaptive management cycle with the help of FOS Europe. The team took information gathered on their conservation strategies and considered it as they conceptualized and planned for the following year’s activities.

The team, including PPNEA, MES, KORA, and Euronatur, gathered in Munella Mountains, Albania for an annual review of their work. They use adaptive management to monitor their strategies and adjust as needed. During this year’s review, the Albanian team recognized that enforcing laws that keep the lynx safe is not all that’s needed to protect the animal. As a result, they’ve shifted focus onto the benefits that local people receive from coexisting with the lynx in the Munella Mountains.  

Annually revisiting their management plans allows the Programme to check in with their strategies and be sure they’re having the intending impact.

 

The planning team “caught on camera” where a camera trap snapped an image of the Balkan lynx.

 

 

The Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme works to protect the critically endangered Balkan Lynx within much of its known range (Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo). Specifically, the Programme aims to: halt further decline of the Balkan lynx population and secure its survival in the protected areas of the Green Belt; generate knowledge needed for long-term conservation of the species; build the professional capacity needed to maintain the programme in the region and; improve partnerships, public awareness, and involvement in conservation.

Visit their Facebook page for updates and stunning camera trap footage! 

 

 

 

 

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CCNet Europe Celebrates 10 Years!

Congratulations to the Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet) Europe franchise for recently celebrating 10 years of jointly promoting the use of the Open Standards in Europe!

CCNet Europe and friends held their rally in the stunning Pyrenees mountains of Catalonia, Spain. The Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera hosted the event at their nature education center and hostel, where marvelous views could be seen from any direction.

Additional congratulations to the new leadership team, Xavier Escuté (Fundacion La Pedrera), Nico Boenisch (FOS Europe) and Daniela Aschenbrenner (independent). You’ll be missed, Ilke Tilders (FOS Europe)!

Participants in the 10-year anniversary rally included representatives from: WWF Spain, WWF Russia, WWF US, WWF NL, WWF Madagascar, WWF Danube Office, The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Conservation International, Foundations of Success Europe, MAVA Foundation, BBF, various County Admin Boards in Sweden, The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Tour du Valet estate, Swedish Freshwater and Marine Agency, BIOM, Independent Consultants, and Miradi Software.

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