FOS Newsletter December 2005

Highlights in This Issue

  • Update on Strategies and Activities
  • Formal Publications from 2005
  • Visit FOS’s New Website
  • Please Give Us Your Feedback

Update on Strategies and Activities

Here is an update on some of our work:

FOS Helps TNC and WWF Launch Adaptive Management Systems, Including Training Materials and Resource Guides

FOS is continuing to work with both The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund/WWF to help each institution develop and refine their project-based adaptive management processes. With TNC, FOS has been involved in developing and testing the Conservation Action Planning (CAP) Process ヨ the successor to the 5-S Framework. With WWF,  FOS staff has been working on WWF’s new Standards of Conservation Practice and more recently, developing and/or editing a set of resource guides and training materials to help practitioners implement the steps and guidelines outlined in the Standards. FOS has also been heavily involved in facilitating trainings for field staff (see story below).

FOS Continues Field Based Trainings with WWF Teams Across the Globe

FOS is working with a variety of WWF Ecoregions – through WWF-US – to facilitate the development of strategic plans for project teams. Most recently, we provided training for WWF’s East African Marine and Gulf of California ecoregions. WWF staff and partners learned to use the WWF Standards to develop strategic action plans, as well as monitoring plans that measure project impact and effectiveness. This field level focus has been critical for providing two-way feedback that ensures the Standards are rooted in what is possible and useful for the field while also serving higher-level institutional needs. These trainings have not only strengthened teams’ skills to think critically in a systematic way but have also helped build donor, manager and team confidence that the teams are clear in what they are trying to do and have strategically chosen their conservation actions.

CMP Starts Building Initial Modules of the e-Adaptive Management Software Program

The Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) is a partnership of conservation NGOs that seek better ways to design, manage, and measure the impacts of their conservation actions. FOS acts as a coordinator of CMP to organize and facilitate meetings, coordinate technical work, handle administrative matters, and provide technical advice where needed. In 2005, CMP began actively working on the e-Adaptive Management Software Program ヨ This software program will help conservation practitioners to implement the CMP Open Standards. CMP is currently working with Benetech, a Silicon Valley-based non-profit, to build the initial modules of this software program. For more information on CMP, visit

CMP Works with IUCN to Develop Common Classifications of Threats and Actions

Over the past several years, FOS staff has been working through the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) to develop standard classifications of direct threats and of conservation actions. Simultaneously, IUCN has been developing its own authority files of threats and actions. Over the past few months, the two groups have come together and are now working on a common classification that will hopefully become the global standard and the foundation of a common science of conservation. Read an editorial about the common taxonomy.

Private Land Conservation Professionals in Latin America Take a Critical Look at Conservation Easements

Private lands conservation practitioners in Latin America have been working to learn about the conditions under which conservation easements are successful or not in the region. This group recently finalized a document that outlines the conventional wisdom on conservation easements (now available through FOS’s website, in both English and Spanish). Last Spring, the group also developed a learning framework for testing some of the priority assumptions laid out in the conventional wisdom document. This framework, available only in Spanish, has served as a guide for the applied research the group is undertaking. Currently, group members are finishing up interviews with landowners and conservation NGOs. One member remarked that this モwork is very important. We should be doing this type of analysis with all of our conservation projects. Despite the value of this work, the project has experienced a number of challenges, including comparing very different applications of conservation easements in different countries and the typical challenges of trying to coordinate efforts remotely and across several different countries.

Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA) Network Conducts First Systematic Cross-Site Analyses

FOS works with members of the LMMA learning network that spans the people and cultures of Southeast Asia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and the Americas to collectively learn how to improve marine management activities and increase conservation impact. In September 2005, the LMMA Network brought together representatives of projects from Fiji, the Philippines, and Indonesia to conduct the first systematic analysis of different factors affecting LMMA success across multiple projects. This process brought together scientists and community members to start the process of comparing what was going on at their respective sites. More information about the LMMA learning portfolio is available at

FOS Helps TNC’s Latin American Partners Document Achievements and Challenges with Watershed Valuation Projects

For the last few years, TNC has provided technical assistance to watershed valuation projects in several countries in Latin America as a strategy for achieving biodiversity conservation. At the request of TNC, FOS developed a series of case studies that document the experiences and knowledge that TNC and its partner organizations have gained about watershed valuation projects in six sites (covering the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, and Ecuador). The case studies extensively document experiences and lessons learned at and across the sites about the use and effectiveness of watershed valuation as a conservation strategy. The case studies were designed to facilitate learning among these and other sites that are currently implementing watershed valuation projects or are interested in undertaking these activities. Visit our website’s Collaborative Learning Initiatives page in the near future to check for documents related to this work.

Participants in TNC’s Multi-Stakeholder Planning Efforts in the Hudson River Estuary Watershed Take Initial Steps Toward Coordinated Action

The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern New York Chapter, with facilitation assistance from FOS, has recently wrapped up a multi-stakeholder planning effort for the Hudson River Estuary Watershed. This effort brought together more than 50 people from over 20 organizations to use TNC’s Conservation Action Planning (CAP) Process to develop targets, a situation analysis, strategies, and a monitoring plan for the entire Hudson River Estuary Watershed between the Troy Dam and New York City. In November 2005, many of these stakeholders came together again to determine how they could start putting the plans they had developed into action. Reports are available for the planning products and the facilitation process used during the planning stage, via FOS’s website. You can also view additional products through The Nature Conservancy’s Conserveonline web portal.

Formal Publications from 2005

A list of formally published articles from 2005 follows. Be sure to check our website frequently for recent publications – both formal publications and gray literature.

Visit FOS’s New Website

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, we have developed a more dynamic website that better engages our visitors and more adequately reflects the variety of initiatives we undertake. We are continually updating the site, so be sure to visit often for front page news updates, reports on our current activities, and access to our growing library of resources. Check the new website out at: If you have any suggestions about what you like or dislike about our site and how we can continue to improve it, please contact us.

Please Give Us Your Feedback

Do you have feedback on this newsletter or our website? We would love to hear from you. Please send us an e-mail.

Happy Holidays to all!

– From the FOS – From the FOS Team

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