FOS Newsletter November 2002

Highlights in This Issue

  • FOS in the News
  • Active Portfolios Update
  • Special Initiatives Update
  • Meet the FOS Team ヨ presenting Alifereti Tawake

FOS in the News

The following are two excerpts from recent publications that featured FOS staff members:

Fiscal Accountability Concerns Come to Conservation. Jon Christiansen. New York Times, 11/05/02.

Conservation organizations are beginning to audit the financial and biological results of their environmental projects more carefully in an effort to improve their effectiveness and provide accountability to funders, the article reports.

“As a conservation industry, we have to prove we are effective and achieve what we say we are,” Nick Salafsky, co-director of Foundations of Success, a nonprofit that specializes in measuring results of environmental efforts, told the Times. “If we can’t show that, the attention and resources of society will shift to other problems. That recognition and pressure from donors is forcing conservation to wake up and face this issue.”

With a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Salafsky’s organization is working with the Wildlife Conservation Society and Conservation International on a study of the history of accounting and impact assessment in a number of fields, including business, education, social services, and the environment.

For a copy of the complete article, see attached document or visit the New York Times website

Passing the “Taxi Test” with Foundations of Success. Richard Margoluis. SCB Newsletter 9(4), November 2002

On a taxi ride to a meeting in Washington, D.C. recently, the driver and I were having a friendly enough conversation–until he asked the question I fear most: “So what do you do for a living?” Ugh . . . . I always squirm when a cab driver–or anyone else–asks me that question. There never seems to be an easy answer. I can’t simply say “conservation”–that always requires a long explanation that, no, I don’t restore old works of art . . . . I can’t say “monitoring and evaluation” because I get either a blank stare back or pointed questions revealing suspicion that I work for some clandestine spy agency. I’ve even tried “project management consultant” but usually find myself trying to back-peddle as my new acquaintance breaks into a monologue on fads in management, referring to the likes of Peter Drucker, Jack Welch, and Peter Senge.

For a copy of the complete article, see attached document or visit the Society for Conservation Biology’s website.

Active Portfolios Update

Locally Managed Marine Areas Network

The Locally Managed Marine Area Network is continuing its work in the Pacific. In addition to the dynamic cluster of projects in Fiji, the Network is now actively working with groups of projects in Papua New Guinea, West Papua, and Palau. The Network has also brought on some new members of the portfolio coordination team including Kesaia Tabunakawai and Hugh Govan in Fiji and Pam Seeto and Aaron Jenkins in Papua New Guinea.

Ecotourism/Conservation Education at World Heritage Sites

FOS is working with the RARE Center for Tropical Conservation and UNESCO to develop a portfolio of projects at a series of World Heritage sites in Mexico, Central America, and Indonesia. Each project is implementing ecotourism and conservation education strategies. The projects have been going through the adaptive management cycle and developing their own conceptual models and monitoring plans. Over the past few months, FOS staff have been working with RARE staff to develop an overarching learning framework to help determine what data the projects will be sharing with one another.

Hunting and Wildlife Trade

The MacArthur Foundation recently awarded a grant to WCS and FOS for a new learning portfolio with projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America that seek to combat the threats posed by bush meat hunting and the wildlife trade.

Special Initiatives Update

TNC’s Measures and Audit & Strategies Team

FOS staff have continued to work closely with The Nature Conservancyメs Measures and Audit Team. This work is focused on developing monitoring and evaluation systems for both the state of biodiversity at project sites and ecoregions as well as the process of doing conservation. In October, the Team brought together practitioners from ten different ecoregions to consider ways of assessing ecoregion health. In December, the team is planning a workshop focusing on testing the process measures that have been developed with TNC sites in the US and abroad. FOS staff have also been involved in two other TNC working groups, one focused on conservation learning and the other on developing strategies.

Measuring Conservation Impact

We are currently wrapping up Phase 1 of the Measuring Conservation Impact (MCI) study. The purpose of this study is to learn how practitioners across various fields have measured the success of the projects and interventions they employ. Phase 1 synthesizes experiences across fields and identifies a common process and set of principles for conducting M&E. Phase 2, scheduled to begin in December, involves developing a framework for helping conservation projects identify potential indicators for their work. We hope the results will provide a blueprint for moving forward on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in conservation.

Meet the FOS Team

Alifereti Tawake – LMMA Network Project Coordination Team member and Project Liaison Officer

Alifereti is a Scientific Officer with the Institute of Applied Science of the University of South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. He did his undergraduate and graduate work at USP, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry in 1997, Postgraduate Diploma in Chemistry in 1999 and is completing his Masters of Science degree in Chemistry and Marine Science. Alifereti grew up in a rural traditional community in Fiji. Since 1997, he has been working with local communities throughout Fiji in collaboration with NGOs and governments on community-based marine biodiversity management and monitoring projects, aspects of communityヨbased conservation, ways to revive traditional management practices and empowerment of local communities in managing their resources. Currently, he is working with other Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) Network members to strengthen partnership with Fijiメs government department particularly the Fisheries Department. In September, 2002 the Fiji LMMA Network won the Equator Initiative at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Happy holidays from FOS Core Staff – Marcia Brown, Janice Davis, Richard Margoluis, Nick Salafsky, Caroline Stem

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