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Conservation Challenge: Capacity to Conserve

Written by: Marianne Carter
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The term ‘capacity development’ is not easy to get your head around, but when you boil it down it is all about people and the process of improving the effectiveness of what we do.

People are both the driving force behind biodiversity loss and the reason for protecting it. It is no surprise then that harnessing human potential is fundamental to conserving our remaining biodiversity. Long-term conservation success depends on developing a network of committed individuals and institutions that are strong enough and effective enough to address the threats to our natural world.

Sustainable solutions
Capacity development has to be the cornerstone of any serious attempt to find long-term solutions to conservation problems. Outside intervention may provide a short-term fix, but this will only be sustainable if is linked to locally-driven action.The most effective and long-term solutions to safeguard species and habitats lie in local hands. This may include government, local people, corporations or, most often some combination of the three.

Understanding the needs
Local institutions and individuals need to be willing and able to assume responsibility for safeguarding the world’s natural heritage. There are many extremely able local organisations committed to conserving biodiversity around the globe. But many of those working in the world’s most biodiverse places often have limited access to the necessary resources, financial or otherwise. They are also often relatively young organisations and may need more skills or experience to achieve their conservation goals.

International organisations, like Fauna & Flora International (FFI), also face their own internal capacity challenges as they too must adapt to meet new critical conservation concerns, and work to navigate emerging ideas in science, technology and culture at a global scale.

How we help
We are helping as many people and institutions as possible to acquire the skills and resources that they need to maximise their positive impact for conservation. At an individual level, we are providing professional development in areas such as leadership, advocacy, and technical skills, which is building motivation and increasing effectiveness. At an institutional level, we help those we support to plan strategically, build strong governance, finance and administration structures and access funding. Solutions may take the form of anything from mentoring and coaching, to training, information sharing and exchanges. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer, and a range of innovative long-term approaches need to be tailored to each situation.

We are also developing ways to support and learn from one another so we can be more efficient in our efforts. Building strategic alliances between groups to share information, skills and resources is leading to more successful conservation. The pooling of local and international skills is also providing important learning opportunities in both directions, resulting in improved conservation operations on a wider scale.
We have some big challenges ahead of us. By strengthening local stewardship of threatened species and habitats we are developing our own and our partners’ capacity to work together to overcome them.

Find out how FFI is helping to build conservation capacity around the world.

Written by
Marianne Carter

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Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales, Registered Company Number 2677068. Registered Charity Number 1011102
Fauna & Flora International Australia (Ltd) is a company limited by guarantee, and recognised as a Charitable Institution (ABN 75 132 715 783, ACN 132715783)
Fauna & Flora International USA Inc is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Delaware with federal tax identification number 81-3967095. 501(c)(3) status for Fauna & Flora International USA Inc currently is pending IRS approval.
Fauna & Flora International Singapore is a public company limited by guarantee, Registration Number 201133836K. Registered charity under the Singapore Charities Act