Strategic conservation planning

Robust and strategic conservation planning is essential for effective conservation site management. Considering the many changes and uncertainties conservation is facing all over the world, management needs to have certain flexibility. Adaptive management is a fundamental element of the Ecosystem Approach of the Convention on Biological Diversity and considered the current state of the art of good practice in conservation management. It is formally embraced by many conservation organisations as part of a shared approach to conservation planning. The Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation were developed as a set of common guidelines for strategic adaptive conservation management by the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP). They are in use at many conservation sites all over the world and have proven a valuable methodology for strategic adaptive conservation planning.

Our work with the Open Standards and with strategic conservation planning in several conservation sites fostered the development of an approach derived from the Open Standards facilitating ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change called MARISCO (adaptive MAnagement of vulnerability and RISk at COnservation sites). Like the Open Standards it is based on a participatory and adaptive management approach but with a much stronger focus on risk management including a profound assessment of present and future vulnerabilities of both conservation objects and their influencing factors. Its strongly systemic approach acknowledges that conservation has a much wider application than just protecting biodiversity.

By now MARISCO has been tested in numerous conservation projects all over the world but was also introduced in two conservation projects in Brandenburg, Germany. This management planning instrument attends to many shortcomings of current conservation management. It has been found applicable to all planning levels regardless their size and organisational structure and a promising tool to bridge current planning and communication gaps for conservation planning.


Projects related to strategic conservation planning:


Participatory and ecosystem- based adaptation to climate change in Barnim



Adapting conservation to climate change in Brandenburg



Altai Transboundary Biosphere Reserve



Management concept for the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, Ukraine



Centre for Econics and

Ecosystem Management

Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development

Faculty of Forest and Environment

Alfred-Möller-Str. 1
D-16225 Eberswalde

+49 3334 657-178 - pibisch[a]

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