The CMP Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation
In order to achieve our goals, the conservation community must determine the extent to which our actions are working - and we must be able to diagnose why some actions succeed while others do not. In recent years, there has been great convergence among conservation organizations in thinking about how best to plan, implement, and assess conservation actions in the context of a project cycle.
Making the most of the extensive, trial-and-error experience gained by conservation organizations while designing, implementing and appraising their conservation projects, the members of the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) have developed a set of project cycle or adaptive management open standards that are reflected in the work of all of our organizations and are, we believe, fundamental to effective conservation. These Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation are less a recipe that must be followed exactly than a framework and guidance for conservation action.
We have organized the main ingredients of these open standards - principles, tasks, and guidance - into seven steps that comprise the project management cycle including conceptualization, planning, implementation, analysis, adaptation, communication, and iteration (go to www.ConservationMeasures.org to download the full version of the standards). Although we present the standards as a linear series of steps or stages, the entire process is rarely applied in a linear fashion from start to finish - instead it is typically only a rough approximation of the more complex series of back-and-forth movements that a project goes through.
The Open Standards in Miradi
These Open Standards provide the basis for the Step-by-Step interview in the Miradi Software. The following table lays out the basic principles and tasks for each step of the Open Standards.
CMP Open Standards for the Practice of
Conservation, Version 2.0
Tasks that are currently covered by the current version of the Miradi Software are shown in blue text.
1. Conceptualize Project
1A. Define Initial Project Team
1B. Define Scope, Vision & Targets
1C. Identify Critical Threats
1D. Complete Situation Analysis
2. Plan Actions & Monitoring
2A. Develop Strategic Plan
2B. Develop Monitoring Plan
2C. Develop Operational Plan
3. Implement Actions & Monitoring
3A. Develop Short-Term Work Plan
3B. Develop & Refine Project Budget
3C. Implement Plans
4. Analyze, Use, Adapt
4A. Prepare Data for Analysis
4B. Analyze Results
4C. Adapt Project Plan
5. Capture & Share Learning
5A. Document Learning
5B. Share Learning
5C. Create a Learning Environment
Close the Loop
The Relationship Between the CMP Open Standards and Organizational-Specific Versions
The members of the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) each have their own organizational version of the CMP Open Standards. There is a long and complex history of exchange between these organizational versions and the CMP "generic" version of these standards. For example, The Nature Conservancy started with its 5-S process in the 1990s. Similarly, Foundations of Success staff published the Measures of Success approach around the same time. WWF and WCS, by contrast, had no one set of standards; instead each office had its own version.
The CMP Open Standards were initially developed by bringing together commonalities across these different versions into Version 1.0 of the Open Standards. However, at that point, WWF then took this Version 1.0 and refined it to meet their needs, developing the WWF Project and Programme Standards shown below. Similarly, TNC took their 5-S process and refined it to fit the Open Standards, producing the TNC Conservation Action Planning (CAP) Approach shown below. And the WCS Living Landscapes Program developed their own version of the project cycle shown below. The CMP the evaluated the changes made by WWF, TNC, FOS, WCS and others, and used them to produce Version 2.0 of the Open Standards that reflect what has been learned from these experiences. As a result, each organization has a version of the standards that meets their specific needs, but at the same time, all can learn from one another. A further benefit is that members of each organization can use Miradi Software in their work with only minimal "translation" being needed.