Using the Conservation Standards to Connect Community-based Efforts with Landscape-scale Results

Indigenous Mayan participants in a community workshop assess COMDEKS indicators in the Forest and Traditional Milpa Landscape. in Mexico. Photo by UNDP.


Story by María Fernanda Cepeda González (Capacitación y Asesorías Ambientales)

Mexico’s United Nations Small Grants Program (SGP) provides seed funding for conservation projects at the community level, but results must be reflected at a landscape scale. Because the SGP is an implementer of the United Nations Development Program’s Global Environmental Fund, we follow the COMDEKS methodology (Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative). This method focuses on maintaining and improving the ecological and productive resilience of communities within a landscape. Because this method focuses on a community scale, rolling results up to a landscape scale has been challenging.

For this reason, we borrowed from the Conservation Standards to create a landscape-scale planning process to guide implementation for the next ten years. This process links the diagnostic phase of COMDEKS with the strategic planning steps of the Conservation Standards. This has allowed us to develop more robust goals, strategies, and results chains within a landscape perspective without losing the community base. At present, we are integrating five landscape-scale strategic plans into one regional plan, identifying crosscutting goals while also keeping goals that pertain to each individual landscape.