In today’s dynamic world, practitioners and managers who work on environmental and social challenges need to be able to work with their teams, projects, and communities to not only adapt to change, but also to create and shape change. The Conservation Coaches Network brings together a growing pool of trained professionals to support the people who run some of the most critical conservation and sustainable development projects around the world and foster the inclusiveness, openness, and reflexivity needed to guide and adapt actions to benefit people and nature. By using a common approach for adaptive management (the Conservation Standards), projects can learn from others’ successes and failures while still solving problems in their own language and cultural context. Tapping into our rich collective knowledge and expertise helps projects get better and faster results.
Every day, coaches are working to:
- Work with governments, businesses, Indigenous nations and local communities to ensure that their decisions about activities, such as mining, fishing, agriculture, development, and energy generation, take the value of nature and related livelihoods into consideration and act to sustainably use and protect their heritage;
- Conserve and restore habitats that people depend on for food and water, including forests, grasslands, deserts, rivers, wetlands and coastal and marine systems;
- Protect endangered species, such as tortoises, pygmy hogs, lion tamarins, finless porpoises, pandas, elephants, pangolins, gazelle, chimpanzees, and rhinos, among many other;
- Protect people and infrastructure from climate change by restoring and conserving natural systems;
- Work with foundations and government agencies to assess and better align investments with lasting conservation and human well-being impact;
- Work with ranchers and herders to reduce conflict between humans and wildlife;
- Promote solutions that focus on systemic change, such as sustainable markets, education for sustainable development, and making cities healthier;
- Remove barriers to aquatic connectivity, so that rivers can run free;
CCNet Leadership & Franchises
Currently, CCNet is represented in formal franchises led by local partners in Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Pacific Islands, South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Mongolia, and two communities of practice for Teaching Adaptive Management and Indigenous Conservation Standards Projects.
Franchise leaders and partner representatives from The Nature Conservancy, World Wide Fund for Nature, Foundations of Success, and the Conservation Measure Partnership make up the CCNet Global Board, which is presided by a Global Chairperson. We also have a small global coordination team with five members, including the CCNet Chairperson and two coordinators (whose time is covered from the central CCNet budget, adding up to 70% of a full-time paid position). Members of the coordination team work for partner organizations and volunteer their time.
Our global work is made possible by the considerable in-kind support provided by CCNet participants, specific project collaborators, partner organizations, and donors.
CCNet 2019 Accomplishments
Recruit, Train and Support Coaches across Multiple Institutions around the Planet
We trained 61 new conservation coaches from Albania, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Germany, Mongolia, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. We currently have over 700 active coaches, representing over 200 institutions and helping projects in over 60 countries on all continents.
We believe that our diversity makes us stronger and are proud that our participants include students, active professionals and retired colleagues who come from all walks of life and represent the views of government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, independent consultants, academic institutions, and community-based and indigenous organizations. Slightly over half of our coaches work with non-profit organizations, followed by less than independent consultancies (~20%) and government agencies (~15%). In smaller percentages we also have participants from academic institutions, community-based and indigenous organizations and networks, foundations, and land trusts.
Establish a Clear Pathway towards Professional Conservation Coaching
In 2019, we certified seven conservation coaches through the second-party CCNet Certification Program, which was launched in 2018. Benefits of certification include,
- Acknowledgement of peers
- Professional recognition of skills to offer
- Advantages for jobs, consultancies, etc.
- Improvement of the the practice of conservation coaching
- Assurance that contracted coaches are qualified
- Reduced risks to the reputation of the Conservation Standards
Promote Efficient Knowledge Sharing
We updated our CCNet website content, adding event announcements and training materials in multiple languages to provide free resources to our colleagues worldwide.
Through a simple e-mail exchange service, we currently connect over 750 subscribers from around the world who ask questions, share experiences, and communicate opportunities about the application of the Conservation Standards and related topics. Click here to learn how you can subscribe.
We produced two issues of our e-newsletter, CCNet News, to share stories from conservation practitioners around the world. View past editions and sign up here.
In 2019, we started preparations for our community gathering for 150 participants, which will take place in Victoria, Canada, from May 17-20, 2020. We hope you can join us. Learn more here.
While there is increasing research on the value of teaching what you learn as soon as you learn it, our network’s informal motto has always been “learn it, pass it on.” As soon as they are trained, new coaches get connected to a global pool of colleagues, and every time one of our coaches taps into our rich collective knowledge and expertise to help a project advance, that project gets better and faster results to improve conditions in communities and regions around the world.
Institutionalize and Strengthen the Network
CCNet franchises are localized groups or network hubs that link and support coaches within the region. We currently have 12 regional franchises and two thematic communities of practice: one that focuses on teaching adaptive management in academic institutions, and in 2019, a community formed to better support Indigenous Conservation Standards practitioners and conservation coaches working with Indigenous or communally-owned resources.
In 2019, we strengthened leadership and re-organized in Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Southeast Asia.
Franchises conducted courses to train practitioners and graduate students and held exchanges to foster learning across countries and between organizations.
In countries like Mongolia and China, where management plans used to be developed by external experts, local conservation professionals (who have been trained and supported by CCNet for several years) are now coaching their own processes to develop, assess, and adapt their own plans.
Several countries have approved the use of the Conservation Standards for development of their plans for protected areas and wildlife management areas.
In alliance with the Conservation Measures Partnership, we have:
- Reviewed and updated the Conservation Standards. Version 4.0 will be shared in 2020.
- Launched our third Global Conservation Case Study Competition.
- Worked with a Joint Guidance Review Committee to review and share materials and guidance.
Please join us, so that we can train more coaches, expand professional growth opportunities, and investigate new funding models for a self-sustaining network.