Measuring Our Field Impact
Understanding the effectiveness of conservation interventions allows us to measure return on investment and adjust course for greater conservation impact. There are increasing calls for conservation programs to monitor the status of wildlife and habitats, and to assess the impacts of their actions. Yet few conservation programs are doing so, largely because the limited conservation funding available is prioritized for action not impact assessment. Moreover, efforts to identify robust indicators and methodologies aspire to be exhaustive rather than practical and affordable.
In response, WCS applies five measures that track progress toward desired conservation outcomes and assess the success of core conservation strategies. With these measures we can record and report the status of species and their habitat, the effectiveness of management efforts, the quality of natural resources governance, and the impact of conservation practices on local livelihoods.
Most importantly, these measures are designed to be affordable and replicable. By tracking trends in these measures over time, we can credibly record and publically report the impact of our field conservation investments.