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Download our free Project Management best practice guide.


Given current rates of biodiversity loss and degradation of natural environments, conservation work has never been more important. However, the time and resources available to conduct conservation work is limited. This means that conservationists are under pressure to work as efficiently as possible, making the most of limited resources to achieve maximum impact in the least amount of time.


Furthermore, conservationists must achieve impact despite often having to deal with huge complexity, continual uncertainty, and change. To help them manage their work in the face of these challenging conditions, conservationists need an effective project management approach. However, previously developed project management guidelines are better suited for other sectors, such as business, health, and development.


The purpose of the Project Management for Wildlife Conservation best practice, therefore, is to provide conservationists with a standardised approach that will help them to manage their work efficiently, and in a way that achieves maximum impact.


This best practice can be used as a step-by-step guide to help manage conservation work of any scale, focus, or time frame. For example, it could be used to manage work to protect elephants in a national park, or to help save global biodiversity by strengthening international policy on greenhouse gas emissions. This best practice can also be used as a supporting resource for training and facilitation.

This best practice can either be used as a stand-alone approach, or in combination with the other guidance in the Wildlife Conservation Professional Series. The Project Management for Wildlife Conservation best practice provides the overall framework for carrying out a conservation project from start to finish. In this best practice, a conservation project is broken down into 5 phases: Plan, Fund, Prepare, Implement, and Close. Other best practices in this series provide guidance on how to carry out key activities during one or more project management phases.


​The Project Management for Wildlife Conservation best practice provides guidance for managing any type of conservation project. It is made up of 7 sections:

  • Projects to provide an overview of what a project is and how it fits into a programme.

  • Principles to provide a set of fundamental approaches and attitudes to guide the project team during the implementation of the project.

  • Roles to clarify project team structure and decision-making.

  • Phases to ensure that the project team does everything in the right order.

  • Control processes to keep a project on track and adapt to new knowledge and changing conditions.

  • Administrative processes to help conduct effective meetings and develop high-quality project documents.

  • Documents to provide an overview of the standardised, linked project document templates.


  • Track and report on project progress.

  • Assess and manage risks, issues, and opportunities.​

  • Document and share lessons learned.

Download the manual for a link to access these templates.

Screen shot of online google sheet to help manage conservation projects
Screen shot of online google sheet to help manage conservation projects

Ready to take the next step? Join our expert-led online Project Management course.

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