• Adam Barlow

How to make a conservation plan for a conservation technology project

To create a conservation plan for a conservation technology project the project team should create a planned change diagram that links your activities to the biodiversity that will benefit. A planned change diagram is made up of the results that the project wants to achieve and the activities (work packages) it will carry out to achieve those results.


There are 4 types of result:

  • Biodiversity target result, to document the desired change in the biodiversity of interest.

  • Threat results, to document the desired change in the threats that are degrading the biodiversity of interest.

  • Behaviour result, to document the desired change in the behaviours that are driving the threats.

  • Influence result, to document the desired change in the influences that are driving the behaviours.


Collectively, these results represent the desired impact the conservation technology project wants to achieve. The following diagram shows how the activities and results are represented on a planned change diagram.


Conservation planning: Shows how conservation impact results are documented on a planned change diagram.
Conservation planning: Planned change diagram structure.

For a conservation technology (or any other project) the results should be as specific as possible to enable effective funding, management, and reporting on the project. However, in many cases the conservation technology may benefit a wide range of biodiversity. In such cases the description of the biodiversity target, may be relatively broad e.g. global biodiversity, marine biodiversity, bird biodiversity.


The threats that the conservation technology addresses could then be either broad (e.g. threats to biodiversity) or specific (wildlife poaching), depending on what the conservation technology does. Likewise, the behaviour and influence results may be broad or very specific.


By creating the results first, the project team is then able to identify any additional activities they need to carry out for the desired results to be achieved. For example, as well as just the creation of the conservation technology, there may be additional activities relating to research, training, and awareness to ensure the technology will be found and used by the audience in question.


The following figure shows an example of a planned change diagram for a conservation technology project focused on creating an online wildlife crime intelligence portal. As in other examples, it is useful to also include project management and monitoring work packages so that milestones, activities, and tasks can be assigned to them.


Conservation planning: Planned change diagram showing how to link conservation activities to conservation impact for a conservation technology project
Conservation planning: Planned change diagram for a conservation technology project

This kind of planned change diagram can then be used as the basis of an overall Project plan, which would also include roles, stakeholder engagement, work plan, monitoring and evaluation, and budget sections. Likewise, the planned change diagram can provide the information needed to create a compelling vision, e.g. Combating the international wildlife trade by providing governments with the intelligence they need to combat criminal networks.


To become an expert in creating planned change diagrams for any project you can either download this best practice or, better yet, take this online course on Strategy Development for Wildlife Conservation.


You can also click here to explore how we can provide you with conservation planning support for your work.

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