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Lessons Learned

Why not learn from others? This section features grant recipients and partners describing a key lesson they have learned and the effects it had on their project or how they adapted their approach in response.

New: "Herbivore reintroduction into areas with vegetation of high conservation priority needs to be accompanied by a monitoring protocol with immediate and relevant feedback to management."
- Helen Farmer, University of Cape Town

"The implementation of any environmental education project requires a clear understanding of the traditional authority systems and other stakeholders in order to gain the local legitimacy to implement the project."
- Katherine May, The Living Earth Foundation

"Since conservation of the future relies heavily on the actions of private landowners, there is a great need for science to be translated into a format that is palatable for the average landowner and communicated in the local language."
- Karen J. Esler, University of Stellenbosch

"Community consultations and public awareness campaigns can be more effective tools than penalties and patrols to enforce environmental legislation."
- Jan van der Ploeg & Merlijn van Weerd, Mabuwaya Foundation Inc.

"Expedition members need to be experienced in their specific fields in order for them to be able to problem-solve difficult situations and adapt their survey methods accordingly."
- Ray Pierce, Pacific Expeditions, Ltd.

"Making the community’s members feel ownership of project implementation is the most important lesson to be learned."
- Peter Mulbah, Skills and Agriculture Development Services, Inc.

"Environmentally responsible consumption projects initiated in urban cities can be just as influential as natural resource and habitat conservation projects implemented indirectly in rural habitats."
- Yang Liu, Green Student Organizations Society

"Conserving valuable natural resources in the world is the responsibility of an efficient society where actors from different environments work as a team, maximizing everyone’s virtues and potentials."
- Luis Murillo, Southern Mesoamerica Coordination Unit

"Proactive follow-up after meetings and other events has a huge positive impact on participants’ enthusiasm and success in achieving their objectives."
- Jill Key, Pacific Invasives Learning Network

"Governance shortfalls pose the greatest threat to the effectiveness of technically based and logical management interventions to address unsustainable and illegal timber harvesting from the hotspot."
- Simon Milledge, TRAFFIC International

"The relationship and exchange among projects and organizations are key to the consolidation of biodiversity corridors and to the conservation objectives that we aspire toward."
- Ivana Lamas, Atlantic Forest Coordination Unit

"Many people involved in private and communal conservation projects need technical and legal support to strengthen their initiatives, in order to ensure effective access to information and to encourage them to be part of more formal strategies."
- José Luis Capella, Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental

"Encouraging local people to inventory their useful plants has proven to be effective and practical, but more training and practice for local practitioners would result in better specimens."
- Yang Yongping, Kunming Institute of Botany

"It is important to make every effort to make collaborating partners share ownership of projects being implemented."
- Selete Nyomi, AGORO

"Success or failure in establishing participatory and long-term sustainable management of wildlife depends largely on the ability of the project staff to engage effectively with the local communities and the hunters themselves so that they feel trusted."
- Sylvain Dufour, Fauna and Flora International

"Finding a balance between providing too little and too much support in community-based conservation is a crucial factor in a project’s long-term success."
- Brian Reeves, Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA)

"Working through official channels – nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and government for example – can be slow, but informal networks of committed professionals on the ground can really help move projects along."
- Gabriela Alonso Yáñez, Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC)

"The level of organization of project partners is a determining factor for long-term success and should therefore be one of the key criteria for choosing them; locally grown, traditional institutions are especially important."
- Robert Müller, Asociación Boliviana para la Conservación (TRÓPICO)

"By looking back at times in life when you have really excelled, you can learn how to develop the attitudes and habits that help you perform at your very best."
- Samba Tenin Diallo, Centre National des Sciences Halieutiques de Boussoura

"Even if your partners agree to processes such as inclusive participatory planning and conflict resolution, it can often take a long time to understand what that actually means."
- Jaime Levy, Fundación Altropico

"Briefing partners fully before a project begins enables smooth implementation even if there are staff changes or communication problems during the project."
- Namaqua National Park team members in the Succulent Karoo Hotspot

"Choosing the right people to cooperate with is as important as planning the whole project."
- Indira Dayang Lacerna-Widmann, Katala Foundation

"Dedicated legal expertise is needed to streamline the slow process of finalizing stewardship contract agreements between private landowners and conservation agencies to give conservation status to a privately conserved area."
- Sue Winter, Botanical Society of South Africa

"The clearer your priorities are in running a small grants program, the more effective you will be."
- Anabelle Plantilla, The Haribon Foundation

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Nearly 400 final project reports are available on our site with results and lessons learned direct from the project leaders. Explore the reports available today.

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