Assessing the Synergies and Tradeoffs of Conservation Strategies
Why It Matters
Instead of society responding haphazardly to one conservation crisis or threat after another, WWF is focusing on developing a roadmap that considers not only a single present concern or threat, such as species loss or deforestation, but to also explicitly consider the larger system dynamics of implementing conservation policy, including the potential synergies and tradeoffs amongst both conservation and development goals. Improving our understanding of meaningful ways to embed this approach into larger policy decisions is paramount to conservation success.
What is attractive about this approach in terms of planning decisions is that it does not require agreement on (1) the motivations underlying the tradeoffs that individual people or entities are willing to make (i.e., the reasons that people want to protect ecosystems or biodiversity) or (2) what considerations beyond an assessment of trade-offs should enter into public policy.
By recasting the conservation decision-making process to focus on the relevance and assessment of trade-offs, it increases the likelihood that all participants will be able to find greater common ground for collaboration, even if they hold very disparate views on other issues. In turn, this should allow greater progress toward designing and implementing policies or plans designed to protect not only the biodiversity but also the ecosystems and the services they provide.