Conservation Future Climate Change

Abstruse

Management of protected areas must adapt to climate impacts, and gear up for ongoing ecological transformation. Hereafter-Proofing Conservation is a dialogue-based, multi-stakeholder learning procedure that supports conservation managers to consider the implications of climate change for governance and management. It takes participants through a serial of conceptual transitions to place new management options that are robust to a range of possible biophysical futures, and steps that they tin can take now to set for ecological transformation. Nosotros outline the Futurity-Proofing Conservation procedure, and demonstrate its application in a pilot plan in Colombia. This process can be applied and adapted to a wide range of climate adaptation contexts, to support practitioners in developing positive means forrard for management and decision-making. Past acknowledging scientific doubtfulness, because social values, and rethinking the rules that shape conservation governance, participants tin can place new strategies towards “time to come-oriented conservation” over the long term.

Introduction

Conservation managers in the twenty-first century are confronting relentlessly increasing pressure level to cope with alter. The magnitude and nature of potential time to come ecological transformation challenges the very foundations of conservation (Stein et al. 2013; Wyborn et al. 2016). The almost normally accepted norm for dealing with this pressure is to seek out scientific and technical advice for decision-making, including species adaptiveness (Beever et al. 2016), ecological modelling (Hannah et al. 2017), vulnerability (Metcalf et al. 2015) and projected changes (Foden et al. 2013). As West et al. wrote, the idea of “managing for alter” in conservation “…volition be a challenging proposition since it is difficult to anticipate threshold changes and considering the array of potential states into which a system may change is highly uncertain; thus concentrated research to understand the characteristics and indicators of threshold responses will be essential” (West et al. 2009, p. 1018). Yet despite the prevalence of this norm, there is growing awareness that there may be limits to technical solutions, as climate accommodation is recognised as a circuitous socio-political procedure involving authority, cognition and subjective values (Hagerman et al. 2010; Lemieux and Scott 2011; Eriksen et al. 2015). Over the concluding decade, a growing array of scholars are drawing attention to the institutional dimensions of climate accommodation in conservation. Rannow et al. (2014) highlight technical and legal issues for protected areas, while Abrahms et al. (2017) make recommendations on technical knowledge, tools and frameworks for managing protected areas nether climatic change. Yet despite established frameworks and principles (Gross et al. 2016), analysts annotation that “Implementation of adaptation plans and strategies continues to lag…” (Stein et al. 2013, p. 2, meet also Jantarasami et al. 2010; Wise et al. 2014). In general terms, this can be regarded equally the fault line that emerges when new (climate accommodation) demands are imposed on organisational structures that have been created and evolved to meet the old (maintain existing ecosystems) demands. As Stein et al. (2013) go on to observe “…while the concept of adaptive capacity is often thought of in reference to the species and ecosystems that are the targets of adaptation action, the ability of institutions themselves to adjust and evolve will be key to their ability to change” (p. 508). (See too Dunlop et al. 2013; Wyborn et al. 2016.) Only although there is growing documentation of
what
conservation institutions should exercise to govern for climate accommodation, relatively few have asked
how
they tin can adjust or, equally Pelling (2011) argues, transform in the face up of climatic change
from their existing governance structures?

This commodity reports on a project that sought to approach this question by working with organisations at the forefront of conservation governance practice. The Hereafter-Proofing Conservation project was developed to explore new ways of managing protected areas when at that place is potential for large-scale, rapid and transformative ecological change. Drawing on Pelling et al.’southward (2015, run into also 2011) differentiation betwixt transitions: “incremental adjustments that preserve systems integrity when atmospheric condition change” and transformation: “measures that challenge the stability of current systems” (p. 116), we sought to establish processes and tools that enabled transitions from traditional approaches to ‘future-oriented conservation’, and to investigate whether incremental transitions could accumulate to larger transformations. This project was formed by a partnership between researchers (The Australian National Academy, the Luc Hoffmann Institute, The Democracy Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), civil society (Globe Wildlife Fund Colombia, WWF-C), practitioners (Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia, PNN), and conservation advisers (Equilibrium Enquiry). (Throughout this article we refer to the cadre collaborative research team members equally the ‘research team’ (authors), a broader group of engaged policy and management colleagues from WWF and PNN as ‘partners’ and practitioners who participated in activities equally ‘participants’.) Collectively, we developed an arroyo to enabling transitions towards more than “future-oriented” conservation (Wyborn et al. 2016). The Hereafter-Proofing Conservation process that emerged is a structured, interactive, dialogue-based series of activities. These activities encourage conservation practitioners to consider their current direction approaches in calorie-free of future climatic change, and to explore alternatives based on various social values and benefits. In this article, we present the Future-Proofing Conservation process, illustrated by pilot studies in Colombia.

Conceptual framework for hereafter-oriented conservation

The Future-Proofing Conservation project was founded on a philosophical perspective drawn from evolutionary learning. Ansell and colleagues (Ansell and Gash 2007; Ansell 2011) advise that evolutionary learning takes place through iii central and interconnected activities. Outset, taking a problem-driven perspective, ensuring that abstract concepts (in our example, around futures thinking, transformation, governance and values) are grounded in actual problems and the experience of participants, and a thorough agreement of decision-making contexts. Our collaboration directly involved practitioner partners to develop shared understanding of climate adaptation as a management problem and its socio-political framing. Second, it recognises that existence reflexive about individual and institutional frameworks which shape possible actions can create new options for change. Nosotros considered both the formal institutional arrangements and the historically embedded informal expectations and norms that influence conservation actions (Ostrom 1999). 3rd, it involves creating spaces where stakeholders can develop ideas, discuss social values, share information, and consider current institutional rules and future possibilities for change. We co-designed processes that encourage partners and participants to work together to explore implications of new information and create new understandings and solutions.

Within this broad philosophical framing we drew on the conceptual heuristic of values-rules-knowledge (VRK) as developed by Gorddard et al. (2016) as an accessible way to engage with the contextual factors shaping how our partners and participants approach climate adaptation and conservation. VRK emphasises that climate adaptation in conservation can exist enabled not just by updating or increasing what we know (technical cognition); it also requires changing the rules that shape policy and practice (governance and management); and evolution of values (socio-political preferences) driving conservation. Addressed separately, they can each back up incremental modify. But deliberately driving co-development of values, rules and noesis together can lead to a more meaningful transformation in thinking and action towards the goal of “time to come-oriented conservation”.

Iv transitions towards future-oriented conservation

Nosotros define future-oriented conservation as policy, planning and management that finer anticipates change and actively prepares for it over the long term. In order to attain this, there are currently a wide range of possible approaches, tools, methods, strategies and processes (encounter Gross et al. 2016; Abrahms et al. 2017). For protected area policymakers, planners and managers, information technology can be difficult to know where to start, especially when tools or methods have been adult to suit other ecological, social and political contexts, and dissimilar possible futures. Nosotros distilled from the literature 4 propositions regarding how future-oriented conservation could be accomplished via 4 transitions for conservation managers:

  1. ane.

    From strategies and practices based on resisting ecological alter to strategies and practices that anticipate and conform ecological change
    Conservation is, almost past definition, concerned with conserving ecosystems, species or landscapes in their current state or restoring them to a previous country. Related climate accommodation literature and scientific inquiry more generally take tended to frame the primary goal of adaptation every bit building resilience in ecosystems, increasing the capacity of ecosystems to maintain or return to their core characteristics despite changing climatic conditions. Nevertheless, strategies based on resilience, stasis or restoration may non be sufficient in a changing climate (Baron et al. 2009; West et al. 2009; Boyd et al. 2015), and may even be counterproductive if resources are directed towards maintaining features that will inevitably change (Dunlop 2013). Anticipating and all-around involves both practical changes and a more than conceptual modify, as traditional conservation ideals, goals and targets (fundamental species, historic communities) might no longer exist suitable guides for management (Tschakert and Dietrich 2010). This is not only substituting i source of information for another, but a shift in the social and political basis of controlling (Adger et al. 2009), from objective “things” (species, ecosystems) that were previously central to conservation concern to subjective “values” that are contestable and more than overtly political.

  2. 2.

    From conservation goals and targets focusing on ecological attributes to goals and targets that also focus on social values and benefits
    Conservation goals that relate to specific attributes such every bit particular species or communities may become unreachable equally ecosystems change. While including social values is sometimes noted as an important aspect of adaptive management for protected areas (due east.grand., Lockwood 2006; Tanner-McAllister et al. 2017), we propose that a focus on social values and benefits can offering an additional direction path, as benefits may persist even as ecological attributes modify. For case, where an important benefit of a protected area is supply of clean water, the mural processes that produce clean water may remain fifty-fifty if the species of trees or understory in a wood change. This helps people to empathise that benefits can persist even if ecosystems transform. For simplicity, we deliberately merged
    benefits
    (what people get) and
    values
    (what people similar/desire) past assuming that people value something that provides benefits. This transition implies a full general recognition that maintaining benefits experienced by people may be different from maintaining the electric current country of the ecosystems themselves (Chan et al. 2006).

  3. iii.

    From understanding climate accommodation equally a scientific issue to agreement information technology every bit a governance effect
    Scientific cognition and technical solutions are often assumed to exist the best resources and strategies to support conservation (Godet 2006; Gabriel 2014; Rannow et al. 2014), and many partners and participants in our study reflected this view. This is consistent with Archie et al’s empirical enquiry where conservation decision-makers noted “lack of information” equally a key barrier to adaptation (Archie et al. 2012; meet also Lonsdale et al. 2017). While climate change projections are improving, the impacts on specific protected areas are typically uncertain, and implementation options unsaid by technical analysis can be infeasible (Lemieux and Scott 2011). All the same even with precise information, managers are confronted by a complex assortment of social and political challenges when making adaptation decisions that emerge from contested values, multi-layered policy challenges and institutions that are frequently resistant to alter (Eriksen et al. 2015). Focusing on climate accommodation as a governance issue opens conversations about how we organise ourselves to address irresolute ecosystems, including identifying other (non-technical) information that may also be useful for decision-making. For case, incorporating social values and benefits requires consultation on what those benefits are, who receives them and how they are prioritised.

  4. iv.

    From conservation practices based on trouble-solving to practices based on ongoing learning
    All of the above imply a more dynamic and uncertain management environment; the trouble of climate change cannot be “solved” in whatever conventional sense. Consistent with adaptive management approaches, interventions demand to be informed past new cognition from many sources, and adjust every bit biophysical weather and societal values proceed to change (Olsson et al. 2006; Berkes et al. 2008). Research on anticipatory approaches suggests management should complement activities focused on solving defined problems (e.g., a water shortage) with learning as social and ecological conditions alter (e.m., water planning) (Tschakert and Dietrich 2010; Boyd et al. 2015).

These propositions are illustrated in Fig. 1.

Fig. i

Four conceptual transitions and the tools that support them, that accumulate to the larger transformation, from traditional conservation thinking and practices towards hereafter-oriented conservation

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In the diagram, we recognise that “Traditional Conservation approach to climate adaptation” is a stereotype, as most conservation practitioners are at least part way along at to the lowest degree some of these transitions. Activities in italics in Fig. 1 were designed to determine where participants were between the “traditional” and the “future-oriented” approaches, and to develop a shared conceptual base of operations from which we could explore possibilities for transforming conservation management. For case, in Colombia, protected area managers and conservation agencies were well avant-garde in agreement the demand for different approaches to management (Transition #ane) and were function way towards creating a learning-based approach (Transition #three), which generated opportunities to advance the other transitions.

These transitions offer useful entry points into the complex and difficult questions of how social, political, economic and cultural forces course the context for accommodation determination-making, and were used throughout the process to help navigate the range of options and guide the development procedure. Chiefly, they were regarded as cumulative, rather than independent—we were non looking to choose between them merely to find context-relevant tools and processes that could advance all of them. Pelling (2011) differentiates between resistance that seeks to maintain existing structures and processes; transitions that represented incremental changes that do not challenge existing social and political structures; and transformations which represented change in political regimes. Our overarching proffer is that individually these propositions are incremental transitions, but cumulatively they tin support a transformative change in social and political system.

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Materials and methods

Case study: Protected areas management in Colombia

Colombia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, with over 9000 endemic species; and habitats that vary from Andean glaciers to tropical rainforests and arid deserts. Culturally, Colombia is home to over 100 different ethnicities, including pre-Colombian indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombian communities. This multifariousness is represented in 59 natural areas (2017) that belong to the Systems of National Natural Parks (SINAP), which correspond xiv 268 224 ha; xi% of continental state surface and 1.5% of marine jurisdiction. This is a multilevel system that provides managerial instruments to stakeholders from dissimilar governance sectors and levels (private, communitarian, regional, national scale) for terrestrial and marine areas within broader “strategic landscapes”, providing specific rules and policies for their implementation (CONPES 3680, law 2372 from 2010). PNN is a Special Administrative Unit with administrative and financial autonomy and jurisdiction in all the national system of protected areas.

Climate adaptation has appeared in Colombia´due south protected areas portfolio since 2004, acknowledging climate equally major driver of transformation in landscapes and biodiversity. From the outset, conservation–based actions were identified equally a key component of the country’southward climate adaptation agenda. Adaptation work in Republic of colombia aimed to provide evidence about the role ecosystems play in enabling people to suit and for mobilising resource for conservation. Past doing and so, it also informs and influences decisions towards vulnerable people, places and ecosystems, and ensures that the conservation of priority places and ecosystems is incorporated into the ongoing climate and development planning processes. WWF-C has taken a national leadership role on these problems. Republic of colombia was selected as our case study due to WWF-C’southward part in developing “Climate Smart Conservation”, a learning-oriented arroyo based on apprehension of climatic change, and PNN’s work understanding the impacts of climate alter and developing associated policy initiatives. The Future-Proofing Conservation process was piloted in two areas where WWF-C work closely with PNN: Amazon Piedmont (Churumbelos, Guacharos and Alto Fragua National Parks), and the Coffee-Growing Region (Otun Quimbaya Flora and Animal Sanctuary and Nevados National Park). These sites were selected equally presenting diverse contexts (biophysically and socially) besides equally diverse histories of engagement with climate accommodation.

The Future-Proofing Conservation projection was equanimous of two phases. First, a co-design and co-production phase, where the research team worked closely with a small number of partners from PNN to develop a context-relevant intervention that could assist a wider range of participants (protected expanse managers and policymakers) engage with the transitions described in “4 transitions towards hereafter-oriented conservation”. The activities in each phase are summarised in Table ane. Second, a piloting phase, where the draft intervention was tested in two airplane pilot protected areas. While the main focus of this article is to document the implementation in Phase ii, a brief description of Phase 1 will be given hither.

Table ane Summary of activities in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the projection

Total size table

Phase 1—Co-design and co-production

The aim of the commencement phase of the project (2015–2017) was to develop an interactive procedure that could be applied by PNN or WWF partners to back up the transitions towards time to come-oriented conservation in their organisations. In accordance with our evolutionary learning approach, Stage 1 drew on design thinking (Chocolate-brown 2008; Adams et al. 2011; Beier et al. 2016) and co-production processes (Kirchhoff et al. 2013; Mauser et al. 2013; Clark et al. 2016) to collaboratively explore the challenge in context; to generate shared visions for the hereafter; and to create new ideas for achieving the transitions described in “Four transitions towards hereafter-oriented conservation”. The research squad worked with partners to learn almost the context that policymakers and protected surface area managers operate within, establish shared goals, and test workshop activities and facilitation processes. Stage 1 included four workshops organised from August 2015 to June 2017. The participants, aims, methods and leaders are summarised in Table 1. In these workshops, the academic research team presented tools or concepts from the literature, which were tested and critiqued by partners and practitioners, and discussed extensively. The heuristic of VRK was practical throughout to ensure that the conversation included deliberations on social and political values; institutional settings, conventions and rules; and technical and non-technical noesis. Formal and breezy feedback processes, theory of change (Vogel 2012), and scorecard evaluations were used to provide multiple avenues of dialogue and reflection, and certificate the process as it advanced.

Table ii Summary of results and outcomes from the pilot workshops

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Post-obit each workshop, the research team distilled the feedback and gradually refined the arroyo to a suite of concepts and tools that became the “Future-Proofing Conservation process”. Key problems that emerged from Phase i included a need to synthesise and summarise existing technical knowledge on climate change relevant to the airplane pilot sites; more intensive research to understand the complex decision-making settings inside PNN; the value of opportunities to reflect on previous piece of work and existing knowledge in protected area sites; and activities to engage communities as well as professionals in identifying opportunities for alter.

Phase 2—Piloting the Futurity-Proofing Conservation process

The Time to come-Proofing Conservation process that emerged from Phase 1 comprises a tailored technical synthesis report, interview-based research, 2 preliminary workshops, and a concluding culminating workshop. A summary of the procedure, results and outcomes are presented in Tabular array two.

Climatic change science synthesis report

Ability to examine and explore locally relevant information on ecological impacts of climate change was an important initial stage for participants in the procedure. This was both to inform decisions, and to provide reassurance that science was ‘covered’ earlier focusing on direction. Thus, we recruited a local expert (author, Abud Hoyos) to piece of work with the academic team to create a synthesis report focused on the pilot areas. This brought together the all-time bachelor projections and expected ecological change in the specific sites.

The synthesis focused on documenting various observed and anticipated impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, not just expected species movements or loss, and drew on modelling to bespeak the potential magnitude of change. Expected impacts included melting glaciers, changes in water provision, increased littoral erosion, shifts in species distribution and migration patterns, more than farthermost climatic events, and changes in ecosystem types and function. Changes in species and ecosystems in protected areas impact the provision of ecosystem benefits, and other threats to biodiversity may exist exacerbated. For example, projections evidence that warmer temperatures may force coffee growers to motion crops to college altitudes. Impacts may be amplified by existing threats such every bit invasive species, habitat loss and fragmentation, mining, agricultural and urban expansion. Many questions remain unanswered, and word in the synthesis study explicitly considered the high level of uncertainty simply also highlighted impacts that are likely.

By emphasising both what we do know as well equally the limitations of the electric current state of cognition, participants were confident that they were not deliberating management or governance in ignorance of the scientific cognition base. Emphasising the pervasive and inevitable nature of ecological change underpinned Transition #one, from resisting change to anticipating information technology. The synthesis report was incorporated into the final stage of the Future-Proofing Conservation process, the Futures Dialogue workshop.

Noesis governance mapping

Noesis governance mapping is an interview-based method where key stakeholders share their feel of cognition-based processes and the awarding of climate information to decisions within their social and institutional context (van Kerkhoff and Pilbeam 2017). These interviews provided in-depth understanding of existing governance structures, supporting Transition #iii: from climate change equally a scientific issue to a governance issue. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 28 participants with an active part in protected areas planning and management to empathize how scientific data (especially climate and ecosystem services) influenced decision-making and direction of protected areas. Participants were purposively sampled to include managers and practitioners from national, territorial and local levels at the pilot study sites. Participants were encouraged to reflect on whether, how and to what extent climate adaptation is understood to be a scientific upshot and/or a governance one, and to judge how well these two domains were continued. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and thematically analysed.

The interviews revealed that protected area managers and agencies have been actively looking for data to support decision-making regarding management of biodiversity under climatic change, and so were largely at the Traditional side of Transition #three. Barriers to moving towards a governance-based arroyo included the perceived need to build a shared understanding of climate variability, ecological transformation and climate change. Participants besides identified the demand for clarity on key management questions before they could employ climate information strategically, grappling with how climate adaptation might ‘fit’ within existing structures. The findings from these interviews were used as background for the research team to inform the interactive sessions; they were also summarised in the Futures Dialogue (“Futures Dialogue workshop”) to encourage deliberation on existing governance structures.

“Climate accommodation lessons learned” workshop

This workshop compiled experience on what has previously been learned near climate adaptation from projects, policies or planning activities, addressing Transition #4: trouble-solving to ongoing learning. This acknowledges that participants are not ‘starting from zero’, but have relevant expertise and experience and that agreement the adaptation context requires an assessment of local cognition and perspectives. The workshop engaged local managers at the pilot sites. The objectives were to: (i) understand whether, how and to what extent local PA staff have integrated climate change into management strategies; (ii) sympathize opportunities and barriers for climate alter management on a PA level; and (iii) create a infinite for sharing knowledge on climatic change and PA direction. The workshops sought to meet the need identified in the interviews by creating a shared agreement of key climate concepts and practices (known in Colombia as “conceptual levelling”); exploring participants perceptions of climate-related impacts; and creating a learning journeying, a shared timeline of climate adaptation-related activities, policy changes or other pregnant developments. Through these activities, participants reflected on their existing expertise, their observations, and on processes of alter including what enabled or prevented further developments, and associated challenges and opportunities. Different interpretations of events were explored and there was no pressure to reach a single narrative. The output of the learning journey was a large visual timeline that documented the evolution of climate change thinking and action, with the most significant lessons drawn from this experience.

This activeness enabled collective reflection on processes of change at the site level. The research team was interested to see whether previous actions focused on discrete projects or tackled more than systemic, interconnected problems. Where activities addressed cognition generation, we looked both at the products (such equally climate project maps) and the processes through which these informed policy, planning or management (facilitating learning).

Protected areas benefits assessment workshop

Post-obit from the “Lessons learned” activity, we used the Protected Area Benefits Assessment Tool (PA-BAT) to identify the benefits derived from a PA, creating the background for Transition #2: from ecological attributes to social values and benefits (extended in the Futures Dialogue, run into “Futures Dialogue workshop”). PA-BAT provides a quick and standardised way of collecting data about the ecosystem services derived from a protected area, drawing on cognition from a range of stakeholders (Dudley and Stolton 2009). It is an inclusive, workshop-based arroyo that assembles a diverse group of stakeholders and reaches decisions by consensus. In this context, the workshops included local level PA managers (near of whom had participated in the previous workshop) but also included local community representatives and stakeholders.

The PA-BAT consists of 24 questions covering different benefits related to provisioning services (food, water, materials), regulation services (climate hazard reduction, natural hazards control), cultural services (tourism, recreation, aesthetic values, education, knowledge generation, cultural and historical values, mental wellbeing) and regulation services (pollination, pests control). Participants explore current and potential importance (economic and non-economic) and the critical question of who benefits equally well every bit location in the protected area (Dudley and Stolton 2009). Prior to the workshop, managers and others identify which benefits are to be assessed (the tool is global so not all will be appropriate) and approach unlike stakeholders (15–30 people) to participate. A series of slides are projected to summarise the key benefits through photographs and words in the local language. These slides permit discussion about the importance (economic and non-economical) and potential of the benefit. While based effectually a fix series of questions, facilitators are open to other benefits and oral testimony is recorded; these stories are often the most useful part of the practise. In Republic of colombia, we employed an creative person to summarise perceptions of the benefits and linkages, using a combination of sketches, icons and words. Participants were also invited to locate some of the benefits directly onto maps, with debate and discussion over exact locations revealing benefits which were oftentimes unknown by the management. PNN staff in Republic of colombia likewise argued strongly that participants should be given the opportunity to discuss illegal but common uses as well as office of a separate but linked process (Figueroa and Behar 2017).

The PA-BAT was implemented in Colombia in the 2 pilot areas. For Otun, a landscape of protected areas in the Andes mountains, h2o quantity and quality, places with unique beauty, and reducing climate change furnishings such as heatwaves or drought, are perceived as the almost important benefits of conservation. For the more remote Amazon Piedmont protected areas, knowledge generation, reducing climate change effects and tourism were perceived every bit the most important benefits. This ready the phase for considering the relationships between ecological features and social benefits, so ‘priming’ participants for the Futures Dialogue (“Futures dialogue workshop”). It besides helped facilitators to gauge how readily participants can identify benefits that are continued with, but dissever from ecological features, every bit a key component of Transition #two.

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Futures Dialogue workshop

All of the previous activities established the basis for the concluding step, the Futures Dialogue workshop. This ii-day workshop guides participants through a series of structured questions, working through the four transitions to accomplish the final goal of defining practical steps towards governance that effectively anticipates climate change and prepares for it. The questions are summarised in Table 3, which also indicates the dominant concept and supporting resources from previous activities that were used in each step. In between interactive sessions, members of the research team gave curt summary presentations relating to the previous activities, as a reminder and in recognition of the fact that not all participants had attended all activities. Participants are arranged into pocket-size groups of 6–8, and a facilitator at each small group guides the conversations.

Tabular array 3 The question-based structure of the Futures Dialogue, with links to core concepts (column ii) and prior activities (column 3)

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The first sessions aim to build shared understanding that
ecological change is inevitable
and recognise the deviation between ecological change as a biophysical miracle and its effects on benefits for society. Questions A-B draw linkages between ecological features and benefits. Facilitators kickoff with values participants expressed through the previous PA-BAT workshop equally benefits from protected areas, and consider whether the ecological or landscape features that support that do good are known to be vulnerable to modify.

The participants then differentiate climate-related ecological modify and potential changes to benefits, recognising that benefits will not necessarily be afflicted directly or proportionately (questions C–Eastward). Through facilitated give-and-take the groups place changes in management that could help maintain benefits in the longer term (questions F, One thousand), and near-term opportunities and barriers, including knowledge gaps, to achieving those changes (question H). This includes recognising that admission to detailed scientific information is not ever essential to start planning for climate alter adaptation. Finally, participants considered the process of changing direction more specifically: what would need to change and how, and the people, organisations or institutions that can help enable these changes (questions I–Chiliad). This session includes consideration of incremental changes to implement now, and larger changes needing individual and institutional learning, political background and ‘windows of opportunity’ before more systemic transitions could be tackled.

For example, in the Otun Coffee-Growing Region, participants identified “Livelihoods from tourism” equally an important benefit. The questions guided participants to recognise that tourism is not solely dependent on particular ecological features, but can be supported in a irresolute environment. This may, nonetheless, crave unlike or boosted management to support the provision of benefits. The Futures Dialogue questions stimulated discussion and insight; however, while the offset few questions were easier to address, the later questions needed more guidance and a greater level of facilitation.

Results: The Future-Proofing Conservation process

While the Futurity-Proofing Conservation procedure emerged from Phase 1 and then is, in itself, a ‘result’, in this department nosotros will summarise some of the master outcomes from the three workshops (Table 2). Given the multi-step process it is not possible to give a detailed account of results from all activities. We volition focus on the 3 workshops equally they comprised the ‘interventions’ towards the transitions. The climate synthesis report and knowledge governance interviews are reported elsewhere.

Feedback from participants suggests that that the process was successful in ‘reframing’ climate accommodation from a master focus on protecting ecological characteristics to explicitly include societal benefits, and agreement climate adaptation as a management consequence. Participants appreciated that the procedure enabled them to recall deeply nearly the ‘bigger motion picture’ of conservation, and relate that to their more immediate management context. The procedure helped to increase agency of some participants who had previously felt powerless to enact change and fostered a shared sense of responsibility. The final part of the Futures Dialogue, exploring the strategies that participants could readily implement to enable learning-based conservation governance, was the most challenging part of the process. Future applications of the procedure will allow participants more fourth dimension to explore the practical implications and develop action plans. PNN have already integrated the PA-BAT into their stakeholder consultation processes, as they recognised the value of identifying the benefits local communities can gain from protected areas every bit having multiple implications for their management. The Hereafter-Proofing Conservation process is being adapted and developed further within WWF-C to inform new projects.

Effigy two illustrates how the different activities came together to back up this transformation goal. This final construction could be applied across range of contexts for enabling new means of thinking about climate adaptation and conservation; and as a basis for identifying new options for preparing for ecological transformation.

Fig. 2
figure 2

The Future-Proofing Conservation procedure, where activities (vertical arrows) connect concepts and practices towards the shared goal

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While each of the lead upward activities played important roles in establishing the foundations for the Futures Dialogue, this concluding activity was a powerful way to integrate the emerging insights into a more than consolidated understanding of future-oriented conservation.

Word: towards futurity-oriented conservation

Future-Proofing Conservation aims to enable the transformation of conservation management to better arrange uncertain, but different, climate-afflicted futures. We were responding to the gap noted in “Introduction”, that despite a substantial assortment of guidance, toolkits, and principles for
what
managers should practise, a lack of action and implementation remains. In this project, our partners were, from the outset, interested and willing to explore the idea that transformations in the way protected areas were governed may exist necessary. We were, so, collectively confronting the “implementation gap”—the question of ‘what does climate adaptation mean in do?’. The transitions presented before (Fig. 1) and the tools and processes developed to enable those transitions were tested in our airplane pilot studies. In this section, we draw on the categories of incremental and transformative alter to assess whether we ‘achieved’ the transitions through the Futurity-Proofing Conservation procedure, and whether the transitions did indeed accumulate to something that could be regarded as transformative. We conclude with observations around what this projection suggests about transformation for climate adaptation theory.

Did nosotros accomplish the transitions?

As noted before, our partners were already well advanced on Transition #1, the need to manage by anticipating change. Producing the climate change synthesis study reinforced and refined the cognition base, and and then tin can be regarded as an incremental contribution. It also, however, played a meaning role in advancing the social and political conversation amongst the partners; having this resource gave all participants the confidence to move frontward with a clear sense of what is known nearly possible climate impacts and also what is not known. The uncertainties of what is non known were not debilitating—they opened other conversations about how monitoring may demand to exist adjusted; but they besides framed the broader conversation of what to do, given the state of cognition. These incremental changes moved participants along Transition #1, but could not answer the question of ‘what does it mean in practice?’

Transition #2 congenital the foundations for a more critical conversation. The PABAT tool was well received (come across Table two) and readily adopted past PNN. Following our pilot applications, park managers saw immediately that it filled an important office in enabling meaningful dialogue with local communities and stakeholders around the value of the protected areas and integrated it into management planning processes. This was an incremental modify, conforming with existing structures. Just it also started a conversation about benefits and values being an important role that protected areas played, and and so laid the foundations for later steps.

Transition #3, from understanding climate adaptation every bit a scientific issue to a governance event, was aided past the knowledge governance interviews. By articulating and reflecting dorsum to participants (many of whom had been interviewed) the ways in which science and other forms of knowledge are used in controlling, participants recognised that their policymaking, planning, and management were influenced by a range of factors, of which science was merely one. This was no surprise of course, just by placing the science-based discourse surrounding climate adaptation in the context of messy, real-world decision-making participants could run across the limitations of that framing. They could also relate it to the formal and informal rules that shaped current governance.

The Lessons learned workshop sought to advance Transition #4, from problem-solving to ongoing learning. By identifying lessons from previous activities, examining prior experiences of alter and developing a shared language for farther deliberation, participants experienced get-go-manus the insights that could exist gained. They were also able to reverberate on how dynamic protected areas management is, fifty-fifty though information technology may feel as though “things never change”. Again, this reiterated and extended existing ideas, representing an incremental shift.

Did transitions accumulate to transformation?

Each of the prior activities were intended to provide the foundations to enable a more transformative modify. While they were all different, they each focused participants’ attention on the connections betwixt the cerebral or conceptual recognition of the need for change, with socio-political aspects of how alter may happen. The defining question in this context was whether participants were able to accept and develop the concept of conservation as a matter of preserving benefits from protected areas rather than conserving species, ecosystems or mural characteristics. This, for us, represented a step that went to the cadre of the ‘stability’ of conservation practice, challenging the social and political foundation of what protected areas are for. The final activity, the Futures Dialogue, provided a structure for participants to ‘join the dots’ towards this transformation.

There were some indications that the Futures Dialogue was successful in starting such a transformative process. Although it did not achieve clearly transformative actions plans or commitments to modify specific policies, it did enable participants to connect their understanding of PA benefits (from the PABAT workshop) with future management goals. The possibility of benefits providing an alternative pathway for conservation when traditional goals of ‘resistance’ (species preservation etc) go unachievable due to climate change was considered past near participants as feasible and attractive. Evaluations conducted immediately post-workshop included comments such as “These ii days of learning exercise permit us to generate new alternatives for management planning of protected areas” and “This [workshop] has helped feed back and rethink things tin we can do as officials, and that we must continue fighting to look at this differently”. (airplane pilot#i). This indicated that participants were able to accumulate smaller transitions in thinking into a larger transformation in how they sympathise climate adaptation, and what they tin do to take action.

Implications for climate adaption in conservation

The transformation theories that informed this study emphasise the social, institutional and political aspects of decision-making (Wise et al. 2014; Pelling et al. 2015), and the importance of the interaction between cognitive knowledge, social values and institutional rules (Gorddard et al. 2016). On the ground of working directly with partners to address the gap betwixt recognition of the need for change and the implementation of transformation in practise, we found that exploring the social, institutional and political infinite created options for transforming management that were otherwise not apparent. The report suggests that the cognitive shift of recognising the need for changed management is not hard; practitioners were already well aware that biophysical modify was underway and needed new management strategies. Even so, the ‘gap’ arose when they sought to utilize this cerebral shift directly to policy, planning and direction shifts,
without
first examining the social, institutional and political context. The pathway for transformation—for connecting the present with the future—could non extend beyond the incremental
until
change was explored through the lens of existing social, institutional and political arrangements.

In some respects, information technology may seem counter-intuitive that spending time and resource examining existing governance arrangements creates new options rather than reinforcing them making transformation more hard to imagine. Yet by reiterating the cognitive shift throughout (“modify needs to happen”), and advisedly crafting context-specific links between the change in the past and modify into the future (“direction is dynamic”), the social, institutional and political arrangements opened up new possibilities to bridge the gap. In item, the idea of benefits providing an alternative pathway for management was a possible transformation that practitioners could understand and relate to. As (Pelling et al. 2015 have written, “Surfacing the full range of accommodation options allows informed questions to be asked of the relationship betwixt adaptation, underlying development priorities and the dominant values that finally decide pathway choice”. The Future-proofing Conservation procedure enabled participants to surface new options, and understand the values choices that such a transformation would demand.

Other lessons that too emerged from the project offer broader insights into the challenges and opportunities of this collaborative, evolutionary learning-based approach.

Resources and limitations

The development and use of this methodology required significant time and resource commitments for the research squad, too as willingness to listen and acquire from each other every bit part of the process. Much has been written about the need to invest in such communication, mediation and translation to support projects at the interface of science, policy and do (Cornell et al. 2013), and this project was no dissimilar. Support from WWF-C and having dedicated staff for coordinating and integrating across partners was disquisitional to see the challenges of working with circuitous concepts across an international, multi-sectoral team. While implementing the established process is now less resource-intensive than its development, it still requires resource and capacities that are adequately and realistically matched to project needs.

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Further awarding

The Future-Proofing Conservation process was designed to be applied in other protected expanse contexts. Further piloting to test and refine the concepts volition proceed. This could event in streamlining the different stages, and tailoring them to different contexts. Application in other locations will all the same likely require a mix of interdisciplinary academic expertise (social science, climate science, conservation biology) and practical knowledge of people working in protected areas. It is important to recognise that the process can also build capacities in strategic thinking and commonage learning; an outcome beyond any action plans created. These broader skills may likewise facilitate protected areas direction processes nether uncertain climate variability, incorporating the best scientific knowledge available.

Conclusions

Conservation has always operated in the context of complex, multifaceted threats. Just as climate change-induced ecological transformation becomes a reality, the applied challenges of planning, developing policy and establishing modify-set direction practices are emerging. Practitioners and advocates need to develop new ways of articulating the role of conservation as ecosystems change, with new rationales for its importance, and new ideas for accomplishment. The seeds of these ideas are already well embedded in conservation thinking. Conservationists from all sectors are starting to debate how to value emerging or contradistinct ecosystems; whether and how to intervene in facilitating change; and what kinds of strategies may ensure a more than dynamic approach.

The Future-Proofing Conservation process reflects emerging literature (Eriksen et al. 2015; Manuel-Navarrete and Pelling 2015; Wyborn et al. 2016; Colloff et al. 2017) that these debates are largely social and institutional rather than technical, and are intimately connected with how we value natural and cultural landscapes. Adopting the evolutionary learning philosophy brought these values to the fore in an open and consultative mode. It immune conservation participants to consider the future of protected areas in means that aimed to exist empowering and focused on useful ways forward. Co-designing, developing, testing and piloting the activities and ultimately the whole procedure in agile collaboration between bookish, ceremonious society and practitioner communities ensured that we struck an advisable residue between challenging concepts, institutional realities and applied application.

Establishing a shared goal of “time to come-oriented conservation” is not difficult; the claiming lies in populating this idea with attainable concepts, advisable strategies and effective practices to bridge the implementation gap. Being able to explore new governance arrangements that conceptualize and prepare for ecosystem change while remaining focused on the shared values that underpin protected areas is crucial. By developing this larger transition to new governance, through a series of smaller, interconnected transitions that linked values, rules and cognition, the participants could piece of work through a series of steps that enable new ways of thinking most the office of protected areas in conservation and consequently new means to manage them.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to admit financial support provided by the Luc Hoffmann Institute. CM was supported past a Luc Hoffmann Fellowship grant. We would also similar to thank Parques Nacionales Naturales for their ongoing participation in the projection; staff at WWF Republic of colombia for hosting, critiquing and otherwise supporting this work; and Sue Stolton from Equilibrium Enquiry for contributions to development of the PA-BAT tool.

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van Kerkhoff, Fifty., Munera, C., Dudley, North.
et al.
Towards future-oriented conservation: Managing protected areas in an era of climate change.
Ambio
48,
699–713 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-018-1121-0

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Keywords

  • Climate accommodation
  • Colombia
  • Conservation governance
  • Ecological transformation
  • Futures thinking
  • Scientific discipline–policy interface

Conservation Future Climate Change

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