These guidelines will help groups run successful community conservation projects.

They look at the practical needs and typical steps involved in the different stages of a community conservation project, particularly those involving partnerships.

Partnerships are often the best way to achieve conservation results. The benefits of communities become involved in conservation activities with agencies include:

  • Agency efforts benefit from local knowledge.
  • Local groups, in turn, benefit from expert advice.
  • A shared sense of responsibility and community pride is built.
  • Things get done quicker and often more cheaply.
  • Trust is developed between different groups and interests.
  • Skills and capacity are increased.
  • Enforcement costs reduce (involvement can encourage self-regulation).

Guide for community conservation projects

Advice about establishing, maintaining, improving and evaluating community conservation projects.

Project principles. Successful community conservation projects tend to reflect three key principles - planning, partnership and learning.

Get started. Find out how to get your project off to a great start by doing some initial thinking and research, identifying who to involve, finding out what people think and holding a project meeting.

Set your direction. Once your group is established, there will be a point at which you will need to do some planning. With a good plan your activity will have a greater chance of being effective. 

Work well as a group. Once you have decided to form a group to start a project, it is important to look at how the group will run and how members will work together.

Monitor and evaluate progress. Having ways to check on your progress (monitoring) and take stock of where things are at on a regular basis (evaluation), are important for your group to function effectively.

Assess the impact of the project. All programmes should take into account the impact their proposed work will have on natural, cultural and historic conservation values.

Toolkit for community conservation projects

This toolkit provides practical information for people involved with community conservation projects. Working together with others in the community to achieve a conservation task can be a new experience for many – exciting but at the same time daunting.

Facilitate effective meetings. How to plan and facilitate effective meetings, and make effective presentations.

Consult with others. Many community conservation projects require consultation with others to allow people to have input into your plans and inform them about what’s happening.

Manage conflict in a group. How conflict might arise in a group and how to deal with it.

Organise meetings and events. How to organise a major meeting or event.

Basic group techniques. Get simple ideas to help your group work more effectively.

Group planning. This involves one or more of the following stages: vision, goals, objectives and actions.

Review events or group progress. Evaluation methods to evaluate your community events and review your group's progress.

Group structures. Common structures available to community groups.

Download the guidelines

You can download these resources in the DOC publication From Seed to Success:

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