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      Fuzzy Models to Inform Social and Environmental Indicator Selection for Conservation Impact Monitoring : Fuzzy models for indicator selection

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          Using perceptions as evidence to improve conservation and environmental management.

          The conservation community is increasingly focusing on the monitoring and evaluation of management, governance, ecological, and social considerations as part of a broader move toward adaptive management and evidence-based conservation. Evidence is any information that can be used to come to a conclusion and support a judgment or, in this case, to make decisions that will improve conservation policies, actions, and outcomes. Perceptions are one type of information that is often dismissed as anecdotal by those arguing for evidence-based conservation. In this paper, I clarify the contributions of research on perceptions of conservation to improving adaptive and evidence-based conservation. Studies of the perceptions of local people can provide important insights into observations, understandings and interpretations of the social impacts, and ecological outcomes of conservation; the legitimacy of conservation governance; and the social acceptability of environmental management. Perceptions of these factors contribute to positive or negative local evaluations of conservation initiatives. It is positive perceptions, not just objective scientific evidence of effectiveness, that ultimately ensure the support of local constituents thus enabling the long-term success of conservation. Research on perceptions can inform courses of action to improve conservation and governance at scales ranging from individual initiatives to national and international policies. Better incorporation of evidence from across the social and natural sciences and integration of a plurality of methods into monitoring and evaluation will provide a more complete picture on which to base conservation decisions and environmental management.
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            Monitoring does not always count.

            The gross under-resourcing of conservation endeavours has placed an increasing emphasis on spending accountability. Increased accountability has led to monitoring forming a central element of conservation programs. Although there is little doubt that information obtained from monitoring can improve management of biodiversity, the cost (in time and/or money) of gaining this knowledge is rarely considered when making decisions about allocation of resources to monitoring. We present a simple framework allowing managers and policy advisors to make decisions about when to invest in monitoring to improve management. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Ecological models based on people’s knowledge: a multi-step fuzzy cognitive mapping approach


                Author and article information

                Conservation Letters
                January 2018
                January 2018
                February 01 2017
                : 11
                : 1
                : e12338
                [1 ]The Nature Conservancy; South Brisbane QLD 4101 Australia
                [2 ]The University of Queensland; St. Lucia QLD 4067 Australia
                [3 ]The Natural Capital Project, Woods Institute for the Environment; Stanford University; 371 Serra Mall Stanford California 94305
                [4 ]The Nature Conservancy; Northern Andes Conservation Program; Bogotá Colombia
                [5 ]Fondo Agua por La Vida y La Sostenibilidad; Calí Colombia
                [6 ]ASOBOLO, Sede Pradera; Valle del Cauca; Colombia
                [7 ]Calí, Colombia
                © 2017


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