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Learning Question 5

by Portal Web Editor last modified May 23, 2017 04:07 PM
USAID Natural Resource Management and Development Portal
USAID Natural Resource Management and Development Portal

User Guidance:

Users are encouraged to add new content directly to these wiki pages. Please provide a source for all your additions (including personal experiences, anecdotes, quotations, document references, etc.). Please note your source in parentheses following your added content. For source documents, grey or peer-reviewed, please provide a full citation. Facilitators will convert your source information into endnotes and move them to the reference list. To suggest major revisions or the removal of existing content, please use the comment section. Following group discussion, facilitators will implement agreed-upon changes to the page.

Does a reduction in threats (or restoration) lead to conservation?

The assumption in the theory of change is that the threat reduction delivered by the enterprise will in fact lead to observable improvements in biodiversity focal interests over time.

Note: Superscript numbers indicate references at the bottom of each page, where links to many of these documents can be found. We are still in the process of uploading references to the documents page. Please contact us if you’d like a copy of a reference that hasn't yet been posted.

Note: Italicized text denotes findings discussed during events such as webinars and conferences.


  • For some enterprise projects, biodiversity conservation outcomes were difficult to define and measure in the context of a specific site, especially over short project timeframes.5,8,13

  • The cost, time, and expertise needed to conduct ecological monitoring may be prohibitively high.5,8,13,14,15 Therefore, the status of biodiversity focal interests may not be feasible to use in measuring effectiveness, and a threat-reduction measure may be used as a surrogate.8,13

  • Conservation outcomes may not be sustained if enabling conditions are not also strengthened. This may be especially true for enterprises with external funding.2,5,8
  • In the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the women who participated in a homestay tourism enterprise reported a reduction in dependence on the forest and a reduction in area of cultivation was recorded. However, the transient nature of this behavior change was noted, as external conditions such as increasing guerilla activity or a reduction in international visitors could easily reverse the conservation outcomes.19

Documents Referenced

  1. Anderson, Jon, Mike Colby, Mike McGahuey, and Shreya Mehta. Nature, Wealth, Power 2.0: Leveraging Natural and Social Capital for Resilient Development. USAID/E3/Land Tenure and Resource Management Office. 2013.
  2. Anderson, Jon and Shreya Mehta. A Global Assessment of Community Based Natural Resources Management: Addressing the Critical Challenges of the Rural Sector. Washington D.C.: United States Agency for International Development. 2013.
  3. Andersson, Meike, Sara Scherr, Seth Shames, Lucy Aliguma, Adriana Arcos, Byamukama Biryahwaho, Sandra Bolaños, James Cock, German Escobar, José Antonio Gómez, Florence Nagawa, Thomas Oberthür , Leif Pederson, and Alastair Taylor. Case Studies: Bundling Agricultural Products with Ecosystem Services. Ecoagriculture Partners. 2010.
  4. App, Brian, Alfons Mosimane, Tim Resch, and Doreen Robinson. USAID Support to the Community-Based Natural Resource Management Program in Namibia: LIFE Program Review. Washington D.C.: United States Agency for International Development. 2008.
  5. Boshoven, Judy, Benjamin Hodgdon, and Olaf Zerbock. Measuring Impact: Lessons Learned from the Forest, Climate, and Communities Alliance. Washington D.C.: United States Agency for International Development. 2015.
  6. Boudreaux, Karol. Community-Based Natural Resources Management and Poverty Alleviation in Namibia: A Case Study. Mercatus Center, George Mason University. 2007.
  7. Clements, Tom, Ashish John, Karen Nielsen, Chea Vicheka, Ear Sokha, and Meas Piseth. Case Study: Tmatboey Community-based Ecotourism Project, Cambodia. Ministry of Environment, Cambodia and WCS Cambodia Program. 2008.
  8. Hecht, Joy and Arthur Mitchell. Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance (GSTA) Performance Evaluation. Washington D.C.: United States Agency for International Development. 2014.
  9. Koontz, Ann. The Conservation Marketing Equation: A Manual for Conservation and Development Professionals. Washington D.C.: EnterpriseWorks/VITA. 2008.
  10. Lessons on Community Enterprise Interventions for Landscape/Seascape Level Conservation: Seven Case Studies from the Global Conservation Program. Washington D.C.: EnterpriseWorks/VITA. 2009.
  11. Patel, Hetu, Sara Nelson, Jesus Palacios, Alison Zander, and Helen Crowley. Case Study: Elephant Pepper: Establishing Conservation-Focused Business. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society. 2009.
  12. Pielemeir, John and Matthew Erdman. Performance Evaluation of Sustainable Conservation Approaches in Priority Ecosystems Project. 2015. (forthcoming)
  13. Salafsky, Nick, Bernd Cordes, John Parks, and Cheryl Hochman. Evaluating linkages between business, the environment, and local communities: final analytical results from the Biodiversity Conservation Network. Washington D.C.: Biodiversity Support Program. 1999.
  14. Torell, Elin and James Tobey. Enterprise Strategies for Coastal and Marine Conservation: A Review of Best Practices and Lessons Learned. Narragansett, Rhode Island: Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island. 2012.
  15. Wicander, Sylvia and Lauren Coad. Learning our Lessons: A Review of Alternative Livelihood Projects in Central Africa, IUCN and ECI, University of Oxford. 2014.
  16. Martinez-Reyes, Jose E. Beyond Nature Appropriation: Towards Post-Development Conservation in the Maya Forest. Conservation and Society 12 (2). 2014.
  17. Hill, Megan, Natalie Dubois, Shawn Peabody. Conservation Enterprises: Exploring their Effectiveness [Webinar]. USAID Conservation Enterprise Learning Group Webinar Series. 2016.
  18. Environment Officers’ Conference Session Summary: Launching a Cross-Mission Learning Agenda on Conservation Enterprises. 2016.
  19. Booker, Francesca, Dilys Roe, Megan Hill. A Conversation with Dilys Roe and Francesca Booker [Webinar]. USAID Conservation Enterprise Learning Group Webinar Series. 2016.
  20. Senkungu, Robert, Judy Boshoven, Ashleigh Baker. Setting up for Success: Enabling Conditions for Conservation Enterprises [Webinar]. USAID Conservation Enterprise Learning Group Webinar Series. 2016.
  21. Russell, Diane, Judy Boshoven. Conservation Enterprises: Using a Theory of Change Approach to Synthesize Lessons on the Effectiveness of Interventions [Webinar]. USAID Conservation Enterprise Learning Group Webinar Series. 2014.

Learning Activities: Missions will share their experience and learn about best practices in building the enabling conditions for establishing a successful and sustainable enterprise. We propose to support this activity through a review and synthesis of existing publications on best practices for each of the enabling conditions of most interest to Missions and their implementing partners. The findings from the review will also be the topic for a discussion with the Learning Group. Missions may share their experience through the online platform, webinar presentations, and through facilitated email discussions.

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