Conservation Action Planning (CAP)

The WildEyre project uses the Conservation Action Planning (CAP) Process, developed by the Nature Conservancy in the United States. CAP has been applied across many countries and used across marine and terrestrial systems over the past 15 years. For more information about CAP or the Nature Conservancy visit http://www.nature.org

The WildEyre Working Group uses the CAP planning approach to help determine conservation priorities and set detailed restoration strategies for the WildEyre landscape.

In short, CAP is an iterative, adaptive planning approach that enables constant input of new information and ideas to move with the dynamic nature of natural systems. A CAP Plan is never truly finished, only a series of detailed drafts that allow adaptive management to occur. This means that as the WildEyre team learn new things, we can change our planning and conservation priorities to suit.

The CAP process typically involves 6-8 representatives from land management and conservation organisations developing a shared ecological vision for a particular landscape.

The first iteration of the WildEyre CAP is a collaborative project involving all partner organisations and can be viewed here.LINK TO PDF

CAP is The Nature Conservancy’s version of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. CAP is a systematic and detailed planning process that involves determining the assets you wish to conserve, what threatening processes exist and the management needed to ensure their persistence in the landscape.

Conservation Action Planning Flow Map

Using this approach, the WildEyre team can plan for realistic conservation activities for each asset in order to rehabilitate degraded systems, conserve and manage existing systems and reinstate natural communities and ecosystems where they have been lost from the natural environment.

It is a holistic approach to land management, not just for short and medium-term conservation outcomes but for long-term sustainability.

After consultation and community engagement the WildEyre team aims to set up trial or demonstration sites on private and public land within its boundary to ascertain the health of the systems we wish to conserve. This also affords the team a unique opportunity to liaise with different types of land managers, from indigenous communities to farmers, to people that own lifestyle blocks or use coastal recreation areas. People living and working on the land know how precious it is.

They rely on their land to provide an income and know when the condition of the land declines, production usually soon follows. This information is used in conjunction with current scientific and technical knowledge to inform the WildEyre CAP and subsequent conservation actions.

Diagram 1. adapted from Nature Conservancy Critical Stages in the Conservation Action Planning Process