A key foundation of any science is a common nomenclature that practitioners can use to describe—in a mutually intelligible way—the problems they are facing and the solutions they are using. For example, if a conservation project team faces the threat of “cattle” and another “grazing” and yet another “beef production,” they may not realize that they are all dealing with the same issue. As a result, cross-project learning is difficult, and the ability to meaningfully roll-up information across projects is greatly hampered.
The taxonomies presented here are the result of a collaborative effort between the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and CMP to create standard classifications of direct threats and of the conservation actions conservation actors can take to counter them. Read Conservation Biology 2008 article: A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation: Unified Classifications of Threats and Actions
These classifications are intended to:
- Help conservation teams describe what is happening at their site. A team can scan these classifications and see if they recognize any threats that they may be overlooking in their analysis of the conditions at their site or get ideas for actions that they might take.
- Facilitate cross-project learning and the development of a science of conservation. A common classification of conservation direct threats enables practitioners to search a database of conservation projects and find projects facing similar threats or using similar actions and (hopefully) to learn from their experiences.
- Create general summaries or “roll-ups” for broader organizational purposes and/or use by senior managers, fundraisers, and external affairs staff. Summaries can tally the frequency of threats or actions across projects at various organizational scales or be combined with other information for more detailed summaries.