Site icon Conservation news

Podcast: From parks to payments, which conservation strategies work best?

  • This is the 100th episode of the Mongabay Newscast! We revisit Mongabay’s groundbreaking Conservation Effectiveness reporting project in order to see what developments there have been since we did the initial reporting three years ago.
  • Joining us today are Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler, who tells us about the impetus for the series of reports that would become Conservation Effectiveness, what the main findings were from the project, and the new developments over the past three years that might help fill the gaps in our understanding of conservation impacts.
  • We also speak with Sven Wunder, a principal scientist at the European Forest Institute in Barcelona, Spain as well as a senior associate at the Center for International Forestry Research, or CIFOR. Wunder actually spoke with me back in 2017 for the piece I wrote about PES as part of the Conservation Effectiveness series, and we’ve spoken again for this episode of the podcast so he can fill us in on the latest research into the impact of a variety of conservation strategies.

This is the 100th episode of the Mongabay Newscast! We revisit Mongabay’s groundbreaking Conservation Effectiveness reporting project in order to see what developments there have been since we did the initial reporting three years ago.

Listen here:

 

That’s right, this is the 100th episode of the Mongabay Newscast, which we launched all the way back in September of 2016 (you can check out all episodes here). Just like our parent site Mongabay.com, our chief goal with this podcast has always been to report on what works and what doesn’t in conservation. However, to discern how successful conservation strategies are at achieving their goals we need data and research that allow us to evaluate their impacts. And as it turns out, impact evaluations have not traditionally been built into conservation interventions deployed around the world. But that is perhaps starting to change, as we’ll see.

In 2017, Mongabay launched the Conservation Effectiveness project to look at the body of evidence for how well a variety of conservation interventions work, including protected areas, forest certification, payments for ecosystem services (PES), community-based forest management, and more. The Conservation Effectiveness project was a collaboration between myself, former Mongabay staff writer Shreya Dasgupta, and tropical forest ecologist Dr. Zuzana Burivalova. Shreya and I did the reporting, and Zuzana did the research into the body of evidence for conservation impacts. We found that, for all of the interventions we looked at, there was not an abundance of research on their effectiveness, and many of the studies that had been done were not rigorously designed.

Joining us today are Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler, who tells us about the impetus for the series of reports that would become Conservation Effectiveness, what the main findings were from the project, and the new developments over the past three years that might help fill the gaps in our understanding of conservation impacts.

We also speak with Sven Wunder, a principal scientist at the European Forest Institute in Barcelona, Spain as well as a senior associate at the Center for International Forestry Research, or CIFOR. Wunder actually spoke with me back in 2017 for the piece I wrote about PES as part of the Conservation Effectiveness series, and we’ve spoken again for this episode of the podcast so he can fill us in on the latest research into the impact of a variety of conservation strategies.

As Rhett Butler mentions in this episode, he and Dr. Zuzana Burivalova were co-authors of a paper published in Science last year that argued bioacoustics could be an effective tool for monitoring the impacts of conservation projects. We discussed the paper at length in a January 2019 episode of the Mongabay Newscast:

You can hear Zuzana Burivalova discuss the soundscapes she’s recorded in more than 100 different regions of Indonesian Borneo on a March 2017 episode of the Mongabay Newscast:

Butler also mentions Health in Harmony’s healthcare-for-conservation model as one of the most promising conservation interventions being deployed right now. We had Kinari Webb, founder of Health in Harmony, on the Mongabay Newscast in April of 2019 to discuss her work:

If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.

You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, or listen via Pandora or Spotify. You can also listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage

Or download our new app for Apple and Android devices to gain fingertip access to new shows and all our previous episodes.

A female Great Hornbill carries food in her beak to feed her chicks. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.