The Nature of Conservation Enterprises
Small enterprise development is a common approach used by development organizations in biodiversity conservation, agriculture, and other economic growth strategies to generate increased income for rural communities. It is assumed that these benefits will lead participants to change behaviors related to agricultural practices or to natural resource exploitation, or that improved livelihoods will lead to better human development outcomes. However, a recent systematic review of the literature found a lack of evidence connecting alternative livelihood programs to changes in the behaviors of participants.
To learn more about the assumptions behind enterprise approaches, USAID’s Office of Forestry and Biodiversity conducted a twenty-year retrospective evaluation, “The Nature of Conservation Enterprises,” to examine the theory of change behind this widely used international development approach.
This rare look-back at enterprise approaches included a review of six sites where an enterprise approach to conservation has been implemented for 20 years or more. At each site, implementing partners and stakeholders were interviewed to examine the conditions needed for enterprise establishment and long-term sustainable outcomes.
This webinar is intended for international development staff with an interest in agricultural livelihood development, small enterprise development, or conservation enterprises. Speakers include Dilys Roe, the author of a 2014 systematic review finding a lack of evidence for enterprise approaches. Next, the lead author of the “The Nature of Conservation Enterprises,” Judy Boshoven, will present her findings. This will be followed by remarks from a panel of experts on these approaches, including: enterprise creation (Ann Koontz, Relief International), procurement of fair-trade products (David Hircock, Estee Lauder), enterprise approaches in biodiversity conservation (Mark Moroge, The Rainforest Alliance), and conservation storytelling (Jason Houston, independent photographer). Attendees will be able to ask questions and share their own experiences in small enterprise development.
Judy Boshoven is a Learning Specialist with Measuring Impact.
David is an Executive Director for Global Citizenship and Corporate Sustainability at Estee Lauder Companies.
Jason is a nature photographer and a Senior Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Ann is a Senior Vice President of Technical Assistance at Relief International. She is an expert in organizational strengthening and training for local organizations and producer groups.
Dilys is a Principle Researcher and Team Leader for natural resources at the International Institute for Environment and Development.
Mark is the Director for Latin America for the Rainforest Alliance, one of the key partners working on conservation enterprises in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala.