The plans that we create to guide us as we select, protect and manage the land are developed through the Bush Heritage Conservation Management Process.
This was developed based on the Open Standard for the Practice of Conservation – a process developed from the pooled experiences of conservation organisations around the world.
Our Conservation Management Process includes these major steps:
- Set the national strategy and identify priority landscapes.
- Identify individual properties and assess their conservation values and long-term management needs and costs.
- Conceptualise what will be achieved in the context of where we're working and the issues we face.
- Plan both the actions and monitoring.
- Purchase the land or establish a partnership with the land owner.
- Implement both the actions and monitoring.
- Analyse the data to evaluate the effectiveness of the actions. Use the results to adapt the project to maximise its impact.
- Capture and share the results with key external and internal audiences to promote learning, and inform donors of progress.
Keeping track of it all
This process is underpinned by Open Source Software called Miradi (developed by the Conservation Measures Partnership [CMP] and Benetech) that supports the Open Standard for the Practice of Conservation.
All property information, including analyses of the conservation values, threats, management objectives and goals, recovery strategies and the monitoring plan, as well as the long-term and annual budgets, allocation of resources, progress reports and knowledge gained, are captured and managed within the software.
The conservation management process embodies the principles of 'adaptive management'. We prepare plans based on the best-available knowledge at the time, then regularly update them based on the results of implementation.
By monitoring our results against our expectations, we learn more about what works and what doesn't, and can use this knowledge to progressively refine our plans and actions. Storing this knowledge in the Miradi software allows us to 'close the loop' on the adaptive management cycle.