What is the Center?
The Conservancy in Colorado created the Center for Conservation Science and Strategy to develop creative, collaborative and science-based solutions to Colorado’s most pressing conservation challenges affecting people and nature. The Center provides robust science and policy analysis to proactively create the products, information and planning methodologies needed to address these challenges.
In collaboration with the Conservancy’s China Program, the Center’s Megan Kram authored a new book, Protecting China’s Biodiversity – A Guide to Land Use, Land Tenure, and Land Protection Tools. This book is the first of its kind, providing a comprehensive yet digestible overview of land use, land tenure and land protection opportunities in China. It is a reference guide for anyone with an interest in Chinese land issues and covers the following topics:
- The “lay of the land” – an orientation to Chinese biodiversity values and land use practices.
- Land tenure system – a description of China’s land tenure system.
- Land protection in practice – a description and analysis of land conservation tools and case studies.
The Center staff includes extensive conservation science and policy expertise:
- Megan Kram
- Paige Lewis
- Betsy Neely
- Chris Pague
- Doug Robotham
- John Sanderson
- Terri Schulz
- Heidi Sherk
- Meg White
The Center brings together stakeholders, experts and the best information to address these important issues:
Measuring Conservation Success—How successful are our conservation efforts in Colorado; where do we need to be focusing more of our efforts? In collaboration with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, we are developing a Measures of Conservation Success assessment that shows which species and ecosystems need more protection.
Forests—How can we catalyze a massive increase in forest restoration to protect communities and restore the health of our forests? The Front Range Roundtable catalyzes efforts to reduce fire risk and improve forest health.
Water—How can we ensure that the needs of nature are considered in future decision-making about water supply? Center staff is working with a broad group of water interests to pilot the Watershed Flow Evaluation Tool to assess how flow management can protect or put species and ecosystems at risk.
Energy—How can we reduce the footprint of oil and gas and renewable energy development? Colorado is a key location for energy development—the Conservancy's Energy by Design tool helps to guide decisions that avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental damage.
Climate—The Conservancy, in collaboration with the Gunnison Climate Working Group, has completed a vulnerability assessment to identify which species and ecosystems of the Upper Gunnison Basin will be affected by projected changes and why. A graduate student assessed the resilience and vulnerability of land-based livelihoods to climate change. Next the Group will develop adaptation strategies to benefit nature and people. The Group is also developing an on-the-ground climate adaptation project to enhance the resilience of riparian habitats in sagebrush shrublands. This is a project of the Southwest Climate Change Initiative, which provides information and tools to conservation practitioners for climate adaptation in vulnerable landscapes.