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Conservation by Design

Our Conservation Compass

A Framework for Effective Conservation

For more than a decade, The Nature Conservancy’s work has been guided by a framework we call Conservation by Design — a systematic approach that determines where to work, what to conserve, what strategies we should use and how effective we have been.

Conservation by Design marries a collaborative, science-based approach with key analytical methods that we use to assess and plan our actions. In the more than 30 countries in which we work, Conservation by Design enables the Conservancy to preserve healthy ecosystems that support people and host the diversity of life on Earth.

A New Vision to Meet Increasing Threats

But despite all our progress, climate change, a rapidly expanding human population, damaging industrial and agricultural practices and other dynamics continue to threaten our natural world and quality of life.

Plant and animal species are disappearing at rates estimated to be 100 to 1,000 times greater than normal. And the benefits that nature provides people — from fresh water to food to flood control — are also under siege.

How is the Conservancy responding? By setting a new goal: to conserve "enough of everything," not just the rarest or most imperiled species or places. This means at least doubling the rate of effective conservation around the globe with the next 10 years.

The aim is to create a world in which the ecosystems that sustain all life — people as well as plants and animals — are valued and endure for generations.

And as we move toward fulfilling this ambitious goal, Conservation by Design will continue to guide where we work and how we take action. We invite you to explore the 10th anniversary edition (pdf) of this innovative framework — an approach that can be used by conservationists everywhere, at every scale.

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