ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR CONSERVATION: Course: Collaborative & Community-based Conservation

People Completing Conservation Standards course

When: 24 May - 9 June 2021
Delivery Mode: Online, Part-time, over 10 x half days
Fees: $1800 + GST
Course Facilitators: Dr Dedee Woodside and Jenny Vasseleu


This course addresses the growing need for professionals and community leaders to have the skills to collaborate with local communities and work in complex stakeholder environments to achieve protected area and natural resource conservation.

Collaboration is vital for conservation and essential for supporting sustainable livelihoods in and around protected areas. Collaboration requires a special set of skills, knowledge and supporting systems, as well as a high degree of adaptability, to be successful. Effective collaboration demands persistence and strategic leadership to navigate the bio-cultural linkages of protected areas and to negotiate the interests of many stakeholders.

Conservation is no longer viewed as the pursuit of governments or locking up of areas but is instead seen as a partnership that engages all local interests, values, knowledge and management capacities. Communities commonly undertake roles of stewards, guardians or supporters of conservation areas, and it is essential that government agencies, non-government organisations, local businesses, communities and individuals work effectively together.


This is a practical program  that examines the best tools and practices for collaboration at all levels, with both internal and external stakeholders.

This program begins with the individual - applying strategic thinking, and exploring leadership qualities  and the benefits of working collectively and engaging with multiple perspectives, values and solutions.

The course covers:

  • The biocultural aspects of conservation and the value proposition necessary for collaborative conservation with each stakeholder.
  • How to address and protect rights of local communities, custodial landholders and Indigenous peoples and optimise their potential as conservation partners and ensure delivery of co-benefits.
  • The collaborative process, as both a business and social venture requiring effective co-design, strong governance, support systems, clear roles and responsibilities for current players and across generations.
  • Building adaptive toolkits for stakeholder engagement, communication and negotiation, power management and the empowerment of all players.
  • Key aspects of social and environmental return on investment, and other measures of progress that are essential to sustaining collaborative relationships and investments.


  • Exploring leadership strengths and the tools and principles of collective leadership and engaging multiple perspectives in addressing complex problems.    
  • Building teams and networking across organisations and regionally.
  • Challenging biases and prejudices.    
  • Acknowledging and safeguarding human rights, community rights, marginal groups, and contributions.
  • Applying tools for stakeholder evaluation and assessment of needs and potential as conservation partners.    
  • Designing communication strategies, stakeholder engagement processes and development of local structures for participation.
  • Developing optional governance arrangements and stepwise plans for co-management of resources.
  • Exploring alternative approaches and design of sustainable livelihood projects.    
  • Developing capacity to navigate uncertainty in collaborative programs and complex stakeholder and community settings.
  • Building organisational systems to support ongoing collaboration.
  • Designing systems for monitoring progress and impact of collaborative programs.


The knowledge and practical skills gained in this course are readily implemented and applicable for use in land management by governments, non-government, private landholders and Indigenous communities. The approach suits conservation projects at any scale and is an opportunity for individuals to take a fresh look at their approach to working in teams with a collective leadership style. 

By the end of the course, participants will have a toolkit for working with other individuals, stakeholder groups, organisations and communities with a strong understanding of the principles of dynamic collaboration. 





Sunday, 20 February, 2022 - 23:45