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Scope

Our planet is facing ever increasing threats to biodiversity from human impacts -- land use change, species invasions, climate change, hunting, fishing, and more have altered every ecosystem across the globe. Given the magnitude of threats, conservation can be reactive, aiming to conserve biodiversity with no time or resources to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation interventions. As a result, interventions can be ineffective or have unintended consequences. By quantitatively (i.e. comparing deforestation between intervention and control sites) or qualitatively (i.e. interviewing groups with diferent social incentives for endangered species protection) assessing the effects of common conservation interventions, impact evaluations can inform effective conservation strategies. As we build evidence from impact evaluations, future conservation interventions will be more successful at curbing the loss of biodiversity in ecosystems worldwide.

The Impact Evaluation Working Group (IEWG) advances evidence-based biodiversity conservation efforts across the globe by supporting the adoption of counterfactual approaches to understanding the impacts of conservation. 

Read more about impact evaluation in theory and practice in our reading list

Objectives

IEWG facilitates the adoption of counterfactual approaches to conservation impact evaluation (supporting SCB Strategic Focus 1) and advance their application to inform conservation policy and management (supporting SCB Strategic Focus 2). 

Short-term Objectives:

Build an active community for #teamcounterfactual through networking events and symposia at SCB meetings and via virtual discussions.

Collaborate with other Working Groups and Sections to incorporate impact evaluation in conservation actions.

Compile resources for academic and practicing conservation biologists to learn from others and build their own impact evaluation approaches. 

Long-term Objectives:

Promote greater understanding among SCB members on the appropriate design and interpretation of counterfactual approaches to documenting conservation impacts.

Provide capacity-building opportunities for SCB members on how to construct appropriate counterfactuals, and how to choose between different methods for constructing counterfactuals.

Provide opportunities for SCB members to network with scholars and practitioners working on conservation impact evaluation, including those affiliated with other professional societies. 

Find out more!

See how we're achieving our goals by exploring our activities and resources