Conservation Stewards Program

Engage local communities in biodiversity conservation activities


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About the project Edit

The Conversation Stewards Program is an initiative by Conservation International that aims to make local people the guardians of biodiversity through explicit agreements that bring ongoing community benefits in exchange for a commitment to conserve biodiversity.

The Conversation Stewards Program has different characteristics:

-Build stewardship – empower people to drive the solution
-Fair and transparent – terms designed with local communities
-Adaptable – terms tailored to specific situations and community needs
-Positive human impact – deliver concrete, measurable benefits for human well-being
-Concrete conservation results – outcomes defined and measured in the agreement
-Equitable – offset the opportunity cost of doing conservation
-Scalable – flexibility allows for replication"


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Negotiated through voluntary participatory processes, conservation agreements empower private and communal landowners to participate in conservation by identifying the necessary offset levels required to enable them to provide conservation results.

Incentives have typically revolved around social services, namely income generation, education, improved agricultural production, health and revival or maintenance of cultural traditions. Changes in income, education, agricultural productivity, governance, forest cover, species presence and other important social and biodiversity indicators are tracked in all conservation agreements implemented.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

So far, the CSP has been established in 9 countries through 51 working agreements. This resulted in high-grade protection of 1.5 million hectares of key habitat. 35,000 people have been receiving benefits from this.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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