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Tools and Methodologies

Biodiversity assessment

Exploring biological diversity, environment and local people's perspectives in forest landscapes. Methods for a multidisciplinary landscape assessmentThis document is intended for those interested in gathering natural resource information that reflects the needs of local communities.

Biodiversity-Inclusive Impact Assessment: This document supports the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity in EIA (environmental impact assessment) and SEA (strategic environmental assessment).

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning for Mangrove Systems: WWF has developed a methodology that can be used worldwide for assessing the vulnerability of mangrove ecosystems to the impacts of climate change and for developing adaptation strategies. This manual brings together a wealth of on-the-ground experience and scientific knowledge to help conservation practitioners, protected area managers and other stakeholders who are responsible for protecting and managing the world’s mangrove forests in a changing climate. 

CRiSTAL Forests Community-Based Risk Screening Tool 
CRiSTAL Forests is a decision-support tool that aims to provide a logical, user-friendly process to help users better understand the links between climate-related risks, ecosystem services and people's livelihoods. In doing so, successful adaptation strategies can be developed and better supported the local level. CRiSTAL Forests is a specialized version of CRiSTAL (Community-based Risk Screening Tool - Adaptation and Livelihoods).

Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal: Special issue on biodiversity and impact assessment of the Journal 'Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal'.

Integrating Biodiversity into Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Processes: The main purpose of this document is to offer appropriate guidance on the integration of biodiversity into an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).

Landscape Outcome Assessment Methodology (LOAM): This approach, developed by WWF, is aimed at enabling those working on landscape scale initiatives to be better able to measure, monitor and communicate the nature and extent to which a landscape is changing over time with respect to a small number of agreed conservation and livelihood outcomes. 

Socio-economic impacts of conservation

Social Assessment of Conservation Initiatives: A review of rapid methodologies: Some 30 tools and methods for assessing social impacts in protected areas and elsewhere are reviewed in this report, with a view to understanding how different researchers have tackled the various challenges associated with impact assessment.

Catalog of Conservation Social Science Tools: This Catalog aims to provide conservation practitioners with greater capacity to integrate social sciences into their work by linking practitioners to key social science tools and methodological approaches, and by providing context for these tools.

Developing Methodologies for Livelihood Impact Assessment: Experience of the African Wildlife Foundation in East Africa: This paper explains the rationale for developing an impact assessment methodology incorporating livelihood analysis, summarises the methodology and its application, and identifies several lessons learnt from the application of the approach in two case studies in Kenya.

Measuring the impact of livelihoods initiatives in a conservation context: This paper summarises the results of a multi-sectoral workshop held in July 2007.

Forest Quality: Assessing forests at a landscape scale: This book proposes a method for assessing forest quality at a landscape scale, through working with stakeholders to identify important aspects of quality and proposing ways of assessing these. It divides "quality" into three main elements: authenticity, environmental benefits and social and economic benefits.

Assessing Environment and Development Outcomes in Conservation Landscapes: A collaborative effort between IUCN, WWF and CIFOR has lead to the development of a conceptual framework aimed at assessing both livelihoods and biodiversity outcomes of conservation activities at the landscape level.

Socio-economic Impact Assessment Toolkit: A guide to assessing the socio-economic impacts of Marine Protected Areas in Australia: This toolkit has been developed to provide policy makers and the fishing sector with a general background and introduction to methods for assessing the socio-economic impacts within a fisheries context of proposals to declare MPAs in Australia. In particular, the toolkit focuses on potential impacts on the fishing industry, including related businesses and communities associated with fishing activities

The Protected Areas Benefits Assessment Tool: A proposed methodology: The Protected Area Benefit Assessment Tool has been primarily designed for use by protected area managers to work with stakeholders to identify important values and the benefits that PAs bring to a range of stakeholders, from local to global.

Parks and People: Assessing the Human Welfare Effects of Establishing Protected Areas for Biodiversity Conservation: This paper summarises the main components of a strategy, developed by WCS, aimed at assessing the human impacts of PAs on local people.

Nature's Investment Bank: How Marine Protected Areas Contribute to Poverty ReductionThis study proposes a qualitative and a quantitative assessment tools to explore the impact of MPAs on poverty reduction.

Planning tools

The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) has been developed through a collaboration of six institutions with input generously provided by scientists and practitioners from multiple disciplines.   The toolkit provides accessible guidance on low-cost methods for how to evaluate the benefits people receive from nature at particular sites in order to generate information that can be used to influence decision making.

TESSA is primarily aimed at conservation practitioners, although the methods may be applicable to a wide range of users, including natural resource managers (e.g. forestry, fisheries, water managers), land-use planners, development organisations (e.g. for poverty alleviation), and the private sector.

Environmental Mainstreaming - A User Guide to Tools and Tactics: The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has launched an initiative that aims to produce a 'User Guide' to tools and tactics for integrating environment into development decision-making.

Tools for Integrating Conservation and Development: The goal of CIFOR's project 'Tools for Integrating Conservation and Development' is to help agencies to design and implement better landscape-level conservation and development projects by learning from the successes and failures of past initiatives and understanding the trade-offs and synergies between livelihoods and conservation.

Power tools: for policy influence in natural resource management: This website introduces a range of Power Tools with 'how-to' ideas that marginalised people and their allies can use to have a greater positive influence on natural resources policy.

Poverty-Forest Linkages Toolkit: PROFOR has developed a 'Poverty-Forests Linkages Toolkit' to build better knowledge on the relationship between poverty and forests, and to facilitate relevant data collection and analysis.

A Toolkit for Assessment of Landscape Conservation (TALC): TALC has been developed to aid field practitioners in reviewing their progress in planning and implementing landscape conservation initiatives.

Guidelines for Developing, Testing and Selecting Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: This manual provides methods for the development and evaluation of criteria and indicators (C&I) which can then be used to assess the sustainability of forest management.

IUCN has developed a wealth of tools to support conservation action. These tools are all available and some in multiple languages. 

Assessment and monitoring
Conservation management: Species, Ecosystems, Protected Areas, Business and Biodivdersity
Conservation policy tools
Education and awareness raising
IUCN Programme Management tools 

Valuation tools

Circular Economy Toolkit: An online resource offering companies a free step-by-step guide to increasing the lifecycle and reusability of their products, thereby making their businesses less environmentally wasteful. features various free, downloadable presentations and an assessment tool which enables firms to identify which parts of their businesses are most profligate and least sustainable. 

Economic Tools for the Management of Marine Protected Areas in Eastern Africa: This guide provides a framework for analysing the economics of marine protected areas including identifying the benefits and costs of marine protected areas, valuing those benefits and costs, analysing the distribution of costs and benefits and therefore the need for incentives and financial mechanisms, and integrating economic measures into protected area management.

Collections of tools

Earth conservation toolbox: The earth conservation toolbox is a multi-organisational initiative building an open-access database of tools and methodologies to help field programmes, governments and others implement the ecosystem approach to conservation.

Earthcape: A biodiversity information platform comprising UI customisation for desktop and web; custom modules creation; data conversion; database maintenance; project and field work assistance; technical support; information management consulting; custom software development; and cloud housing

UNEP Environmental Management Tools: UNEP has collected a variety of procedures, methodologies, and instruments to assist individuals and organisations to undertake various environmental management tasks, including environmental assessments.

PCLG resources of potential interest to UCCRI’s website users

PCLG Bibliographic database

With more than 1900 titles, this bibliographic database provides a comprehensive list of literature on conservation-poverty linkages. Search by key word or by theme.  Alternatively sign up to receive our Journal Digest and we will send you the most recently added publications straight to your email. 

PCLG Organisations database 

This database lists more than 500 organisations working on conservation-poverty linkages, including donor agencies, conservation organisations, NGOs, indigenous people's organisations and grassroots groups. The database can be searched by key word or by organisation type.

PCLG Initiatives database

This database lists international initiatives designed to explore the links between conservation and poverty reduction from broad based poverty-environment programmes to more focused single-issue agendas. The database can be searched by key word or by implementing organisation.

Biodiversity-Poverty evidence database

As part of a project on biodiversity-poverty evidence, IIED has conducted a systematic review of the literature on biodiversity and poverty alleviation. This database includes details of the studies reviewed, the research design and the key issues covered.

PCLG Publications

Discussion papers


Linking Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: A Discussion Paper on Good and Best Practice in the Case of Great Ape Conservation

PCLG discussion paper number 11, is intended to provide guidance for conservation practitioners...


Biodiversity, ecosystem services and poverty alleviation: What constitutes good evidence?

PCLG Discussion Paper number 10 is intended to stimulate debate about what consitutes good...


Tackling Human-wildlife Conflict: A Prerequisite for linking Conservation and Poverty Alleviation

The Great Apes represent a group of highly endangered species with high conservation value. They...


The Overlap between Conservation and Development Organisations in the Albertine Rift, Western Uganda

PCLG Discussion Paper number 7, uses Western Uganda as an example, this study attempts to...


Integrating Biodiversity Conservation into National Development Policy: A Case Study of Cameroon

PCLG discussion paper number 9, aims at reviewing the extent to which biodiversity conservation...


Did the National Development Plan take into account the recommendations of "Enhancing Wildlife's Contribution to growth, employment and prosperity" report?

Poverty eradication has been one the major goals of the Uganda Government since the mid-late...


Overview of Human-Wildlife Conflict in Cameroon

PCLG Discussion Paper number 5, presents an overview of human wildlife conflict (HWC) in...


Linking conservation and poverty alleviation: The case of Great Apes. An overview of current policy and practice in Africa

This report is the third PCLG output supported by the Arcus Foundation grant. The purpose of...


Towards an Integrated System for Measuring the Social Impact of Protected Areas

PCLG Discussion Paper number 2 is a brief review that outlines the strong need for gathering...


Conservation des Grands Singes et Réduction de la Pauvretté: Échange D'expériences en Afrique et Asie

Rapport mutimédia a partir de la Atelier organisé par l’Institut International pour L’...


Linking Great Ape Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: Sharing Experience from Africa and Asia

A multi-media report from a workshop organised by the International Institute for Environment...


Poverty Alleviation That Works: Informing Conservation Practice from Development Experience. Report of a DEG – PCLG Roundtable, 22 December 2011.

This report documents discussions from the “Poverty Alleviation That Works” roundtable held in...


Linking biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction: What, why and how?

The fundamental links between environment and development have long been accepted in principle,...

Briefing papers


Biodiversity Conservation and Development Assistance: Highlights from CBD CoP10

This PCLG Briefing provides a summary of the CoP10 decisions that have implications for...

Country reports


Namibian Insurance Scheme - HACSI

PCLG case study number 3 was put together using a framework designed to help gathering...


Nepalese Compensation Scheme – Chitwan National Park

PCLG Case Study Number 1 was put together using a framework designed to help gathering...


The Kenyan Compensation Scheme

PCLG Case Study number 2 was put together using a framework designed to help gathering...



The PCLG Directory of Poverty and Conservation Organisations and Initiatives 2010

The directory provides details of organisations and initiatives that have been identified...

 News and blogs

A round-up of all the latest news and blogs from the PCLG and from across the conservation and poverty sectors.


A round-up of all upcoming and recent events from the PCLG and across the poverty and conservation sectors.


The PCLG produces two e-bulletins to keep our members up-to-date on the latest poverty and conservation news, as well as the latest journals and publications from the conservation and poverty sectors. Sign up here to receive your updates.






 DEFRA Environmental Reporting Guidelines June 2013

 IIED Social Assessment of Conservation Initiatives

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UCCRI is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre, with a network of over 150 researchers from all 6 Schools of the University of Cambridge. The Institute supports multidisciplinary research on biodiversity conservation and the social context within which humans engage with nature. It works from a base in the David Attenborough Building, which is designed to enhance collaboration and the sharing of perspectives across organisational and disciplinary boundaries. Find out more...

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