Why the conservation hierarchy


Delivering the CBD Post-2020 agenda

While it has not been decided precisely what the post-2020 Framework will look like, momentum is building towards the idea of an ‘Apex’ target, supported by a conceptual framework that links outcomes, actions and enabling conditions.

Ensuring the CBD Post-2020 Framework has a suitable delivery mechanism will be a critical facet of ensuring the framework is implemented once it has been enacted, in order to achieve the apex target.

Such a mechanism involves not only having a clear articulation of required outcome targets at the global scale, but a roadmap for how they will be achieved, and the actions necessary to achieve them. This requires biodiversity to be mainstreamed across sectors, which is seen as a priority by the CBD.

We believe that the conservation hierarchy can meet these needs because it is:

The Conservation Hierarchy is a process which helps to guide different actors to determine the most effective and appropriate actions they can take towards an overarching goal for nature, regardless of the high level target which has been set. It is ultimately concerned with ensuring the right actions are undertaken to create desired biodiversity outcomes.

The Conservation Hierarchy provides a clear framework to ensure transparency around biodiversity commitments, and demonstration of how they contribute towards overall goals. It also focuses on measurable targets and monitoring of actions to assess progress towards goals.

The Conservation Hierarchy provides a simple overarching framework for collating information about biodiversity impacts, and uniting different actors, actions and outcomes across sectors, sites and scales towards a joint apex goal
The Conservation Hierarchy is flexible, suiting the needs of different countries, businesses and individuals based on their own individual economic, social, cultural and biological situations. Such a design can foster the development and ownership of targets and concrete actions across all scales and sectors of society, from strengthening NBSAPs to generating commitments from individuals, private sector and civil society, and therefore aids governments with mainstreaming biodiversity throughout different sectors.
The Conservation Hierarchy provides a proactive and inspirational approach to addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss, with a focus on achieving net positive outcomes
The Conservation Hierarchy itself has a strong evidence base, and it helps to structure existing knowledge on the impacts of human activities on nature, and potential actions to alleviate or augment them.

Overall the Conservation Hierarchy could be a powerful approach for delivering the CBD’s post-2020 framework, enabling countries and stakeholders to organise knowledge, foster mainstreaming, aggregate actions and monitor progress towards the post-2020 Framework and apex target.