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Innovations in Conservation

p a r k s i n p e r i l
Partners in
Protected Area Conservation
Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean
Ana Maria González V. and Angela Sue Martin
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a leading Con-
servation organization working around the world
to protect ecologically important lands and waters
for nature and people. Since 1951, TNC has been
working with communities, businesses and people
like you to protect more than 117 million acres of
land, 5,000 miles of river, and 100 marine sites
around the world. TNC’s mission is to preserve
the plants, animals and natural communities that
represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting
the lands and waters they need to survive.
www.nature.org
Since 1990, The Nature Conservancy, the United
States Agency for International Development,
local government agencies and non-govern-
mental organizations have been working together
through the Parks in Peril Program (PiP) to pro-
tect and manage more than 18.2 million hectares
of endangered habitats in 45 protected areas in
18 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
PiP works with partner organizations to improve
fnancing, supportive policies, and management
of individual sites as well as entire systems of
protected areas, including private, indigenous, and
municipal reserves, as well as national parks.
www.parksinperil.org
The United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) is an independent U.S.
government agency that receives foreign-policy
guidance from the U.S. Secretary of State. Since
1961, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency
extending assistance to countries worldwide recov-
ering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and
engaging in democratic reforms.
www.usaid.gov
Partners in Protected Area Conservation
Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean
Ana Maria González V. and Angela Sue Martin
Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril
Program in Latin America and the Caribbean
Copyright © 2007 The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, USA. All rights reserved.
Series Editor: Angela Martin
Translation from Spanish to English: Jennifer Stimson, Marybeth Shea, and Eva Vilarrubi
Design/Layout: Kristen Truitt
Cover Photo: © Claudia Véliz Rosas
Production: Imaging Zone
Parks in Peril Program Director: James F. Rieger
Contributors to this publication: Ruth Blyther, Felipe Carazo, Jorge Cardona, Lourdes
Contreras, Miguel Angel Cruz, Carlos Chacón, Richard Devine, Mateo Espinosa, Owen
Evelyn, Jaime Fernández-Baca, Marlon Flores, Paul Hardy, Maritza Jaén, Benjamín Kroll,
Cesar Laura, Andreas Lehnhoff, Arturo Lerma, Michelle Libby, Karen Luz, Paige McLeod,
Bruce Moffat, Maria Elena Molina, Polly Morrison, Brad Northrup, Vilma Obando, Jorge
Pitty, Daniel Ramos, James F. Rieger, Gladys Rodríguez, Damaris Sánchez, Luis Sánchez A.,
Raquel Seybert, Andrew Soles, Sofía Stein, Yendry Suárez. In addition to those mentioned
above, all of TNC and its partner organizations’ offcials who prepared evaluation reports on
the different Parks in Peril sites, as well as multi-site strategies, also contributed indirectly to
this publication.
Please cite this publication as:
González V., Ana M., and Martin, Angela S. 2007. Partners in Protected Area Conserva-
tion: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean. Inno-
vations in Conservation Series, Parks in Peril Program. Arlington, VA, USA: The Nature
Conservancy.
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Offce of Regional Sus-
tainable Development, Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for Inter-
national Development (USAID) and The Nature Conservancy, under the terms of Grant
No. EDG-A-00-01-00023-00. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and
do not necessarily refect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the
United States Government.
For further information on the Parks in Peril Program, please visit www.parksinperil.org
Parks in Peril Program
The Nature Conservancy
4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-1606 USA
Tel: +1-703-841-5300
Fax: +1-703-524-0296
www.parksinperil.org
www.parquesenpeligro.org
Foreword
The Parks in Peril (PiP) Program began in 1990 as the U.S. Agency for Interna-
tional Development’s and The Nature Conservancy’s urgent effort to safeguard
the most imperiled natural ecosystems, ecological communities, and species in the
Latin America and Caribbean region. A partnership among the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and
governmental and non-governmental organizations throughout Latin America
and the Caribbean, over time PiP evolved through three distinct phases until
2007, adapting to changing needs and priorities in the region and promoting an
advancing strategy to conserve increasing amounts of biodiversity. For 17 years, the
program operated in threatened national parks and reserves of global biological
signifcance, seeking to conserve these critically important ecosystems by building
local institutional capacity for site management. USAID – both the Latin Amer-
ican and Caribbean Regional Bureau in Washington, as well as individual Missions
– invested more than $77 million in the program; with TNC and partner match,
the total that fowed through PiP was more than $104 million. PiP activities also
resulted in indirect leverage – funding attracted by sites and partners strengthened
by PiP, or complementing PiP investment – of more than $450 million.
PiP has become well known for its success in transforming “paper parks” into
functional protected areas through what is called “site consolidation” – the pro-
cess of consolidating the infrastructure, staff, tools, institutional and technical
capacity, and fnancing necessary to protect and manage protected areas, and to
ensure their management can respond to threats that may arise in the future. PiP
has consolidated 45 protected areas in 18 countries, totaling more than 18 million
hectares. Through Multi-Site and Alliance Strategies developed during the third
phase of PiP (2002-07), PiP changed the way entire systems of protected areas
are managed, bringing together multi-institutional alliances to collaborate on sig-
nifcant conservation challenges. Nearly all the achievements of Parks in Peril have
depended vitally on the diligence, insight, and ingenuity of the staff of PiP’s count-
less partner organizations in the countries where PiP worked.
As part of the process of closing “PiP 2000 – A Partnership for the Americas,”
USAID, TNC, and partner staff described the program’s seminal thematic
achievements in the Parks in Peril Innovations in Conservation Series. The series
includes bulletins, which provide a quick survey of a topic and PiP’s contribu-
tions, as well as publications, which provide a much more thorough treatment of
each topic for an audience interested in greater detail. The other bulletins and
publications of the Innovations in Conservation Series, as well as PiP’s End-of-
Project Reports and about 700 other publications of the Parks in Peril program,
may be found on the fnal PiP DVD (published in March, 2008) and on the Parks
in Peril website, www.parksinperil.org. Added to the capacity for science-based
conservation and participatory management that PiP fostered in the region, these
publications constitute an indelible legacy – a foundation for future conservation
and development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Jim Rieger, Ph.D.
Director, Parks in Peril Program
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. APPROACHES TO WORKING WITH PARTNERS 3
2.1. Strengthening of individual partner organizations 4
2.1.1. Application of organizational strengthening tools 5
2.1.2. Application of conservation tools for technical strengthening 8
2.1.3. The effects of strengthening individual partners 9
2.2. Knowledge transfer by individual partners 13
2.3. Support for interinstitutional work and coalition building 16
3. LESSONS LEARNED AND RECOMMENDATIONS 24
3.1. Lessons learned by TNC 24
3.1.1. Lessons on selecting to work with individual partners 24
3.1.2. Lessons on institutional strengthening of individual partners 25
3.1.3. Lessons on the implementation of joint actions for the conservation
and sustainable use of protected areas with individual partners 27
3.1.4. Lessons on strengthening and working with individual
partners according to their nature and characteristics 29
3.1.5. Lessons for coalition building and development 31
3.2. Lessons from the perspective of the local partners 32
4. OTHER CASES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 35
4.1. Partners in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 35
4.2. Amigos de Sian Ka’an, one of the frst partners in Mexico 37
4.3. ProNaturaleza, a valuable example in Central Selva, Peru 40
4.4. Defensores de la Naturaleza, partner in
the conservation of the Motagua-Polochic System, Guatemala 43
5. CONCLUSIONS 46
ENDNOTES 49
SOURCES CONSULTED AND RECOMMENDED BIBLIOGRAPHY 53
ANNEX: LIST OF PARTNERS IN PARKS IN PERIL SITES 56
Table of contents
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1. Introduction
When the Parks in Peril (PiP) Program began in
Latin America and the Caribbean in 1990, there
was an abundance of possible sites within which to
work. Therefore, it was necessary to develop a site
selection process to concentrate the investment of
available resources in order to maximize impacts and
leverage best practices to other places. This selection
process was based on a set of criteria including man-
agement capacity and opportunity.
1
One of the ele-
ments constituting this criterion was the existence
(or non-existence) of local support organizations to
carry out biodiversity conservation and sustainable
use activities in protected areas. After selecting the
sites, the implementation alternatives were ana-
lyzed to address the challenges associated with the
conservation of these protected areas. The analysis
determined that the most effective way to make the
investment sustainable beyond the end of the pro-
gram was to channel resources to local and national
organizations so that they could play a pivotal role
in implementing management activities. The pur-
pose of working through these organizations, herein
called partners,
2
was to establish priorities, develop
strategies, and implement actions related to resource
conservation and sustainable use based on the orga-
nizational knowledge and experience of the local
context (Hardy, 2005b).
In the process of working with partners, TNC
considered it essential to support local capacity
building and organizational strengthening so that
the established partnerships would be effective at
promoting conservation and sustainable manage-
ment of protected areas. In some cases, TNC and
the partner organizations reached the mutual con-
clusion that these institutions did not have suffcient
institutional capacity to intervene in addressing
threats in the protected areas. Therefore, support
was provided to strengthen these organizations so
that TNC’s intervention would not be necessary
in the future. As a result, in addition to investing in
feld actions, PiP fnanced institutional strength-
ening projects with partners in Latin America and
the Caribbean, seeking to boost local organizational,
fnancial, and technical capacity.
According the External Assessment of PiP car-
ried out in 2004, one of the most satisfactory and
signifcant results of the program has been the
development of partner capacities to improve the
effectiveness of protected area management (FOS,
2004). In some countries, strengthening of indi-
vidual organizations achieved through investments
in training and instruction paved the way for the
development of other organizations, thus extending
the scope of action and infuence beyond the areas
initially selected by PiP.
However, TNC’s activities have evolved over the
years and its main efforts, in addition to working
with individual local organizations, are now con-
centrated on supporting the formation of coalitions
made up of these local organizations and other
institutions, both public and private, all involved in
conservation of protected areas. The new approach
has consisted of using the sites and previously
strengthened organizations as platforms to leverage
successes and disseminate lessons learned about the
most effective strategies for large-scale conservation.
TNC’s approach to working with partners has
evolved from intensive investments in individual
local organizations to the dissemination of appli-
cable knowledge to other organizations involved in
conservation and fnally to inter-institutional work
at larger scales. This evolution has involved the
continual development of methodologies and tools
suited to these changes. This sequence has not been
followed in all countries; however, it is a trend that
has allowed us to draw important lessons. Also, the
approaches are not mutually exclusive, since it has
been possible to support interinstitutional initia-
tives in tandem with the strengthening of individual
organizations.
TNC’s partners are a diverse group of institutions
with different origins and capacities, which are
dedicated to both conservation and other aspects
of development. In general, the roles local NGOs
have assumed in protected areas—and in the
framework of agreements with agencies in charge
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of the areas—have included technical, administra-
tive and fnancial assistance, community work for
the development of projects in sustainable natural
resource use, and environmental education, among
others. The group of partners includes governments,
multilateral institutions, bilateral agencies, private
companies, research institutions, indigenous and
traditional communities, rural communities, conser-
vation NGOs, and other non-proft organizations.
The diversity of partners has shown that working
collaboratively cannot always be handled in the same
manner using standard mechanisms. Thus, strength-
ening efforts have been tailored to the organizations’
particular characteristics.
The purpose of this publication is to present the
lessons learned from the different approaches to
working with partners, based on TNC’s experi-
ence with the Parks in Peril Program. This publica-
tion includes experiences gleaned from protected
areas in Latin America and the Caribbean that have
received support from PiP.
This publication has four main sections. Chapter 2
outlines the different approaches TNC has taken to
working with its partners in the framework of PiP,
including a description of the tools used as well as
their most signifcant results. Chapter 3 presents
the lessons learned from the process of working
with the partners, from both the perspective of
TNC and that of the local organizations. Some of
the experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean
are included in Chapter 4, while Chapter 5 presents
conclusions and fnal refections.
The core of the Conservancy’s approach is to build
partnerships to ensure conservation of large landscape
areas, preserving the best examples of natural diversity
in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
(ßtstcot e| s/.. `998]
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As a fundamental principle, the process of selecting
and establishing partnerships should have a concrete
objective that contributes to achieving the institu-
tion’s conservation aims. TNC has defned a cycle of
basic elements that follow an adaptive management
scheme to establish goals and priorities, develop
strategies, take actions, and measure results, as illus-
trated in Figure 1. Partnerships must be established
in such a way that they are incorporated into this
scheme. This implies that the partnerships should
contribute to achieving specifc goals and priori-
ties related to the parties’ common areas of interest
through the development of joint strategies that are
put into action and, later, periodically evaluated.
In the process of selecting and establishing relations
with partners—either individual organizations or
coalitions made up of several institutions—TNC
recommends the use of a tool that makes it pos-
sible to identify these organizations’ limitations and
strengths, reach agreement on and negotiate critical
aspects of the partnership, and, in general, make
the best decisions to further the objectives of the
joint work. The stages presented in the following
graphic and table have sought to guide the work of
PiP —as well as other TNC programs— in different
approaches; these stages constitute a systematic
framework of guidance known as the Partnership
Approach. These stages are interrelated and can
occur at different points in time over the course of
Figure 1. Conservation by Design:
A strategic framework for mission success
establish
goals and priorities
measure
results
develop
strategies
take actions
3outce. TNC. 2007b
a partnership. The specifc time and way in which
these stages are implemented depends on different
local realities, the stage the partnership is in —
beginning, under implementation, or ending— and
the particular context of the work being done with
the organizations (TNC, 2007a).
During the implementation of PiP, several approaches
to working with the selected partners were estab-
lished. The following approaches refer to the main
processes used with them.
2. Approaches to working with partners
Figure 2. Partnership development cycle
PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CYCLE
Identification Selection Establishment Implementation Evaluation and
adaptation
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6
Operational Steps
Selection
based on due
diligence
Negociation
Partnership
agreement
Identification
of partners
Work plan
Assessment of
the partnership
3outce. TNC. 2007s
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2.1. Strengthening of individual partner
organizationS
During the design of PiP, it was observed that the
governments of most of the prospective countries
faced fscal diffculties that limited their capacity to
provide economic support for management of the
protected areas. Therefore, it was decided that one
of the frst critical stages, to be carried out in tandem
with the joint conservation actions, should be to
offer multi-annual funding packages within the
framework of agreements with appropriate authori-
ties, to strengthen the agencies directly responsible
for managing the areas, as well as other, mainly non-
governmental, organizations with the interest and
capacity to contribute to conservation of protected
areas
3
(Brandon et al., 1998). These organizations
were thereafter considered partners. The specifc
strengthening and capacity-building needs were
identifed through a participatory and open process
involving TNC and these partner organizations.
In addition to providing fnancial support, PiP
supplied local partner organizations with technical
assistance to increase their capacity to support
protected area administrators in their manage-
ment roles. This assistance included support with
hiring and training staff, building infrastructure
and providing equipment, developing inventories,
monitoring biodiversity, controlling illegal activities,
carrying out environmental education actions, and
mitigating threats to the areas through community
work. The aim was to facilitate the means for orga-
nizations to acquire a series of capacities,
4
based on
their particular circumstances that coincide with
Table 1. Stages in the establishment of partnerships
Stages description. this stage:
Identifcation and Selection
1. identifcation of
partners
Identifes the possible governmental agencies, corporations, non-proft
organizations, community groups, multilateral agencies, and non-governmental
organizations, among others, that can contribute to the management of protected
areas and have the corresponding interest and capacity to design and implement
action strategies.
2. Selection of
partners based on
due diligence
Includes research and dialogue with the group of organizations identifed in Stage
1. Due diligence supports identifcation of the management risks and considerations
that can affect the decision concerning the feasibility of establishing the partnership
and how it should be done. This process makes it possible to estimate the
conservation and sustainable use opportunities that can be addressed through the
partnership with each organization in particular. The result of this stage is selection
of the partners.
Formalization of Agreements
3. negotiation Considers a structured set of discussion points, which are used to cover various
topics such as: the objectives of the partnership; expected results; use of logos;
terms of the partnership; the geographic, methodological, conceptual, and thematic
focus of the joint work; funding needs and sources; procedures for resolving
differences, etc.
4. agreement for
the formation of the
partnership
Refers to the legal document describing the framework for the partnership that was
negotiated in the previous stage.
5. Work plan Includes the design of a periodic plan of activities including the main actions,
persons responsible for implementation and funding, and the schedule of activities.
Monitoring and Evaluation
6. assessment of the
partnership
Establishes indicators that will enable measurement of the partnership’s progress in
terms of benefts for conservation as well as the costs to achieve these benefts. This
stage includes the implementation of monitoring and evaluation activities that make
it possible to measure impacts and obtain lessons learned.
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those identifed by Lockwood et al. (2006) as being
the most essential for protected area management:
The capacity to conceptualize, formulate,
and implement policies, laws, strategies, and
programs.
The capacity to promote agreements and
generate consensus among the stakeholders
involved.
The capacity to generate and disseminate
information and knowledge.
The capacity to monitor, evaluate, report on,
and learn from the lessons generated.
In addition to the above-mentioned capacities, a
very important aspect of the sustainability of the
organizations supported by PiP related to the devel-
opment and improvement of their capacity to attract
funding for future work. In this phase, TNC was
concerned with using PiP to support the consoli-
dation of strong and fnancially-autonomous local
institutions (Dourojeanni, 2005). In general, the
aim was to develop the technical, analytical, and
strategic capacity of partners, so that they could
continue their work in natural resource conserva-
tion and sustainable use even after the end of PiP
funding. Capacity building and strengthening was
understood as a means to achieve conservation pur-
poses, but also as an end in itself.
In particular, support was provided through the
organization’s Institutional Development Program
and local staff hired as external consultants to offer
direct on-site technical assistance. In some cases
—despite certain diffculties— many partner capaci-
ties improved in aspects that facilitated conservation
actions in protected areas, including community
work, strategic planning, strengthening of boards of
directors, ecological monitoring, fnancial self-sus-
tainability, accounting system management, and use
of geographic information systems, among others
(Martin and Rieger, 2003).
The following chapter describes in greater detail
some of the topics covered to build the capacities of
PiP-supported organizations.
ü
ü
ü
ü
2.1.1. Application of organizational strengthening tools
To address the strategic action areas identifed as
necessary for organizational strengthening, TNC
used a variety of practical tools and methodologies
designed by TNC itself or other agencies; these
techniques were applied in the framework of PiP
according to the characteristics of each institution.
The experiences of working with partner organiza-
tions through PiP also made it possible to develop
and improve some of these tools. Table 2 shows the
strategic areas required for organizational sustain-
ability and some of the main tools developed around
these areas.
5

The Institutional Self-Assessment (ISA) has been
one of the most used institutional strengthening
tools. Systematically applied, this tool served to guide
the strengthening actions taken with a large number
of PiP partners. A frst application of the ISA instru-
ment —in a participatory setting— produces a base-
line to identify strengths and weaknesses for each
of the indicators
6
; based on that baseline, partners
then determine training priorities and ways to mon-
itor progress in achieving the goals established. The
application of the ISA tool also promotes a proac-
tive and refective attitude by staff, resulting in better
feld work outcomes, and also demonstrates organi-
zational professionalism to other potential partners
and donors.
In terms of lessons learned, the analysis of the ISA
results (self-assessments carried out by 31 partner
organizations between May 2001 and September
2002) concluded that it is advisable to have an
outside person act as a facilitator of the self-assess-
ment process as opposed to having evaluations
performed exclusively by the organization’s staff or
supported by a TNC specialist. This outside person
can promote the critical analysis of each of the insti-
tutional components to be evaluated and is gener-
ally perceived as being neutral with respect to the
results and scores obtained. The presence of a TNC
staff member may impede accurate representation
of the results since the organization may consider
TNC as a donor that will base its resource alloca-
tion decisions on the evaluation score. However, if
a TNC specialist familiar with the organization’s
history, institutional context, and relationship with
TNC is accompanied by an external facilitator who
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Table 2. Strategic areas for institutional strengthening
Qualified, committed
& competitive staff
Enabling legal &
socioeconomic
environment
Ability to promote & adapt to development
& change: Institutional development &
institutional sssessment
Effective programs
& projects
Strong support
groups/strategic
alliances
Effective resource
development
Effective financial
management
Strong leadership
Administrative
& management
structure & systems
Mission, vision &
strategic planning
Organizational
Sustainability
Mission, vision, and strategic planning. Having a vision and mission that clearly refect an institution’s aims
and goals is considered an important characteristic of an effective organization. Once a planning culture has been
established in an organization, the group should be capable of translating strategic short-, medium-, and long-
term objectives into annual plans linked to the human, fnancial, and technical resources available for their effective
implementation.
Tool: Integrated Strategic and Financial Planning for Non-governmental Organizations (McLeod et al., 2002).
URL: http://www.parksinperil.org/fles/integrated_strategic_fnancial_eng.pdf.

Strong leadership. No one style of leadership or uniform concept is suitable for all organizations and contexts
7
. In
many organizations, one of the most indicative elements of a good level of leadership is a strong, active, and committed
board of directors. Many of the most effective organizations have succeeded in creating a solid work team including the
executive director, long-standing staff members, and the members of the directorate or board of directors. This team
leads strategic actions and is capable of continually renewing itself, facing organizational changes in a positive way, and
maintaining high standards of conduct in the organization. Effective work among the managerial staff increases internal
controls and builds a level of trust that attracts potential donors.
Tool: Rumbo al Éxito: Una Guía para Juntas Directivas de Organizaciones sin Fines de Lucro. (Hitz-Sánchez et al., 1997).

administrative and management structure and systems. The growth of an organization normally implies a greater
need for administrative systems and procedures to assure donors and the public in general that the organization is well
managed. Internal requirements, such as the demand for clear human resource policies and better fling systems, can
also help to improve the process of developing management capacity. The correct balance between internal control and
operational response capacity will vary for different groups.

Qualifed, committed, and competitive staff members. Effective human resource administration is refected in a
low level of staff turnover because an employee who feels valued and rewarded is less interested in changing jobs.
In addition to the tangible (or dependable) reward of paid work, many employees fnd satisfaction in less tangible
factors such as contributing to a valuable cause, the possibility of advancing their career, and professional development
opportunities.
Tool: Human Resource Development. (López, 2001).

effective resource development. The cornerstone of an organization’s long-term fnancial viability is the development
of a comprehensive fnancing and strategic development plan integrated with other functional areas of the organization.
The process should begin by analyzing the fnancial needs established, based on the objectives and activities described
in the organization’s strategic plan. Once the strategic plan has been quantifed in monetary terms, the organization’s
fnancing needs can be identifed, a development and fundraising plan can be designed, and a strategy can be created
to expand its base of funding sources.
Tools: Integrated Strategic and Financial Planning for Non-governmental Organizations (McLeod et al., 2002).
URL: http://www.parksinperil.org/fles/integrated_strategic_fnancial_eng.pdf.
Long-term Financial Planning for Parks and Protected Areas. (TNC, 2001b).
URL: http://www.parksinperil.org/fles/fnance_english.pdf.

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approaches the task with objectivity and neutrality,
this complementarity can generate the best results.
The analysis also recommended that the presence
of at least one member of the organization’s board
of directors be a requirement for the self-assess-
ment process. To the degree possible, other agencies
working with the organization should be invited
to participate in some phase of the self-assessment
process. Having an outside perspective enables the
organization to be mindful of the perceptions of
external stakeholders when designing institutional-
strengthening plans. Finally, it is not necessary for
all of the indicators to be used in applying the self
assessment; indicators may be added, according to
the specifc characteristics of the organization to
be evaluated. In general, for the assessment to be
effective, it should be adapted to the local context,
without losing the objectivity of the indicators and
results.
With respect to the set of tools used in the organi-
zational strengthening of individual partners, several
training events were held, in addition to distrib-
uting publications developed for dissemination of
the tools. These events included the Conservation
Training Weeks (CTW) which TNC organized in
the following countries: Panama (1991), Dominican
Republic (1993), Ecuador (1995), Mexico (1997),
and United States (Miami, 1999 and 2001). These
events, attended by over 2,200 participants, were
designed to train conservation specialists in a variety
of both scientifc and administrative topics. Some of
the institutional strengthening topics covered in the
Conservation Training Weeks were:
Financial sustainability
Innovative fnancial mechanisms
Finance and human resource management
Fundraising strategies
The role of a board of directors
Management in executive transition processes
Techniques for negotiation and effective confict
resolution
Development of communication strategies.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
effective fnancial management. The organization’s accounting procedures and programs should correspond to the
organization’s stage of institutional development. The system should make it possible to generate timely fnancial reports
and to adapt the report format to respond to donor preferences. Cash fow projections make it possible to develop plans
should a liquidity defcit occur. Internal fnancial and accounting controls should facilitate auditing so as to build trust
with the donors and the general public regarding administration of their funds.
Tools: Four Pillars of Financial Sustainability. (León, 2001). URL: http://www.parksinperil.org/fles/four_pillars_eng.pdf
Core Costs and NGO Sustainability. (Ortiz, 2003). URL: http://www.parksinperil.org/fles/core_costs_eng.pdf

Strong support groups/strategic alliances/extension. The effectiveness of an organization depends increasingly on
the organization’s ability to establish mutually benefcial relationships with external entities, including other institutions,
governmental agencies, international organizations, academic institutions, communications media, community-based
groups, and the private sector.
Tools: Building Coalitions for Conservation (TNC 1999).

effective programs and projects. Good organizations develop projects and programs that ft with their declared
objectives; good organizations develop capacity to verify progress towards achieving these objectives, in order to
make corrections as they go along. They also acquire the ability to assess or estimate the impact of their work on the
achievement of their mission, which helps them obtain new funding for their programs. Many of the most effective
programs develop mechanisms to involve or commit the project’s benefciaries in the process, from design through
evaluation.

an enabling legal and socioeconomic environment. To be effective, an organization needs to operate in an
environment in which the laws, fnancial regulations, and society in general provide support for the organization’s
daily management and mission. Since the environment is not static, NGOs should get to know and interact with this
environment to improve it and make it more conducive to achieving the organization’s mission and the participation of
civil society in decision-making.

3outce. TNC. 2003s.
8 Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
The Conservation Training Weeks also served as
opportunities for the participants to learn about spe-
cifc methodologies with the potential to contribute
to their strengthening, to receive copies of recent
publications, and fnally, to be able to meet in formal
and informal settings, allowing for the exchange of
experiences and specifc products with other part-
ners working in different parts of the world.
2.1.2. Application of conservation tools for technical
strengthening
To achieve the Parks in Peril objective of contrib-
uting to development of the necessary technical and
strategic capacity to improve effective long-term
management of protected areas, it was deemed nec-
essary to increase partner organizations’ local tech-
nical capacity. This capacity refers not only to the
administrative and management elements addressed
through the tools discussed in the previous section,
but also to technical elements related to the design
and start-up of conservation activities.
Technical and scientifc capacities were strength-
ened by disseminating and applying the conservation
tools and methodologies designed by TNC to enable
organizations to support management of the areas,
either directly or through the government organiza-
tions responsible for the areas. In some cases, the
challenge involved establishing or strengthening the
environmental component of organizations primarily
focused on other development issues
8
. Some of the
tools most widely disseminated to partners were:
Rapid Ecological Assessment. This method-
ology makes it possible to carry out a fexible
and rapid study of the types of vegetation and
species in a specifc area or region. Since their
development in the 1980s, Rapid Ecological
Assessments (REAs) have undergone a pro-
cess of continual improvement based on pre-
vious experiences. According to the manual
for this methodology, “REAs use a combina-
tion of remote sensing images, surveillance
fights, feld data, and spatial data visualization
to generate useful information for multi-scale
conservation planning” (Sayre et al., 2002:
2). The tangible products of REAs are basic
biophysical data, maps, and documents that
facilitate conservation planning. Their appli-
ü
cation has also contributed to institutional
strengthening of participating organizations,
thus facilitating effective conservation work.
From the initial planning stages to the publica-
tion of the fnal report, a REA normally takes a
year to complete.
Ecoregional Conservation Planning.
9
The
purpose of this methodology is to select and
design networks of conservation sites to pre-
serve diversity of species, communities, and
ecological systems in an ecoregion. Ecoregional
plans are part of TNC’s general strategy for
conservation work and involve various stages:
ecoregional planning, site planning (described
below), the implementation of conservation
actions, and the evaluation of the effectiveness
of these actions. The product of ecoregional
planning is a portfolio of conservation sites
understood as signifcant areas for biodiversity,
which are identifed according to six criteria:
coarse-scale focus, representativeness, eff-
ciency, integration, functionality, and totality.
Since ecoregional plans generally identify more
areas than it is possible to intervene in at any
given time, it is later necessary to establish pri-
orities to select the sites (Groves et al., 2000).
“Thanks to the Parks in Peril Program in Bosawas,
I learned new training techniques and tools in the
area of institutional strengthening and biodiversity
monitoring. I learned a lot about local processes
for the CAP analysis and was even able to see
PRONATURA and TNC’s experience in Colombia
during a CAP workshop where we exchanged
experiences.”
— ß/:mstk 3sbs//o: V.. Pte:/cet|. A::oc/s|/ot lot |he
Deve/opmet| ol |he M/:k/|o: stc 3umo: ol |he Lowet
ßs:/t (AD£M3CUM]. |tc/cetou: A::oc/s|/ot /t |he L/
Lsmt/ Tett/|oty. ßo:sws:. N/cstscus
Conservation Area Planning (CAP).
10
TNC
developed this methodology to establish
priorities, develop strategies, and measure
ü
ü
Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest 9
the success of conservation projects in parks,
reserves, and other conservation areas. It has
been implemented in a participatory manner
and draws on the principle of adaptive man-
agement to develop successful conservation
strategies. The basic steps in the CAP process
are the identifcation of the main conservation
targets requiring attention, identifcation of
critical threats to these targets, development of
conservation objectives and strategic actions,
and establishment of success measures.
Site Consolidation Scorecard.
11
This score-
card was developed by TNC to assist admin-
istrators of the sites included in PiP in mea-
suring progress toward consolidation, with
consolidation understood as the moment when
the institutions responsible for managing the
site obtain the necessary resources to sup-
port long-term conservation. These resources
include fnancial, technical, and human
resources, in addition to adequate infrastruc-
ture, support from active local groups, the
capacity for strategic planning, political sup-
port, and adequate ecological information. The
scorecard consists of a series of indicators that
are periodically scored. These indicators fall
under four main categories: strategic planning,
basic on-site protection, long-term fnancing;
and support for the protected area from active
local groups.
PiP provided several members of partner organiza-
tion technical staff with training in management
of the technical tools, both directly on site and at
regional and international workshops. Conserva-
tion Training Week was one of the vehicles selected
for that purpose; in addition to offering workshops
on organizational strengthening topics, it provided
training on other topics such as the following:
Climate change and conservation policy
Conservation on private lands
Ecoregional-scale conservation
Marine resources conservation
Mapping and geographic information systems
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Coalition building for conservation
Participatory planning
Compatible economic development
Ecotourism with communities and the private
sector
“The PiP Project helped CIDEDER to have updated
management tools and this gives us a competitive
advantage over other NGOs.”
— |//mst J. Mot|sño N.. C|D£D£R Acm/t/:|ts|ot. ßo//v/s
Learning about these topics—together with specifc
training on the application of the tools—supported
technical strengthening of the partners, which were
able to make use of the methodologies in other areas
of their work besides PiP. It was also possible for the
partners to disseminate the technical tools to other
local stakeholders. The responsibility for imple-
menting various PiP activities gave the local partners
the opportunity to develop and apply the conserva-
tion planning tools (TNC, 1995).
2.1.3. The effects of strengthening individual partners
One of the main challenges presented by the strate-
gies for working with partners consisted of defning
the appropriate time to suspend support for an
organization’s institutional development. In certain
circumstances where it has been determined that
satisfactory levels have not yet been reached, it has
been advisable—technical and fnancial resources
and time permitting—to continue supporting the
institutional strengthening of key organizations in
topics such as strategic planning, fnancial manage-
ment, political administration, and communication
strategies. In cases where the decision is made to
continue with the strengthening processes, issues
related to fnancial sustainability and resource man-
agement have been identifed over and over again as
a priority for partners
12
.
ü
ü
ü
ü
`0 Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
In many cases, the decision of when to reduce or
suspend support for strengthening was guided by
the results of the Institutional Self-Assessment,
insofar as it facilitated determining whether the
organizations had advanced satisfactorily with
respect to the different criteria. According to Polly
Morrison, Institutional Development Director for
TNC’s Andean and Southern Cone Division until
2003, “The process of ceasing to strengthen orga-
nizations is often a natural one, when it is clear that
the organization already has the necessary basic ele-
ments and what is being offered does not generate
any added value.”
13
After observing a number of cases and gathering
partner experiences with the process of organiza-
tional and technical strengthening, several minimum
elements have been identifed that partners should
be expected to have for their sustainability:
Strategic planning with a concrete defnition
of the partner’s vision, mission, and objectives.
Purposes that are clear and acceptable to the
local community.
Good relations with the government through
formal and informal communications and
working agreements. This enables the partner
to advocate for institutionalization of natural
resource conservation and sustainable use pro-
cesses in protected areas.
Authority and legitimacy to make decisions
about the natural resources on the site.
Ability to raise funds based on a diverse port-
folio of possibilities.
Clear leadership within the organization, espe-
cially represented on the board of directors or
in the group of associates who will sustain the
decisions over the long term.
Ability for the organization to renew itself
and adapt to institutional and environmental
changes.
Having technical support from experts in dif-
ferent disciplines and topics.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Staff including people from the region.
A transparent accountability system and
system for monitoring the organization’s
actions.
In addition, if organizations receive large amounts
of funds without the guidance of strategic plan-
ning, this can generate dependence by the partners,
which does not lead to fnancial self-sustainability.
Funds that are relatively easy to receive carry the
risk of the leaders of the organizations abandoning
the task of raising suffcient local unrestricted funds
to cover basic operating costs and maintain a base
of support that grants legitimacy and local support
(Dourojeanni, 2005). Therefore, the means used
to strengthen the organization should seek to create
capacity for the generation of fnancial and technical
resources from other funding sources, as well as self-
generated resources suffcient to cover part or all of
the recurring costs.
For example, in Ecuador, in response to USAID and
TNC requirements, partner organizations working
on the conservation of the Condor Biosphere
Reserve began to develop institutional fnancing
plans in an effort to reduce their dependence on the
fnancial resources of these foreign organizations.
This was done with support from the non-proft
organization PACT Ecuador, which specializes
in institutional development and was contracted
to work with Ecociencia and the Antisana and
Rumicocha Foundations. In the PiP self-assess-
ment conducted in 2005, the overall dependence
of the organizations on external resources had been
reduced from 100% at the start of the project to 40%
at the time of the assessment—with some being
more successful than others. Work in the following
years concentrated on ensuring that most of the
partners’ activities had other sources of fnancing
or they had managed to transfer responsibilities to
other organizations such as the Ministry of Environ-
ment, community organizations, private landowners,
or municipalities.
In addition to the aforementioned example related
to Ecuador, the group of PiP partners made positive
progress toward fnancial sustainability. This prog-
ress was confrmed by the results of the Scorecard,
which included the fnancial self-sustainability of
ü
ü
Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest ``
the partner NGOs as one of its indicators. This indi-
cator sought to analyze the degree of fnancial self-
sustainability that enabled the NGOs to continue to
function indefnitely as either protected area admin-
istrators or partners of the responsible government
agency, or otherwise. According to the proposed
model, a consolidated protected area would be sup-
ported by a local NGO that had developed a strategy
to achieve its own economic self-suffciency, and
had begun its implementation and monitoring. The
benchmarks for this indicator are as follows:
5 NGO fully implementing plan
14
for achieving
operational self-suffciency, results corresponding
approximately to goals set.
4 NGO has completed plan for operational self-
suffciency and has begun implementation and
monitoring of results.
3 NGO completing plan for operational self-suffciency.
2 NGO beginning plan for operational self-suffciency.
1 NGO has no plan for achieving operational
self-suffciency.
The average of the results for this indicator for the
main non-governmental partners in 31 of the sites
15

supported by the PiP program is recorded in the fol-
lowing table. This table shows a positive evolution in
the scores for the year PiP began supporting the site,
the year it ended support, and the score generated
for 2007.
Table 3. Average of results for the indicator
“Financial Self-Sustainability of Partner NGOs”
16
first Year
Score
last Year
Score 2007 Score
average 1.58 3.58 3.52
An example of progress toward fnancial self-sus-
tainability is that of Programme for Belize (PfB),
responsible for the Río Bravo Conservation and
Management Area. PfB achieved the commercializa-
tion of wood certifed by the U.S. and U.K. certifers
Smartwood and Woodmark, which recognized this
organization’s compliance with strict environmental
sustainability requirements. The 2004 evaluation
report on PiP and the 2005 Work Plan for the
Amboro-Carrasco National Parks in Bolivia also
emphasize the satisfactory progress the Fundación
Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) made in generating
unrestricted funds through the publication of books
and other materials. The organization has also car-
ried out studies and consultancies for government
agencies in exchange for resources (TNC, 2005).
Besides working on fnancial self-sustainability,
these almost 30 partner organizations received
various tools and instruments provided by PiP
according to their particular needs for technical and
strategic strengthening. The purpose of these tools
was to boost their capacity to effectively manage
protected areas and/or establish effective collabo-
ration efforts with government agencies and local
area stakeholders in the future. Strengthening the
capacities of several of these organizations’ leaders
contributed to the formation of a network of people
committed to creation and growth of the conserva-
tion NGO sector in Latin America and the Carib-
bean. In turn, this strengthening of leaders gener-
ated multiplier effects in partner organization staff,
as well as in other related organizations.
Furthermore, according to the fnal report on the
1996-2002 phase of PiP, partner capacity increased
in different areas such as the strengthening of their
boards of directors, strategic planning, fnancial
accounting, ecological monitoring, and geographic
information system-based analysis, among others
(TNC, 2002). The 2002 report also shows other
results worth noting:
30 of the 37 sites supported by PiP in this
period completed long-term fnancial plans
and the remaining sites began the process in
2002. As a result of these plans, three of the
sites —Río Bravo in Belize, and Amboró and
Noel Kempff in Bolivia— managed to raise
suffcient funds to fnance all of the operating
costs of these protected areas.
The fnancial planning methodology developed
by PiP in 1995, later improved in 1999, was
widely adapted by the partners and other orga-
nizations involved in the sites. For example,
Peru’s National Institute of Natural Resources
used the methodology for all of the country’s
federal protected areas.
Finally, an additional example is that of ProNatura
Noreste A.C.,
17
which has been TNC’s partner in
the Cuatro Ciénegas Valley. According to Miguel
Angel Cruz and Arturo Lerma, this institution man-
ü
ü
`2 Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
When Parks in Peril began its work in La Amistad Inter-
national Park (Parque Internacional La Amistad, PILA),
expectations were very soon created among commu-
nities and local and national organizations regarding
access to available resources to carry out joint activities.
However, the actions did not begin with the selection of
partners but, rather, with design of the Conservation Area
Plan, based on which threats to conservation and priori-
ties for work were identifed. The process of developing
the plan was complemented by intense reconnaissance
and validation feld work carried out by Felipe Carazo,
PiP Coordinator in PILA. The purpose of these feld trips
consisted of “understanding the site, getting to know its
dynamics so as to be able to make the best decisions.”
“It was totally clear to us that without Felipe Carazo’s
participation, it would have been very hard for us to
have access to these resources since it is easier for these
organizations [TNC] to continue to give resources
to larger organizations than ours. It was a diffcult
but rewarding time, since after overcoming so many
problems, we were considered one of the groups that
responded the best. The resources were used to full
advantage and the investment was clearly justifed.”
—Yetcty 3uJtez. membet ol |he Ouetcu: Commut/|y
Ne|wotk. /t|etv/ew. Jute 7. 2007]
The feld trips and focus group meetings made it possible
to become acquainted with the potential stakeholders in
the different areas of PILA and its buffer zones. However,
before determining who to work with, it was important
to determine the places and issues to work on,
19
and
—depending on the above conclusions— to identify the
most suitable partners. In this way, “efforts and processes
were prioritized based on the strategies established in
the Conservation Area Plan and on available resources.” It
was also important to coordinate efforts and seek agree-
ments between TNC in Panama and Costa Rica, and to
estimate the complementary funding requirements.
According to Felipe Carazo, no complaints were received
from those institutions that were visited during the recon-
naissance trips but were not selected to carry out joint
work. This was because false expectations were not cre-
ated; the objectives and strategies were clearly explained
at the appropriate time. Later, mechanisms were sought
to carry out the specifc actions as cost-effectively as
possible in accordance with the structure of selected
partners, their nature —local organization, regional or
national NGO, or government agency—and their adminis-
trative restrictions.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) was the
frst partner in Costa Rica’s Pacifc region, since there were
no local non-governmental and community institutions
with suffcient capacity to undertake joint conservation
actions. Thus, it was decided that the partner to start with
would be this government agency, which would jointly
support the process of building and/or strengthening local
partners —that is, strengthening existing communities
in the buffer zone to create organizations and networks
among them. In this and other cases, strengthening
community organizations and formatting networks were
among the priorities established for management of PILA.
“The easiest thing” would have been to give economic
resources to strong, already-existing national organiza-
tions, but PiP took the risk of promoting the formation
of community organizations. The national organizations
were not given all of the responsibility and resources
because according to Felipe Carazo:
“I don’t think it is effective in the long run for a partner
to show up to work on a site only in connection with a
project because once the project ends, it leaves the site.
The priority should be to develop a lasting, long-term
vision by institutions from the area. These are the site’s
partners, not TNC. They may be a community, an NGO,
or a government agency —these are the groups who
need to be present, because the others leave.”
In the case of MINAE in Costa Rica, responsibilities were
gradually delegated for community organizations like La
Amistad Producers Association (ASOPROLA)
20
to take
charge of some activities, such as the organization and
implementation of workshops, in place of MINAE. The
goal was to reduce dependence on MINAE and gen-
erate capacity for organizations to administer, implement,
monitor, and account for the use of resources.
case 1
Identifcation and strengthening of partners in La Amistad International Park, Costa Rica and Panama
18
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aged to reduce its operating costs from an annual
average of 30% to 15%, as a result of institutional
strengthening focusing on: the design and imple-
mentation of a technical and fnancial planning
exercise for the short term (1 year), medium term
(5 years) and long term (10 years); the implementa-
tion of different fundraising strategies; and training
in the development of Conservation Plans, land
protection and other conservation instruments and
environmental incentives. Appropriate administra-
tive, fnancial, and technical monitoring activities
were also adopted, and staff capacity was increased
for project design, proposal development, and dif-
ferent techniques and standards applied to land and
water protection.
2.2. KnoWledge tranSfer bY individual
partnerS
In 1995, a goal
21
was added to PiP that consisted of
using PiP site-based activities to infuence conser-
vation at other sites in the region’s most imperiled
ecosystems. The central purpose of this goal was to
capitalize on the experiences and lessons learned
from the different areas where work was done,
including organizational strengthening, and to dis-
seminate these lessons through publications and
venues for knowledge exchange and training. With
the acquired capacities, TNC and partners whose
institutional capacity showed a signifcant degree of
growth would be able to extend their experiences to
Another important aspect considered in the selection of
partners was whether the organizations had staff with
leadership and motivation, in addition to the specifc
technical strengths to carry out the activities. It was
important to not give in to implementation pressures and
end up distributing all of the fnancial resources among
those having the greatest capacity for implementation.
The agreements established with these organizations
provided them with larger amounts and greater admin-
istrative demands, but a certain amount of resources
was set aside for allocation to local organizations whose
members lived in the different regions.
A key element of working with partners was to maintain
a humble attitude, which made it possible to recognize
organizational achievements as well as actions carried
out by third parties, and to generate conditions in which
the organizations’ strengths and weaknesses could be
openly recognized. It is also fundamental to establish
mechanisms for both parties to be accountable to each
other. If this “is done in a framework of relations of
trust and transparency, it is well received,” notes Felipe
Carazo. The three key words are: patience, transparency
and trust.
The strengthening of partners in the PILA can be divided
into two types. The frst type is direct or structured
strengthening through training on organizational topics
related to specifc areas of the organization. This was car-
ried out in the ANAI Association and the National Biodi-
versity Institute (INBio), for example, following guidance
provided by the Institutional Self-Assessment tool. At the
beginning of PiP, there were not many resources, espe-
cially human ones, to develop strengthening activities
with other organizations in the PILA. However, the TNC
offce in Costa Rica now has one person in charge of
institutional strengthening, who has worked with various
organizations. The scheme of work has consisted of TNC
staff designing the strengthening process and of another
outside person later being hired to implement it.
Second, indirect or practical strengthening allows
learning-by-doing by involving the organizations in the
development of concrete activities. For example, the
fact that the local organizations had managed small
contracts gradually exposed them to being account-
able, thus strengthening their capacities. This has been
accomplished by strictly monitoring work plans, but
showing a certain fexibility to allow for learning and
adaptation. According to Felipe Carazo, it has been a
“support process with a very fne line between meddling
and supporting them to help them with their doubts on
fnancial matters, and to ensure that their reporting is
working. This is capacity strengthening without gener-
ating dependence.” In this way, the same organizations
have gradually come to know their capacities, their ability
to improve, and their potential to strengthen other local
organizations.
In PILA, a combination of both direct and indirect
strengthening processes is ideal. Direct strengthening
processes have been and are essential in certain areas
such as fundraising and fnancial sustainability. Organi-
zations have been encouraged to seek out and knock
on the doors of agencies with the potential to grant
resources. However, practical instruction on this matter is
important. It is currently estimated that indirect strength-
ening is necessary to support enforcement and formaliza-
tion of the organizations and community networks that
have been created in PILA.
`´ Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
other organizations for the explicit purpose of sup-
porting and/or implementing conservation activities
(Brandon et al., 1998).
Within the framework of this goal, and with eco-
nomic and technical support from PiP or autono-
mously, some partners in Latin America and the
Caribbean supported the evolution of other organi-
zations, especially in situations where it was neces-
sary to group together a larger number of organiza-
tions and to promote mechanisms for consensus
among different stakeholders, and at different levels
(Brandon et al., 1998). Likewise, some partners
modifed their approach, going from the direct
implementation of actions in the feld to the facili-
tation of processes which other organizations are
responsible for implementing. Several PiP partners
gradually became regional experts in training, partic-
ipatory conservation, and strategic planning, sharing
their experiences with others or performing work
through other organizations.
These processes contributed to strengthening the
sector of organizations involved in conservation and
sustainable use of protected areas. These processes
also allowed TNC to expand its network of partner
organizations with which to carry out joint actions,
thus gradually modifying the initial strategy of one
partner per site.
A successful example worth mentioning
22
took place
in Paraguay with the Moisés Bertoni Foundation
(FMB) created in 1988. In 1992, FMB assumed
protection of the Mbaracayu Natural Reserve after
acquiring this territory which had been in private
hands. From that year until 1996, PiP supported
FMB in different activities aimed at effective man-
agement of the Reserve, as well as in its institutional
FUNDICCEP, originally called the Foundation for the
Integral Development of the Cerro Punta District, is a
Panamanian organization whose objective is to promote
the sustainable development of the communities located
in the buffer zone of La Amistad Biosphere Reserve in
Panama. It was created in a process prior to PiP that
was supported by Conservation International within the
framework of a project known as AMISCONDE, which
began in 1994.
At the beginning of PiP work in the region, it was pro-
posed that a subagreement be reached with FUN-
DICCEP for implementation of conservation and sus-
tainable use actions in its area of infuence. However,
based on a joint evaluation, it was determined that the
organization was not prepared to assume the adminis-
trative demands of a subagreement, and also that the
necessary bonds of trust did not yet exist between the
parties. Therefore, FUNDICCEP received PiP support for
its strengthening, especially for training members and
improving its administrative and accounting structure.
Based on a self-assessment process, FUNDICCEP was
able to recognize its weaknesses and PiP took the neces-
sary corresponding actions to support FUNDICCEP
strengthening.
By implementing specifc contracts to carry out project
activities, FUNDICCEP gradually improved its technical
and operational capacities so that its work began to be
guided by clearly defned purposes and specifc goals
with defnite deadlines. Likewise, the organization learned
to assume the requirements involved in managing fnan-
cial resources from international sources such as USAID.
Since FUNDICCEP was considered a partner of the
site —that is, as an institution with a sense of long-term
ownership and continuity— the work involved in strength-
ening it was justifed. This process not only contributed to
overcoming the organization’s weaknesses, but it estab-
lished a relationship of trust and transparency, both of
which are key elements of a successful partnership.
Thanks to its strengthened institutional capacity,
FUDICCEP is now equipped to promote the formation
and strengthening of several organizations belonging to
the Alliance Network for the Environmental Development
of the Highlands (ADATA), which operates in Panama’s
Pacifc region. Fourteen environmental and development
organizations located in the Chiriquí highlands belong
to ADATA. FUNDICCEEP has led in the strengthening
of organizations making up ADATA. On a local level,
FUNDICCEEP implements technical assistance programs
for grassroots organizations on sustainable agropro-
duction models, formal and non-formal environmental
case 2
FUNDICCEP, an organization that strengthens others in La Amistad International Park, Panama
23
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strengthening. FMB became a regional leader in
different areas, including fundraising from various
sources. This leadership was expanded in different
areas and allowed FMB to support the creation and
strengthening of other conservation organizations in
the country, such as the Foundation for the Sus-
tainable Development of the Chaco, which in turn
became a PiP partner starting in 1998. The FMB
also provided support to Aché indigenous groups,
which hold exploitation rights to the Reserve’s
resources. The FMB created the International
Center for Training in Management of Environ-
mental NGOs (CICOAM) as a center to support
institutional strengthening of environmental organi-
zations in functional areas such as the establishment
of boards of directors and fnancial management,
among other aspects of organizational development.
TNC later supported CICOAM so that it could
serve to guide the strengthening of local service
providers, who in turn would contribute to sharing
lessons about the strengthening process with other
organizations.
In Costa Rica, the National Biodiversity Institute
(INBio) had the opportunity, based on its participa-
tion in a PiP activity, to translate scientifc knowl-
edge into training materials suitable for use with
communities located in Costa Rica’s Pacifc zone, in
La Amistad International Park. In this way, INBio
was able to transfer knowledge and contribute to the
strengthening of a number of local organizations,
such as those belonging to the Quercus Community
Network, in areas such as biological monitoring,
fre control, and scientifc research on biodiversity,
among others. The possibility of translating scien-
tifc material into simple, easy-to-understand for-
mats was also an institutional strengthening process
for INBio.
education, and institutional strengthening, among other
topics. ADATA regularly holds meetings for coordinating,
exchanging experiences, strengthening, and program
evaluating, and those who attend ADATA meetings par-
ticipate on equal terms. The representatives who attend
ADATA’s meetings commit themselves to disseminate the
results in their respective institutions.
FUNDICCEP has assumed the role of continually
updating information on results of these meetings by
generating news bulletins that are widely disseminated.
FUNDICCEP has carried out its support of other institu-
tions, in its role as a second-level organization, with the
aim of “each group growing so that it doesn’t depend
on us.” One way of achieving this has been to promote
projects that generate economic resources for the
producers belonging to the organizations. FUNDICCEP
has involved organizations in the activities so that they
assume responsibilities; it has guided and advised them,
but they have had the freedom and the space to make
their own decisions.
FUNDICCEP is aware that it will need to reconsider
the scope of its work as the process of strengthening
organizations continues to be successful and these
organizations become empowered. Accordingly, changes
in its structure and statutes have already been proposed,
beginning with its name. Although it continues to be
FUNDICCEP, its full name is now Foundation for Integral
Community Development and Ecosystem Conservation in
Panama, which allows it to have greater geographic and
thematic coverage. These changes also seek to move
away from the specifc activities the grassroots organiza-
tions are already capable of carrying out, and for FUN-
DICCEP and strengthened organizations to not compete
with each other over resources. Work with the grassroots
organizations that are suffciently strengthened consists
of monitoring and advising, while those in which weak-
nesses have been detected will continue to be strength-
ened. FUNDICCEP has learned that it is not possible to
take the same approach with all organizations, but rather
that it is necessary to make adjustments after under-
standing the organization’s characteristics, idiosyncrasies,
and level of development.
Finally, FUNDICCEP recognizes the need to continue
strengthening its relationship with international orga-
nizations like TNC, but without becoming dependent,
especially since it realizes that these organizations
are dynamic and can change policies and agendas,
which would infuence the type of support they give. In
response to this, and recognizing that fnancial resources
are limited, FUNDICCEP proposes to establish partner-
ships with international and other organizations so that
together they can request resources from additional
sources. FUNDICCEP knows its capacity for joint work,
has negotiating power, has earned respect on a national
level, and does not need to wait for others to manage its
resources.
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“Personally, this has been one of the projects that has
most motivated me in my 15 years at the Institute, one
that has most educated me and increased my awareness
in community work – it has been very motivating. At
INBio we are very enthused with the process that we have
generated, and we will of course continue to do all we can
to can to sustain it. We have started this process and we are
not going to give up on it. That is why we are partners with
TNC, because we have the capacity to continue the process
as far as we are able and we are committed to what we are
doing.”
V//ms Obstco. |Nß/o. |t|etv/ew. Jute 5. 2007
This situation in which PiP partners supported
strengthening other organizations to develop and
implement natural resource conservation and sus-
tainable use actions has not been the case in all coun-
tries and with all partners. In some cases, organiza-
tions did not have the strength or sense of direction
to help others move forward, the institutional frame-
work did not allow it, or they preferred to maintain a
profle dedicated to one site and objective in partic-
ular. In other cases, partner work was extended to an
even larger scale where they promoted and/or par-
ticipated in the coordination of not only civil society
organizations, but also public and private ones, as will
be seen in the next chapter.
“Thank you because you helped us to grow, and enabled
us to help other organizations under ours to grow as well.
That has allowed us to have many more zealous eyes
watching over the tremendous potential the valuable La
Amistad International Park has not only for Panama and
Costa Rica, but for the whole world.”
— C/scy: Roct/cuez. |utcsv/:sp. Jute 5. 2007
2.3. Support for interinStitutional WorK
and coalition building
Particularly after the second phase of the Parks in
Peril project began in 2002, TNC recognized that
in addition to the importance of giving continuity
to support for conservation actions in specifc sites,
investments were need at a larger scale including
different sites, landscapes, ecosystems, and even
countries. On this scale, previously strengthened
partners would serve as a platform to promote
natural resource conservation and sustainable use
beyond individual areas to favor larger-scale, site-
level actions, as well as the effective management of
new protected areas and protected area systems.
This approach, which is centered on building and
strengthening multi-organizational groups —called
a “coalition” in this publication— that works toward
natural resource conservation and sustainable use,
grew out of the recognition that conservation pro-
grams require establishment of agreements among
local, regional, and national governmental organi-
zations and civil society, community, and private
organizations. To work at larger scales requires coor-
dinated participation of a variety of organizations
which together offer several features: a solid scien-
tifc foundation, the integration of different per-
spectives, effective public policies, a good capacity
for law enforcement, the commitment to establish
complementary and cumulative efforts, permanent
initiatives in the area of education, and active public
participation (Flores et al., 2005).
This coalition approach has become the necessary
way of working toward achievement of the goal
TNC has set for 2015, which raised expectations
in terms of speed, effectiveness, and the number of
conservation areas which should be supported in the
future.
24
To meet this goal, in the next ten years, it
will be necessary to approximately double the con-
servation results achieved in the last 50 years. This
will require implementation of strategies which help
to expand the scale and impact of the interventions.
Building coalitions for conservation has also been
considered an appropriate mechanism to facilitate
the implementation of the Program of Work on
Protected Areas, established in 2004 during the
Seventh Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the
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Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The
Program determined the objectives, goals, and time
frames for each of the signing countries to support
the establishment and maintenance of complete
national and regional protected areas which are
effectively administered and fnanced, and ecologi-
cally representative (Flores et al., 2005).
As a result, in addition to continuing to work at the
site-level, PiP initiated the development of strate-
gies known as Multi-Site Strategies, which were
developed throughout Latin America and the Carib-
bean. These strategies were designed to promote
actions that would address conservation-related
issues operating at a higher level than the site. Since
this approach aimed at a larger scale of intervention,
it required the establishment and management of
interinstitutional relations, not only with the original
partner organizations but also with the govern-
ment agencies with authority over conservation and
sustainable use, and with private and civil society
organizations. These relations would lead to the
establishment of coalitions to apply innovative and
far-reaching methodologies and tools. The strate-
gies would strengthen the mechanisms for the local
partners to transfer their learning to other sites and
organizations.
The new approach also included support for the
creation and strengthening of international partner-
ships with the capacity to: (i) maximize biodiversity
conservation in high-priority ecoregions; (ii) address
complex threats having an impact on several sites
within national, regional, and international land-
scapes; (iii) mobilize fnancial resources; and (iv)
strengthen the capacity of networks of organizations
created to share experiences and best practices. The
element of cohesion among the organizations was
not only geographic—that is, related to the conserva-
tion of an area or landscape—but also thematic, such
as conservation on private lands.
For TNC, the establishment of national and inter-
national coalitions has made it possible to achieve
different objectives: the collaborative and participa-
tory implementation of various management activi-
ties in protected areas; the capacity to infuence
political agendas; the exchange and generation of
scientifc information; the mobilization of public
and private fnancing; and the generation of lessons
learned (Hardy, 2005b).
PiP has supported the development of tools which
facilitate strengthening these coalitions. In addition
to the tools in the Resources for Success series,
25
a
new publication was produced entilted Protected
Area Conservation Coalitions: A Guide for Evalua-
tion and Strengthening. This publication contains a
practical, accessible, and easy-to-use methodology
to defne actions aimed at strengthening conserva-
tion coalitions. The publication also provides a tool
to periodically evaluate coalition effectiveness in the
management of protected areas and, based on the
results, to strengthen their capacities. This tool was
based on the Institutional Self-Assessment carried
out by the individual organizations, but the indica-
tors were adapted to coalition
26
conditions based
on the previous self-assessment experience and the
results of interviews with members of the coalitions
which cooperated in the process of adapting the
tool. The tool allows each coalition to include addi-
tional indicators tailored to its own characteristics
and purposes in addition to the main indicators. It is
recommended that this tool be applied to help coali-
tions establish and clarify their priorities, correct
their weaknesses, improve their work plans, increase
the mobilization of funds, and optimize their moni-
toring and evaluation capacity, among other benefts
(Flores et al., 2005).
Finally, in some cases strengthening individual
partner organizations was continued primarily with
the objective of them becoming catalysts and pro-
moters of larger-scale processes integrated with
other organizations.
2.3.1. Cases of interinstitutional work in Latin
America and the Caribbean
Of the interinstitutional coalition-level actions to
which PiP contributed in some way, the following
cases are worth noting because of their complexity,
the number of people involved, and aspects of their
implementation.
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National Implementation Support Partnership
(NISP)
One of TNC’s strategic priorities supported by
PiP consisted of facilitating Latin American and
Caribbean countries’ implementation of the com-
mitments contained in the Program of Work on
Protected Areas established at the Seventh Confer-
ence of the Parties (COP7) to the Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD). For that purpose, dif-
ferent national and international institutions signed
agreements to establish coalitions for conservation.
The main justifcation for promoting these agree-
ments was the conviction that it would be very hard
to make and sustain long-term progress toward the
conservation of the protected area systems if organi-
zations were not willing to work in coalitions.
Agreements for civil society support to national gov-
ernments (National Implementation Support Part-
nerships or NISPs) have been signed between gov-
ernments in different countries of Latin America and
the Caribbean, and national and international NGOs
such as TNC, Conservation International (CI),
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS). Through these agree-
ments, each country establishes common actions
related to its national system of protected areas, to be
implemented by the coalition of organizations. The
agreements have become a signifcant political tool
to bring about an important rapprochement among
national and international NGOs, and among these
organizations and government agencies. These part-
nerships have also facilitated increased fundraising
from the current donors, as well as new agencies inter-
ested in collaborating. The NISPs have facilitated the
exchange of information on the different organiza-
tion agendas and work plans, established consensus
around the management of protected area systems,
and promoted coordinated interinstitutional work.
The NISPs have also made it possible to improve the
strengths of local NGOs and government agencies in
protected area planning, based on the use of scientifc
knowledge-based methods and standards.
“The NISP agreements have achieved the greatest
increase in the number of associations in the history of
TNC.”
(|/ote: e| s/.. 2005. 5]
The NISPs have mainly organized themselves around
the implementation of three of the activities sug-
gested by the Program of Work:
1. Completing national-level gap analyses of the pro-
tected areas.
2. Assessing training and capacity-building require-
ments and needs for protected area management.
3. Establishing and implementing fnancing plans to
achieve the two previous objectives and the sus-
tainability of the country’s protected areas.
While individual NISPs are adjusted to the specifc
needs of each country, the three above-mentioned
activities are common to all of them. The details and
expected outcomes are mainly coordinated with gov-
ernmental and non-governmental agencies respon-
sible for managing the protected area system. In this
way, the activities are integrated into planning for the
system.
By way of an example, one of the Multi-Site Strate-
gies which PiP supported on a regional level consisted
of establishing NISPs in the Caribbean countries,
particularly in Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic,
Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
(OECS). These negotiations took between six months
and two years to complete. NISP Committees were
established in each country with participation by all
organizations which signed the agreement and other
key government agencies. These Committees meet
between two and four times per year to present the
progress made on the activities carried out.
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Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA)
27
Members of the CFA
TNC, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Conservation
International (CI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), World Con-
servation Union (IUCN), German Agency for Technical
Cooperation (GTZ), Danish International Development
Agency (DANIDA), German Development Bank (KfW),
Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO), National Parks
Conservation Association (NPCA), Tropical Forest Con-
servation Act Secretariat – USAID, UNESCO’s Man and
the Biosphere Program (MAB), United Nations Devel-
opment Program (UNDP), United Nations Environment
Program (UNEP), Ramsar Convention on Wetlands,
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Conservation Data
Center (CDC), and the Latin American and Caribbean
Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC).
The work of the CFA has been supported by a group
of member organizations including the World Bank, the
National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), SANet
(Sustainable Alternatives Network), and the Global
Environment Fund (GEF). Chemonics also participates
as an observer.
In 2002, the Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA)
was created with support from TNC and other
organizations and is comprised of a multidisciplinary
group of international conservation organizations
and donors with extensive experience in fnancial
sustainability. The CFA was created to promote
coordination of actions and to catalyze existing
funding for biodiversity conservation from public
and private sources, and thus to support the effec-
tive implementation of global conservation commit-
ments.
28
The main element of cohesion for this vol-
untary partnership is the priority the organizations
give to conservation fnancing. The main activities it
carries out are:
Informing strategic agencies and persuading
them to commit their support. This purpose
is achieved through Strategic Communication,
which develops and disseminates materials
on the importance of fnancing mechanisms
for conservation and how to apply them. The
web page also facilitates the dissemination of
relevant information on fnancing mechanisms.
Training and technical assistance. The CFA
develops and refnes training tools such as the
Conservation Finance Guide (http://guide.conser-
ü
ü
vationfnance.org/) and jointly offers specifc
training and technical assistance.
Mobilization of fnancial resources. The CFA
records fnancing supply and demand, cor-
relating demand to implementation capacity,
and considers the possibility of establishing
seed capital funds to support new fnancing
mechanisms.
The CFA has working groups for discussion of
specifc topics, such as the development of business
plans and the creation of trust funds. These working
groups meet voluntarily as the need arises to discuss
particular issues, including reporting on progress
made by each organization on the different issues.
Against this backdrop, the project entitled “PiP-
CFA: Financial Sustainability of National Systems
of Protected Areas” was initiated in 2004 with PiP
support. The project includes a partnership at the
level of the protected area systems of four coun-
tries: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Jamaica, and
is implemented with support from several CFA
members. This project has made it possible for these
four countries to advance in the area of fnancing,
including the analysis of fnancing gaps, the design
of fnancing plans, and the implementation of spe-
cifc fnancing instruments. The project includes fve
main components:
Activities in protected area systems. Sup-
port, through national-level partnerships and
working groups, for the design and implemen-
tation of national sustainable fnancing strate-
gies in protected area systems.
Site-level activities in protected areas.
Development, in pilot sites, of plans and
fnancing mechanisms at the protected area
level and adapted to local conditions and needs.
The PiP sites selected as pilot areas serve as
platforms to promote conservation at the level
of the protected area system.
Capacity-building activities. Support for
capacity building and strengthening at different
levels and according to the national partners’
needs. Some of the topics covered and refned
during implementation include: the selection
ü
1�
2�
3�
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and management of fnancing mechanisms,
fnancial analyses, and the application of the
Conservation Finance Guide, among others.
Learning and exchange activities. Docu-
mentation of best practices resulting from
the above-mentioned components, and their
dissemination to other countries in the region
and the world. With support from UNESCO,
this component included implementing vir-
tual training modules, as well as using virtual
pages for the exchange of experiences among
learning networks.
Supervision of the CFA strategy and multi-
region exchange. The purpose of this cross-
cutting component is to ensure planning and
management for effective implementation,
collaboration, and exchange among the four
countries.
Some limitations that had to be overcome in the
project were changes in participating country polit-
ical and economic environments, high staff turnover
in government agencies, delays in decision-making
processes, fscal restrictions, and the reorientation of
priorities for conservation fnancing. The partner-
ship among the countries helped to minimize these
limitations by promoting work around the agree-
ments—NISPs—signed by the key stakeholders in
each country. These agreements enhance the conti-
nuity of the actions.
Finally, in the framework of this project, CFA estab-
lished a governmental coalition for learning and for
generating a concrete fnal product. This product, the
result of work in thematic groups and through meet-
ings or “learning stops,” is entitled Financial Plans
and Business Principles for Protected Areas and
National Systems of Protected Areas: Guidelines,
Methods, and Early Lessons and gathers together
guidelines for the planning and implementation of
site and system-level fnancing mechanisms. The
members of this coalition are representatives of the
following organizations:
29
Peru’s National Insti-
tute of Natural Resources (INRENA), Ecuador’s
National System of Protected Areas (SNAP), Costa
Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas
(SINAC) of the Ministry of Environment and
Energy (MINAE), Jamaica’s National Environment
4�
5�
and Planning Agency (NEPA), as well as a TNC
representative in each of the participating countries
and one from the TNC offce in the United States.
Latin American and Caribbean Network of
Environmental Funds (RedLAC)
30
The Latin American and Caribbean Network of
Environmental Funds (RedLAC) was formally
established in 1999 as a coalition for learning and
exchange. Today it is made up of 21 environmental
funds from 14 countries in Latin America and the
Caribbean and attracts resources to fnance natural
resource conservation and sustainable use actions.
RedLAC’s mission is to promote the interrelation-
ship and strengthening of Latin American and
Caribbean environmental funds through a contin-
uous learning system for natural heritage conserva-
tion and the sustainable development of the region.
Environmental Funds included in RedLAC
belize: Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT).
bolivia: Foundation for the Development of the National
System of Protected Areas (FUNDESNAP) and the
Foundation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the
Environment (PUMA).
brazil: National Environment Fund (FNMA) and Brazilian
Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO).
colombia: Fund for Environmental Action and Childhood
(FPAA).
ecuador: Ecuador National Environmental Fund.
el Salvador: Fund of the Initiative for the Americas
(FIAES).
guatemala: Conservation Trust of Guatemala (FCG),
National Fund for Nature Conservation. (FONACON) and
Foguama.
haiti: Haitian Environmental Foundation (FHE).
honduras: Honduran Foundation for Environment and
Development (VIDA).
Jamaica: The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica
(EFJ).
Mexico: Mexican Nature Conservation Fund (FMCN).
panama: Fundación NATURA.
peru: Americas Fund of Peru (FONDAM) and
National Fund for Natural Areas Protected by the State
(PROFONANPE).
Suriname: Suriname Conservation Foundation.
others: UNDP – Small Grants Programme and the
Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund).
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RedLAC is made up of an assembly of executive
directors of member funds who defne RedLAC’s
strategic actions. A mobile secretariat is respon-
sible for promoting operation of the network. At
the moment, the Peruvian fund PROFONANPE
is hosting the secretariat. Like other coalitions,
RedLAC has no formal structure or legal capacity,
but its existence has been supported by the impor-
tance members have attributed to the issue of con-
servation fnancing.
The RedLAC Network has received collaboration
from various private institutions such as TNC for
development of interinstitutional strengthening
programs during the stages of development, design,
and operation of the Network. PiP has also relied
on RedLAC as a technical advisor for actions in
selected sites, including the development of training
modules on fnancial topics.
Latin American Alliance of Private Reserves Networks
The civil society initiative to organize itself in
networks began in 1991 with the Colombian
Network of Civil Society Nature Reserves (RES-
NATUR), which became the leading organization
for promoting regional integration processes. The
Inter-American Private Lands Conservation Con-
gresses—organized by institutions working in this
feld, including TNC—provided the opportunity to
create a “network of networks” across Latin America.
At the VI Inter-American Private Conservation
Congress held in 2004 in Santiago de Chile, the
networks created an organizational strengthening
strategy, including the opportunity to share expe-
riences across the region. Congress participants
decided to form the Latin American Alliance of
Private Reserves Networks, which met formally for
the frst time the following year and again in Ven-
ezuela to defne a strategic plan for the fve-year
period 2005-2010. The main aim of the Alliance is
to facilitate cooperation, coordination, analysis, and
the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and natural
conservation processes carried out through pri-
vate conservation initiatives in Latin America. The
Alliance has fve strategies through which it con-
centrates its efforts: organizational strengthening,
communication, fnancing, positioning of the issue
of private lands conservation, and coordination and
integration.
Members of the Latin American Alliance of
Private Reserves Networks
argentina: Habitat Foundation Natural Reserve Network
(Red Hábitat de Reservas Naturales)
belize: Association of Private Protected Areas
bolivia: Prometa and the Private Conservation Forum
brazil: National Confederation of Private Natural Heritage
Reserves of Brazil
colombia: Colombian Network Association of Natural
Reserves of the Civil Society (RESNATUR) and Fundación
Natura
chile: National Network of Private Protected Areas
costa rica: Costa Rican Network of Natural Private
Reserves
ecuador: National Corporation of Private Forests
el Salvador: National Network of Private Protected Areas
of El Salvador (RENAPES)
guatemala: Association of Guatemalan Private Natural
Reserves
honduras: Honduran Network of Private Natural
Reserves (REHNAP)
Mexico: National Association of Natural Private Reserves
(ARENA)
nicaragua: Foundation for the Development of Private
Natural Reserves
panama: Panamanian Natural Private Reserves Network
Association (Asociación Panameña Red de Reservas
Naturales Privadas)
paraguay: Paraguayan Private Conservation Network
peru: Private and Communal Conservation Network of
Peru
venezuela: Private Reserves Network of Venezuela
(Aprinatura)
regional: Association of Natural Reserves Networks of
Mesoamerica
When the Alliance was constituted as a voluntary
network through the signing of the “Declaration
of Faith,” it consisted of around 1,600 individuals
or organizations, which altogether own two mil-
lion hectares of lands. The Alliance is composed of
one representative from each of the participating
countries’ national networks. Each of these national
networks has committed itself to disseminating
information on the Alliance to other local networks.
The Alliance seeks to work on issues of common
interest that require the construction of legal,
administrative, and technical instruments. Examples
of issues addressed by the Alliance include: land
tenure; common defnitions of private lands conser-
vation concepts; territorial zoning; documentation
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of experiences; conservation incentives; educational
processes; legal recognition; and the integration of
private protected areas with national, regional, and
local areas, and private areas themselves. Meetings,
sponsored by a variety of national or regional proj-
ects, have been held in different countries to posi-
tion private lands conservation issues in the region as
well as in proposals for legal frameworks for private
conservation that are applicable to all countries.
In recent years, PiP has been the main source of
funds for private lands conservation in Latin America,
including support for site-level actions as well as
regional-level actions coordinated through the Alli-
ance. While the Alliance still has a way to go to consol-
idate itself, it has been useful insofar as it has allowed
national networks to keep in contact and exchange
experiences. One notable outcome of the Alliance
has been the creation of the Mesoamerican Network
of Private Natural Reserves, a subgroup of the Latin
American Alliance. Its activity and level of commit-
ment have been refected in its meetings, the devel-
opment of a website and, primarily, the joint develop-
ment of a proposed Regional Policy for Private Lands
Conservation to be presented to the Central Amer-
ican Commission for Environment and Development
(CCAD) for approval by its Council of Ministers,
which is composed of the Ministers of Environment
of each country in the region. Its approval would con-
stitute signifcant progress toward the formalization
and legalization of conservation processes in the Latin
American context.
Within the framework of PiP, several multi-site strategies
were developed that have contributed to the institutional
strengthening of and work with partner organizations in
the Mesoamerican and Caribbean region (MACR). These
strategies were jointly developed in accordance with
previous experience and TNC guidelines on working with
and strengthening partners. This experience now consti-
tutes an excellent example of the initiatives that TNC can
carry out in the future to select partners and coalitions for
conservation, and ensure that these partners and coali-
tions are managed systematically and effectively.
The strategies were aimed at achieving two interrelated
purposes: on the one hand, to strengthen the capacity of
local organizations and critical stakeholders for conserva-
tion of protected areas in the MACR and, on the other
hand, to strengthen the internal capacity of TNC staff to
more effectively manage their work with TNC’s partners.
In each country, a team of specialists supported putting
the strategies into effect. This team was responsible for
directly training the organizations or for coordinating
activities carried out by external consultants. Partner
needs were detected based on the results of institutional
assessments, risk assessments, evaluations of PiP activi-
ties, and open discussions among PiP coordinators and
the partners.
32
The development of the strategies has also
contributed to improving TNC’s interaction with partners,
attending more consistently to partner needs and, overall,
optimizing its ways of working with others.
These strategies were fnanced over the last two years of
PiP, as the continuation of similar strategies implemented
in previous years of the program. Some of the main activi-
ties carried out in this fnal phase were the following:
• Development of a database on partners and ser-
vice providers. The database was created in 2006 as a
management tool to monitor both partner organizations
and the coalitions established with TNC support. The
database includes four main sections: 1) partners and/or
service providers (contact information, results of the
assessment of institutional strengthening, results of risk
assessment, etc.); 2) projects involving partners; 3) legal
agreements, projects, and information on fnancing; and
4) intervention sites and ecoregions. The information to
be fed into the database is being gathered in the period
from July to December 2007 with the participation of one
to three people in each country trained for this purpose.
These people are responsible for gathering the informa-
tion and updating the database three times per year. The
database makes it possible to analyze partner relations
and partner connections to the priority ecoregions and
serves as a tool to measure progress toward TNC’s 2015
goal. In general, TNC will be able to measure the invest-
ment made in its work with others and the concrete
conservation results this investment has produced. The
database can also be linked to other technical databases
managed by the institution.
case 3
Institutional strengthening of partners and TNC in Central America and the Caribbean
31
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Several of the above-mentioned coalitions have as
one of their main functions the exchange of knowl-
edge and experiences among members, as well as
with a wider audience. The use of these coalitions
to share lessons learned, information, and capacity-
building experiences contributes to the objectives
of the Program of Work on Protected Areas of the
Convention on Biological Diversity. In particular,
the coalitions have contributed to the objectives
related to the need to build capacity for the planning,
establishment and management of protected areas
(Objective 3.2), and to develop, apply and transfer
appropriate technologies for protected areas (Objec-
tive 3.3), through the implementation of capacity-
building programs and broad initiatives to develop
knowledge and abilities at the individual, community
and institutional levels, and to raise the professional
level (SCBD, 2004).
• Development of a course and guide on basic fac-
tors for partnerships in Central America. The purpose of
the course was to develop the basic factors
33
to establish
and launch partnerships and to share these factors with
TNC staff so that —for the frst time— all of the partners’
operations would be based on a platform of common
knowledge. The course design and accompanying guide
made it possible to document essential components
gathered from TNC’s experience with partners.
34
Other
tools and guides designed in Central America were
distributed during the course. One of these tools was
created to facilitate dialogue among partners to enable
them to identify and resolve conficts. Attendees at the
course workshops (107 people corresponding to 64% of
TNC’s staff in the region
35
) recommended that the course
be adapted so that it can also be offered to partners in
the region and potentially in other regions, as well. The
workshops also generated a forum for discussion of les-
sons learned and recommendations for the future. Some
of these lessons are presented in the next chapter.
• Development of a tool for monitoring partner
performance. Since TNC primarily implements its con-
servation actions through its partners, it is essential to
monitor and evaluate partnerships to identify needed
improvements and make progress towards conserva-
tion. The periodic application of this tool by TNC and
its partners also contributes to building trust and con-
tinuous learning, as well as to designing action plans to
improve their relations. The tool, which is implemented
through different sequential steps, is designed around
three assessment matrices related to: 1) evaluation of
the conditions of relationships with partners; 2) identi-
fcation of areas which facilitate or hinder relationships
between partners; and 3) an action plan to strengthen
relationships.
• Holding Conservation Training Week for partners
in the Caribbean. This training event for partners in the
Caribbean countries has been held annually since 2005,
going back to the experience with the Latin America-
wide Conservation Training Weeks held from 1991 to
2001.
36
The event was organized to allow participants to
receive training on topics related to both organizational
development and technical elements of conservation.
Organizational strengthening needs were identifed
through Institutional Self-Assessments and experts were
hired to design courses to address these needs. The
events also provided an opportunity for partners to share
their experiences and lessons learned and to establish
work-related contacts. The current challenge is to obtain
funding to ensure continuity of these events, so as to
strengthen existing and future partner organizations in
the region.
From experience with these strategies, PiP staff and part-
ners themselves have learned that institutional capacity
building is a dynamic process which is continually
evolving and in which organizations learn, assimilate, and
apply new knowledge at their own pace. Furthermore,
strengthening processes must be adjusted to enable
organizations to respond effectively to changes in global
and national conservation agendas.
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The evolution of TNC’s work with partners has
generated lessons learned and refections which
have guided TNC actions in this feld. These les-
sons have been drawn from both TNC and partner
staff, who have shared their experiences and rec-
ommendations. Some of the lessons and sugges-
tions presented below were collected at the “Fourth
Annual Workshop on Best Practices and Challenges
for Parks in Peril Site Consolidation” held in Mon-
terrey, Mexico in March 2007, attended by Parks in
Peril staff members from the 12 most recent Pip-
supported sites,
37
as well as by representatives from
the national and local organizations with which
TNC has worked jointly in those sites. Lessons
were gathered from a study of TNC’s relations with
partners in Central America which was conducted
through the Regional Environmental Program for
Central America (PROARCA) and PiP (Sáenz and
Arias, 2006). Additional lessons were taken from
TNC documents, including those prepared by staff
responsible for organizational strengthening strate-
gies in the Mesoamerica and Caribbean regions.
Preparation of this publication also involved inter-
views with current and former TNC staff working
on institutional strengthening, as well as with rep-
resentatives of non-governmental, community, and
government organizations.
This chapter is organized as follows: The frst part
contains a series of sections showing lessons learned
and recommendations gleaned from TNC’s work
through the PiP program. These tables are divided
into lessons related to: 1) selection of partners; 2)
institutional strengthening of individual organiza-
tions; 3) joint work by partners on natural resource
conservation and sustainable use; 4) work carried
out with the organizations according to their nature
and characteristics; and 5) work in building and
launching coalitions for conservation. The chapter
concludes with the voices of the local partners, that
is, the second section incorporates lessons and rec-
ommendations, which emerged during the inter-
views and workshops held with national and local
organizations regarding selection of, and work with,
local, national, and international partners.
3.1. leSSonS learned bY tnc
3.1.1. Lessons on selecting to work with individual
partners
38

“In sum, the ideal way to choose partners
39
is to take a
reading of the situation and to frst choose what and
where, and later, with whom, keeping in mind who
the site partner is and what its existing capacities are.
If the process begins by identifying ‘with whom,’ one
ends up adapting to the others’ agenda without having
a joint and comprehensive approach.”
— |e//pe Cstszo. Jute 7. 2007
At the beginning of PiP, the choice of strategic
partners was small because the conservation NGO
movement was relatively new in Latin America and
the Caribbean and a wide range of strong organiza-
tions did not exist. Generally, there was no system-
atic analysis of selection criteria; work was begun
with those organizations with which a previous
relationship existed with TNC and/or organizations
with a solid and positive reputation in the selected
regions. Over the years, criteria began to be applied
more formally in some countries. The lessons
learned from all these experiences are:
Partners should be selected based on a spe-
cifc need associated with a natural resources
conservation and/or sustainable use objective;
these actions will be more effectively achieved
if addressed through the joint and coordinated
work of various stakeholders.
The diversity of selected partners, in terms of
their capacities and roles, will depend on the
proposed objectives to be achieved.
At the beginning of work with the partner, it
ü
ü
ü
3. Lessons learned and recommendations
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is desirable to carry out an institutional evalu-
ation to determine the partner organization’s
mission, vision, previous experience and
reputation, and its technical, fnancial, orga-
nizational, and human capacity to implement
the project or specifc action. The Institutional
Self-Assessment tool facilitates this process
and measuring the success of the work subse-
quently undertaken.
Objectives among parties do not have to be
the same, but they should be compatible and
complementary so that each partner generates
added value to the partnership.
The selection process mentioned in Table 1,
based on the stages for establishing partner
relations, has proven effective because it estab-
lishes orderly steps for selection. However,
every situation is unique, and persons in charge
should have enough discretion and fexibility to
make adjustments in the process. For example,
in some cases, partners for PiP activities were
selected for historical reasons: the organiza-
tions were partners of TNC before PiP began
and there was no reason to change them.
The selection process should not be the exclu-
sive responsibility of a single person in the
organization, but rather, should be consulta-
tive: other staff members should participate
to allow different visions and perspectives to
complement each other.
The selection process is facilitated by personal
empathy and affnity among staff conducting
the process. In Latin American and Caribbean
countries, it is common for circles of conserva-
tion-minded people to be small, meaning that
partner organization members already know
each other, sharing ties of friendship. This
facilitates establishment of agreements and—
although friendship is not enough—collegiality
provides the conditions for partners to openly
recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and
to share joint interests.
Objective criteria should be complemented by
personal judgment —and instinct— to identify
who would be most favorable to work with.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
In the event that several NGOs have the
potential to be partners, it is recommended
that an analysis be made of each organization’s
respective thematic and/or geographic niches
of specialization, and that these areas of
emphasis be respected.
40
3.1.2. Lessons on institutional strengthening of
individual partners
41

Supporting partner organizations in their
institutional development —institutional
strengthening— has proven to be a valuable
tool to help build national and local organiza-
tions to sustain progress in natural resource
conservation and sustainable use, as well as
disseminate lessons learned to others.
The strengthening process should begin by car-
rying out a systematic diagnostic exercise with
partners to determine their strengths, weak-
nesses, and main institutional development
needs.
Partner organizations should not immedi-
ately be given a signifcant fow of economic
resources for conservation purposes unless
consideration has also been given to the need,
if required, to invest in their basic institutional
capacities. When institutional weaknesses are
detected, it is recommended that these weak-
nesses not be ignored when establishing the
partnership. In such cases, a way to address
institutional weaknesses should be found at the
same time as conservation actions are carried
out.
Institutional strengthening will not be effec-
tive if the tools to be used are perceived as
bureaucratic requirements and not as suc-
cess factors in the implementation of natural
resource conservation and sustainable use
activities.
The strengthening process should be a vol-
untary one. Sometimes, the main obstacle
to making satisfactory progress is that the
organization’s managerial or technical staff
are not willing to recognize their weaknesses
—to feel exposed— and to commit themselves
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
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to improving. This situation may be more
common in organizations which have existed
for several years, and which have established
routines and practices over time that make it
diffcult to think of making changes. Recently
created organizations and those facing man-
agement staff turnover tend to be more willing
to improve their institutional process.
To carry out strengthening processes as well as
implement other joint actions, it is necessary
to be familiar with and sensitive to partner
culture, idiosyncrasies, and history. This sen-
sitivity can help ensure the appropriation and
implementation of the strengthening tools by
the organization.
In preparing a strengthening plan, it is essen-
tial to estimate the staff ’s true time availability
so that the strengthening goals are designed to
be realistic.
It is not recommended that the same format
be used to strengthen all organizations, much
less that the supporting institution (TNC, in
this case) should assume that its own insti-
tutional plan and procedures are models for
partners to follow. It is recommended that
organizations not be approached with the
assumption that all of the formulas to achieve
institutional strengthening are already known.
Sometimes these formulas can be developed
using known tools and best practices, but they
must be adapted to the particular circum-
stances and based on collaborative work and
learning.
To help adjust the assistance provided to meet
the needs of the organizations, it is benefcial
to identify a network of local consultants to
facilitate the identifed strengthening actions.
It may also be advisable to establish part-
nerships with other local organizations that
are well suited to support the institutional
strengthening. In this way, the role of man-
aging the strengthening process is not exclu-
sively assumed by a single organization (TNC,
in this case). This reduces the risk of poten-
tial dependence and also helps to consolidate
local-level institutional networks. It is impor-
ü
ü
ü
ü
tant to maintain an updated list of local con-
sultants, sharing it widely to achieve the above
aim.
The whole staff of the partner organization
should be informed about the purposes of
strengthening training. Although participation
of upper management and the board of direc-
tors is critical for the proposed changes to be
sustained over time, staff members at other
hierarchical levels should at least be familiar
with the process and results.
In strengthening processes, it is important for
the boards of directors to have a mechanism
for constant communication with the orga-
nization’s mid-level and technical managers.
Ownership and commitment by different
groups of the process is facilitated by partici-
patory and consultative decision-making.
When the strengthening process involves the
board of directors as well as managerial and
technical staff, the facilitator of the process
should take each party’s different interests and
perspectives into account to make it easier to
reach agreements on the changes to be made
and the roles each party should play.
Although the process should involve the whole
staff, it is recommended that an effort be made
to identify those people in the organization
who have a special interest in and ability to put
the institutional development processes into
effect.
Maintaining the acquired capacities depends
not only on individual interests in ongoing
learning, but also on an organizational climate
that stimulates the application and enhance-
ment of these capacities.
Often, the dissemination of training tools is
not enough. For example, it is not suffcient
to learn how to develop a fnancing plan at
a training workshop; it is necessary for the
organization to seek specifc opportunities
to implement the plan and either generate
its own funds or obtain them from external
cooperation.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
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It is not realistic, given the global context,
to expect Latin American organizations to
become completely independent of external
resources to meet their conservation objec-
tives. Therefore, fundraising and fnancial sus-
tainability are topics that a majority of organi-
zations have over and over again considered a
priority in a capacity-building package.
Capacity building requires follow-up, consis-
tency, and frequent monitoring of progress.
42

A decision regarding the appropriate time
to suspend actions aimed at strengthening a
partner’s administrative capabilities should
be based on the observation of progress with
regard to the basic factors needed for its
operation. The time to suspend organizational
strengthening activities is when the services
offered no longer generate added value. Some
of these basic factors needed are: fnancial and
accounting tools which contribute to orderly
resource management and to the identifca-
tion of future fnancial needs; proven fund-
raising capacity (access to potential sources); a
board of directors involved in developing the
organization’s activities and seeking fnancial
resources; and institutional will to keep tech-
nical and administrative capacities up to date,
among others.43 Also, having strategic plans,
by defnition, forces the institution to plan
for the future and to develop actions aimed
at making the organization sustainable. Not-
withstanding the above, within the normal
evolution of an organization, new training
needs will likely appear over time. These needs
should be addressed in the frst instance by the
organization itself.
3.1.3. Lessons on the implementation of joint actions for
the conservation and sustainable use of protected areas
with individual partners
44

It is recommended that each partner’s priori-
ties, expectations, needs, goals, abilities, and
fnancial resources be clearly and transpar-
ently defned in a written agreement during
the design of the specifc actions to be imple-
mented jointly.
ü
ü
ü
ü
The design of specifc actions should be carried
out jointly by the parties involved, according to
roles and responsibilities that the partnership
will establish.
It is advisable to negotiate the possible uses of
available fnancial resources from the begin-
ning, determining which budget items and
activities can be fnanced and what account-
ability mechanisms the parties have.
Consistency is one key element of an alliance.
The organization should do what it com-
mitted itself to do; if this is not possible, the
organization should explain the reasons for
not meeting the commitment and propose
alternatives.
It is important for the partnership to estab-
lish an equitable relationship where mutual
learning takes place. However, it should be rec-
ognized that there are inherent differences or
asymmetrical aspects between partners due to
their characteristics, nature, and level of expe-
rience. The aim cannot be for the partners to
be equals. Once differences are accepted, the
objective should be to fnd common ground in
strategic areas (which may be geographic and/
or thematic) and to build a collective working
agenda based on these areas.
The behavior of both the technical and admin-
istrative staffs of the organizations seeking a
partnership should show that all members of
the partnership are part of a joint conservation
effort, even if one of the parties also acts as the
donor.
It is important to keep in mind that local
and national organizations may question the
motives of international organizations like
TNC for intervening in specifc sites in the
Latin American region. This is understandable
and —under certain circumstances— justifed.
The important thing is to answer these ques-
tions as clearly, consistently, and transparently
as possible.
To achieve certain conservation objectives,
one partner’s political capital, local knowledge,
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
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credibility, and capacity for implementation
are as important as the fnancial, technical,
and scientifc resources another partner has to
offer. Accepting that each organization has a
comparative advantage in a particular area gen-
erates an interdependent relationship, without
which it is impossible to achieve the conserva-
tion objectives.
45
When partnerships between two organizations
fail or there are complications, it is important
to recognize that—beyond the immediate
effect of the loss of economic resources—there
are other, no-less-important effects related to
the loss of reputation, the inability to meet the
proposed objectives, and even the partner’s
reduced possibilities of receiving further sup-
port from its donors.
It is valid for the terms of a partnership to
recognize and specify that one partner is
stronger than another; this does not mean that
the relationship cannot be horizontal or that
there is an imbalance in power relations. When
partners have different strengths, the fact that
one helps another in a specifc area does not
mean that the “horizontality” is lost but, rather,
that a service is being offered in exchange for
something else. In other areas, the relationship
may work the other way around.
Leadership in a partner institution often
makes all the difference to the work that can
be accomplished. If leaders are controlling or
seek to play a dominant role, it will be more
diffcult to achieve the expected results than if
leaders are open and encouraging.
It is recommended that partner relations not
depend on a single person but, rather, that
communication and decision-making be shared
with other members of the staff and the mana-
gerial group. This collegiality reduces the risk of
the relationship ending or altering in undesir-
able ways when the person in charge changes.
Partner relations are built daily and should
be based on trust, respect, and candor. Should
occasional differences arise, the possibility
of dealing with differences openly and trans-
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
parently facilitates future work. It is recom-
mended that the terms of the partnership
include the creation of pre-established con-
fict-resolution channels or mechanisms to
address differences that may arise.
When one party to a partnership spins infor-
mation, communicating only what the other
partner wants to hear, this weakens the
possibility of achieving the desired results.
Therefore, it is important to promote an open
relationship that makes it possible to report on
both the positive and negative results achieved,
as well as to air disagreements and recognize
agreements.
It is important to give due credit to each and
every partner and to not take the limelight
when the work is actually the result of a col-
lective partnership. Not giving credit and the
desire to receive more prominent recognition
are among the elements that can generate divi-
sion and bad feelings among partners.
It is recommended that a policy of requiring
counterpart funding from partners be main-
tained even if these funds are from other
international donor organizations. Ideally,
partner funding sources should be local or they
should at least contribute to covering part of
the costs. It is essential to obtain government
funding since this demonstrates commitment
by the agencies that are, in most cases, ulti-
mately responsible for managing the protected
areas (understood as providers of public goods
and services).
It is important to have a timely and ongoing
communication system that facilitates sharing
updated information among the partners. This
system should be managed by the organiza-
tion’s technical and administrative areas in a
consistent manner and should consider the
following elements:
Formal and periodic mechanisms for reporting
on changes in the organization that affect its
work with other partners, as well as structured
administrative requirements for partnerships
involving the transfer and management of
fnancial resources.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
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Mechanisms for evaluating shared objectives,
work processes, implementation of activities,
and achievement of specifc objectives.
Internal administrative management systems
should be designed for such tasks as fnancial
management, human resources, and planning
processes that facilitate work with partners.
For example, administrative systems should be
appropriate and suited to each country’s con-
text and partner’s level of strengthening. Also,
job descriptions should specify duties that
facilitate the organization’s interinstitutional
work with partners.
It is advisable to have one person in charge of
all elements of the partnership relationship,
including partner organization values, culture,
and programs. This person should have the
capacity to detect opportunities and risks in a
timely fashion, and should promote forms of
action and risk mitigation.
It is recommended that the means of mea-
suring partner performance be clearly estab-
lished and that there be periodic monitoring
of progress on joint work. TNC has devel-
oped several tools for this measurement and
assessment.
3.1.4. Lessons on strengthening and working with
individual partners according to their nature and
characteristics
46

In working with partners, it is important to recog-
nize differences in terms of organization nature,
capacity, and objectives. Some partners require spe-
cifc considerations due to their nature.
A common way of characterizing the most appro-
priate roles the different organizations can play is
the following: The communities are partners of
the site because they will always be there and they
are the direct decision-makers regarding the use of
natural resources. Government institutions are key
local partners to be able to frame the site and actions
within policies and legal regulations; in most cases,
they also have responsibility and legal authority
over management of sites or protected areas. Both
national and international organizations are institu-
ü
ü
ü
ü
tional partners with which partnerships can be estab-
lished to develop concrete strategies for application
in protected areas over a defned period of time.
When the partners are local communities:
Planning processes with communities are more
sustainable if they take into consideration
community knowledge and practical experi-
ence of the situation in which interventions are
planned. If planning is carried out in this way,
communities will be more willing to participate
in implementing actions and the time prior to
implementation will likely be reduced.
Generally, these community organizations
have had less administrative and operational
training than other types of partners. There-
fore, when deciding on the specifc actions to
carry out, it is important to establish, through a
participatory diagnostic study, what the com-
munities want and also what they are capable
of doing.
There are greater risks of generating fnan-
cial dependence with community partners.
Therefore, their strengthening should empha-
size building capacity to generate fnancial
resources, as well as to raise resources from
other sources. Likewise, efforts should always
be made for communities to be co-responsible
for the actions they carry out.
Capacity building with local organizations
should be a careful and respectful process. The
communities should not be underestimated;
the training process and delegation of respon-
sibilities should be based on recognition not
only of organizational needs but also of their
innate and existing capacities.
Administrative and fnancial matters have gen-
erally been the areas of institutional develop-
ment with the most diffculty for communities.
Therefore, if administrative and fnancial need
are determined, it is recommended that these
areas be emphasized during the strengthening
processes.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
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It is important to recognize the possible oper-
ational and logistical limitations to working
with community groups. For example, defcient
communication and transportation systems
may limit access to the regions where these
communities are located.
In establishing partnerships with communities
—especially if they are indigenous or tradi-
tional— it is important to consider the cultural
elements that can become barriers to —indeed
opportunities for— joint work. Their percep-
tion of the environment, protected areas, and
natural resources often cannot be completely
adjusted to the vision of other partners; there-
fore, open communication is essential to fnd
common ground for dialogue.
It should be assumed that working with com-
munity organizations will mean more time
and possibly additional costs. These costs must
be covered to enable these organizations to
learn how to do work independently because
the sustainability of conservation activities in
inhabited protected areas depends on their
active particulation.
It is recommended that a balance be found
between the trust placed in organizational
capacity to assume primary responsibility for
actions, and the need to pursue rigorous com-
pliance with the agreed terms through moni-
toring schemes. This combination is critical
to ensure that adequate results are obtained,
to guarantee transparency, and increase cred-
ibility among the parties.
The ultimate purpose of working with local
communities as partners should be to
empower them.
When the partners are governments:
Government agencies are not optional part-
ners. They exist, hold authority, and should be
considered obligatory.
In the processes of planning, implementation,
and evaluation of actions in protected areas,
different levels of government involvement are
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
always required because these public agencies
support the legitimacy of actions undertaken.
In addition to being the starting point for
support of public protected areas management,
government entities should continue to be
well-informed about what is happening and, if
possible, should participate actively in imple-
mentation of natural resource conservation
and sustainable use actions.
Government entities with authority over
protected areas are the key stakeholders in
the search for political and legal conditions
to facilitate natural resource conservation and
sustainable use in protected areas.
Government partners are, have been, and will
continue to be essential to achieve actions
associated with the political agenda promoted
by TNC, such as the expansion and establish-
ment of protected areas.
It is more effective to establish partnerships
within agendas established by these govern-
ment entities or to consider such partnerships
a priority, than to arrive with a pre-conceived
agenda.
Particularly with this type of partner, it is rec-
ommended that initiatives have a counterpart
contribution for both fnancing and technical
assistance.
It is recommended that coordination mecha-
nisms be established with government agen-
cies from different sectors, in addition to those
agencies having direct authority over manage-
ment of the protected areas, to integrate envi-
ronmental actions in these areas within wider
development strategies.
In strengthening processes with public orga-
nizations, it is important for the tools and
procedures to be adapted to their structures.
For example, several of the indicators included
in the Institutional Self-Assessment tool are
not completely applicable to all government
agencies due to differences in agency fnancial
structures, as well as the limitations govern-
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest 3`
ments face in terms of their capacity to gen-
erate their own resources.
The fact that some government agency offcials
have landed jobs for political reasons rather
than for technical capacity affects the type
of relations possible. Likewise, high levels of
turnover in agencies can affect the continuity
of commitments agreed to earlier in partner-
ships. The scarcity, instability, or restrictions of
available resources faced by many public agen-
cies in Latin America can prevent these off-
cials from reaching conservation agreements
in a signifcant and consistent manner, even
when the political will to do so exists. Finally,
ineffcient bureaucracies can limit the facility
and agility with which decisions affecting
established partnerships are made and imple-
mented. Partners must learn how to work
within the framework of these limitations by
seeking to mitigate them or dealing with them
in the best way possible.
With respect to changes of government, it is
recommended that efforts be made to main-
tain previous contacts with candidates for
public offce, as well as with new public off-
cials, to inform them about the benefts of the
joint work previously carried out.
3.1.5. Lessons for working in coalition building and
development
47

The lessons learned that have been gathered from
work in coalition building and development are
contained in the following section. Some of the pre-
viously given recommendations referring to selec-
tion of, strengthening of, and work with individual
partners also apply to work with coalitions.
“Coalitions work when the time is right, when goals
and decision-making processes have been clearly
defned and, of course, when the essential prior
conditions for collaboration exist.”
(|/ote: et al.. 2005. 23]
ü
ü
The necessary conditions for successful part-
nerships are collaboration, trust, transparency,
specifcity, and adaptability.
It is recommended that the link between the
coalition’s objective and the desired impact
or goal be clearly explained. Objectives, goals,
and impacts —as well as the means of moni-
toring— should be discussed and negotiated
among the participants.
Coalitions should be based on recognition of
a common purpose, interdependence between
participants, and the conviction that collective
work will be more effective in achieving the
desired impact than individual action.
The coalition’s purpose should be established
frst, and not the other way around: estab-
lishing a coalition and then identifying the
purpose. The purpose also determines the
duration of the coalition and the commitment
expected of the parties.
The common purpose should be made as
simple as possible. However, simplicity of the
goals should be complemented by efforts to
overcome the complex issues and challenges
that can be involved in achieving institutional
will in particular contexts.
The more specifc, clear, and pertinent the
established goals are, the more possible it will
be to measure progress.
Concerted defnition of the roles, functions,
capacities, responsibilities, and duration of the
coalition, as well as mechanisms for decision-
making and dispute resolution, will allow each
organization to assume its commitments with
full knowledge of and responsibility for what
that involves.
Depending on the coalition’s specifc objective,
it is recommended that an evaluation be made
of the advisability to start the partnership with
a few stakeholders that have a clearly-identi-
fed shared focus and homologous technical
strengths. In these situations, the group can
consider adding new stakeholders once it is
strengthened.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
32 Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
The characteristics of a successful coalition are,
among others, the following:
One institution assumes leadership for pro-
moting both collaboration and coordination
processes within the coalition. However, this
leadership should be exercised by facilitation and
not exclusive decision-making.
The leadership may be assigned and periodi-
cally rotated to avoid generating competition
and resentment, and the dependence on a single
person or institution. This latter aspect is impor-
tant, especially considering the high staff turnover
that may occur in some organizations, particularly
governmental ones. Coalitions should seek to
reduce their vulnerability to changes in staff in
the participating organizations.
Relations do not revolve around individual proj-
ects but, rather, around the processes and goals
that are established.
Furthermore, successful coalitions:
o Make progress within conditions of the
existing political and regulatory environment.
o Maintain a frm connection to the political,
social, and institutional realities of the area
where they are intervening.
o Reduce the dynamics of exclusion, generating
appropriate incentives for all groups to be
considered for participation on equal terms.
o Promote the strengthening of the smallest
organizations in the coalition through
the appropriate transfer of abilities and
responsibilities.
o Do not ignore points of confict; they openly
recognize and address confict through
agreed-upon dispute resolution schemes.
o Maintain an appropriate balance in the
number of participants, including those
needed to achieve the proposed goal, but
without increasing the level of complexity or
diffculty of coordination.
ü




o Have dissemination mechanisms to create
increased awareness and support beyond the
group of participants.
o Accept changes and adapt to them by modi-
fying the agenda, fostering new integrations,
and altering their structure and working
dynamics, if necessary.
o Attend to the needs of participants and
achieve tangible results in a reasonable period
of time.
o Have a variety of technical strengths, enabling
them to tackle complex problems related to
the effective management of protected areas
or protected area systems (it is also feasible
for them to contract for specifc tasks for
which they lack the necessary competencies).
o Have monitoring and assessment schemes
which provide timely and truthful infor-
mation on achievement of the objectives,
making it possible to adopt the necessary
corrective measures to improve their perfor-
mance, if necessary.
“A partnership should be a relationship based on the
criteria of equality and ground rules agreed upon
by all, which should be democratic and horizontal
regardless of the volume or quality of the individual
contributions of each of the parties. This relationship
is implemented by applying key values such as trust,
respect, transparency, and equity.”
— M/che//e L/bby
3.2. leSSonS froM the perSpective of the
local partnerS
48

While this publication is written from the perspec-
tive and experience of TNC and the Parks in Peril
Program, it is considered important to present
lessons and recommendations offered by the local
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partners that have worked with TNC. These les-
sons were gathered at the workshop held by PiP in
Monterrey, Mexico in 2007, as well as from per-
sonal telephone and electronic interviews conducted
exclusively for this publication.
“We NGOs are very used to competing and sometimes
it is the donors who lead us to compete. However, this
time, the experience was very good, and it was good
because there was a central core, a magnet that kept us
all in balance – and that magnet was TNC. It was the
driving force that made it possible for the projects to take
place. They smoothed out over time - I cannot deny
that there were small frictions in the beginning – but
TNC was the driving force that made those frictions
disappears so that we could work in harmony.”
— Mst/|zs JJet
“The Limon Watershed Foundation works at the local
and regional level. TNC has the additional possibility
of operating on national and international levels. I
think it was the clarity of our positions that enabled us
to complement our work very well, managing to make
more progress towards the conservation of the site than
if we had tried to do it separately.”
— 3ols 3|e/t
On the selection of partners:
Local organizations should be selective about
the support they receive from international
organizations to ensure that this support
responds to a defnite plan for the region. To
accomplish this, it is necessary to have nego-
tiation capacity, technical and administrative
strength, and clarity regarding the general
objectives that are proposed.
ü
Often, it is the responsibility of local organiza-
tions to promote synergies between fnancing
agencies and the work that organizations carry
out, as well as with their different partners.
On working with partners:
Sometimes, it is necessary for organizations
(whether national or international) to imple-
ment interventions to meet the conservation
goals of the protected areas. The challenge
consists in framing these separate organiza-
tional actions within a common agenda. This
is accomplished by developing joint work plans
or incorporating the actions into plans that
have been previously designed and approved by
the competent authorities.
Each organization has an agenda, and this
should be openly discussed with other partners
with which the organization will be working
jointly, thus avoiding hidden or unclear agendas
and intentions.
A partnership is a learning process for mem-
bers to adapt to the other institutions.
The ground rules for work —including
administrative management of resources and
time— should be clear from the beginning.
The principle of shared responsibilities should
apply to every partnership.
Once the duration of a partnership is estab-
lished, it is recommended that the organiza-
tion receiving the resources begin planning for
other sources of future funding.
When there are changes in the institutions’
technical and/or administrative staff, the
appropriate transition arrangements should
be made to avoid unnecessary delays in imple-
mentation of activities and transfer of funds.
Provisions for continuity should include an
orientation regarding the most effective way of
working with the partner organizations.
Many tools exist to institutionalize a partner-
ship so that members do not depend exclu-
sively on agreements based on personal trust.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
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These tools include conventions, agreements,
and letters or memoranda of understanding,
among others. However, this formalization can
be the result of personal contact that allows
parties to feel comfortable working together.
Partnerships do not mean that organiza-
tions have to lose their political and fnancial
autonomy and independence, even if one
partner grants economic resources to the other
institution(s).
Mechanisms for interinstitutional work and
coordination should promote a self-critical
stance during presentation of results. In this
way, the meetings will not only include analysis
of progress and successes, but also diffculties
from which organizations can learn.
It is recommended that these same mecha-
nisms provide opportunities for new local
organizations to join the partnership. Even if
they have less of a track record, they can con-
tribute new ideas. These organizations can be
assigned small activities and responsibilities
which can enable them to gradually acquire
capacity and experience under the supervision
of organizations with more experience.
Organizations which grant economic resources
to other organizations should seek to maintain
horizontal relations, avoiding a hierarchical
“donor-recipient” structure. This does not
mean that those providing resources cannot
require clear policies, transparency, and the
fulfllment of commitments by the receiving
parties, but the receiving institutions in turn
should be able to require the same of the
granting institutions.
If an agreement is reached in a coalition of
organizations for some partners to allocate
resources to others, it is important that this
distribution be communicated openly. A lack
of communication about fnancial matters can
generate distrust.
When there is a fow of economic resources, it
is recommended that consideration be given to
the limitations some local organizations may
have in terms of the geographic distance at
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
which they conduct their activities and poten-
tial diffculties with communication, fnancial,
and equipment services. Organizations which
grant resources should have a certain degree of
fexibility with respect to local organizations
and projects so that adjustments can be made
in response to the unforeseen circumstances
which accompany feldwork.
The achievements of each of the organizations
making up the partnership should be publicly
recognized.
The credit each organization wants to pub-
licly take at end of the joint work should be
previously and transparently negotiated, to
avoid the undesired dominance of some part-
ners or the possibility of achievements going
unrecognized.
It is indispensable to recognize the authority
and competence of national and local organiza-
tions, especially if they are government agen-
cies. Even if they have institutional limitations,
these government agencies have legal authority
over protected areas, and all actions must have
a legal framework to support them. While
NGOs may have certain autonomy to decide
where to allocate their economic resources, it is
important to inform the appropriate authori-
ties for the purpose of gaining their approval
and establishing synergies with other actions
that are being implemented. For example, in
the case of Cockpit Country in Jamaica, the
frst work PiP set out to accomplish was not
successful because the initial approach was
made to the NGOs and not to the Department
of Forestry which is responsible for managing
this forest reserve. The work was later possible
when TNC’s actions were structured around
the National Forest Plan developed by the
Department of Forestry and approved by the
country’s Parliament.
International NGOs and other organizations
should have suffcient information on institu-
tional and political realities, as well as on the
legal framework that regulates the way govern-
ment agencies operate, so that support mecha-
nisms can be established within these schemes.
ü
ü
ü
ü
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The following are examples of strengthening expe-
riences with organizations and of the establish-
ment of coalitions across Latin America and the
Caribbean. The examples emphasize the evolution
of work begun with individual partners involved
in the management of protected areas selected by
PiP. The list of the main partners PiP worked with
in the selected sites is found in the annex to this
publication.
4.1. partnerS in grenada and Saint
vincent and the grenadineS
Located north of Venezuela in the Eastern Carib-
bean, the Grenadines are a chain of islands pos-
sessing abundant marine life. Coral reefs border the
islands and extend out to grassy sea beds, pristine
sandy beaches, and mangrove communities. The
marine habitats in this chain support ecological bio-
diversity and are economically valuable to the islands
of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and
the Caribbean in general (see www.parksinperil.org
for details).
To contribute to the conservation of this biodiver-
sity, PiP began its work in the Grenadines in 2002,
guided by an ecoregional approach focused on cre-
ating a system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
to be composed of priority areas in these countries.
The Tobago Cays National Park and the Sandy
Island Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area were
chosen as the locations to begin the site consolida-
tion and conservation process. The frst step of this
work was to identify the appropriate institutions for
joint work and, based on this, to initiate a process
of building relations and partnerships based on an
understanding of a shared vision of conservation,
working framework, and limitations.
During the frst few years, to promote working rela-
tions between government agencies, local organiza-
tions and NGOs—and to evaluate their capacities—
PiP supported a series of initiatives to implement
on-site activities. With the government agencies,
the process of forming partnerships focused on
working with the technical staff of the forestry and
fsheries agencies, gradually moving toward depart-
ment heads, permanent secretaries, and ministers.
The process of forming partnerships took longer
than initially expected for three reasons. First, TNC
was an unknown entity in the region before 2002
and had no physical presence on the ground. Second,
since this was a new region for TNC, its staff had
no local knowledge or experience. Third, there was
a sense of distrust toward foreign NGOs and the
institutional stakeholders lacked experience working
with these “outside” organizations. It took longer
than expected to establish new partnerships and
build trust. TNC is a large U.S.-based organiza-
tion which was perceived as an institution with a
rigid conservation agenda. Therefore, TNC’s initial
efforts to acquire partners in the region were per-
ceived as extra work rather than an opportunity to
collaborate. Local institutions in the region were
cautious; it took time for TNC to understand the
best way to provide assistance and for the organiza-
tions to become aware of the benefts to be obtained
from this assistance. Also, local government agen-
cies lacked experience in implementing projects
involving joint interinstitutional work. Coordination
and communication between government agencies,
and among NGOs and the government, were not
substantial. The above-mentioned situation became
a challenge for working on planning and coordi-
nated management of protected areas because these
areas fall under multiple jurisdictions, none of which
exercised clear leadership.
During the PiP project in the Grenadines, it also
became evident that existing institutional capacity
to carry out conservation work in the region was
low, especially in the NGO sector. The local NGOs
were small and lacked the necessary managerial
capacity to effectively fulfll their missions. Even the
government agencies had a management approach
needing improvement, making it necessary to carry
out institutional strengthening activities. Thus,
PiP offered assistance for capacity building at the
4. Other cases in Latin America and the
Caribbean
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same time as it carried out preliminary conservation
activities (i.e., baseline inventories, coral reef resil-
iency studies, and marine and land mapping with
geographic information systems). In addition, one
of the policy actions promoted by TNC consisted
of establishing protected area committees in each
of the countries, with the aim of bringing together
the agencies responsible for management of pro-
tected areas. These committees eventually evolved
into the National Implementation Support Partner-
ship (NISP) committees for Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines and Grenada. The addition of NGOs to
these committees was part of their evolution.
To determine training needs of the NGOs and
government agencies, TNC met independently
with each of the groups and organizations. Based on
an initial round of meetings, it was clear that con-
servation of the Grenadines would depend on the
cooperation of various organizations. Accordingly,
the objectives of PiP in the Grenadines focused on
building conservation coalitions instead of forming
partnerships with only one or two organizations.
TNC staff collaborated with the Sustainable Grena-
dines Project of the University of the West Indies
to conduct institutional assessments, and provide
training and technical support for local NGOs.
TNC offered both regional and local training
opportunities for appropriate government agencies.
Beginning in 2004, when TNC joined the interna-
tional commitment to support countries in imple-
mentation of the Program of Work on Protected
Areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD), the emphasis of this work in the region
became the implementation of the activities sug-
gested by the Program. In 2005, a Memorandum of
Understanding was signed with each of the govern-
ments and other key partners to aid in implemen-
tation of these processes carried out on a national
level. The partners in this new phase are found in
the following tables.
In 2006, during the Eighth Conference of the Par-
ties (CoP8) to the CBD, Grenada announced its
commitment to increase protected area coverage
from 10% to 25% by 2020, thus protecting more
natural land and marine resources. The ecological
gap analysis conducted for its national system of
protected areas showed that it was feasible to reach
these levels of protection. Grenada’s announce-
ment encouraged the Bahamas to join in forming
the nucleus of what has come to be known as the
“Caribbean Challenge.” The idea behind this initia-
tive is for the international donor community to
support the growth of coverage of protected habitats
through substantial funding commitments. The pur-
pose is to channel funding to establish trust funds
for protected areas so that these trust funds can
generate a constant fow of income for each partici-
pating country and, consequently, for the agencies
Grenada
Protected Area Scale National Scale Regional Scale
• Carriacou Environmental
Committee & Fisheries Division
(Sandy Island Oyster Bed MPA)
• YWF-KIDO Foundation (High
North National Park, turtle
monitoring and environmental
education)
• St. George’s University &
Fisheries Division (Moliniere
MPA)
• Ocean Spirits (Levera National
Park, turtle monitoring and
environmental education)
• People in Action (community
work)
National Implementation Support Partnership
(NISP) with the following signing agencies:
• Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and
Fisheries
• Ministry of Finance & Planning (including
the Sustainable Development Council)
• Ministry of Health, Social Security, the
Environment and Ecclesiastical Relations
• Ministries of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade, Legal Affairs, and
Carriacou & Petite Martinique Affairs
• RARE
• St. George’s University
In 2005, a Memorandum of Understanding
was signed among these agencies.
Memorandum of Understanding
with:
• Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS)
3outce. 3eybet|. 2005.
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and organizations associated with protected areas.
Establishment of trust funds will also require for-
mation of an independent oversight authority to
ensure that the funds have positive impacts on the
covered protected areas. This authority will be made
up of the partner organizations. In November 2006,
Grenada negotiated adoption of the Caribbean
Challenge with the Organization of Eastern Carib-
bean States (OECS). The initiative was accepted in
principle by the OECS; the task of assisting member
countries with adoption of the declaration at the
national level was assigned to the Secretariat.
In addition, the Caribbean Challenge was presented
for the frst time to offcials from the government
of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Chal-
lenge was well received. The ecological gap analysis
of the protected areas completed that year gave
the country the necessary information to defne its
conservation objectives and support its proposed
increase in the levels of protection. In principle, PiP
seeks to ensure that the areas are not only legally-
declared but also effectively managed. In this case,
the human and fnancial resources to ensure this
management are scarce. Therefore, government
agencies of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
requested TNC support to carry out a “Financial
Sustainability Assessment with Recommendations
for the System of Protected Areas” to determine
the cost of the proposed increase in protected area
coverage. The draft document of this assessment
was completed in June 2007, and it is currently
being reviewed by the Ministry of Agriculture and
the Ministry of Tourism. In addition, the country
is developing a Master Plan for the System of Pro-
tected Areas, which will incorporate the results of
the ecological gap analysis, the fnancial sustain-
ability recommendations, and recommendations on
management effectiveness and capacity.
4.2. aMigoS de Sian Ka’an, one of the firSt
partnerS in Mexico
49
Strengthening of individual partners: Friends of Sian
Ka’an
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is one of the
most extensive protected areas in Mexico. The
Reserve contains an assembly of ecosystems with
extensions of lowland tropical forests, wetlands
(marshes, fooded savannahs, and mangrove for-
ests), as well as coastal and marine habitats such
as lagoons, bays, and coral reefs. Owing to this
unique assemblage of ecosystems, Sian Ka’an was
recognized as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere
Reserve by UNESCO.
PiP intensively supported management actions in
the Reserve during the period between 1991 and
1998. Part of the initial resources were directed to
the organization Friends of Sian Ka’an (Amigos de
Sian Ka’an, ASK), which was selected as a partner
because of its characteristics, objectives in common
with those of TNC, and its program—a solid vision
of conservation—as well as its strong leadership.
ASK is one of the leading NGOs in Mexico and
one of the most outstanding examples from the PiP
program.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Protected Area Scale National Scale Regional Scale
None National Implementation Support Partnership
(NISP) with the following signing agencies:
• Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries
• Ministry of Health and the Environment
• Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and
Sports
• University of the West Indies, Program of
the Center for Resource Management and
Environmental Studies (CERMES)
In 2005, a Memorandum of Understanding
was signed among these agencies.
• Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS)
3outce. 3eybet|. 2005.
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TNC began its program in Mexico with PiP funds
and ASK was the frst organization TNC worked
with in that country. At that time, ASK was a small
organization, founded in 1986 in the city of Cancún
for the purpose of working toward conservation of
the Reserve. ASK focused attention on development
of specifc crocodile protection projects and conser-
vation of crocodile natural habitat. In the frst years
of joint work, both institutions achieved parallel
learning, since this was one of TNC’s frst experi-
ences with international operations. This joint work
was an opportunity for ASK to strengthen capacity
within its scope of action. TNC has been one of the
most important partners in ASK’s history, though
the interaction between them and the intensity of
their work have not been constant over the years.
Likewise, TNC would have found it more diff-
cult to begin work in Mexico without ASK, whose
knowledge of the local reality, together with its
experience and proximity to the inhabitants of the
area, facilitated TNC’s efforts in the area. According
to Daniel Ramos of TNC’s Mexico Program, this
was a win-win situation for both organizations.
At the end of the frst phase of PiP support, ASK
and TNC determined that ASK’s organizational
capacity was too fragile to deal with the chal-
lenges ASK set for itself, and that the organization
depended excessively on PiP resources and the
director’s personal leadership. This diagnosis justi-
fed actions taken to strengthen the partner organi-
zation’s operational and institutional management
capacities. The years of joint work demonstrated
that it was possible to carry out effective conserva-
tion actions through PiP initiatives while, at the
same time, strengthening the institution to provide
continuity for implementation of actions. In the
beginning, “the crocodiles were looked after, but not
the organizations that were caring for them” noted
Daniel Ramos. In 1999, there was a change in ASK’s
executive management, which provided a broader
vision of conservation. In the following years, TNC
learned that in the area of organizational strength-
ening it was necessary to work on creating internal
capacities, to have a close relationship with executive
management, and to develop the capacities of the
management board. Within this new dynamic, the
management of ASK recognized the importance of
maintaining constant relations and communications
with the ASK Management Board.
Based on its increased institutional capacity, ASK
decided to initiate a Private Lands Conservation
Program. It was proposed that a strategic piece of
land be purchased inside the Sian Ka’an Reserve for
the dual purpose of conserving the place and its area
of infuence, and of showing how a private prop-
erty could be managed inside a natural protected
area. Initially, the proposal that the organization
incorporate this area of private lands conservation
into its activities was not well received by all of
the organization’s council members. To solve this
situation within the framework of PiP, meetings
were supported to allow the council to reach agree-
ment on AKS’s new responsibilities and accept the
inclusion of new areas of focus. ASK and TNC
worked together for the frst time in this process of
strengthening a management board. For this pur-
pose, they used planning exercises jointly agreed
upon by ASK’s operational and managerial staff.
TNC then included its own institutional develop-
ment specialists in the working team to have the
capacity to directly support its partner. During the
following years, the team guided implementation of
several strengthening activities built on the results
of applying the Institutional Self-Assessment tool.
Implementation of the strengthening process was
led by the executive director, with support from the
board of directors and participation of technical and
administrative staff. Documents were also produced
on the monitoring of organizational progress in the
different areas addressed.
One of the areas especially supported was capacity
building for fundraising. This support was accom-
panied by conducting a feasibility study that esti-
mated fundraising possibilities in the country and
the United States. TNC staff also dedicated time to
supporting a capital campaign that was carried out
with fnancing from other sources, including TNC’s
Maine Chapter, which maintains a working relation-
ship with ASK.
During this time, ASK also began to support dif-
ferent actions related to public policies, such as
design of the decree for creation of new reserves
on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, expansion of the
Sian Ka’an Reserve, and adoption by authorities of
recommendations for protection of the Reserve’s
forests and marine reefs, among other actions.
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ASK has built a team of competent professionals,
who have positioned the organization as an authority
in landscape-scale zoning, ecoregional planning, and
coastal ecosystem management in the State of Quin-
tana Roo. ASK’s team has worked with state and
federal authorities, local civil groups, and research
institutions to address the Reserve’s priority needs,
such as the threat of unplanned tourism. ASK has
used several threat analysis tools, a monitoring plan,
and information on land tenure, which have been
important for conservation and protection of the
area, even when human and economic resources
were scarce. The production of high-quality scien-
tifc information has enabled ASK and its benefcia-
ries to make better adaptive-management decisions.
ASK’s experience in different areas such as political
and administrative management has benefted
other protected areas in Mexico. ASK has shared
its experiences through the production of informa-
tion materials and exchange with other conserva-
tion professionals in Mexico and Latin America. In
particular, ASK is a regional authority for training
organizations in the management of Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) as tools to plan and
monitor work; ASK has offered courses on the use
of spatial analysis to study land-tenure issues.
TNC’s work with ASK has generated learning that
were replicated with other organizations. At the
local level, ASK has worked to build the capacities
of different communities in the State of Quintana
Roo; ASK has succeeded in strengthening different
community groups in the region. The partnership
between TNC and ASK also led to a partnership
with a larger number of organizations. These orga-
nizations have also worked on new issues and have
expanded geographically to other areas (Hardy,
2005).
Finally, PiP funding for 2007 included an addi-
tional donation to strengthen the basic capacities of
some of TNC’s Mexican strategic partners with the
strength to give continuity to conservation processes
currently underway. In the case of ASK, support
is being provided for development of a Strategic
and Financial Plan. This is the frst organization in
Mexico that PiP has supported in a long-term stra-
tegic planning exercise (2007-2010),
50
which also
includes a fundraising component.
51
AKS’s Manage-
ment Board and current director have participated
actively in the process, which has resulted in the
reorganization of ASK’s action plan into three main
programs (Land Conservation, Fresh Water Con-
servation, and Marine Conservation) and the estab-
lishment of a fnancial projection for future years,
among other things.
National and international-level interinstitutional
agreements and ASK’s participation
Amigos de Sian Ka’an has participated as a consul-
tant in the development of a National Implementa-
tion Support Program (NISP
52
). This NISP was
signed in February 2004 by the National Commis-
sion of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), the
Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources
(SEMARNAT), TNC, World Wildlife Fund
(WWF), and Conservation International (CI), for
the purpose of coordinating implementation of the
commitments contained in the Program of Work on
Protected Areas.
The aim of NISP is to ensure a solid partner-
ship among the Mexican Federal Government
—through its agencies CONANP, the National
Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity
(CONABIO), the National Institute of Ecology
(INE), and the Federal Attorney for Environmental
Protection (PROFEPA), TNC, other interna-
tional NGOS, and local NGOs to guide conserva-
tion efforts in a unifed direction, beginning with
the three activities suggested by the Program of
Work. Working with this group of partners offers
numerous advantages, such as establishment of new
and better relations to carry out joint activities and
the opportunity to have access to experts to improve
analysis of information gathered. This partnership
will also make it possible to attract increased fnan-
cial support from donor agencies, strengthen local
and national institutional planning capacities based
on scientifc methods and standards, and increase
the level of involvement of local NGOs in decision-
making processes related to national-level biodiver-
sity conservation.
The NISP’s main local partner is Pronatura Chiapas.
However, in recognition of its regional experience,
ASK has participated in the NISP’s workshops
related to Protected Area Management Capacities
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and it is expected to be one of the key partners in
the implementation of the NISP’s agreements in the
Yucatan Peninsula.
Finally, ASK participated as an expert in the devel-
opment of the Selva Maya, Zoque, and Olmeca
Ecoregional Plan, which determined priority and
strategic sites to support long-term biodiversity con-
servation in this area. The process, initiated in 2003,
involved various states of the Mexican Republic, as
well as Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This effort
was possible due to a coalition of NGOs, including
ASK. For many organizations like ASK, this was
the frst time they had participated in a partnership
involving such extensive participation by partner
organizations and countries. Technical knowledge,
species information, and geographic and satellite
information on the area was shared, among other
similar information. In 2006, the fnal results were
presented of the work accomplished with TNC
assistance, and the support and direct work of many
public and private organizations and civil society.
This successful example demonstrates that TNC’s
2015 Goal, which seeks to preserve a quantifable
amount of the major habitat types on the planet, can
be addressed through large-scale coalitions.
4.3. pronaturaleza, a valuable exaMple
in central Selva, peru
53

Strengthening of an individual NGO
The Peruvian Foundation for Nature Conservation,
known since 1995 as ProNaturaleza, is a non-proft
organization created in 1984. ProNaturaleza’s objec-
tive is to contribute to the conservation of Peru’s
natural heritage, especially biodiversity. According
to the National Institute of Natural Resources
(INRENA), over the last two decades, ProNatu-
raleza has supported management of thirteen of
Peru’s natural protected areas and their buffer zones,
including the Yanachaga Chemillén, Manu, Cerros
de Amotape and Bahuaja Sonene National Parks,
the Manglares de Tumbes National Sanctuary, and
the Pacaya Samiria, Paracas, and Lomas de Lachay
National Reserves. ProNaturaleza partnered with
Parks in Peril to carry out natural resource conserva-
tion and sustainable use actions, not only in Yana-
chaga Chemillén National Park—the specifc sce-
nario presented here—but also in Bahuaja-Sonene
National Park (formerly Pampas del Heath National
Sanctuary in 1990), Pacaya-Samiria National
Reserve, and Paracas National Reserve.
ProNaturaleza and TNC began their support of
Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, which is
located in Oxapampa-Pasco and is part of the Cen-
tral Selva region, in 1986 within the framework of a
USAID grant prior to PiP. Since then, and for sev-
eral years, TNC and ProNaturaleza provided most
of the Park’s technical and fnancial assistance. In
1991, ProNaturaleza signed an agreement with the
National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA)
for the provision of cooperation in management
and conservation of the Park and for it to be TNC’s
partner for the implementation of PiP (Brandon
et al., 1998). During the frst stage of the project,
between 1991 and 1997, PiP supplied funds for
various components of management of Yanachaga-
Chemillén National Park, including development
of a management plan. Resources were also con-
tributed to strengthen ProNaturaleza’s institutional
capacity, including assistance provided for creation
of its board of directors, including representatives
from the private sector.
In the next phase of PiP, beginning in 2003, the
area of intervention was expanded by incorporating
the San Matías-San Carlos Protection Forest and
the Yanesha Communal Reserve, in addition to
the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park and its
buffer zone. At that time, although ProNatura-
leza was already an organization with important
strengths, managing resources from other funding
sources, it was deemed necessary to complement
these strengths and to invest in different training
processes, especially during the initial years. It was
also considered important for the organization—as
well as TNC—to learn how to handle procedures
required by USAID as PiP’s principal donor. The
training processes aimed at ProNaturaleza and staff
from INRENA—the entity responsible for the
protected areas—consisted primarily of training
to understand and apply the methodological tools
developed by TNC, such as Conservation Area
Planning (CAP) and the Site Consolidation Score-
card, as well tools to build administrative and fnan-
cial capacities.
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According to Benjamín Kroll, Director of ProNa-
turaleza’s Central Selva Program, some noteworthy
aspects of the strengthening process are: the search
for fnancial mechanisms to ensure sustainability
of conservation actions, the generation of processes
integrated into local agendas, and the dissemina-
tion of management tools for conservation. This
strengthening process also meant that ProNatu-
raleza had to consider the need to establish new
goals and strategic objectives. For example, based
on the results of the CAP for the proposed Central
Selva Biosphere Reserve (now called the Oxapampa
Asháninka Yánesha Biosphere Reserve), the organi-
zation reoriented its institutional aims for its Cen-
tral Selva Program, identifying new strategic objec-
tives. From then on, any additional effort or project
would be added to the long-term conservation plan
developed with tools provided by PiP. ProNatura-
leza and PiP have simultaneously managed other
projects that have grown out of or been nurtured by
this one, and which have complemented its actions.
According to Benjamín Kroll, the added value of PiP
consisted of supporting the organization and giving
it the relative freedom and fexibility to build a
long-term vision. ProNaturaleza now has a regional
environmental agenda, to which all of its efforts
must contribute.
A partner NGO as a driving force for grassroots
organizations and interinstitutional processes
ProNaturaleza’s strengthening gave it additional
technical and administrative tools to work with local
and grassroots organizations. Its increased capacity
and years of experience have enabled ProNaturaleza
to transmit and form other capacities at the local
level, including municipalities of the Province of
Oxapampa and different local organizations. Pro-
Naturaleza has sought opportunities to disseminate
its learning into different areas such as sustainable
production, which it has shared with producer orga-
nizations in the region. Some of these organizations
are already spontaneously promoting the application
of what they have learned.
At the level of strengthening other local organiza-
tions, ProNaturaleza supported consolidation and
offcial State of Mexico recognition of the Associa-
tion for the Management of the Yanesha Communal
Reserve (AMARCY), which represents the ten
native communities adjacent to the Yanesha Com-
munal Reserve. Through a contract with INRENA,
this indigenous organization has maintained co-
administration of the Reserve and is receiving
support from ProNaturaleza for development of
a Master Plan. According to Benjamín Kroll, the
support given to AMARCY has been increasingly
less paternalistic because it has consisted of offering
information, training, guidance, and a small fund so
that they themselves can assume management and
negotiation responsibilities. A fundamental aspect
of the approach with this organization was imple-
mentation of joint planning exercises, in which all
had the opportunity to express their opinion, to
vote, and carry out actions.
Moreover, using the tools offered by PiP, ProNa-
turaleza was able to build and begin implementing
an environmental agenda for the region. This has
generated an enabling environment for working
with coalitions made up of multi-institutional teams.
Often, these teams have not been created as pur-
posely planned coalitions but, rather, have been orga-
nizations that have joined the initiatives promoted
by ProNaturaleza. This has created a positive syn-
ergy —not without its diffculties— that promotes
compatibilities between common agendas. For
example, the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park
Master Plan (2005-2009) was updated through a
participatory process involving different private civil
society and public stakeholders, thus making it pos-
sible to gather the local population’s perceptions of
protected area. Other processes fostered by ProNa-
turaleza that have promoted formation of interinsti-
tutional coalitions around specifc topics have been:
The establishment of the Sho’llet Forest
Municipal Conservation Area in 2004 com-
prised of two municipalities (the Provincial
Municipality of Oxapampa and the District
Municipality of Villa Rica). This initiative was
joined by other local NGOs and the regional
government.
The Biodiversity Health Monitoring Plan for
the Province of Oxapampa, which applied the
CAP methodology promoted by TNC. The
monitoring is carried out by the Conservation
Data Center of the National Agrarian Univer-
sity “La Molina” in cooperation with ProNatu-
ü
ü
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raleza and various institutions with a presence
in Oxapampa.
The creation in November 2005 of the
Regional Roundtable for Forest Dialogue and
Consensus–Pasco (MRDCF-P), with the aim
of its being an ongoing discussion forum to
identify pressures and threats affecting forests
and the forest industry, discuss the causes, and
develop strategies to improve the management
of forests in the Pasco region, particularly in
the Province of Oxapampa.
The Ecological and Economic Zoning Project
(ZEE) of the Province of Oxapampa, which is
now being implemented and which has been
included as an institutional strengthening
project to support territorial planning of the
Pasco Region. This project, which receives
fnancial support from the Peruvian govern-
ment, has developed the biological and social
bases to establish this basic zoning tool. The
ZEE is also an important input contributing
to the proposal for the Oxapampa-Ashaninka-
Yanesha Biosphere Reserve (RBOAY).
In each of these processes, ProNaturaleza staff were
able to share their knowledge and lessons learned.
The management tools adopted with PiP support
have been disseminated and applied to both local
and extra-regional contexts. However, a process of
“delegation” or “de-Pronaturalizing” has now begun
to allow ProNaturaleza to delegate responsibilities,
reduce the leading role it plays, and, thereby, get local
stakeholders to accept the main conservation aims
and commitments.
Adaptation to change
TNC has gradually been adapting itself to a new
institutional stage in the region, in which on-site
work and work with individual organizations will no
longer be as intense and the emphasis will be placed
more on large strategies with a regional and national
impact. This adaptation has been made based on the
consideration that ProNaturaleza has the capacity to
assume the role of the main promoter of conserva-
tion for the region and also that this role has been
increasingly delegated to organizations that have
joined the environmental agenda. Currently, the aim
ü
ü
is to make conservation and sustainable use initia-
tives in Central Selva part of an ongoing process that
transcends specifc projects or organizations.
From the beginning of PiP, TNC did not play a very
dominant role because its partner was an organiza-
tion with deep roots in the site. Though it main-
tained a low profle, TNC never lost ties to the
site since its involvement helped ensure that the
tools and strategies developed were adapted to local
realities. Gradual reduction in the support ProNa-
turaleza received from PiP forced ProNaturaleza to
seek out other sources of fnancing in due time. In
addition, having relatively scarce resources forced
it to plan their use well, which has been a lesson in
institutional planning and fundraising.
National-level interinstitutional agreements and the
example of Central Selva
In February 2004, eleven local public and private
organizations signed an interinstitutional agree-
ment (Memorandum of Understanding, MoU)
for support of the national protected areas of Peru.
This agreement was presented at the COP7 of the
CBD. The MoU is currently signed by twenty-one
organizations including national non-governmental
institutions (such as ProNaturaleza), government
agencies, such as INRENA and the National Fund
for Natural Areas Protected by the State (PRO-
FONANPE), and international non-governmental
organizations including TNC. The objective of the
MoU is to join forces for implementation of the
Program of Work on Protected Areas within the
framework of Peru’s national strategies, the SIN-
ANPE Master Plan, and standards and recommen-
dations issued by the CBD. The MoU has already
been formalized in a work plan for the years 2007-
2009, based on the emphasis placed on the need for
greater short and medium-term fnancial support
to meet all commitments. In developing the plan,
each organization included its activities for the next
two years, indicating how these will contribute to
meeting CBD commitments, and, as far as possible,
an estimate was made of the funds each organization
would allocate to them.
TNC is the focal point and facilitator for the group.
Currently, one of the most important issues s being
worked on under the leadership of INRENA,
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and which is part of the activities suggested by the
Program of Work, is establishment of long-term
fnancial sustainability mechanisms for the National
System of Protected Areas. One of the mechanisms
considered is that of obtaining funds from regional
governments. According to Jaime Fernández-Baca,
of the TNC offce in Peru, the Oxapampa experi-
ence has served as a model to take similar actions at
the system level. For example, the fact that the Oxa-
pampa Regional Government has granted funding
for creation of a network of municipal conservation
areas and a provincial-level environmental educa-
tion program, among other actions, has indicated
that it is possible to obtain funding from mining
taxes and royalties, for natural heritage conservation
activities and natural resource zoning.
4.4. defenSoreS de la naturaleza,
partner in the conServation of the
Motagua-polochic SYSteM, guateMala
54
Defensores de la Naturaleza as an individual PiP
partner
In 1990, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala
legally created the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere
Reserve and designated the NGO Defensores de
la Naturaleza (Defensores), founded in 1983, as the
Reserve’s management authority in co-administra-
tion with the National Council of Protected Areas
(CONAP). This was the frst case in Latin Amer-
ican and the Caribbean in which a government
delegated management of a private area to an NGO.
With this delegation, Defensores became respon-
sible for implementation of the Reserve’s programs
under the supervision of the Reserve’s Board of
Directors, composed of local authorities and orga-
nizations democratically chosen as stipulated in the
master plans and annual operating plans approved
by CONAP.
TNC supported Defensores’ work beginning in
1991 when the Sierra de las Minas Reserve was
included as one of the parks in peril. After this
reserve was selected as a priority (due to its impor-
tance in environmental terms, which also coincided
with national government priorities), the choice
of Defensores as the main partner for work in the
region was an obvious one, considering its experi-
ence and prestige, not only in the region but also in
the country. Subsequently, Defensores also became
the partner for implementation of actions in the
whole Motagua Polochic system. Its 440,000
hectares encompass 19 municipalities in fve depart-
ments, and include the Sierra de las Minas Reserve
and the Bocas del Polochic Wildlife Refuge.
55

“The delegation of authority to Defensores de la
Naturaleza was both legal and practicable since
Defensores was an already well-respected but small
conservation group widely recognized as the main
proponent and promoter of the reserve initiative.
Signifcantly, although Defensores had not yet
developed the implementation capacity legally
required to manage the reserve by 1990, the credibility
of its board led the government to entrust Defensores
with this responsibility”
(3ecs/ts e| s/.. 2000].
The assistance PiP provided Defensores during the
initial years was essential for the frst phase of the
Reserve’s management and consolidation; one of
its most important components was strengthening
Defensores’ institutional capacity as the Reserve
administrator. The strengthening process responded
to identifcation of the organization’s short and
long-term needs, which were written up in an
annual work plan. The support focused on providing
the protected area with the basic elements of pro-
tection, including support to combat threats and,
in particular, fre control, the implementation of
patrolling activities, and the purchase of lands in the
Reserve for conservation.
In addition, in the area of institutional and admin-
istrative development, support was provided for cre-
ation of an institutional development department,
preparation of an institutional strategic plan, formu-
lation of strategies to more actively involve the board
of directors, and assistance in developing fnancing
plans for fundraising. The fundraising component
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included creation of a trust fund and development
of strategies for fnancial self-sustainability, such
as the manufacture and sale of promotional prod-
ucts, fundraising campaigns with the institutional
members, and ecotourism programs,
56
among others.
The strengthening of fundraising capabilities was
a crucial element since Defensores did not receive
a direct budget allocation from the government to
manage the Reserve, and therefore was left with the
responsibility for raising funds in both Guatemala
and abroad.
57
In addition, to avoid creating levels of
fnancial dependence and to promote fundraising,
Defensores’ staff members were informed about
the duration of the PiP program and its offer of
resources. New institutional development com-
ponents were added to each of the action plans
developed. These components included incorpo-
ration of accounting and fnancial computer pro-
grams, strengthening of the geographic information
system, and carrying out external audits to establish
accounting procedures and defne indirect fees.
All of the above gradually strengthened the orga-
nization to the point that USAID considered
Defensores eligible to receive resources directly,
without need for an intermediary. PiP also sup-
ported the administrative and technical strength-
ening of the institution to enable it to include some
of its properties in the Forestry Incentives Program
(PINFOR), and subsequently monitor them. As
a result of this, 15,927 hectares were enrolled in
the Program, thus ensuring a fow of income of
approximately US$200,000 per year until 2013.
This fnancing mechanism gives Defensores the
fnancial freedom to run its activities like the large
organization that it is, with responsibilities for 5%
of the country’s territory and nearly 100 employees,
as well as a reputation to maintain. Defensores has
a fnancing plan with different sources of funding
besides PINFOR, including the European Union,
the Government of Holland, and the MacArthur
and Moore Foundations, among others, sources that
are being used now and will be in the future. Alto-
gether, Defensores has twelve funding sources, none
of them covering more than 25% of its budget.
Defensores de la Naturaleza, promoter of and partici-
pant in interinstitutional processes
Some PiP partners have deemed it necessary to
transfer their knowledge and responsibility to other
local stakeholders over time to make their conser-
vation initiatives more sustainable. Defensores de
la Naturaleza has succeeded in returning part of
the responsibility for long-term protection to local
communities. As a result, a number of municipali-
ties now cover management costs of the Sierra de
las Minas protected area, and local management
committees have been created. The message that PiP
has tried to convey is that it is critical to promote
participation of local institutions so that protected
areas have a long-term future. Defensores has sup-
ported smaller NGOs in implementation of conser-
vation actions in the region, thus managing to meet
part of their training needs. One of Defensores’
most outstanding qualities is the diversity of its
human resources, representing multiple disciplines,
ethnic groups, and geographic origins, which has
facilitated work both in the feld and at an institu-
tional level. Also, their situation as a private land-
owner helped to lend legitimacy to their interest in
conservation based on actions carried out by private
landowners and local communities. At the level of
NGOs, some of them, such as Fundaeco, adapted
the methodologies developed by Defensores for
their own strengthening and established joint work
processes.
58

From its beginnings, Defensores was responsible for
promoting interinstitutional coordination processes
with local and central government agencies. These
processes included the exchange of information and
the development of joint work plans. Defensores
has consolidated its leadership in protected areas
and has infuenced the agendas of local stakeholders,
communities, non-governmental and governmental
organizations, and private companies, among others.
As a result, Defensores represents environmental
NGOs in the CONAP Council and on the Board of
Directors of the National Forest Institute (INAB),
and also maintains important contacts with the
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
and the National Congress.
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Through this infuence, Defensores has also pro-
moted and/or participated in different instances
of interinstitutional coordination. Defensores has
guided the work of the Board of Directors of Sierra
de las Minas and the Advisory Council for Bocas
del Polochic, as well as the creation of the Develop-
ment Group for the semiarid region of the Motagua
Valley,
59
which together provide the necessary
institutional mechanisms to continue conservation
efforts in the Motagua Polochic system. Defensores
also represents conservation NGOs on the Devel-
opment Committee for Private Lands Conservation
in Guatemala. In addition, Defensores has been part
of the Mesoamerican Alliance for the Conservation
of Pine-Oak Forests. At the level of Latin America,
Defensores has also played an important role in
the Regional Alliance for Conservation Policies in
Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCA) and is
an active member of the Trinational Alliance for the
Conservation of the Gulf of Honduras (TRIGOH).
In summary, over the years of partnership with
Defensores, TNC has witnessed the evolution of
an organization that is now the country’s leading
organization in biodiversity conservation and natural
resource sustainable use processes. This evolution
has been the result of many internal and external
factors that have shaped Defensores, some of which
PiP had the opportunity to facilitate. In the same
way, TNC, as its partner, was strengthened by this
evolution and learned from local experience and
direct work in protected areas.
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5. Conclusions
TNC works with and through its local, national,
and international partners because, based on
experience, it has found this to be the most effective
way to fulfll its mission in a sustainable manner.
No institution is capable of achieving conservation
goals by independently addressing all of the
issues. Conservation is a complex task requiring
the joint work of different organizations which
provide different levels of knowledge, political
capital, and connections to other organizations and
communities, in addition to enormous human and
fnancial resources.
TNC seeks to promote and support biodiversity
conservation processes in representative protected
areas in different parts of the world, including Latin
America and the Caribbean. Consistent with the
above, during design of the Parks in Peril (PiP)
Program, it was clear that the local context—both
social and institutional—played an important role in
meeting that objective. Therefore, PiP was designed
to strengthen local capacity to administer selected
protected areas in this region which is considered
to be one of the most important strategies for
biodiversity conservation. Local capacity was repre-
sented by a wide range of partners—governmental,
non-governmental, and community-based—which
PiP strengthened, supported, and/or accompanied
in carrying out natural resource conservation and
sustainable use actions. In turn, the partners offered
their knowledge of the context and needs at local
and national levels, contributed their expertise
and complementary capacities, provided different
types of resources, and lent their credibility and
institutional capital, which made it possible to gain
access to other organizations and undertake con-
crete actions for conservation and sustainable use
of the biodiversity in the selected sites. In summary,
synergies were established that made it possible
to achieve important results in seventeen years of
working in the region.
The process of strengthening local capacity and the
type of partnerships involved gradually varied over
time due to institutional changes in both TNC and
its partners, and based on lessons learned. At the
beginning of PiP, TNC concentrated on strength-
ening the technical and administrative capacities of
its individual, primarily non-governmental, partners
in each of the sites chosen, considering that many of
these organizations were just being created; there-
fore, these partners needed to build their capacities.
The combination of technical and administrative
tools, together with the allocation of economic
resources, allowed TNC to begin on-site work with
the support of local and national partners, thus
seeking to ensure that the joint efforts made would
be sustained in the long term.
One of the most important lessons and recommen-
dations based on this work in developing partners
is that it is necessary to establish written agree-
ments from the beginning, clearly describing the
joint work—whether it is to strengthen one of the
parties and/or carry out conservation actions—and
reaching agreement on the policies and procedures
to be followed in administration of resources and
implementation of activities. Building partnerships
should be an effort involving collaborative work and
learning that gathers the contributions of all of the
parties, openly recognizing the added value each can
contribute toward achievement of common objec-
tives. The use of staff from the specifc region of
intervention has been another important success
factor in the management of partnerships, given
staff knowledge of local and national circumstances
and needs. Some key values to maintain effective
partnerships are clarity, collaboration, commitment,
respect, equity, transparency, and trust.
Over the years, the approach of having one partner
per site became inadequate; it was necessary for
PiP to make changes that would make it possible to
promote and generate impacts on multiple scales,
including functional landscapes, countries, and
regions.
60
Building coalitions with multiple partners
united by a common objective made possible this
expansion of scale. Sometimes the focal point for
these coalitions has been geographic, seeking the
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conservation of a region made up of several pro-
tected areas, or these protected areas may even be
located in different regions or countries. In other
cases, the focal point has been thematic, as with the
integration of multiple organizations interested in
private lands conservation or conservation fnancing
mechanisms. Some of the original partners were
affected by this need to change, which reduced
the intensity of the actions aimed at strengthening
them, sometimes abruptly or with limited informa-
tion being provided. Other partners already had the
strength to not only belong and contribute to—and
even lead—the coalitions that were formed, but to
also become the driving forces behind capacity-
building processes for other local organizations.
This new approach that seeks to address conserva-
tion on a larger scale has been justifed in terms
of speed, effectiveness, and quantity because the
approach will enable TNC to meet its ambitious
2015 goal, which requires working with others to
ensure the effective conservation of places that
represent at least 10% of every major habitat type on
Earth. Another of TNC’s intentions is to continue
to support application of the Program of Work on
Protected Areas established in the framework of the
CBD. This demands a global approach to strengthen
interinstitutional efforts and coalitions, with gov-
ernments as priority partners, and where organiza-
tions share and learn from the actions and experi-
ences of other organizations. Through coalitions
and networks of organizations, it will be possible
to carry out some of the activities suggested by the
Program of Work, specifcally the strengthening of
the institutional capacity to establish intersectoral
collaboration for administration of protected areas
at regional, national, and local levels. Furthermore,
the generation of coalitions will contribute to the
suggested activity to create a highly participatory
process, involving indigenous and local communities
and relevant stakeholders, as part of site-based plan-
ning in accordance with the ecosystem approach,
and use relevant ecological and socio-economic data
required to develop effective planning processes.
This activity will facilitate meeting one of the objec-
tives (objective 1.4) of the Program of Work, which
is to substantially improve site-based protected area
planning and management.
Having these goals and aims as a horizon to guide
future work, TNC should continue working 1)
with the partnerships and partners it has and which
TNC has established as priorities, 2) on building
new partnerships for conservation involving local,
national, and international NGOs, community
organizations, government agencies, educational and
research centers, private organizations, and bilat-
eral and multilateral agencies, among others, and 3)
on achieving the participation of partnerships and
coalitions established by others and which support
common conservation objectives.
To achieve this, the need to build capacities of some
partner organizations in specifc areas, both tech-
nical and organizational, cannot be disregarded.
TNC should promote the use of existing networks
of organizations and service providers that will be
capable of supporting the strengthening processes
deemed necessary, but which TNC cannot assume
directly. While the need to support the strength-
ening of some organizations cannot be ignored, it is
important to implement or promote this assistance
without assuming paternalistic roles. This is accom-
plished by clarifying the terms and conditions of
partnerships and making use of third parties with
local experience and knowledge. TNC should con-
tinue to cultivate its existing partnerships—reaping
what it and others have sown—and to establish new
ones which specialize in different areas related to
natural resource conservation and sustainable use
in protected areas. TNC will also need to identify
partners in other sectors besides conservation to
create synergies to beneft protected areas.
TNC also needs to strengthen its capacities to
be more systematic, strategic, and effcient in its
internal capacity to build and manage future part-
nerships (TNC, 2007a). It will be essential to work
with specialists in organizational strengthening and
partnerships to establish concrete goals for existing
and future coalitions, to carry out a review of the
agreements established, and to compare them to the
needs for joint conservation work. Technical staff
should also be trained in the management of part-
nerships and coalitions —on different scales, ranging
from those created for one site to those that address
wider areas—following the stages designed to ensure
a more rigorous process of partner selection, nego-
tiation, start-up, and monitoring of progress and
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results. Important progress has been made in some
regions of Latin America, but these efforts should
be consolidated and extended to other regions to
institutionalize them within TNC. The challenge
involved in meeting TNC’s ambitious goals requires
that it review different factors to build the necessary
institutional capacity —both internal and external—
to maintain conservation efforts. The selection of
partners, partnerships, and working agreements that
are effective, coherent, and replicable should also
receive greater dedication.
We hope that the experience, technical and human
capacity, and lessons learned which have been har-
vested from the Parks in Peril Program will con-
tribute to the internal strengthening of TNC and its
partners and that these lessons will be shared with
other organizations interested in establishing part-
nerships for conservation.
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1 The other criteria were: biological signifcance,
socioeconomic and cultural value, and level of threat
(Brandon et al., 1998).
2 In the Spanish version of this publication, the terms
aliados and alianzas have mainly been used in place of
socios and sociedades, which were the terms commonly
used by TNC in prior years. Both translate to partners
and partnerships. These terms are used in response to
the recommendation made by members of the TCN
staff in the Mesoamerica and Caribbean region, who
conceptually analyzed the matter. Aliados and alianzas
are the most precise terms to indicate a working
relationship where the possibility of participating is
shared equally, regardless of the parties’ contribution.
3 These organizations had authority over or interest in
an individual protected area or in a functional land-
scape comprised of several areas. In both cases, this
was the smallest unit of scale for PiP work, known as
a site.
4 The capacity building process involves not only
learning from someone outside the institution who
already knows the answers but also developing new
knowledge and practices (Lockwood et al., 2006).
5 For further information on each of these areas, see:
www.parksinperil.org.
6 The eight Institutional Self-Assessment (ISA)
indicators are: Strategic Vision and Planning, Leader-
ship, Administration of the Organization, Human
Resources, Development of Financial Resources,
Financial Administration, External Relations and
Programmatic Capacity. The critical steps to applying
the ISA are: clarify the objectives of the assessment,
determine the participants, determine how much
information will be gathered, conduct the assess-
ment, determine priorities for improvement, and
develop an Action Plan describing the specifc steps
to achieve the objectives leading to improvement.
7 According to Ulfelder (2002) some of the foremost
competencies of a conservation leader are: integrity,
innovation, excellence, patience, commitment to the
people and the future, composure (ability to remain
calm under pressure, management of stress), han-
dling of ambiguities (dealing effectively with changes,
managing risk and uncertainty calmly), results-based
motivation, interpersonal understanding (relates well
to all kinds of people, knows how to listen, shares
credit), good judgment of others’ talents, capacity to
work with people’s strengths and weaknesses, quick
learner, perseverance, and political understanding of
the environment.
8 For example, MOPAWI and Vivamos Mejor, in
Honduras and Guatemala respectively, did not
initially have clearly established environmental
components.
9 See more information at http://conserveonline.org/
docs/2000/11/GoH%28S%29.pdf
10 See more information at www.parksinperil.org/
espanol/quehacemos/metodos/pca.html.
11 See more information at: TNC. 2007c. Measuring
Success: The Parks in Peril Site Consolidation Scorecard
Manual. Innovations for Conservation Series, Parks
in Peril Program. Arlington, VA, USA: The Nature
Conservancy.
12 The survey TNC conducted in March 2003 to
obtain information on the needs and expectations
of its international partners, in which 88% of the
participants were partners from Latin America and
the Caribbean, confrmed that the priority training
needs of these partners were the following: fnancial
(evaluation of results and fnancial sustainability),
technical (use of information techniques, marketing
the organization, establishment of small enterprises),
organizational (resource management, donor com-
munications and management), support and dissemi-
nation (documenting and disseminating best prac-
tices, support and assistance to other organizations),
political (development of bilateral and multilateral
agreements, formation of coalitions), leadership
(performance evaluation, confict management)
(TNC, 2003).
13 Interview of Polly Morrison, May 1, 2007.
14 According to the Parks in Peril Site Consolidation
Scorecard, a self-suffciency plan should analyze
an organization’s fxed operating costs for a 5-year
period and should compare them with the expected
funding sources for operations during the same
period. An action plan should also be included for the
Endnotes
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implementation and monitoring of specifc income-
generation strategies.
15 The complete list of TNC’s main partners that
worked with Parks in Peril is found in the Annex to
this publication. The partners involved in the sites
for which records have been kept on this indicator
are: Programme for Belize (PfB), Friends of Nature
Foundation (FAN), Protection of the Environment
Tarija (PROMETA), Bolivian Conservation Asso-
ciation (TROPICO), Society for Wildlife Research
and Environmental Education (SPVS), Fundación
Natura (Colombia), Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa
Marta Foundation, Neotropical Foundation, Asso-
ciation of Organizations in the Talamanca Caribe
Biological Corridor (CBTC), Fundación Natura
(Ecuador), Conservation Data Center, Arcoiris
Ecological Foundation, Mosquitia Pawisa Agency
for the Development of the Honduras Mosquitia
(MOPAWI), Jamaica Conservation and Develop-
ment Trust (JCDT), Natural History Institute
(IHN), Institute of Environment and Sustainable
Development of the State of Sonora (IMADES)
(later the Commission of Ecology and Sustainable
Development of the State of Sonora – CEDES),
Pronatura Península de Yucatán, A.C., ISLA (which
was later replaced by GEA, Niparajá and IMADES
on Cortez Island in Mexico), Niparajá, GEA, Friends
of Sian Ka’an, National Association for the Conser-
vation of Nature (ANCON), Moisés Bertoni Foun-
dation, Foundation for the Sustainable Development
of the Chaco (DesdelChaco), Peruvian Foundation
for Nature Conservation (ProNaturaleza), Integrated
Fund Pro Nature (PRONATURA), Moscoso Puello
Foundation, Inc. Progressio (which was later replaced
by the Moscoso Puello Foundation).
16 First year score: this refects the results from the
frst year of PiP activities in each of the sites. Last
year score: this refect the average results from the
last year of PiP activities in the sites, taking into
account that not all PiP activities began and ended in
the same years in each of the sites. For the fnal PiP
report, each partner was asked to estimate the value
of the indicator for the year 2007 even if the fnal
year of activities took place in previous years.
17 Interview by email, July 23, 2007.
18 Document prepared based on an interview with
Felipe Carazo, June 7, 2007.
19 In the case of La Amistad International Park, several
lines of work were determined, including the pro-
motion of schemes for payment of environmental
services, the development of ecotourism and com-
munity-based rural tourism, the implementation of
sustainable agricultural practices, and the establish-
ment of altitudinal corridors, among others.
20 Asoprola: La Amistad Association of Producers
(organization of rural producers living in the Bio-
lley District, Canton of Buenos Aires, Province of
Puntarenas), which was founded in 1997 to jointly
develop alternatives to conventional coffee growing.
21 The other goals of PiP are to: 1) build an on-site
logistic capacity to manage parks in the hemisphere’s
most imperiled ecosystems; 2) develop the analytic
and strategic capacity necessary for long-term man-
agement of these areas; 3) create long-term fnancial
mechanisms to sustain the local management of
these areas; 4) integrate PiP conservation project
areas into the economic lives of local society.
22 Other examples are illustrated in detail throughout
the publication and particularly in chapter 4.
23 Source: Interviews conducted with Jorge Pitty,
FUNDICCEP representative, February 2006 and
March 2007.
24 The goal established in December 2003 establishes
that by 2015 TNC will work with others to ensure the
effective conservation of places that represent at least
10% of every major habitat type on Earth (italics
added by the author).
25 See Table 2, “Most threatened parks in the
hemisphere.”
26 The nine categories of indicators included in this
assessment tool are: Vision and strategic planning,
Structure, Leadership, Participation, Performance
and impact, External communication, Financial man-
agement, Human resource management, and Evalua-
tion and feedback.
27 For more information, see http://conservationf-
nance.org/.
28 For example, support is provided through the Con-
servation Finance Alliance for the countries’ achieve-
ment of the activities suggested by the Program of
Work on Protected Areas, related to the establish-
ment and application of “country-level sustainable
fnancing plans that support national systems of
protected areas” (SCBD, 2004).
29 United in a network of professionals with experience
in conservation planning and fnancing.
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30 For more information, see: www.redlac.org/spanish/
default.asp
31 This case consists of a summary of documents and
fnal reports prepared for Parks in Peril by Michelle
Libby, July 2007.
32 Some of the partners that received training were:
ANAI Association (Costa Rica), National Associa-
tion for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON,
Panama), Panamanian Center for Research and
Social Action (CEASPA, Panama), Center for
Environmental Law and the Promotion of Develop-
ment (CEDAPRODE, Nicaragua), Defensores de
la Naturaleza (Guatemala), National Biodiversity
Institute (INBio, Costa Rica), National Society for
Business and Rural Development (SONDEAR,
Panama), and Vivamos Mejor (“Let’s Live Better”)
Association (Guatemala).
33 Some of those elements included the clarifcation of
the defnition of the concept of partners and the use
of legal agreements for the establishment of joint
actions; familiarization with the framework of the
Partnership Approach developed by TNC (TNC,
2007b); and understanding of the fundamental
values associated with the effective establishment of
partnerships.
34 The course design also incorporated elements from
the study that was carried out on TNC’s relation-
ship with its partners in Central America through
the Regional Environmental Program for Central
America (PROARCA) and PiP (Sáenz and Arias,
2006).
35 In August 2007, the course will be taught in the
TNC offce in Mexico and funds will be raised to
offer the course in English for the staff working in
TNC’s offce in the United States.
36 In 2005 a Conservation Training Week was also held
in Central America.
37 The twelve sites are: Amboró-Carrasco National
Parks in Bolivia, Friendship International Park in
Costa Rica and Panama, Condor Biosphere Reserve
in Ecuador, Motagua Polochic System and Ati-
tlán Volcanoes in Guatemala, Cockpit Country in
Jamaica, the protected areas in the chain of islands in
the Grenadines, Cuatro Ciénegas National Wildlife
Refuge in Mexico, the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve
in Nicaragua, Chagres National Park in Panama,
and Central Selva and the Pacaya Samiria National
Reserve in Peru.
38 Sources: Brandon et al., 1998; FOS, 2004; Flores et
al., 2005; Sáenz and Arias, 2006; PiP Workshop,
2007; Interviews with: Paige McLeod (April 26,
2007), Polly Morrison (May 1, 2007), Jorge Cardona
(May 2, 2007), Felipe Carazo (June 7, 2007), Bruce
Moffat (June 15, 2007), Richard Devine (July 17,
2007), Paul Hardy (July 19, 2007), Brad Northrup
(July 25, 2007), Michelle Libby (July 27, 2007).
39 Both the word socio and aliado in the original Spanish
version of this publication were translated as partner
in English.
40 This recommendation was the result of a maturing
process the institution went through, which con-
sisted of learning that it was not necessary to have
only one exclusive partner per site, but that it was
possible —and, moreover, advantageous— to diversify
the universe of collaborators for effective work.
41 Sources: Brandon et al., 1998; FOS, 2004; Flores et
al., 2005; Sáenz and Arias, 2006; PiP Workshop,
2007; Interviews with: Paige McLeod (April 26,
2007), Polly Morrison (May 1, 2007), Jorge Cardona
(May 2, 2007), Felipe Carazo (June 7, 2007), Bruce
Moffat (June 15, 2007), Richard Devine (July 17,
2007), Paul Hardy (July 19, 2007), Brad Northrup
(July 25, 2007), Michelle Libby (July 27, 2007).
42 TNC’s offce for the Mesoamerica and Caribbean
region is working to institutionalize a procedure that
will make it obligatory for priority partners to apply
the institutional self-assessment tool every two years.
This will allow for identifcation of support needs
and progress in the areas of intervention.
43 Other basic elements are presented in chapter 2.1.3
of this publication. Each of these elements should
incorporate a monitoring system including the cor-
responding indicators.
44 Sources: Brandon et al., 1998; FOS, 2004; Flores et
al., 2005; Sáenz and Arias, 2006; PiP Workshop,
2007; TNC, 2007a; Interviews with: Paige McLeod
(April 26, 2007), Polly Morrison (May 1, 2007),
Jorge Cardona (May 2, 2007), Felipe Carazo (June
7, 2007), Bruce Moffat (June 15, 2007), Andreas
Lehnhoff (July 13, 2007), Richard Devine (July 17,
2007), Paul Hardy (July 19, 2007), Brad Northrup
(July 25, 2007), Michelle Libby (July 27, 2007).
45 The partnership between the NGO Vivamos Mejor
and TNC-Guatemala serves as an example of a
relationship involving a process of mutual learning.
The frst organization incorporated the area of envi-
ronmental issues in its institutional work, which was
52 Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
originally focused on other development issues such
as health and housing; TNC learned important les-
sons for the integration of development issues in its
conservation agenda.
46 Sources: Brandon et al., 1998; FOS, 2004; Flores et
al., 2005; Sáenz and Arias, 2006; PiP Workshop,
2007; Interviews with: Paige McLeod (April 26,
2007), Polly Morrison (May 1, 2007), Jorge Cardona
(May 2, 2007), Felipe Carazo (June 7, 2007), Bruce
Moffat (June 15, 2007), Andreas Lehnhoff (July 13,
2007), Richard Devine (July 17, 2007), Paul Hardy
(July 19, 2007), Brad Northrup (July 25, 2007),
Michelle Libby (July 27, 2007).
47 Sources: Brandon et al., 1998; Margoluis et al., 2000;
Flores et al., 2005; Hardy, 2005a; Sáenz and Arias,
2006; PiP Workshop, 2007; Interviews with:
Andreas Lehnhoff (July 13, 2007), Richard Devine
(July 17, 2007), Paul Hardy (July 19, 2007).
48 Sources: Proceedings of the “Fourth Annual Work-
shop on Best Practices and Challenges for Parks
in Peril Site Consolidation,” Mexico, March 2007;
telephone and/or electronic interviews with: Mateo
Espinosa (Cofan Survival Fund, Ecuador, May 29,
2007), Vilma Obando (INBio, Costa Rica, June
5, 2007), Gladis Rodríguez (Fundavisap, Panama,
June 5, 2007), Yendry Suárez (Quercus Network,
Costa Rica, June 7, 2007), Maritza Jaén and Lourdes
Contreras (SONDEAR, Panama, June 12, 2007),
Sofía Stein (Limon Watershed Foundation, Costa
Rica, June 22, 2007), Owen Evelyn (Department
of Forestry, Jamaica, June 22, 2007), Luis Sánchez
A. (SINAC/MINAE, Costa Rica, June 29, 2007),
Miguel Angel Cruz and Arturo Lerma (Pronatura
Noreste A.C, Mexico, July 23, 2007).
49 Sources: www.amigosdesiankaan.org; Hardy, 2005a;
FOS, 2004; TNC, 2001a; Interview with Daniel
Ramos (March 2007).
50 Occasional planning exercises have been carried
out with PiP funds for organizations from northern
Mexico, such as Niparaja and IMADES, but this will
be the frst long-term exercise.
51 Besides ASK, this strengthening process also sup-
ported: Pronatura Península de Yucatán, in the cre-
ation of new areas of conservation work and capacity
building for its board of directors; Pronatura Nor-
este, in operating its Management Board; Pronatura
Asociación Civil (ProNatura AC), in the consolida-
tion of its working group in Veracruz; and Pronatura
Chiapas, in the creation of operational capacities in
its group of project coordinators
52 For information on NISPs, see chapter 2.3.1 of this
publication.
53 Sources: Interview with Benjamín Kroll and Jaime
Fernández-Baca, April 2007; Kroll, 2007; www.
pronaturaleza.org; Brandon et al., 1998.
54 Sources: Brandon et al., 1998, Secaira et al., 2000.
Interviews with: Jorge Cardona (May 2, 2007),
María Elena Molina (June 30, 2007).
55 The administration of the Bocas del Polochic Wild-
life Refuge, adjacent to the Sierra de las Minas Bio-
sphere Reserve, was delegated to Defensores in 1996.
In addition to administering these protected areas,
Defensores is currently responsible for managing the
Sierra de Lacandón National Park and the Naciones
Unidas National Park.
56 The ecotourism program is now primarily aimed at
specialized tourism, such as birdwatching and scien-
tifc research at the following feld stations: Selempín
in Bocas del Polochic and La Cabaña in Sierra de las
Minas.
57 An element showing evolution of this: the human
and fnancial resources CONAP contributed to the
Reserve between 1990 and 1998 ranged between 2-
4% of the total budget for the Reserve (Secaira et al.,
2000).
58 Source: Bruce Moffat, interview, June 15, 2007.
59 The Development Group has 25 members rep-
resenting municipalities, the tourism sector, pri-
vate landowners, the Ministry of Education, the
Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Defensores de
la Naturaleza and other local stakeholders. These
stakeholders were involved in developing conserva-
tion strategies for the region based on Conservation
Area Planning methodology; it is hoped that they will
continue to develop policies, projects, and fund-
raising tactics for implementation of these strategies.
60 This was not a homogenous linear process applied to
all intervention sites, but it is the general trend.
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The following is a list of Parks in Peril’s principle
partner organization at its 45 consolidation sites.
The program also worked with a large number of
additional governmental and non-governmental
institutions both focusing on specifc aspects of the
conservation effort at these sites, as well as in the
implementation of its national and international
strategies throughout the region.
Belize
río bravo conServation and
ManageMent area
Acres/Years: 260,000/ 1993-1996
NGO Partner: Programme for Belize (PfB)
Bolivia
aMboró national parK/ carraSco
national parK
Acres/Years: 3,117,014/ 1991-1994 (Amboró National
Park), 2001-2007 (both parks)
NGO Partners: Fundación Amigos de la Natura-
leza (FAN), Centro Integrado para la Defensa de la
Ecología (CIDEDER)
Government Partner: SERNA
eduardo avaroa national fauna and
flora reServe
Acres/Years: 400,000/ 1999-2002
NGO Partner: Asociación Boliviana para la Conserva-
ción (TROPICO)
Government Partner: SERNAP
noel KeMpff Mercado national parK
Acres/Years: 3,762,912/ 1991-1994
NGO Partner: Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza
(FAN)
Government Partners: Servicio Nacional de Áreas
Protegidas (SERNAP), Dirección General de Biodi-
versidad (DGB)
tariQuía national fauna and flora
reServe
Acres/Years: 609,762/ 1995-1999
NGO Partner: Protección del Medio Ambiente Tarija
(PROMETA)
Government Partners: SERNAP, DGB
Brazil
guaraQueçaba environMental
protection area
Acres/Years: 774,000/ 1998-2002
NGO Partner: Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Sel-
vagem (SPVS)
Government Partner: Instituto Brasileiro do Meio
Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis
(IBAMA)
Colombia
cahuinarí national parK
Acres/Years: 1,420,250/ 1992-2000
NGO Partner: Fundación Natura
Government Partner: INDERENA known today
as Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de
Parques Nacionales Naturales (UAESPNN)
chingaza national parK
Acres/Years: 173,824/ 1992-2000
NGO Partner: Fundación Natura
Government Partner: INDERENA known today as
UAESPNN
la paYa national parK
Acres/Years: 1,042,340/ 1992-1996
NGO Partner: Fundación Natura
Government Partner: INDERENA known today as
UAESPNN
Annex: List of Parks in Peril sites
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Sierra nevada de Santa Marta
bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 946,010/ 1992-1998
NGO Partner: Fundación Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa
Marta
Government Partner: INDERENA known today as
UAESPNN
Costa Rica
corcovado national parK
Acres/Years: 103,216/ 1991-1994
NGO Partner: Fundación Neotropica
Government Partner: Sistema Nacional de Áreas de
Conservación de Costa Rica del Ministerio de Ambi-
ente y Energía (SINAC/MINAE)
talaManca- caribbean biological
corridor
Acres/Years: 90,155/ 1995-2000
NGO Partners: Asociación de Organizaciones del
Corredor Biológico Talamanca Caribe, Asociación
ANAI
Government Partner: SINAC/MINAE
Cost Rica and Panama
la aMiStad international parK/bocaS
del toro
Acres/Years: 2,499,640/ 2002-2007
NGO Partners: Instituto Nacional para la Biodiver-
sidad (INBio, Costa Rica), Asociación ANAI (Costa
Rica), Fundación Cuencas de Limón (FCL, Costa
Rica), Red Quercus (Costa Rica), Sociedad Masto-
zoológica de Panamá (SOMASPA, Panama), Asoci-
ación Nacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza
(ANCON, Panama), Fundación Vida, Salud, Ambi-
ente y Paz (FUNDAVISAP, Panama), Alianza para
el Desarrollo Ambiental de Tierras Altas (ADATA,
Panama), Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral del
Corregimiento de Cerro Punta (FUNDICCEP,
Panama), Red Indígena de Turismo (Costa Rica and
Panama)
Government Partners: SINAC/MINAE (Costa
Rica), Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (ANAM,
Panama)
Dominica
Morne troiS pitonS national parK
Acres/Years: 16,994/ 1992-1996
NGO Partner: Dominica Conservation Association
(DCA)
Government Partner: Ministerio de Agricultura y
Medio Ambiente, División de Silvicultura y Vida
Silvestre
Dominican Republic
del eSte national parK
Acres/Years: 103,740/ 1993-1999
NGO Partners: Fondo Integrado Pro Natura (PRO-
NATURA), Ecoparque, Fundación Progressio, Fun-
dación MAMMA, Sociedad Ecológica Romanense
Government Partner: Secretaria de Estado de Medio
Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARENA)
Jaragua national parK
Acres/Years: 339,378/ 1991-1995
NGO Partners: Fondo Integrado Pro Natura (PRO-
NATURA), Sociedad Ecológica Oviedo (SOEDO),
Grupo Jaragua
Government Partners: Dirección Nacional de
Parques, today known as SEMARENA
Madre de laS aguaS conServation area
Acres/Years: 103,740/ 1996-2001
NGO Partners: Fundación Moscoso Puello (FMP),
Fundación Progressio
Government Partners: Dirección Nacional de
Parques, today known as Subsecretaria de Áreas Prote-
gidas y Biodiversidad (SEMARENA)
58 Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
Ecuador
condor bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 4,694,628/ 2001-2007
NGO Partners: Fundación Antisana, Fundación Eco-
Ciencia, Fundación Rumicocha, Fondo de Agua para
Quito (FONAG), Fundación Sobrevivencia Cofán
(FSC)
Government Partner: Ministerio del Ambiente
Machalilla national parK
Acres/Years: 135,860/ 1992-1997
NGO Partners: Fundación Natura, Conservation
Data Center
Government Partners: Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal
y de Áreas Naturales y Vida Silvestre (INEFAN),
Ministerio del Ambiente
podocarpuS national parK
Acres/Years: 361,312/ 1992-1998
NGO Partners: Fundación Natura, Fundación
Ecológica Arcoiris
Government Partners: Instituto Ecuadoreano For-
estal y de Areas Naturales (INEFAN), Ministerio del
Ambiente
Grenada and St. Vincent & the Grenadines
grenadineS
Acres/Years: 14,951/ 2002-2007
NGO Partners: Carriacou Environmental Com-
mittee, Fundación YWF-KIDO, University of West
Indies
Government Partners: Fisheries Division of Grenada,
Forestry Division of Grenada, Fisheries Division of St.
Vincent and the Grenadines, Fisheries Division of St.
Vincent and the Grenadines
Guatemala
atitlán volcanoeS
Acres/Years: 31,537/ 2001-2006
NGO Partners: Asociación Vivamos Mejor, Asoci-
ación de Reservas Naturales Privadas de Guatemala
(ARNPG), Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
(UVG)
Government Partners: CONAP
Motagua-polochic SYSteM
Acres/Years: 432,853/ 1991-2000 (Sierra de las Minas
Biosphere Reserve and Bocas del Polochic Wild-
life Refuge), 2001-2007 (entire system including
Motagua Valley)
NGO Partners: Fundación Defensores de la Natura-
leza, Zootropic
Government Partners: Consejo Nacional de Áreas
Protegidas (CONAP)
Honduras
río plátano bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 2,013,050/ 1998-2002
NGO Partner: Agencia para el Desarrollo de la Mos-
quitia (MOPAWI)
Government Partner: Administración Forestal del
Estado-Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo For-
estal (AFE-COHDEFOR)
Jamaica
blue and John croW MountainS
national parK
Acres/Years: 196,775/ 1998-2002
NGO Partner: Jamaica Conservation and Develop-
ment Trust (JCDT)
Government Partners: Forestry Department, Natural
Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA), now
known as National Environment and Planning Agency
(NEPA)
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cocKpit countrY
Acres/Years: 71,242/ 2001-2007
NGO Partners: South Trelawney Environmental
Agency (STEA), Windsor Research Institute
Government Partner: Forestry Department
Mexico
aJoS-baviSpe national foreSt &
Wildlife refuge
Acres/Years: 456,567/ 1998-2002
NGO Partner: Instituto del Medio Ambiente
y Desarrollo Sustentable del Estado de Sonora
(IMADES)
Government Partners: Comisión Nacional de
Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP), Secre-
taría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
(SEMARNAT)
cuatrocienegaS national Wildlife
reServe
Acres/Years: 208,147/ 2001-2007
NGO Partner: Pronatura Noreste, A.C.
Government Partners: CONANP, SEMARNAT
calaKMul bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 1,786,533/ 1993-2001
NGO Partner: Pronatura Península de Yucatán
Government Partner: CONANP
el ocote bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 278,962/ 1992-1998
NGO Partner: Instituto de Historia Natural (IHN)
Government Partners: Instituto Nacional de Ecología
(INE), CONANP
el pinacate/gran deSierto del altar
bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 1,962,553/ 1994-1999
NGO Partners: Centro Ecológico de Sonora (CES),
IMADES
Government Partner: CONANP
el triunfo bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 731,557/ 1991-1997
NGO Partner: IHN
Government Partners: INE, CONANP
la encruciJada bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 357,824/ 1992-2000
NGO Partner: IHN
Government Partner: CONANP
loreto baY national parK/ eSpíritu
Santo fauna and flora reServe
Acres/Years: 534,705/ 1998-2002
NGO Partners: IMADES, Niparajá, Grupo Ecolo-
gista Antares (GEA), Conservación del Territorio
Insular Mejicano A.C. (ISLA)
Government Partner: CONANP
ría celeStún & ría lagartoS bioSphere
reServeS
Acres/Years: 264,216/ 1991-1997
NGO Partners: Pronatura Península de Yucatán, A.C.,
Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del
Estado de Yucatán (CINVESTAV)
Government Partner: SEMARNAT
Sian Ka’an bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 1,610,914/ 1992-1998
NGO Partner: Amigos de Sian Ka’an
Government Partner: INE
50 Pst|tet: /t Pto|ec|ec Ates Cot:etvs|/ot. £xpet/etce: ol |he Pstk: /t Pet// Ptoctsm /t Ls|/t Amet/cs stc |he Cst/bbest
Nicaragua
boSaWaS bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 1,832,305/ 2001-2007
NGO Partners: Centro de Derecho Ambiental y
Promoción para el Desarrollo (CEDAPRODE), Saint
Louis Zoo
Government Partners: Ministerio del Ambiente y los
Recursos Naturales (MARENA), Secretaria Técnica
de Bosawas (SETAB)
Panama
darién bioSphere reServe
Acres/Years: 1,570,130/ 1991-1997
NGO Partner: Asociación Nacional para la Conserva-
ción de la Naturaleza (ANCON)
panaMa canal WaterShed/ chagreS
national parK
Acres/Years: 370,500/ 1993-1995 (PCW); 2002-
2007 (Chagres)
NGO Partners: ANCON, Sociedad Nacional para
el Desarrollo de Empresas y Áreas Rurales (SON-
DEAR), Centro de Estudios y Acción Social Pan-
ameño (CEASPA)
Government Partner: Autoridad Nacional del Ambi-
ente (ANAM)
Paraguay
defenSoreS del chaco national parK
(defenderS of the chaco national
parK)
Acres/Years: 1,926,600/ 1998-2002
NGO Partners: Fundación Moisés Bertoni, Fun-
dación para el Desarrollo Sustentable del Chaco
(DesdelChaco)
Government Partners: Ministerio de Agricultura y
Ganadería, Secretaría del Ambiente (SEAM)
MbaracaYú nature reServe
Acres/Years: 159,082/ 1992-1994
NGO Partner: Fundación Moisés Bertoni
Government Partner: SEAM, Dirección General de
Conservación de la Biodiversidad
Peru
bahuaJa-Sonene national parK
Acres/Years: 550,000/ 1991-1999
NGO Partner: Fundación Peruana para la Conserva-
ción de la Naturaleza (ProNaturaleza)
Government Partner: Instituto Nacional de Recursos
Naturales (INRENA)
central Selva bioSphere reServe
(Yanachaga- cheMillén national parK,
San MatíaS-San carloS protection
foreSt, and YaneSha coMMunal
reServe)
Acres/Years: 747,331/ 1992-1996 (Yanachaga- Che-
millén National Park), 2002-2007 (entire bio-
sphere reserve)
NGO Partner: ProNaturaleza
Government Partner: INRENA
pacaYa-SaMiria national reServe
Acres/Years: 5,137,600/ 2001-2007
NGO Partners: ProNaturaleza, Sociedad Peruana de
Derecho Ambiental (SPDA), Centro de Datos para la
Conservación (CDC)
Government Partner: INRENA
paracaS national reServe
Acres/Years: 335,000/ 1999-2002
NGO Partner: ProNaturaleza
Government Partner: INRENA

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a leading Conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Since 1951, TNC has been working with communities, businesses and people like you to protect more than 117 million acres of land, 5,000 miles of river, and 100 marine sites around the world. TNC’s mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. www.nature.org

Since 1990, The Nature Conservancy, the United States Agency for International Development, local government agencies and non-governmental organizations have been working together through the Parks in Peril Program (PiP) to protect and manage more than 18.2 million hectares of endangered habitats in 45 protected areas in 18 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. PiP works with partner organizations to improve financing, supportive policies, and management of individual sites as well as entire systems of protected areas, including private, indigenous, and municipal reserves, as well as national parks. www.parksinperil.org

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent U.S. government agency that receives foreign-policy guidance from the U.S. Secretary of State. Since 1961, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency extending assistance to countries worldwide recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. www.usaid.gov

Partners in Protected Area Conservation
Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean
Ana Maria González V. and Angela Sue Martin

Rieger. Michelle Libby. Karen Luz. Gladys Rodríguez. Parks in Peril Program. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean. Lourdes Contreras. Marybeth Shea. under the terms of Grant No.parquesenpeligro. Yendry Suárez.. Arlington. Marlon Flores. Series Editor: Angela Martin Translation from Spanish to English: Jennifer Stimson. Suite 100 Arlington. Jorge Cardona. Benjamín Kroll. Agency for International Development or the United States Government. Andrew Soles. Bruce Moffat.S. Angela S. Paige McLeod. Please cite this publication as: González V. VA. Vilma Obando. Jaime Fernández-Baca. Brad Northrup. all of TNC and its partner organizations’ officials who prepared evaluation reports on the different Parks in Peril sites. and Eva Vilarrubi Design/Layout: Kristen Truitt Cover Photo: © Claudia Véliz Rosas Production: Imaging Zone Parks in Peril Program Director: James F. Ana M. Daniel Ramos. Rieger Contributors to this publication: Ruth Blyther. please visit www. Felipe Carazo. Maritza Jaén. Arlington. Andreas Lehnhoff..parksinperil.org Parks in Peril Program The Nature Conservancy 4245 N. James F. as well as multi-site strategies. Paul Hardy. Fairfax Drive. Arturo Lerma. Richard Devine. For further information on the Parks in Peril Program. Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. and Martin. In addition to those mentioned above. also contributed indirectly to this publication.parksinperil. Raquel Seybert. USA. VA 22203-1606 USA Tel: +1-703-841-5300 Fax: +1-703-524-0296 www. Cesar Laura. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Nature Conservancy. U. Jorge Pitty.S. Sofía Stein.org www.org . Maria Elena Molina. Virginia. 2007. Mateo Espinosa. Damaris Sánchez. Miguel Angel Cruz. This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office of Regional Sustainable Development. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.. Polly Morrison. EDG-A-00-01-00023-00.Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean Copyright © 2007 The Nature Conservancy. Carlos Chacón. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Innovations in Conservation Series. Owen Evelyn. Luis Sánchez A. All rights reserved.

as well as individual Missions – invested more than $77 million in the program. insight. Added to the capacity for science-based conservation and participatory management that PiP fostered in the region.Foreword The Parks in Peril (PiP) Program began in 1990 as the U. and financing necessary to protect and manage protected areas. USAID – both the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Bureau in Washington.S. and ingenuity of the staff of PiP’s countless partner organizations in the countries where PiP worked. staff. Agency for International Development’s and The Nature Conservancy’s urgent effort to safeguard the most imperiled natural ecosystems. over time PiP evolved through three distinct phases until 2007. 2008) and on the Parks in Peril website. For 17 years. Ph. and governmental and non-governmental organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. A partnership among the U. and partner staff described the program’s seminal thematic achievements in the Parks in Peril Innovations in Conservation Series. PiP activities also resulted in indirect leverage – funding attracted by sites and partners strengthened by PiP. with TNC and partner match. PiP has consolidated 45 protected areas in 18 countries. adapting to changing needs and priorities in the region and promoting an advancing strategy to conserve increasing amounts of biodiversity. Nearly all the achievements of Parks in Peril have depended vitally on the diligence. tools. institutional and technical capacity. as well as publications. As part of the process of closing “PiP 2000 – A Partnership for the Americas. The other bulletins and publications of the Innovations in Conservation Series. and species in the Latin America and Caribbean region. the program operated in threatened national parks and reserves of global biological significance. Through Multi-Site and Alliance Strategies developed during the third phase of PiP (2002-07).D. Jim Rieger. Parks in Peril Program . seeking to conserve these critically important ecosystems by building local institutional capacity for site management.” USAID. The series includes bulletins. ecological communities. www. which provide a much more thorough treatment of each topic for an audience interested in greater detail. The Nature Conservancy (TNC). these publications constitute an indelible legacy – a foundation for future conservation and development in Latin America and the Caribbean. as well as PiP’s End-ofProject Reports and about 700 other publications of the Parks in Peril program. may be found on the final PiP DVD (published in March. Director. Agency for International Development (USAID). which provide a quick survey of a topic and PiP’s contributions. TNC. or complementing PiP investment – of more than $450 million. PiP changed the way entire systems of protected areas are managed. and to ensure their management can respond to threats that may arise in the future.parksinperil.S. PiP has become well known for its success in transforming “paper parks” into functional protected areas through what is called “site consolidation” – the process of consolidating the infrastructure. totaling more than 18 million hectares. the total that flowed through PiP was more than $104 million. bringing together multi-institutional alliances to collaborate on significant conservation challenges.org.

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The effects of strengthening individual partners 2. CONCLUSIONS ENDNOTES SOURCES CONSULTED AND RECOMMENDED BIBLIOGRAPHY ANNEX: LIST OF PARTNERS IN PARKS IN PERIL SITES 1 3 4 5 8 9 13 16 24 24 24 25 27 29 31 32 35 35 37 40 43 46 49 53 56 .2.1. Peru 4. Lessons on selecting to work with individual partners 3.1. a valuable example in Central Selva. Knowledge transfer by individual partners 2.4.3. Lessons on the implementation of joint actions for the conservation and sustainable use of protected areas with individual partners 3.1.2.2. Lessons on strengthening and working with individual partners according to their nature and characteristics 3. Lessons on institutional strengthening of individual partners 3.1. Support for interinstitutional work and coalition building 3.1.1.1.1. Lessons for coalition building and development 3. INTRODUCTION 2.2. Lessons learned by TNC 3.Table of contents 1. Defensores de la Naturaleza. APPROACHES TO WORKING WITH PARTNERS 2.2.3.1. LESSONS LEARNED AND RECOMMENDATIONS 3. OTHER CASES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 4. Partners in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4.1. Application of conservation tools for technical strengthening 2. Strengthening of individual partner organizations 2.4.3. Guatemala 5. Amigos de Sian Ka’an.1.5. partner in the conservation of the Motagua-Polochic System. Lessons from the perspective of the local partners 4.1. Application of organizational strengthening tools 2. one of the first partners in Mexico 4.3. ProNaturaleza.1.

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PiP financed institutional strengthening projects with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the process of working with partners. and implement actions related to resource conservation and sustainable use based on the organizational knowledge and experience of the local context (Hardy. are now concentrated on supporting the formation of coalitions made up of these local organizations and other institutions. As a result. In some countries. This selection process was based on a set of criteria including management capacity and opportunity. The analysis determined that the most effective way to make the investment sustainable beyond the end of the program was to channel resources to local and national organizations so that they could play a pivotal role in implementing management activities. both public and private. financial.1 One of the elements constituting this criterion was the existence (or non-existence) of local support organizations to carry out biodiversity conservation and sustainable use activities in protected areas. According the External Assessment of PiP carried out in 2004. Also. and technical capacity. develop strategies. TNC considered it essential to support local capacity building and organizational strengthening so that the established partnerships would be effective at promoting conservation and sustainable management of protected areas. TNC’s activities have evolved over the years and its main efforts. TNC and the partner organizations reached the mutual conclusion that these institutions did not have sufficient institutional capacity to intervene in addressing threats in the protected areas. This sequence has not been followed in all countries. all involved in conservation of protected areas. thus extending the scope of action and influence beyond the areas initially selected by PiP. the implementation alternatives were analyzed to address the challenges associated with the conservation of these protected areas. TNC’s partners are a diverse group of institutions with different origins and capacities. Therefore. The new approach has consisted of using the sites and previously strengthened organizations as platforms to leverage successes and disseminate lessons learned about the most effective strategies for large-scale conservation. In some cases. In general. This evolution has involved the continual development of methodologies and tools suited to these changes. in addition to investing in field actions. Therefore. support was provided to strengthen these organizations so that TNC’s intervention would not be necessary in the future. however. 2005b). since it has been possible to support interinstitutional initiatives in tandem with the strengthening of individual organizations. After selecting the sites. herein called partners. the roles local NGOs have assumed in protected areas—and in the framework of agreements with agencies in charge  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .2 was to establish priorities. in addition to working with individual local organizations. TNC’s approach to working with partners has evolved from intensive investments in individual local organizations to the dissemination of applicable knowledge to other organizations involved in conservation and finally to inter-institutional work at larger scales. However. strengthening of individual organizations achieved through investments in training and instruction paved the way for the development of other organizations. one of the most satisfactory and significant results of the program has been the development of partner capacities to improve the effectiveness of protected area management (FOS. it is a trend that has allowed us to draw important lessons. The purpose of working through these organizations. Introduction When the Parks in Peril (PiP) Program began in Latin America and the Caribbean in 1990. seeking to boost local organizational. there was an abundance of possible sites within which to work. the approaches are not mutually exclusive. 2004).1. it was necessary to develop a site selection process to concentrate the investment of available resources in order to maximize impacts and leverage best practices to other places. which are dedicated to both conservation and other aspects of development.

while Chapter 5 presents conclusions and final reflections. bilateral agencies. Thus. This publication includes experiences gleaned from protected areas in Latin America and the Caribbean that have received support from PiP. and environmental education. The purpose of this publication is to present the lessons learned from the different approaches to working with partners. based on TNC’s experience with the Parks in Peril Program. administrative and financial assistance. conservation NGOs. from both the perspective of TNC and that of the local organizations. preserving the best examples of natural diversity in the Latin American and Caribbean region. indigenous and traditional communities.. multilateral institutions. among others. rural communities. community work for the development of projects in sustainable natural resource use. including a description of the tools used as well as their most significant results. Chapter 3 presents the lessons learned from the process of working with the partners. private companies. (Brandon et al. Chapter 2 outlines the different approaches TNC has taken to working with its partners in the framework of PiP. The group of partners includes governments. strengthening efforts have been tailored to the organizations’ particular characteristics. Some of the experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean are included in Chapter 4. The core of the Conservancy’s approach is to build partnerships to ensure conservation of large landscape areas. This publication has four main sections. The diversity of partners has shown that working collaboratively cannot always be handled in the same manner using standard mechanisms. research institutions.of the areas—have included technical. and other non-profit organizations. 998)  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .

under implementation. and. later. these stages constitute a systematic framework of guidance known as the Partnership Approach. Approaches to working with partners As a fundamental principle. TNC has defined a cycle of basic elements that follow an adaptive management scheme to establish goals and priorities. Partnerships must be established in such a way that they are incorporated into this scheme. develop strategies. periodically evaluated. These stages are interrelated and can occur at different points in time over the course of Figure 1. reach agreement on and negotiate critical aspects of the partnership. in general. make the best decisions to further the objectives of the joint work. In the process of selecting and establishing relations with partners—either individual organizations or coalitions made up of several institutions—TNC recommends the use of a tool that makes it possible to identify these organizations’ limitations and strengths. Conservation by Design: A strategic framework for mission success establish goals and priorities measure results develop strategies take actions Source: TNC. the process of selecting and establishing partnerships should have a concrete objective that contributes to achieving the institution’s conservation aims. The following approaches refer to the main processes used with them. During the implementation of PiP. and measure results. Figure 2. take actions. the stage the partnership is in — beginning. 007b a partnership. or ending— and the particular context of the work being done with the organizations (TNC. The specific time and way in which these stages are implemented depends on different local realities. 2007a). Partnership development cycle DEVELOPMENT CYCLE PARTNERSHIP Identification Selection Selection based on due diligence Identification of partners Negociation Establishment Implementation Evaluation and adaptation Assessment of the partnership Partnership agreement Work plan Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Operational Steps Source: TNC. several approaches to working with the selected partners were established. 007a Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean  . The stages presented in the following graphic and table have sought to guide the work of PiP —as well as other TNC programs— in different approaches.2. as illustrated in Figure 1. This implies that the partnerships should contribute to achieving specific goals and priorities related to the parties’ common areas of interest through the development of joint strategies that are put into action and.

organizations with the interest and capacity to contribute to conservation of protected areas3 (Brandon et al. monitoring biodiversity. it was decided that one of the first critical stages. this stage: Identifies the possible governmental agencies. assessment of the partnership 2. PiP supplied local partner organizations with technical assistance to increase their capacity to support protected area administrators in their management roles. and thematic focus of the joint work. Therefore. to be carried out in tandem with the joint conservation actions. procedures for resolving differences. Work plan Monitoring and Evaluation 6.. should be to offer multi-annual funding packages within the framework of agreements with appropriate authorities. building infrastructure and providing equipment.1. In addition to providing financial support. it was observed that the governments of most of the prospective countries faced fiscal difficulties that limited their capacity to provide economic support for management of the protected areas. Establishes indicators that will enable measurement of the partnership’s progress in terms of benefits for conservation as well as the costs to achieve these benefits. methodological. This stage includes the implementation of monitoring and evaluation activities that make it possible to measure impacts and obtain lessons learned. Stages in the establishment of partnerships Stages 1. Includes research and dialogue with the group of organizations identified in Stage 1. non-profit organizations. funding needs and sources. Considers a structured set of discussion points. the geographic. and non-governmental organizations.Table 1. The specific  strengthening and capacity-building needs were identified through a participatory and open process involving TNC and these partner organizations. use of logos. The aim was to facilitate the means for organizations to acquire a series of capacities. This process makes it possible to estimate the conservation and sustainable use opportunities that can be addressed through the partnership with each organization in particular. corporations. Refers to the legal document describing the framework for the partnership that was negotiated in the previous stage. mainly nongovernmental. to strengthen the agencies directly responsible for managing the areas. developing inventories. carrying out environmental education actions. and the schedule of activities. Selection of partners based on due diligence Formalization of Agreements 3. controlling illegal activities. Includes the design of a periodic plan of activities including the main actions. that can contribute to the management of protected areas and have the corresponding interest and capacity to design and implement action strategies.4 based on their particular circumstances that coincide with Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . The result of this stage is selection of the partners. identification of partners description. persons responsible for implementation and funding. etc. multilateral agencies. Strengthening of individual partner organizationS During the design of PiP. expected results. among others. Identification and Selection 2. community groups. and mitigating threats to the areas through community work. These organizations were thereafter considered partners. negotiation 4. conceptual. This assistance included support with hiring and training staff. agreement for the formation of the partnership 5. terms of the partnership. as well as other. 1998). which are used to cover various topics such as: the objectives of the partnership. Due diligence supports identification of the management risks and considerations that can affect the decision concerning the feasibility of establishing the partnership and how it should be done.

TNC was concerned with using PiP to support the consolidation of strong and financially-autonomous local institutions (Dourojeanni. The presence of a TNC staff member may impede accurate representation of the results since the organization may consider TNC as a donor that will base its resource allocation decisions on the evaluation score. and implement policies. including community work. Capacity building and strengthening was understood as a means to achieve conservation purposes. Application of organizational strengthening tools To address the strategic action areas identified as necessary for organizational strengthening. report on. 2003). 2. The application of the ISA tool also promotes a proactive and reflective attitude by staff. (2006) as being the most essential for protected area management: ü The capacity to conceptualize. based on that baseline. and learn from the lessons generated. financial self-sustainability. ü The capacity to generate and disseminate information and knowledge. so that they could continue their work in natural resource conservation and sustainable use even after the end of PiP funding. analytical. the aim was to develop the technical. However. this tool served to guide the strengthening actions taken with a large number of PiP partners. evaluate. Table 2 shows the strategic areas required for organizational sustainability and some of the main tools developed around these areas. and relationship with TNC is accompanied by an external facilitator who  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .those identified by Lockwood et al. the analysis of the ISA results (self-assessments carried out by 31 partner organizations between May 2001 and September 2002) concluded that it is advisable to have an outside person act as a facilitator of the self-assessment process as opposed to having evaluations performed exclusively by the organization’s staff or supported by a TNC specialist. a very important aspect of the sustainability of the organizations supported by PiP related to the development and improvement of their capacity to attract funding for future work. This outside person can promote the critical analysis of each of the institutional components to be evaluated and is generally perceived as being neutral with respect to the results and scores obtained. these techniques were applied in the framework of PiP according to the characteristics of each institution. strategic planning. support was provided through the organization’s Institutional Development Program and local staff hired as external consultants to offer direct on-site technical assistance. The experiences of working with partner organizations through PiP also made it possible to develop and improve some of these tools. resulting in better field work outcomes. In this phase.1. In some cases —despite certain difficulties— many partner capacities improved in aspects that facilitated conservation actions in protected areas. institutional context. 2005). A first application of the ISA instrument —in a participatory setting— produces a baseline to identify strengths and weaknesses for each of the indicators6. and strategic capacity of partners. In addition to the above-mentioned capacities. ecological monitoring. In terms of lessons learned. but also as an end in itself. strategies. TNC used a variety of practical tools and methodologies designed by TNC itself or other agencies. laws. In general. partners then determine training priorities and ways to monitor progress in achieving the goals established. ü The capacity to monitor. accounting system management. among others (Martin and Rieger. formulate. and also demonstrates organizational professionalism to other potential partners and donors. strengthening of boards of directors. The following chapter describes in greater detail some of the topics covered to build the capacities of PiP-supported organizations.5 The Institutional Self-Assessment (ISA) has been one of the most used institutional strengthening tools. In particular. if a TNC specialist familiar with the organization’s history.1. Systematically applied. and use of geographic information systems. ü The capacity to promote agreements and generate consensus among the stakeholders involved. and programs.

based on the objectives and activities described in the organization’s strategic plan.org/files/finance_english. and strategic planning. • effective resource development. Many of the most effective organizations have succeeded in creating a solid work team including the executive director. URL: http://www. Tool: Human Resource Development. • administrative and management structure and systems. many employees find satisfaction in less tangible factors such as contributing to a valuable cause. 2001b). active. URL: http://www.parksinperil.. Long-term Financial Planning for Parks and Protected Areas. and maintaining high standards of conduct in the organization. The process should begin by analyzing the financial needs established.org/files/integrated_strategic_financial_eng. 2002). This team leads strategic actions and is capable of continually renewing itself..  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . and a strategy can be created to expand its base of funding sources. Effective human resource administration is reflected in a low level of staff turnover because an employee who feels valued and rewarded is less interested in changing jobs. Tool: Integrated Strategic and Financial Planning for Non-governmental Organizations (McLeod et al. and technical resources available for their effective implementation. long-standing staff members. medium-. Once the strategic plan has been quantified in monetary terms. 2002).. (Hitz-Sánchez et al. 2001). (López. 1997). Once a planning culture has been established in an organization. and the members of the directorate or board of directors.pdf. facing organizational changes in a positive way. (TNC.parksinperil. the group should be capable of translating strategic short-. and longterm objectives into annual plans linked to the human. Tools: Integrated Strategic and Financial Planning for Non-governmental Organizations (McLeod et al. the possibility of advancing their career.pdf. one of the most indicative elements of a good level of leadership is a strong. Having a vision and mission that clearly reflect an institution’s aims and goals is considered an important characteristic of an effective organization. • Strong leadership. URL: http://www.parksinperil. and professional development opportunities.pdf. vision. Effective work among the managerial staff increases internal controls and builds a level of trust that attracts potential donors.Table 2. vision & socioeconomic strategic planning environment Effective programs & projects Strong leadership Strong support groups/strategic alliances Effective financial management Organizational Sustainability Administrative & management structure & systems Qualified. The cornerstone of an organization’s long-term financial viability is the development of a comprehensive financing and strategic development plan integrated with other functional areas of the organization. a development and fundraising plan can be designed. committed. The correct balance between internal control and operational response capacity will vary for different groups.org/files/integrated_strategic_financial_eng. In addition to the tangible (or dependable) reward of paid work. Internal requirements. • Qualified. committed & competitive staff Effective resource development • Mission. The growth of an organization normally implies a greater need for administrative systems and procedures to assure donors and the public in general that the organization is well managed. No one style of leadership or uniform concept is suitable for all organizations and contexts7. such as the demand for clear human resource policies and better filing systems. Strategic areas for institutional strengthening Ability to promote & adapt to development & change: Institutional development & institutional sssessment Enabling legal & Mission. In many organizations. the organization’s financing needs can be identified. can also help to improve the process of developing management capacity. financial. and competitive staff members. and committed board of directors. Tool: Rumbo al Éxito: Una Guía para Juntas Directivas de Organizaciones sin Fines de Lucro.

Tools: Building Coalitions for Conservation (TNC 1999). from design through evaluation. • effective programs and projects. and United States (Miami. These events included the Conservation Training Weeks (CTW) which TNC organized in the following countries: Panama (1991). it is not necessary for all of the indicators to be used in applying the self assessment. 1999 and 2001). and the private sector. Since the environment is not static.• effective financial management. (Ortiz. community-based groups. NGOs should get to know and interact with this environment to improve it and make it more conducive to achieving the organization’s mission and the participation of civil society in decision-making. communications media. approaches the task with objectivity and neutrality. 00a. To the degree possible. 2001). Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 7 . Cash flow projections make it possible to develop plans should a liquidity deficit occur.200 participants. international organizations. academic institutions. governmental agencies. Ecuador (1995). To be effective. Some of the institutional strengthening topics covered in the Conservation Training Weeks were: ü Financial sustainability ü Innovative financial mechanisms ü Finance and human resource management ü Fundraising strategies ü The role of a board of directors ü Management in executive transition processes ü Techniques for negotiation and effective conflict resolution ü Development of communication strategies.parksinperil. They also acquire the ability to assess or estimate the impact of their work on the achievement of their mission. Many of the most effective programs develop mechanisms to involve or commit the project’s beneficiaries in the process. Finally. which helps them obtain new funding for their programs. Tools: Four Pillars of Financial Sustainability. Source: TNC. Mexico (1997). In general.org/files/core_costs_eng. The system should make it possible to generate timely financial reports and to adapt the report format to respond to donor preferences. for the assessment to be effective. The organization’s accounting procedures and programs should correspond to the organization’s stage of institutional development. several training events were held. These events.pdf Core Costs and NGO Sustainability.parksinperil. according to the specific characteristics of the organization to be evaluated. other agencies working with the organization should be invited to participate in some phase of the self-assessment process. and society in general provide support for the organization’s daily management and mission. including other institutions. financial regulations. an organization needs to operate in an environment in which the laws. URL: http://www. without losing the objectivity of the indicators and results. URL: http://www.pdf • Strong support groups/strategic alliances/extension. The effectiveness of an organization depends increasingly on the organization’s ability to establish mutually beneficial relationships with external entities. Having an outside perspective enables the organization to be mindful of the perceptions of external stakeholders when designing institutionalstrengthening plans. 2003). Good organizations develop projects and programs that fit with their declared objectives. Internal financial and accounting controls should facilitate auditing so as to build trust with the donors and the general public regarding administration of their funds. attended by over 2. With respect to the set of tools used in the organizational strengthening of individual partners. (León. • an enabling legal and socioeconomic environment. this complementarity can generate the best results. The analysis also recommended that the presence of at least one member of the organization’s board of directors be a requirement for the self-assessment process. it should be adapted to the local context. indicators may be added. in order to make corrections as they go along.org/files/four_pillars_eng. were designed to train conservation specialists in a variety of both scientific and administrative topics. in addition to distributing publications developed for dissemination of the tools. Dominican Republic (1993). good organizations develop capacity to verify progress towards achieving these objectives.

Nicaragua ü Conservation Area Planning (CAP). Rapid Ecological Assessments (REAs) have undergone a process of continual improvement based on previous experiences. and ecological systems in an ecoregion. and finally. From the initial planning stages to the publication of the final report. 2002: 2). This methodology makes it possible to carry out a flexible and rapid study of the types of vegetation and species in a specific area or region. the implementation of conservation actions. either directly or through the government organizations responsible for the areas.. allowing for the exchange of experiences and specific products with other partners working in different parts of the world. Technical and scientific capacities were strengthened by disseminating and applying the conservation tools and methodologies designed by TNC to enable organizations to support management of the areas. field data. to receive copies of recent publications. the challenge involved establishing or strengthening the environmental component of organizations primarily focused on other development issues8. Association for the Development of the Miskitos and Sumos of the Lower Basin (ADEMSCUM). to be able to meet in formal and informal settings. According to the manual for this methodology..10 TNC developed this methodology to establish priorities. and totality.1. 2000). I learned a lot about local processes for the CAP analysis and was even able to see PRONATURA and TNC’s experience in Colombia during a CAP workshop where we exchanged experiences. representativeness. but also to technical elements related to the design and start-up of conservation activities. The tangible products of REAs are basic biophysical data. and documents that facilitate conservation planning. and measure Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . which are identified according to six criteria: coarse-scale focus. and the evaluation of the effectiveness of these actions.The Conservation Training Weeks also served as opportunities for the participants to learn about specific methodologies with the potential to contribute to their strengthening. Since ecoregional plans generally identify more areas than it is possible to intervene in at any given time. a REA normally takes a year to complete. Ecoregional plans are part of TNC’s general strategy for conservation work and involve various stages: ecoregional planning. 2. thus facilitating effective conservation work. and spatial data visualization to generate useful information for multi-scale conservation planning” (Sayre et al. “REAs use a combination of remote sensing images. functionality. This capacity refers not only to the administrative and management elements addressed through the tools discussed in the previous section. it is later necessary to establish priorities to select the sites (Groves et al. efficiency.. Their appli8 cation has also contributed to institutional strengthening of participating organizations. “Thanks to the Parks in Peril Program in Bosawas.9 The purpose of this methodology is to select and design networks of conservation sites to preserve diversity of species.” — Bismark Saballos V. Indigenous Association in the Li Lamni Territory. President. The product of ecoregional planning is a portfolio of conservation sites understood as significant areas for biodiversity. communities. integration. Since their development in the 1980s. develop strategies. ü Ecoregional Conservation Planning. Bosawas. maps. Some of the tools most widely disseminated to partners were: ü Rapid Ecological Assessment.2. surveillance flights. Application of conservation tools for technical strengthening To achieve the Parks in Peril objective of contributing to development of the necessary technical and strategic capacity to improve effective long-term management of protected areas. In some cases. site planning (described below). it was deemed necessary to increase partner organizations’ local technical capacity. I learned new training techniques and tools in the area of institutional strengthening and biodiversity monitoring.

The responsibility for implementing various PiP activities gave the local partners the opportunity to develop and apply the conservation planning tools (TNC. The scorecard consists of a series of indicators that are periodically scored. Bolivia Learning about these topics—together with specific training on the application of the tools—supported technical strengthening of the partners. In certain circumstances where it has been determined that satisfactory levels have not yet been reached.the success of conservation projects in parks. It has been implemented in a participatory manner and draws on the principle of adaptive management to develop successful conservation strategies. and other conservation areas. These indicators fall under four main categories: strategic planning. CIDEDER Administrator. and adequate ecological information. issues related to financial sustainability and resource management have been identified over and over again as a priority for partners12. in addition to offering workshops on organizational strengthening topics. and support for the protected area from active local groups. which were able to make use of the methodologies in other areas of their work besides PiP. political administration. it has been advisable—technical and financial resources and time permitting—to continue supporting the institutional strengthening of key organizations in topics such as strategic planning. These resources include financial. in addition to adequate infrastructure. 1995). Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 9 . and establishment of success measures. development of conservation objectives and strategic actions. and human resources. the capacity for strategic planning. it provided training on other topics such as the following: ü Climate change and conservation policy ü Conservation on private lands ü Ecoregional-scale conservation ü Marine resources conservation ü Mapping and geographic information systems ü Coalition building for conservation ü Participatory planning ü Compatible economic development ü Ecotourism with communities and the private sector “The PiP Project helped CIDEDER to have updated management tools and this gives us a competitive advantage over other NGOs. The effects of strengthening individual partners One of the main challenges presented by the strategies for working with partners consisted of defining the appropriate time to suspend support for an organization’s institutional development. The basic steps in the CAP process are the identification of the main conservation targets requiring attention.11 This scorecard was developed by TNC to assist administrators of the sites included in PiP in measuring progress toward consolidation. identification of critical threats to these targets. financial management.” — Filmar J. PiP provided several members of partner organization technical staff with training in management of the technical tools. reserves. and communication strategies. technical. Conservation Training Week was one of the vehicles selected for that purpose. basic on-site protection. 2. with consolidation understood as the moment when the institutions responsible for managing the site obtain the necessary resources to support long-term conservation.3. Montaño N. long-term financing. both directly on site and at regional and international workshops. In cases where the decision is made to continue with the strengthening processes. ü Site Consolidation Scorecard. support from active local groups.1.. political support. It was also possible for the partners to disseminate the technical tools to other local stakeholders.

In many cases, the decision of when to reduce or suspend support for strengthening was guided by the results of the Institutional Self-Assessment, insofar as it facilitated determining whether the organizations had advanced satisfactorily with respect to the different criteria. According to Polly Morrison, Institutional Development Director for TNC’s Andean and Southern Cone Division until 2003, “The process of ceasing to strengthen organizations is often a natural one, when it is clear that the organization already has the necessary basic elements and what is being offered does not generate any added value.”13 After observing a number of cases and gathering partner experiences with the process of organizational and technical strengthening, several minimum elements have been identified that partners should be expected to have for their sustainability: ü Strategic planning with a concrete definition of the partner’s vision, mission, and objectives. Purposes that are clear and acceptable to the local community.

ü Staff including people from the region. ü A transparent accountability system and system for monitoring the organization’s actions. In addition, if organizations receive large amounts of funds without the guidance of strategic planning, this can generate dependence by the partners, which does not lead to financial self-sustainability. Funds that are relatively easy to receive carry the risk of the leaders of the organizations abandoning the task of raising sufficient local unrestricted funds to cover basic operating costs and maintain a base of support that grants legitimacy and local support (Dourojeanni, 2005). Therefore, the means used to strengthen the organization should seek to create capacity for the generation of financial and technical resources from other funding sources, as well as selfgenerated resources sufficient to cover part or all of the recurring costs. For example, in Ecuador, in response to USAID and TNC requirements, partner organizations working on the conservation of the Condor Biosphere Reserve began to develop institutional financing plans in an effort to reduce their dependence on the financial resources of these foreign organizations. This was done with support from the non-profit organization PACT Ecuador, which specializes in institutional development and was contracted to work with Ecociencia and the Antisana and Rumicocha Foundations. In the PiP self-assessment conducted in 2005, the overall dependence of the organizations on external resources had been reduced from 100% at the start of the project to 40% at the time of the assessment—with some being more successful than others. Work in the following years concentrated on ensuring that most of the partners’ activities had other sources of financing or they had managed to transfer responsibilities to other organizations such as the Ministry of Environment, community organizations, private landowners, or municipalities. In addition to the aforementioned example related to Ecuador, the group of PiP partners made positive progress toward financial sustainability. This progress was confirmed by the results of the Scorecard, which included the financial self-sustainability of

ü Good relations with the government through formal and informal communications and working agreements. This enables the partner to advocate for institutionalization of natural resource conservation and sustainable use processes in protected areas. ü Authority and legitimacy to make decisions about the natural resources on the site. ü Ability to raise funds based on a diverse portfolio of possibilities. ü Clear leadership within the organization, especially represented on the board of directors or in the group of associates who will sustain the decisions over the long term. ü Ability for the organization to renew itself and adapt to institutional and environmental changes. ü Having technical support from experts in different disciplines and topics. 

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Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean

the partner NGOs as one of its indicators. This indicator sought to analyze the degree of financial selfsustainability that enabled the NGOs to continue to function indefinitely as either protected area administrators or partners of the responsible government agency, or otherwise. According to the proposed model, a consolidated protected area would be supported by a local NGO that had developed a strategy to achieve its own economic self-sufficiency, and had begun its implementation and monitoring. The benchmarks for this indicator are as follows:
5 NGO fully implementing plan14 for achieving operational self-sufficiency, results corresponding approximately to goals set. NGO has completed plan for operational selfsufficiency and has begun implementation and monitoring of results. NGO completing plan for operational self-sufficiency. NGO beginning plan for operational self-sufficiency. NGO has no plan for achieving operational self-sufficiency.

ried out studies and consultancies for government agencies in exchange for resources (TNC, 2005). Besides working on financial self-sustainability, these almost 30 partner organizations received various tools and instruments provided by PiP according to their particular needs for technical and strategic strengthening. The purpose of these tools was to boost their capacity to effectively manage protected areas and/or establish effective collaboration efforts with government agencies and local area stakeholders in the future. Strengthening the capacities of several of these organizations’ leaders contributed to the formation of a network of people committed to creation and growth of the conservation NGO sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. In turn, this strengthening of leaders generated multiplier effects in partner organization staff, as well as in other related organizations. Furthermore, according to the final report on the 1996-2002 phase of PiP, partner capacity increased in different areas such as the strengthening of their boards of directors, strategic planning, financial accounting, ecological monitoring, and geographic information system-based analysis, among others (TNC, 2002). The 2002 report also shows other results worth noting: ü 30 of the 37 sites supported by PiP in this period completed long-term financial plans and the remaining sites began the process in 2002. As a result of these plans, three of the sites —Río Bravo in Belize, and Amboró and Noel Kempff in Bolivia— managed to raise sufficient funds to finance all of the operating costs of these protected areas. The financial planning methodology developed by PiP in 1995, later improved in 1999, was widely adapted by the partners and other organizations involved in the sites. For example, Peru’s National Institute of Natural Resources used the methodology for all of the country’s federal protected areas.

4

3 2 1

The average of the results for this indicator for the main non-governmental partners in 31 of the sites15 supported by the PiP program is recorded in the following table. This table shows a positive evolution in the scores for the year PiP began supporting the site, the year it ended support, and the score generated for 2007.
Table 3. Average of results for the indicator “Financial Self-Sustainability of Partner NGOs”16
first Year Score average last Year Score 2007 Score

1.58

3.58

3.52

An example of progress toward financial self-sustainability is that of Programme for Belize (PfB), responsible for the Río Bravo Conservation and Management Area. PfB achieved the commercialization of wood certified by the U.S. and U.K. certifiers Smartwood and Woodmark, which recognized this organization’s compliance with strict environmental sustainability requirements. The 2004 evaluation report on PiP and the 2005 Work Plan for the Amboro-Carrasco National Parks in Bolivia also emphasize the satisfactory progress the Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) made in generating unrestricted funds through the publication of books and other materials. The organization has also car-

ü

Finally, an additional example is that of ProNatura Noreste A.C.,17 which has been TNC’s partner in the Cuatro Ciénegas Valley. According to Miguel Angel Cruz and Arturo Lerma, this institution man

Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean

case 1
Identification and strengthening of partners in La Amistad International Park, Costa Rica and Panama 18
When Parks in Peril began its work in La Amistad International Park (Parque Internacional La Amistad, PILA), expectations were very soon created among communities and local and national organizations regarding access to available resources to carry out joint activities. However, the actions did not begin with the selection of partners but, rather, with design of the Conservation Area Plan, based on which threats to conservation and priorities for work were identified. The process of developing the plan was complemented by intense reconnaissance and validation field work carried out by Felipe Carazo, PiP Coordinator in PILA. The purpose of these field trips consisted of “understanding the site, getting to know its dynamics so as to be able to make the best decisions.” According to Felipe Carazo, no complaints were received from those institutions that were visited during the reconnaissance trips but were not selected to carry out joint work. This was because false expectations were not created; the objectives and strategies were clearly explained at the appropriate time. Later, mechanisms were sought to carry out the specific actions as cost-effectively as possible in accordance with the structure of selected partners, their nature —local organization, regional or national NGO, or government agency—and their administrative restrictions. The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) was the first partner in Costa Rica’s Pacific region, since there were no local non-governmental and community institutions with sufficient capacity to undertake joint conservation actions. Thus, it was decided that the partner to start with would be this government agency, which would jointly support the process of building and/or strengthening local partners —that is, strengthening existing communities in the buffer zone to create organizations and networks among them. In this and other cases, strengthening community organizations and formatting networks were among the priorities established for management of PILA. “The easiest thing” would have been to give economic resources to strong, already-existing national organizations, but PiP took the risk of promoting the formation of community organizations. The national organizations were not given all of the responsibility and resources because according to Felipe Carazo: “I don’t think it is effective in the long run for a partner to show up to work on a site only in connection with a project because once the project ends, it leaves the site. The priority should be to develop a lasting, long-term vision by institutions from the area. These are the site’s partners, not TNC. They may be a community, an NGO, or a government agency —these are the groups who need to be present, because the others leave.” In the case of MINAE in Costa Rica, responsibilities were gradually delegated for community organizations like La Amistad Producers Association (ASOPROLA)20 to take charge of some activities, such as the organization and implementation of workshops, in place of MINAE. The goal was to reduce dependence on MINAE and generate capacity for organizations to administer, implement, monitor, and account for the use of resources.

“It was totally clear to us that without Felipe Carazo’s participation, it would have been very hard for us to have access to these resources since it is easier for these organizations [TNC] to continue to give resources to larger organizations than ours. It was a difficult but rewarding time, since after overcoming so many problems, we were considered one of the groups that responded the best. The resources were used to full advantage and the investment was clearly justified.”
—Yendry Suárez, member of the Quercus Community Network, interview, June 7, 007)

The field trips and focus group meetings made it possible to become acquainted with the potential stakeholders in the different areas of PILA and its buffer zones. However, before determining who to work with, it was important to determine the places and issues to work on,19 and —depending on the above conclusions— to identify the most suitable partners. In this way, “efforts and processes were prioritized based on the strategies established in the Conservation Area Plan and on available resources.” It was also important to coordinate efforts and seek agreements between TNC in Panama and Costa Rica, and to estimate the complementary funding requirements. 

Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean

which made it possible to recognize organizational achievements as well as actions carried out by third parties. At the beginning of PiP. and to disseminate these lessons through publications and venues for knowledge exchange and training. However. aged to reduce its operating costs from an annual average of 30% to 15%. and to ensure that their reporting is working. However. According to Felipe Carazo. Organizations have been encouraged to seek out and knock on the doors of agencies with the potential to grant resources. It is also fundamental to establish mechanisms for both parties to be accountable to each other. Appropriate administrative.” In this way. but showing a certain flexibility to allow for learning and adaptation.” notes Felipe Carazo. indirect or practical strengthening allows learning-by-doing by involving the organizations in the development of concrete activities. thus strengthening their capacities. This was carried out in the ANAI Association and the National Biodiversity Institute (INBio). and to generate conditions in which the organizations’ strengths and weaknesses could be openly recognized. medium term (5 years) and long term (10 years). there were not many resources. TNC and partners whose institutional capacity showed a significant degree of growth would be able to extend their experiences to  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . the fact that the local organizations had managed small contracts gradually exposed them to being accountable. including organizational strengthening. land protection and other conservation instruments and environmental incentives. 2. This is capacity strengthening without generating dependence. and their potential to strengthen other local organizations. It was important to not give in to implementation pressures and end up distributing all of the financial resources among those having the greatest capacity for implementation. it is well received. and training in the development of Conservation Plans. a goal21 was added to PiP that consisted of using PiP site-based activities to influence conservation at other sites in the region’s most imperiled ecosystems. who has worked with various organizations. The three key words are: patience. especially human ones. to develop strengthening activities with other organizations in the PILA. it has been a “support process with a very fine line between meddling and supporting them to help them with their doubts on financial matters. Second. KnoWledge tranSfer bY individual partnerS In 1995. a combination of both direct and indirect strengthening processes is ideal. The strengthening of partners in the PILA can be divided into two types. practical instruction on this matter is important. It is currently estimated that indirect strengthening is necessary to support enforcement and formalization of the organizations and community networks that have been created in PILA.2. The agreements established with these organizations provided them with larger amounts and greater administrative demands.Another important aspect considered in the selection of partners was whether the organizations had staff with leadership and motivation. For example. for example. financial. Direct strengthening processes have been and are essential in certain areas such as fundraising and financial sustainability. In PILA. This has been accomplished by strictly monitoring work plans. the TNC office in Costa Rica now has one person in charge of institutional strengthening. but a certain amount of resources was set aside for allocation to local organizations whose members lived in the different regions. in addition to the specific technical strengths to carry out the activities. the implementation of different fundraising strategies. The first type is direct or structured strengthening through training on organizational topics related to specific areas of the organization. proposal development. With the acquired capacities. A key element of working with partners was to maintain a humble attitude. and technical monitoring activities were also adopted. If this “is done in a framework of relations of trust and transparency. The central purpose of this goal was to capitalize on the experiences and lessons learned from the different areas where work was done. and different techniques and standards applied to land and water protection. and staff capacity was increased for project design. The scheme of work has consisted of TNC staff designing the strengthening process and of another outside person later being hired to implement it. their ability to improve. following guidance provided by the Institutional Self-Assessment tool. as a result of institutional strengthening focusing on: the design and implementation of a technical and financial planning exercise for the short term (1 year). transparency and trust. the same organizations have gradually come to know their capacities.

participatory conservation. it was proposed that a subagreement be reached with FUNDICCEP for implementation of conservation and sustainable use actions in its area of influence. By implementing specific contracts to carry out project activities. FMB assumed protection of the Mbaracayu Natural Reserve after acquiring this territory which had been in private hands. originally called the Foundation for the Integral Development of the Cerro Punta District. 1998). At the beginning of PiP work in the region. FUNDICCEP gradually improved its technical and operational capacities so that its work began to be guided by clearly defined purposes and specific goals with definite deadlines. going from the direct implementation of actions in the field to the facilitation of processes which other organizations are responsible for implementing. based on a joint evaluation. and with economic and technical support from PiP or autonomously. 1998). some partners modified their approach. In 1992. as an institution with a sense of long-term ownership and continuity— the work involved in strengthening it was justified. it was determined that the organization was not prepared to assume the administrative demands of a subagreement. FUNDICCEEP has led in the strengthening of organizations making up ADATA. sharing their experiences with others or performing work through other organizations. PiP supported FMB in different activities aimed at effective management of the Reserve. Several PiP partners gradually became regional experts in training. Since FUNDICCEP was considered a partner of the site —that is. as well as in its institutional case 2 FUNDICCEP. These processes contributed to strengthening the sector of organizations involved in conservation and sustainable use of protected areas. both of which are key elements of a successful partnership. From that year until 1996. However. thus gradually modifying the initial strategy of one partner per site. FUNDICCEP was able to recognize its weaknesses and PiP took the necessary corresponding actions to support FUNDICCEP strengthening. FUDICCEP is now equipped to promote the formation and strengthening of several organizations belonging to the Alliance Network for the Environmental Development of the Highlands (ADATA). and also that the necessary bonds of trust did not yet exist between the parties. which operates in Panama’s Pacific region. the organization learned to assume the requirements involved in managing financial resources from international sources such as USAID.. Likewise. FUNDICCEEP implements technical assistance programs for grassroots organizations on sustainable agroproduction models. A successful example worth mentioning22 took place in Paraguay with the Moisés Bertoni Foundation (FMB) created in 1988. and at different levels (Brandon et al. Likewise. and strategic planning. Thanks to its strengthened institutional capacity. is a Panamanian organization whose objective is to promote the sustainable development of the communities located in the buffer zone of La Amistad Biosphere Reserve in Panama. which began in 1994. Therefore. Based on a self-assessment process. an organization that strengthens others in La Amistad International Park. formal and non-formal environmental  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . Panama 23 FUNDICCEP. This process not only contributed to overcoming the organization’s weaknesses. Fourteen environmental and development organizations located in the Chiriquí highlands belong to ADATA. especially for training members and improving its administrative and accounting structure. On a local level. FUNDICCEP received PiP support for its strengthening. especially in situations where it was necessary to group together a larger number of organizations and to promote mechanisms for consensus among different stakeholders.other organizations for the explicit purpose of supporting and/or implementing conservation activities (Brandon et al. It was created in a process prior to PiP that was supported by Conservation International within the framework of a project known as AMISCONDE. These processes also allowed TNC to expand its network of partner organizations with which to carry out joint actions. some partners in Latin America and the Caribbean supported the evolution of other organizations. but it established a relationship of trust and transparency.. Within the framework of this goal.

changes in its structure and statutes have already been proposed. has earned respect on a national level. who in turn would contribute to sharing lessons about the strengthening process with other organizations. its full name is now Foundation for Integral Community Development and Ecosystem Conservation in Panama. which allows it to have greater geographic and thematic coverage. and institutional strengthening. and for FUNDICCEP and strengthened organizations to not compete with each other over resources.” One way of achieving this has been to promote projects that generate economic resources for the producers belonging to the organizations. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean  . in areas such as biological monitoring. it has guided and advised them. which hold exploitation rights to the Reserve’s resources. FUNDICCEP knows its capacity for joint work.strengthening. among others. idiosyncrasies. based on its participation in a PiP activity. but they have had the freedom and the space to make their own decisions. TNC later supported CICOAM so that it could serve to guide the strengthening of local service providers. FUNDICCEP proposes to establish partnerships with international and other organizations so that together they can request resources from additional sources. and level of development. In this way. easy-to-understand formats was also an institutional strengthening process for INBio. education. among other aspects of organizational development. fire control. among other topics. FUNDICCEP has involved organizations in the activities so that they assume responsibilities. which would influence the type of support they give. the National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) had the opportunity. INBio was able to transfer knowledge and contribute to the strengthening of a number of local organizations. to translate scientific knowledge into training materials suitable for use with communities located in Costa Rica’s Pacific zone. In Costa Rica. but without becoming dependent. has negotiating power. including fundraising from various sources. such as the Foundation for the Sustainable Development of the Chaco. FUNDICCEP recognizes the need to continue strengthening its relationship with international organizations like TNC. In response to this. beginning with its name. FMB became a regional leader in different areas. FUNDICCEP has learned that it is not possible to take the same approach with all organizations. The representatives who attend ADATA’s meetings commit themselves to disseminate the results in their respective institutions. especially since it realizes that these organizations are dynamic and can change policies and agendas. FUNDICCEP is aware that it will need to reconsider the scope of its work as the process of strengthening organizations continues to be successful and these organizations become empowered. and those who attend ADATA meetings participate on equal terms. Although it continues to be FUNDICCEP. exchanging experiences. and program evaluating. and does not need to wait for others to manage its resources. in its role as a second-level organization. while those in which weaknesses have been detected will continue to be strengthened. These changes also seek to move away from the specific activities the grassroots organizations are already capable of carrying out. Accordingly. The FMB created the International Center for Training in Management of Environmental NGOs (CICOAM) as a center to support institutional strengthening of environmental organizations in functional areas such as the establishment of boards of directors and financial management. and recognizing that financial resources are limited. The FMB also provided support to Aché indigenous groups. in La Amistad International Park. FUNDICCEP has carried out its support of other institutions. This leadership was expanded in different areas and allowed FMB to support the creation and strengthening of other conservation organizations in the country. Work with the grassroots organizations that are sufficiently strengthened consists of monitoring and advising. Finally. which in turn became a PiP partner starting in 1998. ADATA regularly holds meetings for coordinating. but rather that it is necessary to make adjustments after understanding the organization’s characteristics. The possibility of translating scientific material into simple. and scientific research on biodiversity. strengthening. with the aim of “each group growing so that it doesn’t depend on us. such as those belonging to the Quercus Community Network. FUNDICCEP has assumed the role of continually updating information on results of these meetings by generating news bulletins that are widely disseminated.

and enabled us to help other organizations under ours to grow as well. effective public policies. the integration of different perspectives. Interview. and private organizations.3. In other cases. as will be seen in the next chapter. or they preferred to maintain a profile dedicated to one site and objective in particular. investments were need at a larger scale including different sites. That has allowed us to have many more zealous eyes watching over the tremendous potential the valuable La Amistad International Park has not only for Panama and Costa Rica. Building coalitions for conservation has also been considered an appropriate mechanism to facilitate the implementation of the Program of Work on Protected Areas. 007 Particularly after the second phase of the Parks in Peril project began in 2002. and we will of course continue to do all we can to can to sustain it. and national governmental organizations and civil society. 2005). permanent initiatives in the area of education. as well as the effective management of new protected areas and protected area systems. Support for interinStitutional WorK and coalition building “Personally. To work at larger scales requires coordinated participation of a variety of organizations which together offer several features: a solid scientific foundation. At INBio we are very enthused with the process that we have generated. established in 2004 during the Seventh Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the This situation in which PiP partners supported strengthening other organizations to develop and implement natural resource conservation and sustainable use actions has not been the case in all countries and with all partners. landscapes. it will be necessary to approximately double the conservation results achieved in the last 50 years. INBio.2. That is why we are partners with TNC.24 To meet this goal. the commitment to establish complementary and cumulative efforts. which raised expectations in terms of speed. and active public participation (Flores et al. in the next ten years. In some cases. This will require implementation of strategies which help to expand the scale and impact of the interventions. one that has most educated me and increased my awareness in community work – it has been very motivating. effectiveness. June . June . Fundavisap. this has been one of the projects that has most motivated me in my 15 years at the Institute. We have started this process and we are not going to give up on it. partner work was extended to an even larger scale where they promoted and/or participated in the coordination of not only civil society organizations. previously strengthened partners would serve as a platform to promote natural resource conservation and sustainable use beyond individual areas to favor larger-scale. but for the whole world. 007  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . which is centered on building and strengthening multi-organizational groups —called a “coalition” in this publication— that works toward natural resource conservation and sustainable use.” — Gladys Rodríguez.. grew out of the recognition that conservation programs require establishment of agreements among local. community.” --Vilma Obando. This approach. because we have the capacity to continue the process as far as we are able and we are committed to what we are doing. TNC recognized that in addition to the importance of giving continuity to support for conservation actions in specific sites. a good capacity for law enforcement. sitelevel actions. and the number of conservation areas which should be supported in the future. regional. ecosystems. This coalition approach has become the necessary way of working toward achievement of the goal TNC has set for 2015. but also public and private ones. “Thank you because you helped us to grow. organizations did not have the strength or sense of direction to help others move forward. and even countries. On this scale. the institutional framework did not allow it.

This publication contains a practical. 2005). increase the mobilization of funds. This tool was based on the Institutional Self-Assessment carried out by the individual organizations.. and aspects of their implementation. These relations would lead to the establishment of coalitions to apply innovative and far-reaching methodologies and tools.25 a new publication was produced entilted Protected Area Conservation Coalitions: A Guide for Evaluation and Strengthening. the exchange and generation of scientific information. to strengthen their capacities. the number of people involved. and ecologically representative (Flores et al. Cases of interinstitutional work in Latin America and the Caribbean Of the interinstitutional coalition-level actions to which PiP contributed in some way. not only with the original partner organizations but also with the government agencies with authority over conservation and sustainable use. the mobilization of public and private financing. As a result. These strategies were designed to promote actions that would address conservation-related issues operating at a higher level than the site. the capacity to influence political agendas. The Program determined the objectives. such as conservation on private lands. The strategies would strengthen the mechanisms for the local partners to transfer their learning to other sites and organizations. in addition to continuing to work at the site-level. Finally. correct their weaknesses. related to the conservation of an area or landscape—but also thematic. and with private and civil society organizations. which were developed throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The tool allows each coalition to include additional indicators tailored to its own characteristics and purposes in addition to the main indicators. it required the establishment and management of interinstitutional relations.Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). and the generation of lessons learned (Hardy. The element of cohesion among the organizations was not only geographic—that is.1. PiP has supported the development of tools which facilitate strengthening these coalitions. (ii) address complex threats having an impact on several sites within national. 2005). accessible. goals. PiP initiated the development of strategies known as Multi-Site Strategies. The publication also provides a tool to periodically evaluate coalition effectiveness in the management of protected areas and. in some cases strengthening individual partner organizations was continued primarily with the objective of them becoming catalysts and promoters of larger-scale processes integrated with other organizations. improve their work plans. and (iv) strengthen the capacity of networks of organizations created to share experiences and best practices. For TNC. based on the results. but the indicators were adapted to coalition26 conditions based on the previous self-assessment experience and the results of interviews with members of the coalitions which cooperated in the process of adapting the tool. 2. among other benefits (Flores et al. the following cases are worth noting because of their complexity. 2005b).. (iii) mobilize financial resources. and time frames for each of the signing countries to support the establishment and maintenance of complete national and regional protected areas which are effectively administered and financed. and international landscapes. The new approach also included support for the creation and strengthening of international partnerships with the capacity to: (i) maximize biodiversity conservation in high-priority ecoregions. and optimize their monitoring and evaluation capacity. It is recommended that this tool be applied to help coalitions establish and clarify their priorities. Since this approach aimed at a larger scale of intervention.3. regional. In addition to the tools in the Resources for Success series. and easy-to-use methodology to define actions aimed at strengthening conservation coalitions. the establishment of national and international coalitions has made it possible to achieve different objectives: the collaborative and participatory implementation of various management activities in protected areas. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 7 .

and national and international NGOs such as TNC. Assessing training and capacity-building requirements and needs for protected area management. and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). as well as new agencies interested in collaborating. By way of an example. Conservation International (CI). Dominican Republic. Grenada. For that purpose. The NISPs have also made it possible to improve the strengths of local NGOs and government agencies in protected area planning. NISP Committees were established in each country with participation by all organizations which signed the agreement and other key government agencies. These negotiations took between six months and two years to complete. the activities are integrated into planning for the system. different national and international institutions signed agreements to establish coalitions for conservation. based on the use of scientific knowledge-based methods and standards. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.National Implementation Support Partnership (NISP) One of TNC’s strategic priorities supported by PiP consisted of facilitating Latin American and Caribbean countries’ implementation of the commitments contained in the Program of Work on Protected Areas established at the Seventh Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). and among these organizations and government agencies. The agreements have become a significant political tool to bring about an important rapprochement among national and international NGOs. particularly in Bahamas. one of the Multi-Site Strategies which PiP supported on a regional level consisted of establishing NISPs in the Caribbean countries. Jamaica. Completing national-level gap analyses of the protected areas. While individual NISPs are adjusted to the specific needs of each country. 00: ) The NISPs have mainly organized themselves around the implementation of three of the activities suggested by the Program of Work: 1. Haiti. 3. The NISPs have facilitated the exchange of information on the different organization agendas and work plans.” (Flores et al. the three above-mentioned activities are common to all of them. Through these agreements. to be implemented by the coalition of organizations. “The NISP agreements have achieved the greatest increase in the number of associations in the history of TNC. and promoted coordinated interinstitutional work. World Wildlife Fund (WWF). In this way. established consensus around the management of protected area systems. The details and expected outcomes are mainly coordinated with governmental and non-governmental agencies responsible for managing the protected area system. and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). 8 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .. each country establishes common actions related to its national system of protected areas. The main justification for promoting these agreements was the conviction that it would be very hard to make and sustain long-term progress toward the conservation of the protected area systems if organizations were not willing to work in coalitions. 2. Agreements for civil society support to national governments (National Implementation Support Partnerships or NISPs) have been signed between governments in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. These partnerships have also facilitated increased fundraising from the current donors. These Committees meet between two and four times per year to present the progress made on the activities carried out. Establishing and implementing financing plans to achieve the two previous objectives and the sustainability of the country’s protected areas.

SANet (Sustainable Alternatives Network). including reporting on progress made by each organization on the different issues. of plans and financing mechanisms at the protected area level and adapted to local conditions and needs.conser- Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . The work of the CFA has been supported by a group of member organizations including the World Bank. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). which develops and disseminates materials on the importance of financing mechanisms for conservation and how to apply them. the Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA) was created with support from TNC and other organizations and is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of international conservation organizations and donors with extensive experience in financial sustainability. The CFA records financing supply and demand. Against this backdrop. Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). The CFA has working groups for discussion of specific topics. The web page also facilitates the dissemination of relevant information on financing mechanisms. for the design and implementation of national sustainable financing strategies in protected area systems. The PiP sites selected as pilot areas serve as platforms to promote conservation at the level of the protected area system. This project has made it possible for these four countries to advance in the area of financing. German Development Bank (KfW). Support. National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). Peru. United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The CFA develops and refines training tools such as the Conservation Finance Guide (http://guide. and the implementation of specific financing instruments. and considers the possibility of establishing seed capital funds to support new financing mechanisms. Development. The project includes a partnership at the level of the protected area systems of four countries: Costa Rica. the project entitled “PiPCFA: Financial Sustainability of National Systems of Protected Areas” was initiated in 2004 with PiP support. These working groups meet voluntarily as the need arises to discuss particular issues. ü Mobilization of financial resources. and thus to support the effective implementation of global conservation commitments. vationfinance. in pilot sites. such as the development of business plans and the creation of trust funds. and Jamaica. Ecuador. The main activities it carries out are: ü Informing strategic agencies and persuading them to commit their support. including the analysis of financing gaps. The CFA was created to promote coordination of actions and to catalyze existing funding for biodiversity conservation from public and private sources. the design of financing plans. The project includes five main components: 1� Activities in protected area systems. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB). Some of the topics covered and refined during implementation include: the selection 9 In 2002. 3� Capacity-building activities. ü Training and technical assistance.28 The main element of cohesion for this voluntary partnership is the priority the organizations give to conservation financing. and is implemented with support from several CFA members. and the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC). Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Conservation Data Center (CDC). Chemonics also participates as an observer. Conservation International (CI). World Conservation Union (IUCN). This purpose is achieved through Strategic Communication. United Nations Development Program (UNDP).Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA)27 Members of the CFA TNC. German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). and the Global Environment Fund (GEF).org/) and jointly offers specific training and technical assistance. correlating demand to implementation capacity. Support for capacity building and strengthening at different levels and according to the national partners’ needs. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. through national-level partnerships and working groups. 2� Site-level activities in protected areas. Tropical Forest Conservation Act Secretariat – USAID. the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR). Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO). World Wildlife Fund (WWF). PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

” is entitled Financial Plans and Business Principles for Protected Areas and National Systems of Protected Areas: Guidelines. (FONACON) and Foguama. in the framework of this project. haiti: Haitian Environmental Foundation (FHE). The members of this coalition are representatives of the following organizations:29 Peru’s National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA). and the application of the Conservation Finance Guide. Environmental Funds included in RedLAC belize: Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT). and their dissemination to other countries in the region and the world. The partnership among the countries helped to minimize these limitations by promoting work around the agreements—NISPs—signed by the key stakeholders in each country. Mexico: Mexican Nature Conservation Fund (FMCN). Some limitations that had to be overcome in the project were changes in participating country political and economic environments. among others. panama: Fundación NATURA. peru: Americas Fund of Peru (FONDAM) and National Fund for Natural Areas Protected by the State (PROFONANPE). 4� Learning and exchange activities. financial analyses. Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC)30 The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC) was formally established in 1999 as a coalition for learning and exchange. delays in decision-making processes. as well as using virtual pages for the exchange of experiences among learning networks. Jamaica’s National Environment 0 and Planning Agency (NEPA). el Salvador: Fund of the Initiative for the Americas (FIAES). and exchange among the four countries. 5� Supervision of the CFA strategy and multiregion exchange. This product. National Fund for Nature Conservation. Today it is made up of 21 environmental funds from 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and attracts resources to finance natural resource conservation and sustainable use actions. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . and the reorientation of priorities for conservation financing. RedLAC’s mission is to promote the interrelationship and strengthening of Latin American and Caribbean environmental funds through a continuous learning system for natural heritage conservation and the sustainable development of the region. others: UNDP – Small Grants Programme and the Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund). high staff turnover in government agencies. bolivia: Foundation for the Development of the National System of Protected Areas (FUNDESNAP) and the Foundation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the Environment (PUMA). this component included implementing virtual training modules. The purpose of this crosscutting component is to ensure planning and management for effective implementation. Suriname: Suriname Conservation Foundation. Jamaica: The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ). colombia: Fund for Environmental Action and Childhood (FPAA). guatemala: Conservation Trust of Guatemala (FCG). Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). Finally. ecuador: Ecuador National Environmental Fund. honduras: Honduran Foundation for Environment and Development (VIDA). Ecuador’s National System of Protected Areas (SNAP). collaboration. brazil: National Environment Fund (FNMA) and Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO). These agreements enhance the continuity of the actions.and management of financing mechanisms. the result of work in thematic groups and through meetings or “learning stops. Documentation of best practices resulting from the above-mentioned components. fiscal restrictions. and Early Lessons and gathers together guidelines for the planning and implementation of site and system-level financing mechanisms. CFA established a governmental coalition for learning and for generating a concrete final product. With support from UNESCO. as well as a TNC representative in each of the participating countries and one from the TNC office in the United States. Methods.

which met formally for the first time the following year and again in Venezuela to define a strategic plan for the five-year period 2005-2010. The Alliance has five strategies through which it concentrates its efforts: organizational strengthening. territorial zoning. financing. design. experiences. documentation  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .RedLAC is made up of an assembly of executive directors of member funds who define RedLAC’s strategic actions. the Peruvian fund PROFONANPE is hosting the secretariat. and coordination and integration. RedLAC has no formal structure or legal capacity. positioning of the issue of private lands conservation. administrative. but its existence has been supported by the importance members have attributed to the issue of conservation financing. which became the leading organization for promoting regional integration processes. The Inter-American Private Lands Conservation Congresses—organized by institutions working in this field. PiP has also relied on RedLAC as a technical advisor for actions in selected sites. which altogether own two million hectares of lands. Congress participants decided to form the Latin American Alliance of Private Reserves Networks. communication. The main aim of the Alliance is to facilitate cooperation. including the development of training modules on financial topics. Examples of issues addressed by the Alliance include: land tenure. the networks created an organizational strengthening strategy. coordination. and the exchange of knowledge. Each of these national networks has committed itself to disseminating information on the Alliance to other local networks. analysis. At the VI Inter-American Private Conservation Congress held in 2004 in Santiago de Chile. The Alliance is composed of one representative from each of the participating countries’ national networks. and operation of the Network. common definitions of private lands conservation concepts. including TNC—provided the opportunity to create a “network of networks” across Latin America.600 individuals or organizations. Members of the Latin American Alliance of Private Reserves Networks argentina: Habitat Foundation Natural Reserve Network (Red Hábitat de Reservas Naturales) belize: Association of Private Protected Areas bolivia: Prometa and the Private Conservation Forum brazil: National Confederation of Private Natural Heritage Reserves of Brazil colombia: Colombian Network Association of Natural Reserves of the Civil Society (RESNATUR) and Fundación Natura chile: National Network of Private Protected Areas costa rica: Costa Rican Network of Natural Private Reserves ecuador: National Corporation of Private Forests el Salvador: National Network of Private Protected Areas of El Salvador (RENAPES) guatemala: Association of Guatemalan Private Natural Reserves honduras: Honduran Network of Private Natural Reserves (REHNAP) Mexico: National Association of Natural Private Reserves (ARENA) nicaragua: Foundation for the Development of Private Natural Reserves panama: Panamanian Natural Private Reserves Network Association (Asociación Panameña Red de Reservas Naturales Privadas) paraguay: Paraguayan Private Conservation Network peru: Private and Communal Conservation Network of Peru venezuela: Private Reserves Network of Venezuela (Aprinatura) regional: Association of Natural Reserves Networks of Mesoamerica When the Alliance was constituted as a voluntary network through the signing of the “Declaration of Faith. At the moment. A mobile secretariat is responsible for promoting operation of the network. including the opportunity to share experiences across the region. The RedLAC Network has received collaboration from various private institutions such as TNC for development of interinstitutional strengthening programs during the stages of development. The Alliance seeks to work on issues of common interest that require the construction of legal. Latin American Alliance of Private Reserves Networks The civil society initiative to organize itself in networks began in 1991 with the Colombian Network of Civil Society Nature Reserves (RESNATUR). Like other coalitions. and natural conservation processes carried out through private conservation initiatives in Latin America. and technical instruments.” it consisted of around 1.

legal recognition. In general. and the integration of private protected areas with national. The database can also be linked to other technical databases managed by the institution. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . In each country. and private areas themselves. the development of a website and. Meetings. and ensure that these partners and coalitions are managed systematically and effectively. results of risk assessment. conservation incentives. including support for site-level actions as well as regional-level actions coordinated through the Alliance. Its approval would constitute significant progress toward the formalization and legalization of conservation processes in the Latin American context. the joint development of a proposed Regional Policy for Private Lands Conservation to be presented to the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) for approval by its Council of Ministers. have been held in different countries to position private lands conservation issues in the region as well as in proposals for legal frameworks for private conservation that are applicable to all countries. This team was responsible for directly training the organizations or for coordinating activities carried out by external consultants. which is composed of the Ministers of Environment of each country in the region.). These strategies were jointly developed in accordance with previous experience and TNC guidelines on working with and strengthening partners. to strengthen the internal capacity of TNC staff to more effectively manage their work with TNC’s partners. TNC will be able to measure the investment made in its work with others and the concrete conservation results this investment has produced. and 4) intervention sites and ecoregions. Partner needs were detected based on the results of institutional assessments. and local areas. Some of the main activities carried out in this final phase were the following: • Development of a database on partners and service providers. 3) legal agreements. and open discussions among PiP coordinators and the partners. risk assessments. projects. These people are responsible for gathering the information and updating the database three times per year. as the continuation of similar strategies implemented in previous years of the program. The strategies were aimed at achieving two interrelated purposes: on the one hand. 2) projects involving partners. PiP has been the main source of funds for private lands conservation in Latin America. results of the assessment of institutional strengthening. on the other hand. of experiences. a subgroup of the Latin American Alliance. several multi-site strategies were developed that have contributed to the institutional strengthening of and work with partner organizations in the Mesoamerican and Caribbean region (MACR). evaluations of PiP activities. This experience now constitutes an excellent example of the initiatives that TNC can carry out in the future to select partners and coalitions for conservation. it has been useful insofar as it has allowed national networks to keep in contact and exchange  experiences. primarily. One notable outcome of the Alliance has been the creation of the Mesoamerican Network of Private Natural Reserves. The database was created in 2006 as a management tool to monitor both partner organizations and the coalitions established with TNC support. Its activity and level of commitment have been reflected in its meetings. regional. The database makes it possible to analyze partner relations and partner connections to the priority ecoregions and serves as a tool to measure progress toward TNC’s 2015 goal. sponsored by a variety of national or regional projects. educational processes. attending more consistently to partner needs and. and information on financing. etc.case 3 Institutional strengthening of partners and TNC in Central America and the Caribbean31 Within the framework of PiP. In recent years. a team of specialists supported putting the strategies into effect. to strengthen the capacity of local organizations and critical stakeholders for conservation of protected areas in the MACR and.32 The development of the strategies has also contributed to improving TNC’s interaction with partners. The database includes four main sections: 1) partners and/or service providers (contact information. optimizing its ways of working with others. overall. While the Alliance still has a way to go to consolidate itself. These strategies were financed over the last two years of PiP. The information to be fed into the database is being gathered in the period from July to December 2007 with the participation of one to three people in each country trained for this purpose.

is designed around three assessment matrices related to: 1) evaluation of the conditions of relationships with partners. Some of these lessons are presented in the next chapter.34 Other tools and guides designed in Central America were distributed during the course. This training event for partners in the Caribbean countries has been held annually since 2005.• Development of a course and guide on basic factors for partnerships in Central America. so as to strengthen existing and future partner organizations in the region. establishment and management of protected areas (Objective 3. and capacitybuilding experiences contributes to the objectives of the Program of Work on Protected Areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Attendees at the course workshops (107 people corresponding to 64% of TNC’s staff in the region35) recommended that the course be adapted so that it can also be offered to partners in the region and potentially in other regions.36 The event was organized to allow participants to receive training on topics related to both organizational development and technical elements of conservation. and 3) an action plan to strengthen relationships. and to develop. From experience with these strategies. strengthening processes must be adjusted to enable organizations to respond effectively to changes in global and national conservation agendas. The workshops also generated a forum for discussion of lessons learned and recommendations for the future.3). apply and transfer appropriate technologies for protected areas (Objective 3. The periodic application of this tool by TNC and its partners also contributes to building trust and continuous learning. The use of these coalitions to share lessons learned. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean  . • Development of a tool for monitoring partner performance. The purpose of the course was to develop the basic factors33 to establish and launch partnerships and to share these factors with TNC staff so that —for the first time— all of the partners’ operations would be based on a platform of common knowledge. as well as with a wider audience. and to raise the professional level (SCBD. One of these tools was created to facilitate dialogue among partners to enable them to identify and resolve conflicts. 2) identification of areas which facilitate or hinder relationships between partners. through the implementation of capacitybuilding programs and broad initiatives to develop knowledge and abilities at the individual. Several of the above-mentioned coalitions have as one of their main functions the exchange of knowledge and experiences among members. Since TNC primarily implements its conservation actions through its partners. 2004). as well. Organizational strengthening needs were identified through Institutional Self-Assessments and experts were hired to design courses to address these needs. going back to the experience with the Latin Americawide Conservation Training Weeks held from 1991 to 2001. The current challenge is to obtain funding to ensure continuity of these events. The events also provided an opportunity for partners to share their experiences and lessons learned and to establish work-related contacts. it is essential to monitor and evaluate partnerships to identify needed improvements and make progress towards conservation. In particular.2). PiP staff and partners themselves have learned that institutional capacity building is a dynamic process which is continually evolving and in which organizations learn. information. community and institutional levels. which is implemented through different sequential steps. assimilate. Furthermore. • Holding Conservation Training Week for partners in the Caribbean. The course design and accompanying guide made it possible to document essential components gathered from TNC’s experience with partners. the coalitions have contributed to the objectives related to the need to build capacity for the planning. The tool. and apply new knowledge at their own pace. as well as to designing action plans to improve their relations.

who have shared their experiences and recommendations. June 7. with whom. If the process begins by identifying ‘with whom. 007 At the beginning of PiP. 2) institutional strengthening of individual organizations. These tables are divided into lessons related to: 1) selection of partners. work was begun with those organizations with which a previous relationship existed with TNC and/or organizations with a solid and positive reputation in the selected regions. the second section incorporates lessons and recommendations. 4) work carried out with the organizations according to their nature and characteristics. and 5) work in building and launching coalitions for conservation. which emerged during the interviews and workshops held with national and local organizations regarding selection of. Generally. 2006). and work with.37 as well as by representatives from the national and local organizations with which TNC has worked jointly in those sites. These lessons have been drawn from both TNC and partner staff. Some of the lessons and suggestions presented below were collected at the “Fourth Annual Workshop on Best Practices and Challenges for Parks in Peril Site Consolidation” held in Monterrey. Lessons learned and recommendations The evolution of TNC’s work with partners has generated lessons learned and reflections which have guided TNC actions in this field. including those prepared by staff responsible for organizational strengthening strategies in the Mesoamerica and Caribbean regions. and later. Mexico in March 2007. Additional lessons were taken from TNC documents. in terms of their capacities and roles.1. At the beginning of work with the partner. 3) joint work by partners on natural resource conservation and sustainable use. that is. there was no systematic analysis of selection criteria. Lessons were gathered from a study of TNC’s relations with partners in Central America which was conducted through the Regional Environmental Program for Central America (PROARCA) and PiP (Sáenz and Arias. as well as with representatives of non-governmental. keeping in mind who the site partner is and what its existing capacities are. will depend on the proposed objectives to be achieved.1. Lessons on selecting to work with individual partners38 “In sum. attended by Parks in Peril staff members from the 12 most recent Pipsupported sites. This chapter is organized as follows: The first part contains a series of sections showing lessons learned and recommendations gleaned from TNC’s work through the PiP program. community.  3. The diversity of selected partners.3. Preparation of this publication also involved interviews with current and former TNC staff working on institutional strengthening.1. national.’ one ends up adapting to the others’ agenda without having a joint and comprehensive approach. and international partners. leSSonS learned bY tnc 3. Over the years.” — Felipe Carazo. criteria began to be applied more formally in some countries. The lessons learned from all these experiences are: ü Partners should be selected based on a specific need associated with a natural resources conservation and/or sustainable use objective. these actions will be more effectively achieved if addressed through the joint and coordinated work of various stakeholders. The chapter concludes with the voices of the local partners. local. the choice of strategic partners was small because the conservation NGO movement was relatively new in Latin America and the Caribbean and a wide range of strong organizations did not exist. it ü ü Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . the ideal way to choose partners39 is to take a reading of the situation and to first choose what and where. and government organizations.

Partner organizations should not immediately be given a significant flow of economic resources for conservation purposes unless consideration has also been given to the need. but rather. and persons in charge should have enough discretion and flexibility to make adjustments in the process. previous experience and reputation. and to share joint interests. Lessons on institutional strengthening of individual partners41 ü Supporting partner organizations in their institutional development —institutional strengthening— has proven to be a valuable tool to help build national and local organizations to sustain progress in natural resource conservation and sustainable use. and main institutional development needs. For example. In Latin American and Caribbean countries. if required. Sometimes. Institutional strengthening will not be effective if the tools to be used are perceived as bureaucratic requirements and not as success factors in the implementation of natural resource conservation and sustainable use activities. and its technical. in some cases. The strengthening process should begin by carrying out a systematic diagnostic exercise with partners to determine their strengths. should be consultative: other staff members should participate to allow different visions and perspectives to complement each other. based on the stages for establishing partner relations. The selection process mentioned in Table 1. ü In the event that several NGOs have the potential to be partners. it is recommended that these weaknesses not be ignored when establishing the partnership. The selection process is facilitated by personal empathy and affinity among staff conducting the process. but they should be compatible and complementary so that each partner generates added value to the partnership.1. meaning that partner organization members already know each other.2. ü Objectives among parties do not have to be the same. However. vision. partners for PiP activities were selected for historical reasons: the organizations were partners of TNC before PiP began and there was no reason to change them.40 3. financial. Objective criteria should be complemented by personal judgment —and instinct— to identify who would be most favorable to work with. sharing ties of friendship. as well as disseminate lessons learned to others. every situation is unique. The strengthening process should be a voluntary one. The Institutional Self-Assessment tool facilitates this process and measuring the success of the work subsequently undertaken. This facilitates establishment of agreements and— although friendship is not enough—collegiality provides the conditions for partners to openly recognize their strengths and weaknesses. In such cases. The selection process should not be the exclusive responsibility of a single person in the organization. a way to address institutional weaknesses should be found at the same time as conservation actions are carried out. and human capacity to implement the project or specific action. to invest in their basic institutional capacities. and that these areas of emphasis be respected. organizational. the main obstacle to making satisfactory progress is that the organization’s managerial or technical staff are not willing to recognize their weaknesses —to feel exposed— and to commit themselves  ü ü ü ü ü ü ü ü Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . When institutional weaknesses are detected. has proven effective because it establishes orderly steps for selection. it is common for circles of conservation-minded people to be small. it is recommended that an analysis be made of each organization’s respective thematic and/or geographic niches of specialization.is desirable to carry out an institutional evaluation to determine the partner organization’s mission. weaknesses.

Maintaining the acquired capacities depends not only on individual interests in ongoing learning. Sometimes these formulas can be developed using known tools and best practices. ü To carry out strengthening processes as well as implement other joint actions. the facilitator of the process should take each party’s different interests and perspectives into account to make it easier to reach agreements on the changes to be made and the roles each party should play. much less that the supporting institution (TNC. Recently created organizations and those facing management staff turnover tend to be more willing to improve their institutional process. it is recommended that an effort be made to identify those people in the organization who have a special interest in and ability to put the institutional development processes into effect. ü ü ü ü ü ü ü ü  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . it is necessary to be familiar with and sensitive to partner culture. the role of managing the strengthening process is not exclusively assumed by a single organization (TNC. it is necessary for the organization to seek specific opportunities to implement the plan and either generate its own funds or obtain them from external cooperation. To help adjust the assistance provided to meet the needs of the organizations. For example. it is essential to estimate the staff’s true time availability so that the strengthening goals are designed to be realistic. it is not sufficient to learn how to develop a financing plan at a training workshop. This situation may be more common in organizations which have existed for several years. Often. This sensitivity can help ensure the appropriation and implementation of the strengthening tools by the organization. in this case). and which have established routines and practices over time that make it difficult to think of making changes.to improving. it is important for the boards of directors to have a mechanism for constant communication with the organization’s mid-level and technical managers. it is beneficial to identify a network of local consultants to facilitate the identified strengthening actions. It may also be advisable to establish partnerships with other local organizations that are well suited to support the institutional strengthening. In strengthening processes. Although participation of upper management and the board of directors is critical for the proposed changes to be sustained over time. idiosyncrasies. but they must be adapted to the particular circumstances and based on collaborative work and learning. the dissemination of training tools is not enough. but also on an organizational climate that stimulates the application and enhancement of these capacities. in this case) should assume that its own institutional plan and procedures are models for partners to follow. Ownership and commitment by different groups of the process is facilitated by participatory and consultative decision-making. In this way. In preparing a strengthening plan. ü The whole staff of the partner organization should be informed about the purposes of strengthening training. It is impor- tant to maintain an updated list of local consultants. It is recommended that organizations not be approached with the assumption that all of the formulas to achieve institutional strengthening are already known. staff members at other hierarchical levels should at least be familiar with the process and results. sharing it widely to achieve the above aim. It is not recommended that the same format be used to strengthen all organizations. and history. When the strengthening process involves the board of directors as well as managerial and technical staff. This reduces the risk of potential dependence and also helps to consolidate local-level institutional networks. Although the process should involve the whole staff.

local knowledge. 7 ü ü ü ü ü ü ü 3. To achieve certain conservation objectives. These needs should be addressed in the first instance by the organization itself. The important thing is to answer these questions as clearly. It is advisable to negotiate the possible uses of available financial resources from the beginning. within the normal evolution of an organization. even if one of the parties also acts as the donor. it should be recognized that there are inherent differences or asymmetrical aspects between partners due to their characteristics. consistently. new training needs will likely appear over time. determining which budget items and activities can be financed and what accountability mechanisms the parties have. It is important to keep in mind that local and national organizations may question the motives of international organizations like TNC for intervening in specific sites in the Latin American region.ü It is not realistic. ü The design of specific actions should be carried out jointly by the parties involved.43 Also. goals. abilities. and transparently as possible. The organization should do what it committed itself to do. fundraising and financial sustainability are topics that a majority of organizations have over and over again considered a priority in a capacity-building package. the objective should be to find common ground in strategic areas (which may be geographic and/ or thematic) and to build a collective working agenda based on these areas. Notwithstanding the above. and financial resources be clearly and transparently defined in a written agreement during the design of the specific actions to be implemented jointly. It is important for the partnership to establish an equitable relationship where mutual learning takes place. Some of these basic factors needed are: financial and accounting tools which contribute to orderly resource management and to the identification of future financial needs.1. Once differences are accepted. by definition. proven fundraising capacity (access to potential sources). and frequent monitoring of progress.42 A decision regarding the appropriate time to suspend actions aimed at strengthening a partner’s administrative capabilities should be based on the observation of progress with regard to the basic factors needed for its operation. Therefore. The behavior of both the technical and administrative staffs of the organizations seeking a partnership should show that all members of the partnership are part of a joint conservation effort. a board of directors involved in developing the organization’s activities and seeking financial resources. having strategic plans. given the global context. The aim cannot be for the partners to be equals. one partner’s political capital. Capacity building requires follow-up. consistency. nature. This is understandable and —under certain circumstances— justified. among others. if this is not possible. to expect Latin American organizations to become completely independent of external resources to meet their conservation objectives. the organization should explain the reasons for not meeting the commitment and propose alternatives. ü Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . and level of experience. expectations. The time to suspend organizational strengthening activities is when the services offered no longer generate added value. However. according to roles and responsibilities that the partnership will establish.3. Lessons on the implementation of joint actions for the conservation and sustainable use of protected areas with individual partners44 ü It is recommended that each partner’s priorities. and institutional will to keep technical and administrative capacities up to date. forces the institution to plan for the future and to develop actions aimed at making the organization sustainable. needs. Consistency is one key element of an alliance.

and candor.credibility. Should occasional differences arise. the fact that one helps another in a specific area does not mean that the “horizontality” is lost but. It is important to give due credit to each and every partner and to not take the limelight when the work is actually the result of a collective partnership. If leaders are controlling or seek to play a dominant role. It is recommended that a policy of requiring counterpart funding from partners be maintained even if these funds are from other international donor organizations. ü When one party to a partnership spins information. it is important to recognize that—beyond the immediate effect of the loss of economic resources—there are other. without which it is impossible to achieve the conservation objectives. partner funding sources should be local or they should at least contribute to covering part of the costs. Accepting that each organization has a comparative advantage in a particular area generates an interdependent relationship. Not giving credit and the desire to receive more prominent recognition are among the elements that can generate division and bad feelings among partners. It is important to have a timely and ongoing communication system that facilitates sharing updated information among the partners. the possibility of dealing with differences openly and trans- parently facilitates future work. this does not mean that the relationship cannot be horizontal or that there is an imbalance in power relations. It is recommended that the terms of the partnership include the creation of pre-established conflict-resolution channels or mechanisms to address differences that may arise. ultimately responsible for managing the protected areas (understood as providers of public goods and services). and capacity for implementation are as important as the financial. Ideally. In other areas. this weakens the possibility of achieving the desired results. it is important to promote an open relationship that makes it possible to report on both the positive and negative results achieved. rather. communicating only what the other partner wants to hear. Partner relations are built daily and should be based on trust. When partners have different strengths. This system should be managed by the organization’s technical and administrative areas in a consistent manner and should consider the following elements: Formal and periodic mechanisms for reporting on changes in the organization that affect its work with other partners.45 ü When partnerships between two organizations fail or there are complications. in most cases. It is valid for the terms of a partnership to recognize and specify that one partner is stronger than another. that communication and decision-making be shared with other members of the staff and the managerial group. and even the partner’s reduced possibilities of receiving further support from its donors. ü ü ü ü ü ü ü ü 8 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . as well as structured administrative requirements for partnerships involving the transfer and management of financial resources. respect. as well as to air disagreements and recognize agreements. This collegiality reduces the risk of the relationship ending or altering in undesirable ways when the person in charge changes. and scientific resources another partner has to offer. no-less-important effects related to the loss of reputation. that a service is being offered in exchange for something else. Leadership in a partner institution often makes all the difference to the work that can be accomplished. Therefore. rather. the inability to meet the proposed objectives. the relationship may work the other way around. It is essential to obtain government funding since this demonstrates commitment by the agencies that are. it will be more difficult to achieve the expected results than if leaders are open and encouraging. technical. It is recommended that partner relations not depend on a single person but.

they also have responsibility and legal authority over management of sites or protected areas. tional partners with which partnerships can be established to develop concrete strategies for application in protected areas over a defined period of time. TNC has developed several tools for this measurement and assessment. Therefore. it is recommended that these areas be emphasized during the strengthening processes. For example. Government institutions are key local partners to be able to frame the site and actions within policies and legal regulations. when deciding on the specific actions to carry out. ü Generally. these community organizations have had less administrative and operational training than other types of partners. ü Capacity building with local organizations should be a careful and respectful process. Both national and international organizations are institu- Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 9 .1. The communities should not be underestimated. implementation of activities. and planning processes that facilitate work with partners. A common way of characterizing the most appropriate roles the different organizations can play is the following: The communities are partners of the site because they will always be there and they are the direct decision-makers regarding the use of natural resources. Therefore. capacity. and programs. the training process and delegation of responsibilities should be based on recognition not only of organizational needs but also of their innate and existing capacities. it is important to establish. ü Administrative and financial matters have generally been the areas of institutional development with the most difficulty for communities. administrative systems should be appropriate and suited to each country’s context and partner’s level of strengthening. it is important to recognize differences in terms of organization nature. ü ü ü 3. human resources. work processes. Therefore. if administrative and financial need are determined. job descriptions should specify duties that facilitate the organization’s interinstitutional work with partners. Likewise. through a participatory diagnostic study. If planning is carried out in this way. It is advisable to have one person in charge of all elements of the partnership relationship. Some partners require specific considerations due to their nature. This person should have the capacity to detect opportunities and risks in a timely fashion. and should promote forms of action and risk mitigation. communities will be more willing to participate in implementing actions and the time prior to implementation will likely be reduced. It is recommended that the means of measuring partner performance be clearly established and that there be periodic monitoring of progress on joint work. culture. efforts should always be made for communities to be co-responsible for the actions they carry out. and objectives.ü Mechanisms for evaluating shared objectives. as well as to raise resources from other sources. in most cases. what the communities want and also what they are capable of doing. When the partners are local communities: ü Planning processes with communities are more sustainable if they take into consideration community knowledge and practical experience of the situation in which interventions are planned. Lessons on strengthening and working with individual partners according to their nature and characteristics46 In working with partners. Also. including partner organization values. their strengthening should emphasize building capacity to generate financial resources.4. and achievement of specific objectives. Internal administrative management systems should be designed for such tasks as financial management. ü There are greater risks of generating financial dependence with community partners.

Their perception of the environment. and the need to pursue rigorous compliance with the agreed terms through monitoring schemes. ü The ultimate purpose of working with local communities as partners should be to empower them. in addition to those agencies having direct authority over management of the protected areas. should participate actively in implementation of natural resource conservation and sustainable use actions. Government entities with authority over protected areas are the key stakeholders in the search for political and legal conditions to facilitate natural resource conservation and sustainable use in protected areas. have been. to guarantee transparency. ü In addition to being the starting point for support of public protected areas management. different levels of government involvement are always required because these public agencies support the legitimacy of actions undertaken. and evaluation of actions in protected areas. hold authority. and should be considered obligatory. It is recommended that coordination mechanisms be established with government agencies from different sectors. ü In establishing partnerships with communities —especially if they are indigenous or traditional— it is important to consider the cultural elements that can become barriers to —indeed opportunities for— joint work. and will continue to be essential to achieve actions associated with the political agenda promoted by TNC. They exist. several of the indicators included in the Institutional Self-Assessment tool are not completely applicable to all government agencies due to differences in agency financial structures. It is more effective to establish partnerships within agendas established by these government entities or to consider such partnerships a priority. it is recommended that initiatives have a counterpart contribution for both financing and technical assistance. therefore. as well as the limitations govern- ü ü ü ü ü ü ü 0 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . In strengthening processes with public organizations. ü It is recommended that a balance be found between the trust placed in organizational capacity to assume primary responsibility for actions. open communication is essential to find common ground for dialogue. In the processes of planning. Government partners are. it is important for the tools and procedures to be adapted to their structures. to integrate environmental actions in these areas within wider development strategies. implementation. government entities should continue to be well-informed about what is happening and. For example. and increase credibility among the parties. protected areas. ü It should be assumed that working with community organizations will mean more time and possibly additional costs. such as the expansion and establishment of protected areas. These costs must be covered to enable these organizations to learn how to do work independently because the sustainability of conservation activities in inhabited protected areas depends on their active particulation. if possible. This combination is critical to ensure that adequate results are obtained. than to arrive with a pre-conceived agenda. For example.ü It is important to recognize the possible operational and logistical limitations to working with community groups. Particularly with this type of partner. deficient communication and transportation systems may limit access to the regions where these communities are located. and natural resources often cannot be completely adjusted to the vision of other partners. When the partners are governments: ü Government agencies are not optional partners.

responsibilities. or restrictions of available resources faced by many public agencies in Latin America can prevent these officials from reaching conservation agreements in a significant and consistent manner. Likewise. and work with individual partners also apply to work with coalitions. specificity. instability. as well as mechanisms for decisionmaking and dispute resolution. as well as with new public officials. Finally. In these situations. of course.  ü ü ü ü ü 3. Partners must learn how to work within the framework of these limitations by seeking to mitigate them or dealing with them in the best way possible. strengthening of. simplicity of the goals should be complemented by efforts to overcome the complex issues and challenges that can be involved in achieving institutional will in particular contexts. inefficient bureaucracies can limit the facility and agility with which decisions affecting established partnerships are made and implemented. Objectives. ü The fact that some government agency officials have landed jobs for political reasons rather than for technical capacity affects the type of relations possible. ü The necessary conditions for successful partnerships are collaboration. and impacts —as well as the means of monitoring— should be discussed and negotiated among the participants. it is recommended that an evaluation be made of the advisability to start the partnership with a few stakeholders that have a clearly-identified shared focus and homologous technical strengths. Lessons for working in coalition building and development47 The lessons learned that have been gathered from work in coalition building and development are contained in the following section. and the conviction that collective work will be more effective in achieving the desired impact than individual action.5.1. when goals and decision-making processes have been clearly defined and. Coalitions should be based on recognition of a common purpose. when the essential prior conditions for collaboration exist. and not the other way around: establishing a coalition and then identifying the purpose. even when the political will to do so exists. The scarcity. Depending on the coalition’s specific objective. will allow each organization to assume its commitments with full knowledge of and responsibility for what that involves. the more possible it will be to measure progress.. clear. high levels of turnover in agencies can affect the continuity of commitments agreed to earlier in partnerships. ü ü “Coalitions work when the time is right. Some of the previously given recommendations referring to selection of. and duration of the coalition. The more specific. transparency. With respect to changes of government. However. to inform them about the benefits of the joint work previously carried out. The common purpose should be made as simple as possible. it is recommended that efforts be made to maintain previous contacts with candidates for public office. 00: ) ü Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . The purpose also determines the duration of the coalition and the commitment expected of the parties. capacities. functions. It is recommended that the link between the coalition’s objective and the desired impact or goal be clearly explained. and pertinent the established goals are. the group can consider adding new stakeholders once it is strengthened. goals. and adaptability.” (Flores et al.ments face in terms of their capacity to generate their own resources. The coalition’s purpose should be established first. interdependence between participants. Concerted definition of the roles. trust.

making it possible to adopt the necessary corrective measures to improve their performance. However. but without increasing the level of complexity or difficulty of coordination.” — Michelle Libby o o o 3. o o • Relations do not revolve around individual projects but. Have monitoring and assessment schemes which provide timely and truthful information on achievement of the objectives. Promote the strengthening of the smallest organizations in the coalition through the appropriate transfer of abilities and responsibilities. and institutional realities of the area where they are intervening. Coalitions should seek to reduce their vulnerability to changes in staff in the participating organizations. and equity. and altering their structure and working dynamics. Accept changes and adapt to them by modifying the agenda. leSSonS froM the perSpective of the local partnerS48 o While this publication is written from the perspective and experience of TNC and the Parks in Peril Program. Maintain a firm connection to the political. o “A partnership should be a relationship based on the criteria of equality and ground rules agreed upon by all. This latter aspect is important. and the dependence on a single person or institution. social. among others. This relationship is implemented by applying key values such as trust. respect. Maintain an appropriate balance in the number of participants. transparency. Attend to the needs of participants and achieve tangible results in a reasonable period of time. if necessary.2. including those needed to achieve the proposed goal. especially considering the high staff turnover that may occur in some organizations. particularly governmental ones. they openly recognize and address conflict through agreed-upon dispute resolution schemes. this leadership should be exercised by facilitation and not exclusive decision-making. enabling them to tackle complex problems related to the effective management of protected areas or protected area systems (it is also feasible for them to contract for specific tasks for which they lack the necessary competencies). the following: • One institution assumes leadership for promoting both collaboration and coordination processes within the coalition. it is considered important to present lessons and recommendations offered by the local  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . Reduce the dynamics of exclusion. fostering new integrations. Do not ignore points of conflict. rather. around the processes and goals that are established. o • Furthermore. successful coalitions: o Make progress within conditions of the existing political and regulatory environment. Have a variety of technical strengths.ü The characteristics of a successful coalition are. generating appropriate incentives for all groups to be considered for participation on equal terms. which should be democratic and horizontal regardless of the volume or quality of the individual contributions of each of the parties. if necessary. o • The leadership may be assigned and periodically rotated to avoid generating competition and resentment. o Have dissemination mechanisms to create increased awareness and support beyond the group of participants.

To accomplish this. and clarity regarding the general objectives that are proposed. However. it is recommended that the organization receiving the resources begin planning for other sources of future funding. thus avoiding hidden or unclear agendas and intentions. technical and administrative strength. On working with partners: “We NGOs are very used to competing and sometimes it is the donors who lead us to compete. Many tools exist to institutionalize a partnership so that members do not depend exclusively on agreements based on personal trust. ü Often. a magnet that kept us all in balance – and that magnet was TNC. managing to make more progress towards the conservation of the site than if we had tried to do it separately. Mexico in 2007. it is the responsibility of local organizations to promote synergies between financing agencies and the work that organizations carry out. Once the duration of a partnership is established. as well as with their different partners.partners that have worked with TNC. The principle of shared responsibilities should apply to every partnership. it is necessary to have negotiation capacity. The challenge consists in framing these separate organizational actions within a common agenda.  ü “The Limon Watershed Foundation works at the local and regional level. it is necessary for organizations (whether national or international) to implement interventions to meet the conservation goals of the protected areas. Provisions for continuity should include an orientation regarding the most effective way of working with the partner organizations. the experience was very good. It was the driving force that made it possible for the projects to take place. They smoothed out over time . These lessons were gathered at the workshop held by PiP in Monterrey. ü Each organization has an agenda. and it was good because there was a central core. The ground rules for work —including administrative management of resources and time— should be clear from the beginning. this time. A partnership is a learning process for members to adapt to the other institutions. as well as from personal telephone and electronic interviews conducted exclusively for this publication. ü Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . This is accomplished by developing joint work plans or incorporating the actions into plans that have been previously designed and approved by the competent authorities.” — Maritza Jáen ü Sometimes.” — Sofia Stein ü ü ü On the selection of partners: ü Local organizations should be selective about the support they receive from international organizations to ensure that this support responds to a definite plan for the region. I think it was the clarity of our positions that enabled us to complement our work very well. When there are changes in the institutions’ technical and/or administrative staff. TNC has the additional possibility of operating on national and international levels.I cannot deny that there were small frictions in the beginning – but TNC was the driving force that made those frictions disappears so that we could work in harmony. the appropriate transition arrangements should be made to avoid unnecessary delays in implementation of activities and transfer of funds. and this should be openly discussed with other partners with which the organization will be working jointly.

these government agencies have legal authority over protected areas. transparency. When there is a flow of economic resources. While NGOs may have certain autonomy to decide where to allocate their economic resources. to avoid the undesired dominance of some partners or the possibility of achievements going unrecognized. so that support mechanisms can be established within these schemes. among others.These tools include conventions. financial. It is indispensable to recognize the authority and competence of national and local organizations. This does not mean that those providing resources cannot require clear policies. it is important to inform the appropriate authorities for the purpose of gaining their approval and establishing synergies with other actions that are being implemented. this formalization can be the result of personal contact that allows parties to feel comfortable working together. Mechanisms for interinstitutional work and coordination should promote a self-critical stance during presentation of results. the first work PiP set out to accomplish was not successful because the initial approach was made to the NGOs and not to the Department of Forestry which is responsible for managing this forest reserve. and equipment services. However. and letters or memoranda of understanding. it is recommended that consideration be given to the limitations some local organizations may have in terms of the geographic distance at which they conduct their activities and potential difficulties with communication. avoiding a hierarchical “donor-recipient” structure. and the fulfillment of commitments by the receiving parties. A lack of communication about financial matters can generate distrust. even if one partner grants economic resources to the other institution(s). For example. In this way. they can contribute new ideas. Even if they have institutional limitations. but the receiving institutions in turn should be able to require the same of the granting institutions. Organizations which grant economic resources to other organizations should seek to maintain horizontal relations. the meetings will not only include analysis of progress and successes. It is recommended that these same mechanisms provide opportunities for new local organizations to join the partnership. in the case of Cockpit Country in Jamaica. The credit each organization wants to publicly take at end of the joint work should be previously and transparently negotiated. especially if they are government agencies. ü Partnerships do not mean that organizations have to lose their political and financial autonomy and independence. but also difficulties from which organizations can learn. it is important that this distribution be communicated openly. Even if they have less of a track record. as well as on the legal framework that regulates the way government agencies operate. If an agreement is reached in a coalition of organizations for some partners to allocate resources to others. These organizations can be assigned small activities and responsibilities which can enable them to gradually acquire capacity and experience under the supervision of organizations with more experience. Organizations which grant resources should have a certain degree of flexibility with respect to local organizations and projects so that adjustments can be made in response to the unforeseen circumstances which accompany fieldwork. agreements. The work was later possible when TNC’s actions were structured around the National Forest Plan developed by the Department of Forestry and approved by the country’s Parliament. and all actions must have a legal framework to support them. ü The achievements of each of the organizations making up the partnership should be publicly recognized. International NGOs and other organizations should have sufficient information on institutional and political realities. ü ü ü ü ü ü ü ü  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .

-based organization which was perceived as an institution with a rigid conservation agenda. TNC’s initial efforts to acquire partners in the region were perceived as extra work rather than an opportunity to collaborate. based on this. The list of the main partners PiP worked with in the selected sites is found in the annex to this publication. PiP offered assistance for capacity building at the  Located north of Venezuela in the Eastern Caribbean. and limitations.parksinperil. The first step of this work was to identify the appropriate institutions for joint work and. 4. especially in the NGO sector. to promote working relations between government agencies. gradually moving toward department heads. The local NGOs were small and lacked the necessary managerial capacity to effectively fulfill their missions. Thus. Also. pristine sandy beaches. guided by an ecoregional approach focused on creating a system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to be composed of priority areas in these countries. During the first few years. Third. TNC was an unknown entity in the region before 2002 and had no physical presence on the ground. It took longer than expected to establish new partnerships and build trust. local government agencies lacked experience in implementing projects involving joint interinstitutional work. it took time for TNC to understand the best way to provide assistance and for the organizations to become aware of the benefits to be obtained from this assistance. The examples emphasize the evolution of work begun with individual partners involved in the management of protected areas selected by PiP. it also became evident that existing institutional capacity to carry out conservation work in the region was low. permanent secretaries. local organizations and NGOs—and to evaluate their capacities— PiP supported a series of initiatives to implement on-site activities. Even the government agencies had a management approach needing improvement. there was a sense of distrust toward foreign NGOs and the institutional stakeholders lacked experience working with these “outside” organizations. The marine habitats in this chain support ecological biodiversity and are economically valuable to the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Local institutions in the region were cautious.1. the Grenadines are a chain of islands possessing abundant marine life. and mangrove communities. The process of forming partnerships took longer than initially expected for three reasons.S. since this was a new region for TNC. The above-mentioned situation became a challenge for working on planning and coordinated management of protected areas because these areas fall under multiple jurisdictions. First. to initiate a process of building relations and partnerships based on an understanding of a shared vision of conservation. and among NGOs and the government. Coordination and communication between government agencies.4. To contribute to the conservation of this biodiversity. partnerS in grenada and Saint vincent and the grenadineS the process of forming partnerships focused on working with the technical staff of the forestry and fisheries agencies. were not substantial. During the PiP project in the Grenadines. none of which exercised clear leadership. The Tobago Cays National Park and the Sandy Island Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area were chosen as the locations to begin the site consolidation and conservation process. PiP began its work in the Grenadines in 2002. making it necessary to carry out institutional strengthening activities. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . Therefore. and the Caribbean in general (see www. With the government agencies. TNC is a large U. working framework. Grenada. its staff had no local knowledge or experience.Other cases in Latin America and the Caribbean The following are examples of strengthening experiences with organizations and of the establishment of coalitions across Latin America and the Caribbean. and ministers. Coral reefs border the islands and extend out to grassy sea beds.org for details). Second.

the Environment and Ecclesiastical Relations • Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. when TNC joined the international commitment to support countries in implementation of the Program of Work on Protected Areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In addition. TNC offered both regional and local training opportunities for appropriate government agencies. Grenada’s announcement encouraged the Bahamas to join in forming the nucleus of what has come to be known as the “Caribbean Challenge. it was clear that conservation of the Grenadines would depend on the cooperation of various organizations. George’s University & Fisheries Division (Moliniere MPA) • Ocean Spirits (Levera National Park. turtle monitoring and environmental education) • People in Action (community work) National Scale National Implementation Support Partnership (NISP) with the following signing agencies: • Ministry of Agriculture. Based on an initial round of meetings. TNC staff collaborated with the Sustainable Grenadines Project of the University of the West Indies to conduct institutional assessments.same time as it carried out preliminary conservation activities (i. with the aim of bringing together the agencies responsible for management of protected areas. and provide training and technical support for local NGOs. The addition of NGOs to these committees was part of their evolution. These committees eventually evolved into the National Implementation Support Partnership (NISP) committees for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. Grenada announced its commitment to increase protected area coverage from 10% to 25% by 2020. Legal Affairs. turtle monitoring and environmental education) • St. the emphasis of this work in the region became the implementation of the activities suggested by the Program. the objectives of PiP in the Grenadines focused on building conservation coalitions instead of forming partnerships with only one or two organizations. Forestry and Fisheries • Ministry of Finance & Planning (including the Sustainable Development Council) • Ministry of Health.e. Lands. Accordingly. baseline inventories. In 2005.” The idea behind this initiative is for the international donor community to support the growth of coverage of protected habitats through substantial funding commitments. George’s University In 2005. a Memorandum of Understanding was signed among these agencies. and Carriacou & Petite Martinique Affairs • RARE • St. TNC met independently with each of the groups and organizations. for the agencies Grenada Protected Area Scale • Carriacou Environmental Committee & Fisheries Division (Sandy Island Oyster Bed MPA) • YWF-KIDO Foundation (High North National Park. a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with each of the governments and other key partners to aid in implementation of these processes carried out on a national level. one of the policy actions promoted by TNC consisted of establishing protected area committees in each of the countries. coral reef resiliency studies. Beginning in 2004. and marine and land mapping with geographic information systems). 00. Regional Scale Memorandum of Understanding with: • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . The ecological gap analysis conducted for its national system of protected areas showed that it was feasible to reach these levels of protection. thus protecting more natural land and marine resources.. Source: Seybert. during the Eighth Conference of the Parties (CoP8) to the CBD. Social Security. consequently. The purpose is to channel funding to establish trust funds for protected areas so that these trust funds can generate a constant flow of income for each participating country and. The partners in this new phase are found in the following tables. To determine training needs of the NGOs and government agencies. In 2006.

a Memorandum of Understanding was signed among these agencies. Therefore. flooded savannahs. the Caribbean Challenge was presented for the first time to officials from the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Challenge was well received. government agencies of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines requested TNC support to carry out a “Financial Sustainability Assessment with Recommendations for the System of Protected Areas” to determine the cost of the proposed increase in protected area coverage. and recommendations on management effectiveness and capacity. Establishment of trust funds will also require formation of an independent oversight authority to ensure that the funds have positive impacts on the covered protected areas. Part of the initial resources were directed to the organization Friends of Sian Ka’an (Amigos de Sian Ka’an. Owing to this unique assemblage of ecosystems. 4. one of the firSt partnerS in Mexico49 Strengthening of individual partners: Friends of Sian Ka’an The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is one of the most extensive protected areas in Mexico. wetlands (marshes.and organizations associated with protected areas. The Reserve contains an assembly of ecosystems with extensions of lowland tropical forests. In this case. and it is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism. ASK is one of the leading NGOs in Mexico and one of the most outstanding examples from the PiP program. the task of assisting member countries with adoption of the declaration at the national level was assigned to the Secretariat. and its program—a solid vision of conservation—as well as its strong leadership. PiP seeks to ensure that the areas are not only legallydeclared but also effectively managed. Grenada negotiated adoption of the Caribbean Challenge with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). In November 2006. 00. aMigoS de Sian Ka’an. In addition. and mangrove forests). the financial sustainability recommendations. which was selected as a partner because of its characteristics. Source: Seybert. bays. Culture. This authority will be made up of the partner organizations. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 7 . Regional Scale • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Protected Area Scale None National Scale National Implementation Support Partnership (NISP) with the following signing agencies: • Ministry of Agriculture. The ecological gap analysis of the protected areas completed that year gave the country the necessary information to define its conservation objectives and support its proposed increase in the levels of protection.2. Youth and Sports • University of the West Indies. Sian Ka’an was recognized as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. PiP intensively supported management actions in the Reserve during the period between 1991 and 1998. the country is developing a Master Plan for the System of Protected Areas. which will incorporate the results of the ecological gap analysis. In principle. Program of the Center for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) In 2005. The draft document of this assessment was completed in June 2007. as well as coastal and marine habitats such as lagoons. In addition. The initiative was accepted in principle by the OECS. and coral reefs. the human and financial resources to ensure this management are scarce. ASK). Forestry and Fisheries • Ministry of Health and the Environment • Ministry of Tourism. objectives in common with those of TNC.

including TNC’s Maine Chapter. During the following years. During this time. The years of joint work demonstrated that it was possible to carry out effective conservation actions through PiP initiatives while. TNC would have found it more difficult to begin work in Mexico without ASK. they used planning exercises jointly agreed upon by ASK’s operational and managerial staff. but not the organizations that were caring for them” noted Daniel Ramos. This support was accompanied by conducting a feasibility study that estimated fundraising possibilities in the country and the United States. Implementation of the strengthening process was led by the executive director. TNC learned that in the area of organizational strengthening it was necessary to work on creating internal capacities. with support from the board of directors and participation of technical and administrative staff. “the crocodiles were looked after. founded in 1986 in the city of Cancún for the purpose of working toward conservation of the Reserve. and of showing how a private property could be managed inside a natural protected area. TNC has been one of the most important partners in ASK’s history. there was a change in ASK’s executive management. ASK was a small organization. together with its experience and proximity to the inhabitants of the area. and adoption by authorities of recommendations for protection of the Reserve’s forests and marine reefs. Documents were also produced on the monitoring of organizational progress in the different areas addressed. facilitated TNC’s efforts in the area. TNC staff also dedicated time to supporting a capital campaign that was carried out with financing from other sources. expansion of the Sian Ka’an Reserve. and to develop the capacities of the management board. Likewise. and that the organization depended excessively on PiP resources and the director’s personal leadership. Initially. ASK also began to support different actions related to public policies. This diagnosis justified actions taken to strengthen the partner organization’s operational and institutional management capacities. to have a close relationship with executive management.TNC began its program in Mexico with PiP funds and ASK was the first organization TNC worked with in that country. the proposal that the organization incorporate this area of private lands conservation into its activities was not well received by all of the organization’s council members. At the end of the first phase of PiP support. To solve this situation within the framework of PiP. TNC then included its own institutional development specialists in the working team to have the capacity to directly support its partner. though the interaction between them and the intensity of their work have not been constant over the years. One of the areas especially supported was capacity building for fundraising. Within this new dynamic. which provided a broader vision of conservation. which maintains a working relationship with ASK. strengthening the institution to provide continuity for implementation of actions. whose knowledge of the local reality. both institutions achieved parallel learning. the management of ASK recognized the importance of maintaining constant relations and communications with the ASK Management Board. meetings were supported to allow the council to reach agreement on AKS’s new responsibilities and accept the inclusion of new areas of focus. This joint work was an opportunity for ASK to strengthen capacity within its scope of action. In 1999. In the first years of joint work. At that time. since this was one of TNC’s first experiences with international operations. among other actions. at the same time. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . According to Daniel Ramos of TNC’s Mexico Program. In the beginning. the team guided implementation of several strengthening activities built on the results of applying the Institutional Self-Assessment tool. For this purpose. such as design of the decree for creation of new reserves on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. 8 Based on its increased institutional capacity. In the following years. ASK decided to initiate a Private Lands Conservation Program. It was proposed that a strategic piece of land be purchased inside the Sian Ka’an Reserve for the dual purpose of conserving the place and its area of influence. ASK focused attention on development of specific crocodile protection projects and conservation of crocodile natural habitat. this was a win-win situation for both organizations. ASK and TNC worked together for the first time in this process of strengthening a management board. ASK and TNC determined that ASK’s organizational capacity was too fragile to deal with the challenges ASK set for itself.

TNC. which have been important for conservation and protection of the area. which has resulted in the reorganization of ASK’s action plan into three main programs (Land Conservation. support is being provided for development of a Strategic and Financial Plan. TNC’s work with ASK has generated learning that were replicated with other organizations. The NISP’s main local partner is Pronatura Chiapas. These organizations have also worked on new issues and have expanded geographically to other areas (Hardy. and research institutions to address the Reserve’s priority needs. This partnership will also make it possible to attract increased financial support from donor agencies. ASK has shared its experiences through the production of information materials and exchange with other conservation professionals in Mexico and Latin America. ASK has used several threat analysis tools. The aim of NISP is to ensure a solid partnership among the Mexican Federal Government —through its agencies CONANP. Finally.51 AKS’s Manage- ment Board and current director have participated actively in the process. Working with this group of partners offers numerous advantages. and Conservation International (CI). for the purpose of coordinating implementation of the commitments contained in the Program of Work on Protected Areas. other international NGOS. and Marine Conservation) and the establishment of a financial projection for future years. This is the first organization in Mexico that PiP has supported in a long-term strategic planning exercise (2007-2010). and local NGOs to guide conservation efforts in a unified direction. The production of high-quality scientific information has enabled ASK and its beneficiaries to make better adaptive-management decisions. and increase the level of involvement of local NGOs in decisionmaking processes related to national-level biodiversity conservation. TNC. the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO). ASK has succeeded in strengthening different community groups in the region.50 which also includes a fundraising component.ASK has built a team of competent professionals. in recognition of its regional experience. and coastal ecosystem management in the State of Quintana Roo. 2005). ASK has offered courses on the use of spatial analysis to study land-tenure issues. However. In particular. ecoregional planning. and the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA). The partnership between TNC and ASK also led to a partnership with a larger number of organizations. In the case of ASK. local civil groups. the National Institute of Ecology (INE). ASK is a regional authority for training organizations in the management of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as tools to plan and monitor work. ASK has participated in the NISP’s workshops related to Protected Area Management Capacities 9 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . World Wildlife Fund (WWF). ASK’s team has worked with state and federal authorities. ASK has worked to build the capacities of different communities in the State of Quintana Roo. This NISP was signed in February 2004 by the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP). and information on land tenure. the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). such as the threat of unplanned tourism. National and international-level interinstitutional agreements and ASK’s participation Amigos de Sian Ka’an has participated as a consultant in the development of a National Implementation Support Program (NISP52). such as establishment of new and better relations to carry out joint activities and the opportunity to have access to experts to improve analysis of information gathered. among other things. ASK’s experience in different areas such as political and administrative management has benefited other protected areas in Mexico. At the local level. Fresh Water Conservation. beginning with the three activities suggested by the Program of Work. PiP funding for 2007 included an additional donation to strengthen the basic capacities of some of TNC’s Mexican strategic partners with the strength to give continuity to conservation processes currently underway. who have positioned the organization as an authority in landscape-scale zoning. a monitoring plan. strengthen local and national institutional planning capacities based on scientific methods and standards. even when human and economic resources were scarce.

which seeks to preserve a quantifiable amount of the major habitat types on the planet. ProNaturaleza’s objective is to contribute to the conservation of Peru’s natural heritage. 4. in 1986 within the framework of a USAID grant prior to PiP. can be addressed through large-scale coalitions. and Honduras. including assistance provided for creation of its board of directors. Since then. species information. it was deemed necessary to complement these strengths and to invest in different training processes. Technical knowledge. The process. as well as Guatemala. peru53 nario presented here—but also in Bahuaja-Sonene National Park (formerly Pampas del Heath National Sanctuary in 1990). is a non-profit organization created in 1984. Belize. Manu. ProNaturaleza has supported management of thirteen of Peru’s natural protected areas and their buffer zones. involved various states of the Mexican Republic. especially biodiversity.3. This effort was possible due to a coalition of NGOs. which is located in Oxapampa-Pasco and is part of the Central Selva region. as well tools to build administrative and financial capacities. Strengthening of an individual NGO The Peruvian Foundation for Nature Conservation. including representatives from the private sector. and Olmeca Ecoregional Plan. the area of intervention was expanded by incorporating the San Matías-San Carlos Protection Forest and the Yanesha Communal Reserve. managing resources from other funding sources. The training processes aimed at ProNaturaleza and staff from INRENA—the entity responsible for the protected areas—consisted primarily of training to understand and apply the methodological tools developed by TNC. a valuable exaMple in central Selva. although ProNaturaleza was already an organization with important strengths. the Manglares de Tumbes National Sanctuary. the final results were presented of the work accomplished with TNC assistance. During the first stage of the project. not only in Yanachaga Chemillén National Park—the specific sce0 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .. and the Pacaya Samiria. and Lomas de Lachay National Reserves. beginning in 2003. Zoque. PiP supplied funds for various components of management of YanachagaChemillén National Park. including the Yanachaga Chemillén. and for several years. 1998). Cerros de Amotape and Bahuaja Sonene National Parks. over the last two decades. initiated in 2003. between 1991 and 1997. It was also considered important for the organization—as well as TNC—to learn how to handle procedures required by USAID as PiP’s principal donor. Paracas. among other similar information. According to the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA). In 2006. which determined priority and strategic sites to support long-term biodiversity conservation in this area. pronaturaleza. ProNaturaleza partnered with Parks in Peril to carry out natural resource conservation and sustainable use actions. ProNaturaleza and TNC began their support of Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park. known since 1995 as ProNaturaleza. At that time. and Paracas National Reserve. including development of a management plan. TNC and ProNaturaleza provided most of the Park’s technical and financial assistance. including ASK. in addition to the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park and its buffer zone. ProNaturaleza signed an agreement with the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) for the provision of cooperation in management and conservation of the Park and for it to be TNC’s partner for the implementation of PiP (Brandon et al. especially during the initial years. Finally. Resources were also contributed to strengthen ProNaturaleza’s institutional capacity. This successful example demonstrates that TNC’s 2015 Goal.and it is expected to be one of the key partners in the implementation of the NISP’s agreements in the Yucatan Peninsula. In 1991. Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. ASK participated as an expert in the development of the Selva Maya. For many organizations like ASK. this was the first time they had participated in a partnership involving such extensive participation by partner organizations and countries. In the next phase of PiP. and geographic and satellite information on the area was shared. and the support and direct work of many public and private organizations and civil society. such as Conservation Area Planning (CAP) and the Site Consolidation Scorecard.

the added value of PiP consisted of supporting the organization and giving it the relative freedom and flexibility to build a long-term vision. thus making it possible to gather the local population’s perceptions of protected area. guidance. the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park Master Plan (2005-2009) was updated through a participatory process involving different private civil society and public stakeholders. ProNaturaleza supported consolidation and official State of Mexico recognition of the Association for the Management of the Yanesha Communal Reserve (AMARCY). This strengthening process also meant that ProNaturaleza had to consider the need to establish new goals and strategic objectives. Through a contract with INRENA. A fundamental aspect of the approach with this organization was implementation of joint planning exercises. Some of these organizations are already spontaneously promoting the application of what they have learned. This has created a positive synergy —not without its difficulties— that promotes compatibilities between common agendas. to vote. these teams have not been created as purposely planned coalitions but. and the dissemination of management tools for conservation. identifying new strategic objectives. ProNaturaleza was able to build and begin implementing an environmental agenda for the region. which represents the ten native communities adjacent to the Yanesha Communal Reserve. and a small fund so that they themselves can assume management and negotiation responsibilities. From then on. this indigenous organization has maintained coadministration of the Reserve and is receiving support from ProNaturaleza for development of a Master Plan. to which all of its efforts must contribute. For example. According to Benjamín Kroll. the organization reoriented its institutional aims for its Central Selva Program. The Biodiversity Health Monitoring Plan for the Province of Oxapampa. Other processes fostered by ProNaturaleza that have promoted formation of interinstitutional coalitions around specific topics have been: ü The establishment of the Sho’llet Forest Municipal Conservation Area in 2004 comprised of two municipalities (the Provincial Municipality of Oxapampa and the District Municipality of Villa Rica). According to Benjamín Kroll. For example. and carry out actions.According to Benjamín Kroll. Its increased capacity and years of experience have enabled ProNaturaleza to transmit and form other capacities at the local level. This initiative was joined by other local NGOs and the regional government. the support given to AMARCY has been increasingly less paternalistic because it has consisted of offering information. using the tools offered by PiP. A partner NGO as a driving force for grassroots organizations and interinstitutional processes ProNaturaleza’s strengthening gave it additional technical and administrative tools to work with local and grassroots organizations. have been organizations that have joined the initiatives promoted by ProNaturaleza. The monitoring is carried out by the Conservation Data Center of the National Agrarian University “La Molina” in cooperation with ProNatu ü Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . and which have complemented its actions. some noteworthy aspects of the strengthening process are: the search for financial mechanisms to ensure sustainability of conservation actions. Director of ProNaturaleza’s Central Selva Program. ProNaturaleza now has a regional environmental agenda. based on the results of the CAP for the proposed Central Selva Biosphere Reserve (now called the Oxapampa Asháninka Yánesha Biosphere Reserve). the generation of processes integrated into local agendas. At the level of strengthening other local organizations. Moreover. rather. including municipalities of the Province of Oxapampa and different local organizations. which it has shared with producer organizations in the region. This has generated an enabling environment for working with coalitions made up of multi-institutional teams. any additional effort or project would be added to the long-term conservation plan developed with tools provided by PiP. Often. which applied the CAP methodology promoted by TNC. in which all had the opportunity to express their opinion. training. ProNaturaleza and PiP have simultaneously managed other projects that have grown out of or been nurtured by this one. ProNaturaleza has sought opportunities to disseminate its learning into different areas such as sustainable production.

and. in which on-site work and work with individual organizations will no longer be as intense and the emphasis will be placed more on large strategies with a regional and national impact. the SINANPE Master Plan. and. thereby. TNC never lost ties to the site since its involvement helped ensure that the tools and strategies developed were adapted to local realities. This project. reduce the leading role it plays. an estimate was made of the funds each organization would allocate to them. The Ecological and Economic Zoning Project (ZEE) of the Province of Oxapampa. discuss the causes. MoU) for support of the national protected areas of Peru. particularly in the Province of Oxapampa. which has been a lesson in institutional planning and fundraising. get local stakeholders to accept the main conservation aims and commitments. ü In each of these processes. eleven local public and private organizations signed an interinstitutional agreement (Memorandum of Understanding. The MoU has already been formalized in a work plan for the years 20072009. which receives financial support from the Peruvian government. The objective of the MoU is to join forces for implementation of the Program of Work on Protected Areas within the framework of Peru’s national strategies. indicating how these will contribute to meeting CBD commitments. government agencies. TNC did not play a very dominant role because its partner was an organization with deep roots in the site. Currently. with the aim of its being an ongoing discussion forum to identify pressures and threats affecting forests and the forest industry. In developing the plan. having relatively scarce resources forced it to plan their use well. Currently. and develop strategies to improve the management of forests in the Pasco region.raleza and various institutions with a presence in Oxapampa. However. National-level interinstitutional agreements and the example of Central Selva In February 2004. This adaptation has been made based on the consideration that ProNaturaleza has the capacity to assume the role of the main promoter of conservation for the region and also that this role has been increasingly delegated to organizations that have joined the environmental agenda. From the beginning of PiP. This agreement was presented at the COP7 of the CBD. ProNaturaleza staff were able to share their knowledge and lessons learned. a process of “delegation” or “de-Pronaturalizing” has now begun to allow ProNaturaleza to delegate responsibilities. as far as possible. based on the emphasis placed on the need for greater short and medium-term financial support to meet all commitments. Though it maintained a low profile. The management tools adopted with PiP support have been disseminated and applied to both local and extra-regional contexts. is to make conservation and sustainable use initiatives in Central Selva part of an ongoing process that transcends specific projects or organizations. TNC is the focal point and facilitator for the group. has developed the biological and social bases to establish this basic zoning tool. and standards and recommendations issued by the CBD. ü The creation in November 2005 of the Regional Roundtable for Forest Dialogue and Consensus–Pasco (MRDCF-P). which is now being implemented and which has been included as an institutional strengthening project to support territorial planning of the Pasco Region. In addition. such as INRENA and the National Fund for Natural Areas Protected by the State (PROFONANPE). The MoU is currently signed by twenty-one organizations including national non-governmental institutions (such as ProNaturaleza). each organization included its activities for the next two years. Adaptation to change TNC has gradually been adapting itself to a new institutional stage in the region. and international non-governmental organizations including TNC. one of the most important issues s being worked on under the leadership of INRENA. Gradual reduction in the support ProNaturaleza received from PiP forced ProNaturaleza to seek out other sources of financing in due time. The ZEE is also an important input contributing to the proposal for the Oxapampa-AshaninkaYanesha Biosphere Reserve (RBOAY). the aim  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .

although Defensores had not yet developed the implementation capacity legally required to manage the reserve by 1990.55 “The delegation of authority to Defensores de la Naturaleza was both legal and practicable since Defensores was an already well-respected but small conservation group widely recognized as the main proponent and promoter of the reserve initiative. the fact that the Oxapampa Regional Government has granted funding for creation of a network of municipal conservation areas and a provincial-level environmental education program. One of the mechanisms considered is that of obtaining funds from regional governments. Significantly. founded in 1983. which also coincided with national government priorities). the credibility of its board led the government to entrust Defensores with this responsibility” (Secaira et al. Subsequently. After this reserve was selected as a priority (due to its importance in environmental terms. and assistance in developing financing plans for fundraising. preparation of an institutional strategic plan. fire control. not only in the region but also in the country. support was provided for creation of an institutional development department. has indicated that it is possible to obtain funding from mining taxes and royalties. of the TNC office in Peru. is establishment of long-term financial sustainability mechanisms for the National System of Protected Areas. in the area of institutional and administrative development. The fundraising component  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . TNC supported Defensores’ work beginning in 1991 when the Sierra de las Minas Reserve was included as one of the parks in peril. The strengthening process responded to identification of the organization’s short and long-term needs. one of its most important components was strengthening Defensores’ institutional capacity as the Reserve administrator.000 hectares encompass 19 municipalities in five departments. as the Reserve’s management authority in co-administration with the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP). The support focused on providing the protected area with the basic elements of protection. considering its experi- The assistance PiP provided Defensores during the initial years was essential for the first phase of the Reserve’s management and consolidation. the implementation of patrolling activities. This was the first case in Latin American and the Caribbean in which a government delegated management of a private area to an NGO. among other actions. In addition.and which is part of the activities suggested by the Program of Work. For example. partner in the conServation of the Motagua-polochic SYSteM. the Oxapampa experience has served as a model to take similar actions at the system level. composed of local authorities and organizations democratically chosen as stipulated in the master plans and annual operating plans approved by CONAP. Defensores also became the partner for implementation of actions in the whole Motagua Polochic system. 4. formulation of strategies to more actively involve the board of directors.4. including support to combat threats and. which were written up in an annual work plan. for natural heritage conservation activities and natural resource zoning. With this delegation. the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala legally created the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve and designated the NGO Defensores de la Naturaleza (Defensores).. and the purchase of lands in the Reserve for conservation. 000). Its 440. and include the Sierra de las Minas Reserve and the Bocas del Polochic Wildlife Refuge. guateMala54 ence and prestige. defenSoreS de la naturaleza. Defensores became responsible for implementation of the Reserve’s programs under the supervision of the Reserve’s Board of Directors. According to Jaime Fernández-Baca. the choice of Defensores as the main partner for work in the region was an obvious one. in particular. Defensores de la Naturaleza as an individual PiP partner In 1990.

56 among others. representing multiple disciplines. and carrying out external audits to establish accounting procedures and define indirect fees. some of them. These processes included the exchange of information and the development of joint work plans. such as Fundaeco. 15.57 In addition. strengthening of the geographic information system. as well as a reputation to maintain. such as the manufacture and sale of promotional products. and geographic origins. including the European Union. without need for an intermediary.927 hectares were enrolled in the Program. Defensores was responsible for promoting interinstitutional coordination processes with local and central government agencies. and the MacArthur and Moore Foundations. promoter of and participant in interinstitutional processes Some PiP partners have deemed it necessary to transfer their knowledge and responsibility to other local stakeholders over time to make their conservation initiatives more sustainable. with responsibilities for 5% of the country’s territory and nearly 100 employees. Defensores’ staff members were informed about the duration of the PiP program and its offer of resources. Defensores has a financing plan with different sources of funding besides PINFOR. to avoid creating levels of financial dependence and to promote fundraising. As a result of this. As a result. non-governmental and governmental organizations. The message that PiP has tried to convey is that it is critical to promote participation of local institutions so that protected areas have a long-term future. among others.  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . These components included incorporation of accounting and financial computer programs. among others.000 per year until 2013. and local management committees have been created. This financing mechanism gives Defensores the financial freedom to run its activities like the large organization that it is. which has facilitated work both in the field and at an institutional level. communities. The strengthening of fundraising capabilities was a crucial element since Defensores did not receive a direct budget allocation from the government to manage the Reserve. fundraising campaigns with the institutional members. their situation as a private landowner helped to lend legitimacy to their interest in conservation based on actions carried out by private landowners and local communities.included creation of a trust fund and development of strategies for financial self-sustainability. and also maintains important contacts with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Congress. Altogether. Defensores represents environmental NGOs in the CONAP Council and on the Board of Directors of the National Forest Institute (INAB). a number of municipalities now cover management costs of the Sierra de las Minas protected area. none of them covering more than 25% of its budget. sources that are being used now and will be in the future. One of Defensores’ most outstanding qualities is the diversity of its human resources. and ecotourism programs. At the level of NGOs. As a result. New institutional development components were added to each of the action plans developed. and therefore was left with the responsibility for raising funds in both Guatemala and abroad. Defensores has consolidated its leadership in protected areas and has influenced the agendas of local stakeholders.58 From its beginnings. Defensores has twelve funding sources. ethnic groups. and private companies. Defensores de la Naturaleza has succeeded in returning part of the responsibility for long-term protection to local communities. All of the above gradually strengthened the organization to the point that USAID considered Defensores eligible to receive resources directly. thus ensuring a flow of income of approximately US$200. the Government of Holland. thus managing to meet part of their training needs. adapted the methodologies developed by Defensores for their own strengthening and established joint work processes. Also. PiP also supported the administrative and technical strengthening of the institution to enable it to include some of its properties in the Forestry Incentives Program (PINFOR). and subsequently monitor them. Defensores de la Naturaleza. Defensores has supported smaller NGOs in implementation of conservation actions in the region.

TNC has witnessed the evolution of an organization that is now the country’s leading organization in biodiversity conservation and natural resource sustainable use processes. This evolution has been the result of many internal and external factors that have shaped Defensores. Defensores has also played an important role in the Regional Alliance for Conservation Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCA) and is an active member of the Trinational Alliance for the Conservation of the Gulf of Honduras (TRIGOH). Defensores also represents conservation NGOs on the Development Committee for Private Lands Conservation in Guatemala. TNC. as well as the creation of the Development Group for the semiarid region of the Motagua Valley. over the years of partnership with Defensores.Through this influence. In summary. In the same way. as its partner. was strengthened by this evolution and learned from local experience and direct work in protected areas. some of which PiP had the opportunity to facilitate. Defensores has guided the work of the Board of Directors of Sierra de las Minas and the Advisory Council for Bocas del Polochic. Defensores has been part of the Mesoamerican Alliance for the Conservation of Pine-Oak Forests. In addition. At the level of Latin America. Defensores has also promoted and/or participated in different instances of interinstitutional coordination. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean  .59 which together provide the necessary institutional mechanisms to continue conservation efforts in the Motagua Polochic system.

respect. partners in each of the sites chosen. TNC concentrated on strengthening the technical and administrative capacities of its individual. Therefore. collaboration.60 Building coalitions with multiple partners united by a common objective made possible this expansion of scale. Conservation is a complex task requiring the joint work of different organizations which provide different levels of knowledge. political capital. thus seeking to ensure that the joint efforts made would be sustained in the long term. countries. In turn. supported. Sometimes the focal point for these coalitions has been geographic. primarily non-governmental. and community-based—which PiP strengthened. commitment. and trust. it was necessary for PiP to make changes that would make it possible to promote and generate impacts on multiple scales. The process of strengthening local capacity and the type of partnerships involved gradually varied over time due to institutional changes in both TNC and  its partners. and lent their credibility and institutional capital. the approach of having one partner per site became inadequate. In summary. Local capacity was represented by a wide range of partners—governmental. seeking the Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . therefore. No institution is capable of achieving conservation goals by independently addressing all of the issues. clearly describing the joint work—whether it is to strengthen one of the parties and/or carry out conservation actions—and reaching agreement on the policies and procedures to be followed in administration of resources and implementation of activities. based on experience. these partners needed to build their capacities. which made it possible to gain access to other organizations and undertake concrete actions for conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity in the selected sites. and based on lessons learned. equity. together with the allocation of economic resources. Conclusions TNC works with and through its local. openly recognizing the added value each can contribute toward achievement of common objectives. Consistent with the above. national. during design of the Parks in Peril (PiP) Program.5. it has found this to be the most effective way to fulfill its mission in a sustainable manner. The use of staff from the specific region of intervention has been another important success factor in the management of partnerships. given staff knowledge of local and national circumstances and needs. contributed their expertise and complementary capacities. and regions. including functional landscapes. considering that many of these organizations were just being created. One of the most important lessons and recommendations based on this work in developing partners is that it is necessary to establish written agreements from the beginning. PiP was designed to strengthen local capacity to administer selected protected areas in this region which is considered to be one of the most important strategies for biodiversity conservation. in addition to enormous human and financial resources. The combination of technical and administrative tools. Building partnerships should be an effort involving collaborative work and learning that gathers the contributions of all of the parties. At the beginning of PiP. Over the years. the partners offered their knowledge of the context and needs at local and national levels. it was clear that the local context—both social and institutional—played an important role in meeting that objective. transparency. and connections to other organizations and communities. TNC seeks to promote and support biodiversity conservation processes in representative protected areas in different parts of the world. and/or accompanied in carrying out natural resource conservation and sustainable use actions. Some key values to maintain effective partnerships are clarity. non-governmental. allowed TNC to begin on-site work with the support of local and national partners. including Latin America and the Caribbean. and international partners because. provided different types of resources. synergies were established that made it possible to achieve important results in seventeen years of working in the region.

which requires working with others to ensure the effective conservation of places that represent at least 10% of every major habitat type on Earth. This new approach that seeks to address conservation on a larger scale has been justified in terms of speed. negotiation. Other partners already had the strength to not only belong and contribute to—and even lead—the coalitions that were formed. 2007a). it is important to implement or promote this assistance without assuming paternalistic roles. ranging from those created for one site to those that address wider areas—following the stages designed to ensure a more rigorous process of partner selection. or these protected areas may even be located in different regions or countries. It will be essential to work with specialists in organizational strengthening and partnerships to establish concrete goals for existing and future coalitions. the need to build capacities of some partner organizations in specific areas. but which TNC cannot assume directly. Technical staff should also be trained in the management of partnerships and coalitions —on different scales. In other cases. To achieve this. government agencies. among others. community organizations. but to also become the driving forces behind capacitybuilding processes for other local organizations. the generation of coalitions will contribute to the suggested activity to create a highly participatory process. and to compare them to the needs for joint conservation work. Furthermore. national. Through coalitions and networks of organizations. TNC should promote the use of existing networks of organizations and service providers that will be capable of supporting the strengthening processes deemed necessary. with governments as priority partners. national. which reduced the intensity of the actions aimed at strengthening them. involving indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders. TNC should continue working 1) with the partnerships and partners it has and which TNC has established as priorities. and use relevant ecological and socio-economic data required to develop effective planning processes. and efficient in its internal capacity to build and manage future partnerships (TNC. effectiveness.conservation of a region made up of several protected areas. the focal point has been thematic. to carry out a review of the agreements established. which is to substantially improve site-based protected area planning and management. This is accomplished by clarifying the terms and conditions of partnerships and making use of third parties with local experience and knowledge. TNC will also need to identify partners in other sectors besides conservation to create synergies to benefit protected areas. TNC also needs to strengthen its capacities to be more systematic. private organizations. sometimes abruptly or with limited information being provided. it will be possible to carry out some of the activities suggested by the Program of Work. cannot be disregarded. and international NGOs. strategic. This activity will facilitate meeting one of the objectives (objective 1. Having these goals and aims as a horizon to guide future work. and where organizations share and learn from the actions and experiences of other organizations. 2) on building new partnerships for conservation involving local. both technical and organizational. TNC should continue to cultivate its existing partnerships—reaping what it and others have sown—and to establish new ones which specialize in different areas related to natural resource conservation and sustainable use in protected areas. and bilateral and multilateral agencies. as with the integration of multiple organizations interested in private lands conservation or conservation financing mechanisms. and 3) on achieving the participation of partnerships and coalitions established by others and which support common conservation objectives. and monitoring of progress and 7 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . While the need to support the strengthening of some organizations cannot be ignored. This demands a global approach to strengthen interinstitutional efforts and coalitions. Some of the original partners were affected by this need to change. specifically the strengthening of the institutional capacity to establish intersectoral collaboration for administration of protected areas at regional. as part of site-based planning in accordance with the ecosystem approach. and local levels. and quantity because the approach will enable TNC to meet its ambitious 2015 goal.4) of the Program of Work. educational and research centers. Another of TNC’s intentions is to continue to support application of the Program of Work on Protected Areas established in the framework of the CBD. start-up.

technical and human capacity. partnerships. and replicable should also receive greater dedication. and working agreements that are effective.results. coherent. and lessons learned which have been harvested from the Parks in Peril Program will contribute to the internal strengthening of TNC and its partners and that these lessons will be shared with other organizations interested in establishing partnerships for conservation. Important progress has been made in some regions of Latin America. 8 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . The challenge involved in meeting TNC’s ambitious goals requires that it review different factors to build the necessary institutional capacity —both internal and external— to maintain conservation efforts. The selection of partners. but these efforts should be consolidated and extended to other regions to institutionalize them within TNC. We hope that the experience.

2006). 2003). excellence. and develop an Action Plan describing the specific steps to achieve the objectives leading to improvement. The eight Institutional Self-Assessment (ISA) indicators are: Strategic Vision and Planning. formation of coalitions). Innovations for Conservation Series. See more information at http://conserveonline. in Honduras and Guatemala respectively. Development of Financial Resources. determine how much information will be gathered. support and dissemination (documenting and disseminating best practices. 1998). known as a site. confirmed that the priority training needs of these partners were the following: financial (evaluation of results and financial sustainability).org/ espanol/quehacemos/metodos/pca. knows how to listen. Administration of the Organization. patience. 8 For example. An action plan should also be included for the 7 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 9 . In both cases. conduct the assessment. managing risk and uncertainty calmly). conflict management) (TNC. in which 88% of the participants were partners from Latin America and the Caribbean. Leadership. The critical steps to applying the ISA are: clarify the objectives of the assessment. the terms aliados and alianzas have mainly been used in place of socios and sociedades. commitment to the people and the future. perseverance. Parks in Peril Program. Financial Administration. For further information on each of these areas. The capacity building process involves not only learning from someone outside the institution who already knows the answers but also developing new knowledge and practices (Lockwood et al. support and assistance to other organizations). and political understanding of the environment. USA: The Nature Conservancy.Endnotes 1 The other criteria were: biological significance. MOPAWI and Vivamos Mejor. determine the participants. composure (ability to remain calm under pressure. 11 See more information at: TNC. management of stress). These organizations had authority over or interest in an individual protected area or in a functional landscape comprised of several areas. These terms are used in response to the recommendation made by members of the TCN staff in the Mesoamerica and Caribbean region. regardless of the parties’ contribution. 2007. quick learner. marketing the organization. In the Spanish version of this publication. socioeconomic and cultural value.pdf 2 9 3 10 See more information at www. capacity to work with people’s strengths and weaknesses. results-based motivation. see: www. 2007c. good judgment of others’ talents. 14 According to the Parks in Peril Site Consolidation Scorecard. Both translate to partners and partnerships. which were the terms commonly used by TNC in prior years.. and level of threat (Brandon et al. 4 5 6 12 The survey TNC conducted in March 2003 to obtain information on the needs and expectations of its international partners. establishment of small enterprises).parksinperil. leadership (performance evaluation. VA. innovation.html. did not initially have clearly established environmental components. organizational (resource management. donor communications and management).. interpersonal understanding (relates well to all kinds of people. political (development of bilateral and multilateral agreements. a self-sufficiency plan should analyze an organization’s fixed operating costs for a 5-year period and should compare them with the expected funding sources for operations during the same period. shares credit).org. handling of ambiguities (dealing effectively with changes.parksinperil. technical (use of information techniques. May 1. Arlington. According to Ulfelder (2002) some of the foremost competencies of a conservation leader are: integrity. this was the smallest unit of scale for PiP work. Measuring Success: The Parks in Peril Site Consolidation Scorecard Manual.org/ docs/2000/11/GoH%28S%29. Aliados and alianzas are the most precise terms to indicate a working relationship where the possibility of participating is shared equally. External Relations and Programmatic Capacity. determine priorities for improvement. Human Resources. 13 Interview of Polly Morrison. who conceptually analyzed the matter.

FUNDICCEP representative. ISLA (which was later replaced by GEA. 16 First year score: this reflects the results from the first year of PiP activities in each of the sites. 20 Asoprola: La Amistad Association of Producers (organization of rural producers living in the Biolley District. and the establishment of altitudinal corridors. Protection of the Environment Tarija (PROMETA). Friends of Nature Foundation (FAN). 4) integrate PiP conservation project areas into the economic lives of local society. the development of ecotourism and community-based rural tourism. 15 The complete list of TNC’s main partners that worked with Parks in Peril is found in the Annex to this publication. 25 See Table 2. Canton of Buenos Aires. taking into account that not all PiP activities began and ended in the same years in each of the sites. see http://conservationfinance. National Association for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON). Conservation Data Center. Inc. Peruvian Foundation for Nature Conservation (ProNaturaleza). each partner was asked to estimate the value of the indicator for the year 2007 even if the final year of activities took place in previous years.org/. Progressio (which was later replaced by the Moscoso Puello Foundation). “Most threatened parks in the hemisphere. Fundación Natura (Ecuador). Integrated Fund Pro Nature (PRONATURA). Leadership. 2) develop the analytic and strategic capacity necessary for long-term management of these areas. Human resource management. Association of Organizations in the Talamanca Caribe Biological Corridor (CBTC). Fundación Natura (Colombia). Moisés Bertoni Foundation. 2007. External communication. including the promotion of schemes for payment of environmental services. 24 The goal established in December 2003 establishes that by 2015 TNC will work with others to ensure the effective conservation of places that represent at least 10% of every major habitat type on Earth (italics added by the author). 0 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . Performance and impact. For the final PiP report. A. Mosquitia Pawisa Agency for the Development of the Honduras Mosquitia (MOPAWI). 21 The other goals of PiP are to: 1) build an on-site logistic capacity to manage parks in the hemisphere’s most imperiled ecosystems. and Evaluation and feedback. 17 Interview by email. among others. 27 For more information.C. 19 In the case of La Amistad International Park. Moscoso Puello Foundation. Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Foundation. Participation. which was founded in 1997 to jointly develop alternatives to conventional coffee growing. Financial management.. Natural History Institute (IHN). 2007. Pronatura Península de Yucatán. Last year score: this reflect the average results from the last year of PiP activities in the sites. June 7. Niparajá and IMADES on Cortez Island in Mexico). 3) create long-term financial mechanisms to sustain the local management of these areas. the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. Structure. Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT). 2004). related to the establishment and application of “country-level sustainable financing plans that support national systems of protected areas” (SCBD.implementation and monitoring of specific incomegeneration strategies. Niparajá. The partners involved in the sites for which records have been kept on this indicator are: Programme for Belize (PfB). Neotropical Foundation. 18 Document prepared based on an interview with Felipe Carazo. several lines of work were determined. Province of Puntarenas). 28 For example. Friends of Sian Ka’an. Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development of the State of Sonora (IMADES) (later the Commission of Ecology and Sustainable Development of the State of Sonora – CEDES). Foundation for the Sustainable Development of the Chaco (DesdelChaco). February 2006 and March 2007. GEA.” 26 The nine categories of indicators included in this assessment tool are: Vision and strategic planning. Society for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education (SPVS). support is provided through the Conservation Finance Alliance for the countries’ achievement of the activities suggested by the Program of Work on Protected Areas. Bolivian Conservation Association (TROPICO). 29 United in a network of professionals with experience in conservation planning and financing. Arcoiris Ecological Foundation. 22 Other examples are illustrated in detail throughout the publication and particularly in chapter 4. 23 Source: Interviews conducted with Jorge Pitty. July 23.

FOS.. 2007. 2007). 2007).30 For more information.. Bruce Moffat (June 15. Brad Northrup (July 25. Bruce Moffat (June 15. 2007). Polly Morrison (May 1. the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua. 38 Sources: Brandon et al. 2007). Interviews with: Paige McLeod (April 26. Brad Northrup (July 25. 2004. and understanding of the fundamental values associated with the effective establishment of partnerships. 40 This recommendation was the result of a maturing process the institution went through.org/spanish/ default. 2005. 2007). PiP Workshop. advantageous— to diversify the universe of collaborators for effective work. Panama). PiP Workshop. 1998. 2007a.asp 31 This case consists of a summary of documents and final reports prepared for Parks in Peril by Michelle Libby. 2007). Richard Devine (July 17. 2006). 2007). Friendship International Park in Costa Rica and Panama. the course will be taught in the TNC office in Mexico and funds will be raised to offer the course in English for the staff working in TNC’s office in the United States.. 1998. Brad Northrup (July 25. see: www. 2006. Panama). 2007). 1998. FOS. National Association for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON. Paul Hardy (July 19. the protected areas in the chain of islands in the Grenadines. FOS. 2006. 42 TNC’s office for the Mesoamerica and Caribbean region is working to institutionalize a procedure that will make it obligatory for priority partners to apply the institutional self-assessment tool every two years.1. This will allow for identification of support needs and progress in the areas of intervention. 2007b). Condor Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador. Felipe Carazo (June 7. 2007). National Society for Business and Rural Development (SONDEAR.. Panamanian Center for Research and Social Action (CEASPA.. 2007). and Central Selva and the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in Peru. 2007). Motagua Polochic System and Atitlán Volcanoes in Guatemala. Felipe Carazo (June 7. TNC. 2007). Flores et al. 2004. 39 Both the word socio and aliado in the original Spanish version of this publication were translated as partner in English. 2007). 35 In August 2007. National Biodiversity Institute (INBio.3 of this publication. 2007). 45 The partnership between the NGO Vivamos Mejor and TNC-Guatemala serves as an example of a relationship involving a process of mutual learning. Bruce Moffat (June 15. Jorge Cardona (May 2. Andreas Lehnhoff (July 13. 2007). Richard Devine (July 17. Polly Morrison (May 1. Chagres National Park in Panama. 33 Some of those elements included the clarification of the definition of the concept of partners and the use of legal agreements for the establishment of joint actions. 43 Other basic elements are presented in chapter 2. Jorge Cardona (May 2. Michelle Libby (July 27. Felipe Carazo (June 7. 2007). Center for Environmental Law and the Promotion of Development (CEDAPRODE. 36 In 2005 a Conservation Training Week was also held in Central America. 2007). 2007. 32 Some of the partners that received training were: ANAI Association (Costa Rica). familiarization with the framework of the Partnership Approach developed by TNC (TNC. 2007). Interviews with: Paige McLeod (April 26. Sáenz and Arias. Flores et al. 2007). PiP Workshop. 2007). Interviews with: Paige McLeod (April 26. 2007). 2007). Each of these elements should incorporate a monitoring system including the corresponding indicators.redlac. Jorge Cardona (May 2. and Vivamos Mejor (“Let’s Live Better”) Association (Guatemala). 44 Sources: Brandon et al. 2007). Sáenz and Arias. 2007). which consisted of learning that it was not necessary to have only one exclusive partner per site. which was Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean  . Paul Hardy (July 19. Cuatro Ciénegas National Wildlife Refuge in Mexico. 2005. Michelle Libby (July 27. 2007). 2007). Cockpit Country in Jamaica. 2007). Panama). Costa Rica). July 2007. 2005. 34 The course design also incorporated elements from the study that was carried out on TNC’s relationship with its partners in Central America through the Regional Environmental Program for Central America (PROARCA) and PiP (Sáenz and Arias. Michelle Libby (July 27. Nicaragua). Sáenz and Arias. 2007).. but that it was possible —and. 41 Sources: Brandon et al. moreover. 2004. Flores et al. Defensores de la Naturaleza (Guatemala). The first organization incorporated the area of environmental issues in its institutional work. Paul Hardy (July 19. Polly Morrison (May 1. 2006. 2007. 37 The twelve sites are: Amboró-Carrasco National Parks in Bolivia. Richard Devine (July 17.

58 Source: Bruce Moffat. June 5. Paul Hardy (July 19. 49 Sources: www. 2007. Interviews with: Jorge Cardona (May 2. the tourism sector. 2007). 2007). 56 The ecotourism program is now primarily aimed at specialized tourism. In addition to administering these protected areas. was delegated to Defensores in 1996. Miguel Angel Cruz and Arturo Lerma (Pronatura Noreste A. (SINAC/MINAE. 2006.. Interviews with: Paige McLeod (April 26. María Elena Molina (June 30. Costa Rica. 1998. Owen Evelyn (Department of Forestry. 2007).1 of this publication. 1998. and Pronatura Chiapas.. Costa Rica. 2007). Jorge Cardona (May 2. Pronatura Noreste. www. June 12.org. Secaira et al. Margoluis et al. Richard Devine (July 17. Vilma Obando (INBio. July 23.3. Interview with Daniel Ramos (March 2007). These stakeholders were involved in developing conservation strategies for the region based on Conservation Area Planning methodology. 55 The administration of the Bocas del Polochic Wildlife Refuge. in the consolidation of its working group in Veracruz. TNC learned important lessons for the integration of development issues in its conservation agenda. 53 Sources: Interview with Benjamín Kroll and Jaime Fernández-Baca. 2007). June 22.. Maritza Jaén and Lourdes Contreras (SONDEAR. Costa Rica. projects. 1998... and fundraising tactics for implementation of these strategies. Pronatura Asociación Civil (ProNatura AC). Sáenz and Arias. Brandon et al. the Ministry of Education. Interviews with: Andreas Lehnhoff (July 13. 2007). 2000. Richard Devine (July 17. Mexico.” Mexico. this strengthening process also supported: Pronatura Península de Yucatán.. 2004. 2007). 2007). interview. it is hoped that they will continue to develop policies. 2005. Felipe Carazo (June 7. Luis Sánchez A. June 7. 2001a. PiP Workshop. Flores et al. March 2007. Panama. 2007. 47 Sources: Brandon et al.. 1998. 2007. June 22. 2007). 2007). 2007). 60 This was not a homogenous linear process applied to all intervention sites.originally focused on other development issues such as health and housing. 46 Sources: Brandon et al. Jamaica. Polly Morrison (May 1. but this will be the first long-term exercise. Panama. PiP Workshop. 2007). 54 Sources: Brandon et al. June 15. June 5. Hardy. 57 An element showing evolution of this: the human and financial resources CONAP contributed to the Reserve between 1990 and 1998 ranged between 24% of the total budget for the Reserve (Secaira et al. 2004. Andreas Lehnhoff (July 13. 2007).. Sáenz and Arias. 2005a. FOS. 2007). May 29. Hardy. Gladis Rodríguez (Fundavisap.C. Brad Northrup (July 25. 2007).org. FOS. Sofía Stein (Limon Watershed Foundation. Bruce Moffat (June 15. Costa Rica. but it is the general trend. Yendry Suárez (Quercus Network. Defensores de la Naturaleza and other local stakeholders. see chapter 2. 2000. 2007).  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . private landowners. 2007). 50 Occasional planning exercises have been carried out with PiP funds for organizations from northern Mexico. 2007). 2006. in the creation of new areas of conservation work and capacity building for its board of directors. 2005. 2005a. 59 The Development Group has 25 members representing municipalities. 48 Sources: Proceedings of the “Fourth Annual Workshop on Best Practices and Challenges for Parks in Peril Site Consolidation. Michelle Libby (July 27. Defensores is currently responsible for managing the Sierra de Lacandón National Park and the Naciones Unidas National Park. TNC. 2007). such as birdwatching and scientific research at the following field stations: Selempín in Bocas del Polochic and La Cabaña in Sierra de las Minas. telephone and/or electronic interviews with: Mateo Espinosa (Cofan Survival Fund. the Directorate for Cultural Heritage. Ecuador. adjacent to the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve. 2007). in operating its Management Board. 2007). Kroll. June 29. 2000). pronaturaleza.amigosdesiankaan. in the creation of operational capacities in its group of project coordinators 52 For information on NISPs. 2007). Flores et al. April 2007. 2007. such as Niparaja and IMADES. 2007). 51 Besides ASK. Paul Hardy (July 19. 2007)..

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Case Study for Shifting the Power: Decentralization and Biodiversity Conservation. Arlington. Arlington. María. Alfredo. The Nature Conservancy. Integrated Strategic and Financial Planning for Non-governmental Organizations. VA. VA. Latin America and Caribbean Division. Arlington. 2006. C.worldwildlife. Volume 3. Bruce Young. Arcila and S. 2007. USA: The Nature Conservancy. America Verde Publications. VA. Paige. Colombian Network Association of Natural Reserves of the Civil Society (RESNATUR). The Nature Conservancy. Lora. Dix. 2000. measuring success and building local conservation capacity. Parks in Peril Source Book. Colombia: The Nature Conservancy. 2002. Roger. Shirley Keel. The Parks in Peril Site Consolidation Scorecard: Lessons from Protected Areas in Latin America and the Caribbean. RedLac. Final Closeout Report for the Parks in Peril V Program (FY96 to FY02). Salafsky. 2001b. USA: The Nature Conservancy.MacLeod. Ellen Roca. VA. Guerra (Eds.  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean . Pronaturaleza. USA: The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy. Internal document.). Martin. Grenadines Parks in Peril Program. A. VA. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Arlington. 2001a. The Nature Conservancy. 2003b.pronaturaleza. USA: The Nature Conservancy. VA. R. Roberto Roca. with the collaboration of Michelle Libby.: Biodiversity Support Program. International Partner Survey Executive Summary. Parks in Peril 2000: A Conservation Partnership for the Americas. A.. and O. Margoluis. D. VA. 2006. URL: www. Arlington. Delegating Protected Area Management to an NGO: The Case of Guatemala’s Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve. Washington. Brandon. 2001. K.M. Gina Sedaghatkish.C. Resources for Success Series.org/bsp/publications/ aam/guat_sp/guatemala_sp. 2006. 2000. TNC Partnerships Study in Central America through PROARCA and PiP. Arlington. The Nature Conservancy. Secaira.asp. 2003. How Can We Work Together? Principles for Effective Alliances in Conservation.org/spanish/ default. Peñuela. Nature in Focus: Rapid Ecological Assessment. Rojas. Virginia. 2004. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Patricia León. Raquel. 2002. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Washington. VA. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Arlington. 2007.: Biodiversity Support Program. URL: www. The Nature Conservancy. USA: The Nature Conservancy. and Stuart Sheppard. Memorias VII Congreso Interamericano de Conservación en Tierras Privadas. A. D. Arlington.C. Parks in Peril Program. Cartagena de Indias. and Pedro Esquivias. A Proposal for a Cooperative Agreement between The United States Agency for International Development and The Nature Conservancy. USA: The Nature Conservancy and the United States Agency for International Development –USAID.redlac. Seybert. Grenadines Parks in Peril Project Institutional Memory: 2001 to October 2006. VA. D. National Natural Parks Unit. Arlington. 1995. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Solano. Angela and James Rieger. and WWF-Colombia. VA. Fundación Natura. The Nature Conservancy. and Deidalia Arias. L. Sáenz. Sayre. Ortiz. Managing Conservation Areas: Tools for setting priorities. www.. CD Rom. E. Lessons from the Field Series. 2003.org. Arlington. Clara. 2002. 2003a. Core Costs and NGO Sustainability. Long-term Financial Planning for Parks and Protected Areas. Lehnhoff. Arlington. Margoluis. Arlington.html Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity –SCBD. USA: The Nature Conservancy. and N. VA. Program of Work on Protected Areas (CBD Work Programs) Montreal: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Conservation Partnership Program: The Nature Conservancy. Partnerships “A Conceptual Approach”. 2007b. USA: The Nature Conservancy. 2007a. Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean  . William. Arlington. 2002. Arlington. VA. 2007d. VA. 2007c. Parks in Peril. VA. Dominican Republic Multi-Site Strategies: Caribbean Conservation Partnership Program: Parks in Peril End-of-Project Report. Site Evaluation FY04/ Workplan FY05.The Nature Conservancy. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Parks in Peril Program. Community-Based Conservation in Ecuador’s Podocarpus National Park and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Conservation by Design: A Strategic Framework for Mission Success. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Arlington. USA: The Nature Conservancy. 2005. VA. 2007e. USA: The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy. Parks in Peril Program. VA. The Nature Conservancy. VA. Measuring Success: The Parks in Peril Site Consolidation Scorecard Manual. The Nature Conservancy. Central America Multi-Site Strategies—Institutional Development: Parks in Peril End-of-Project Report. Innovations for Conservation Series. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington. Defining Landscape-Scale. Arlington. Ulfelder. Parks in Peril Program. USA: The Nature Conservancy. Arlington. Amboro-Carrasco. The Nature Conservancy.

000/ 1999-2002 NGO Partner: Asociación Boliviana para la Conservación (TROPICO) Government Partner: SERNAP noel KeMpff Mercado national parK Acres/Years: 3.014/ 1991-1994 (Amboró National Park).Annex: List of Parks in Peril sites The following is a list of Parks in Peril’s principle partner organization at its 45 consolidation sites. DGB Brazil guaraQueçaba environMental protection area Acres/Years: 774.762.000/ 1998-2002 NGO Partner: Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem (SPVS) Government Partner: Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA) Belize río bravo conServation and ManageMent area Acres/Years: 260.250/ 1992-2000 NGO Partner: Fundación Natura Government Partner: INDERENA known today as Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de Parques Nacionales Naturales (UAESPNN) chingaza national parK Acres/Years: 173.340/ 1992-1996 NGO Partner: Fundación Natura Government Partner: INDERENA known today as UAESPNN  Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .762/ 1995-1999 NGO Partner: Protección del Medio Ambiente Tarija (PROMETA) Government Partners: SERNAP. as well as in the implementation of its national and international strategies throughout the region. Centro Integrado para la Defensa de la Ecología (CIDEDER) Government Partner: SERNA eduardo avaroa national fauna and flora reServe Acres/Years: 400. tariQuía national fauna and flora reServe Acres/Years: 609. 2001-2007 (both parks) NGO Partners: Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN). Dirección General de Biodiversidad (DGB) Colombia cahuinarí national parK Acres/Years: 1.824/ 1992-2000 NGO Partner: Fundación Natura Government Partner: INDERENA known today as UAESPNN la paYa national parK Acres/Years: 1.042.420.912/ 1991-1994 NGO Partner: Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) Government Partners: Servicio Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (SERNAP). The program also worked with a large number of additional governmental and non-governmental institutions both focusing on specific aspects of the conservation effort at these sites.000/ 1993-1996 NGO Partner: Programme for Belize (PfB) Bolivia aMboró national parK/ carraSco national parK Acres/Years: 3.117.

Ecoparque.Sierra nevada de Santa Marta bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 946.010/ 1992-1998 NGO Partner: Fundación Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Government Partner: INDERENA known today as UAESPNN Dominica Morne troiS pitonS national parK Acres/Years: 16.994/ 1992-1996 NGO Partner: Dominica Conservation Association (DCA) Government Partner: Ministerio de Agricultura y Medio Ambiente. Fundación Cuencas de Limón (FCL. Red Indígena de Turismo (Costa Rica and Panama) Government Partners: SINAC/MINAE (Costa Rica). Panama). Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral del Corregimiento de Cerro Punta (FUNDICCEP. Sociedad Ecológica Romanense Government Partner: Secretaria de Estado de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARENA) Jaragua national parK Acres/Years: 339.216/ 1991-1994 NGO Partner: Fundación Neotropica Government Partner: Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación de Costa Rica del Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (SINAC/MINAE) talaManca. Panama). Alianza para el Desarrollo Ambiental de Tierras Altas (ADATA. Costa Rica). Costa Rica). Asociación ANAI (Costa Rica). Red Quercus (Costa Rica). today known as Subsecretaria de Áreas Protegidas y Biodiversidad (SEMARENA) Cost Rica and Panama la aMiStad international parK/bocaS del toro Acres/Years: 2.499. Asociación Nacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (ANCON.740/ 1993-1999 NGO Partners: Fondo Integrado Pro Natura (PRONATURA). Panama). Ambiente y Paz (FUNDAVISAP. División de Silvicultura y Vida Silvestre Costa Rica corcovado national parK Acres/Years: 103.378/ 1991-1995 NGO Partners: Fondo Integrado Pro Natura (PRONATURA). Fundación MAMMA. Grupo Jaragua Government Partners: Dirección Nacional de Parques. Panama). today known as SEMARENA Madre de laS aguaS conServation area Acres/Years: 103. Fundación Vida. Sociedad Mastozoológica de Panamá (SOMASPA. Fundación Progressio Government Partners: Dirección Nacional de Parques. Fundación Progressio. Panama) Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 7 . Sociedad Ecológica Oviedo (SOEDO). Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (ANAM.155/ 1995-2000 NGO Partners: Asociación de Organizaciones del Corredor Biológico Talamanca Caribe.740/ 1996-2001 NGO Partners: Fundación Moscoso Puello (FMP). Panama).640/ 2002-2007 NGO Partners: Instituto Nacional para la Biodiversidad (INBio. Asociación ANAI Government Partner: SINAC/MINAE Dominican Republic del eSte national parK Acres/Years: 103. Salud.caribbean biological corridor Acres/Years: 90.

312/ 1992-1998 NGO Partners: Fundación Natura. 2001-2007 (entire system including Motagua Valley) NGO Partners: Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza.853/ 1991-2000 (Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve and Bocas del Polochic Wildlife Refuge).537/ 2001-2006 NGO Partners: Asociación Vivamos Mejor.775/ 1998-2002 NGO Partner: Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) Government Partners: Forestry Department. Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). Fisheries Division of St.694. Vincent and the Grenadines Jamaica blue and John croW MountainS national parK Acres/Years: 196.951/ 2002-2007 NGO Partners: Carriacou Environmental Committee. Fondo de Agua para Quito (FONAG).Ecuador condor bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 4. Forestry Division of Grenada. Fundación YWF-KIDO.628/ 2001-2007 NGO Partners: Fundación Antisana. Ministerio del Ambiente podocarpuS national parK Acres/Years: 361. Fundación Ecológica Arcoiris Government Partners: Instituto Ecuadoreano Forestal y de Areas Naturales (INEFAN). Vincent & the Grenadines grenadineS Acres/Years: 14. Fundación Rumicocha. University of West Indies Government Partners: Fisheries Division of Grenada. Fundación Sobrevivencia Cofán (FSC) Government Partner: Ministerio del Ambiente Machalilla national parK Acres/Years: 135. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) Government Partners: CONAP Motagua-polochic SYSteM Acres/Years: 432. Ministerio del Ambiente Guatemala atitlán volcanoeS Acres/Years: 31. now known as National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) 8 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .860/ 1992-1997 NGO Partners: Fundación Natura. Asociación de Reservas Naturales Privadas de Guatemala (ARNPG). Conservation Data Center Government Partners: Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Áreas Naturales y Vida Silvestre (INEFAN). Vincent and the Grenadines. Fisheries Division of St. Fundación EcoCiencia.050/ 1998-2002 NGO Partner: Agencia para el Desarrollo de la Mosquitia (MOPAWI) Government Partner: Administración Forestal del Estado-Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal (AFE-COHDEFOR) Grenada and St. Zootropic Government Partners: Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (CONAP) Honduras río plátano bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 2.013.

553/ 1994-1999 NGO Partners: Centro Ecológico de Sonora (CES).C. A. CONANP Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean 9 .147/ 2001-2007 NGO Partner: Pronatura Noreste. Niparajá.567/ 1998-2002 NGO Partner: Instituto del Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable del Estado de Sonora (IMADES) Government Partners: Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP). Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) cuatrocienegaS national Wildlife reServe Acres/Years: 208.cocKpit countrY Acres/Years: 71.216/ 1991-1997 NGO Partners: Pronatura Península de Yucatán.557/ 1991-1997 NGO Partner: IHN Government Partners: INE. SEMARNAT calaKMul bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 1.914/ 1992-1998 NGO Partner: Amigos de Sian Ka’an Government Partner: INE Mexico aJoS-baviSpe national foreSt & Wildlife refuge Acres/Years: 456.610.C.962/ 1992-1998 NGO Partner: Instituto de Historia Natural (IHN) Government Partners: Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE).C. Windsor Research Institute Government Partner: Forestry Department el pinacate/gran deSierto del altar bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 1. Conservación del Territorio Insular Mejicano A. Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Estado de Yucatán (CINVESTAV) Government Partner: SEMARNAT Sian Ka’an bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 1.242/ 2001-2007 NGO Partners: South Trelawney Environmental Agency (STEA). IMADES Government Partner: CONANP el triunfo bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 731. (ISLA) Government Partner: CONANP ría celeStún & ría lagartoS bioSphere reServeS Acres/Years: 264.533/ 1993-2001 NGO Partner: Pronatura Península de Yucatán Government Partner: CONANP el ocote bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 278.. Government Partners: CONANP.705/ 1998-2002 NGO Partners: IMADES.786. CONANP la encruciJada bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 357.962. Grupo Ecologista Antares (GEA).824/ 1992-2000 NGO Partner: IHN Government Partner: CONANP loreto baY national parK/ eSpíritu Santo fauna and flora reServe Acres/Years: 534. A.

137.000/ 1999-2002 NGO Partner: ProNaturaleza Government Partner: INRENA Panama darién bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 1.305/ 2001-2007 NGO Partners: Centro de Derecho Ambiental y Promoción para el Desarrollo (CEDAPRODE). Dirección General de Conservación de la Biodiversidad Peru bahuaJa-Sonene national parK Acres/Years: 550. Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA). Fundación para el Desarrollo Sustentable del Chaco (DesdelChaco) Government Partners: Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería.600/ 2001-2007 NGO Partners: ProNaturaleza. 2002-2007 (entire biosphere reserve) NGO Partner: ProNaturaleza Government Partner: INRENA pacaYa-SaMiria national reServe Acres/Years: 5. Secretaría del Ambiente (SEAM) 0 Partners in Protected Area Conservation: Experiences of the Parks in Peril Program in Latin America and the Caribbean .570. Sociedad Nacional para el Desarrollo de Empresas y Áreas Rurales (SONDEAR).082/ 1992-1994 NGO Partner: Fundación Moisés Bertoni Government Partner: SEAM. and YaneSha coMMunal reServe) Acres/Years: 747.000/ 1991-1999 NGO Partner: Fundación Peruana para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (ProNaturaleza) Government Partner: Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) central Selva bioSphere reServe (Yanachaga.cheMillén national parK.Chemillén National Park).600/ 1998-2002 NGO Partners: Fundación Moisés Bertoni.Nicaragua boSaWaS bioSphere reServe Acres/Years: 1.926. San MatíaS-San carloS protection foreSt. Secretaria Técnica de Bosawas (SETAB) MbaracaYú nature reServe Acres/Years: 159. Centro de Estudios y Acción Social Panameño (CEASPA) Government Partner: Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (ANAM) Paraguay defenSoreS del chaco national parK (defenderS of the chaco national parK) Acres/Years: 1. Centro de Datos para la Conservación (CDC) Government Partner: INRENA paracaS national reServe Acres/Years: 335.130/ 1991-1997 NGO Partner: Asociación Nacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (ANCON) panaMa canal WaterShed/ chagreS national parK Acres/Years: 370. Saint Louis Zoo Government Partners: Ministerio del Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales (MARENA). 20022007 (Chagres) NGO Partners: ANCON.500/ 1993-1995 (PCW).832.331/ 1992-1996 (Yanachaga.