• Tues 30 Jul 2019

Welcome address

  • Welcome address – To be confirmed
  • Conference keynote address – The role of capacity building in addressing the major environmental challenges of the 21st century
    Marianne Carter, Director, Conservation Capacity and Leadership, FFI.
  • Conference youth address – Capacity for the next generation of conservation practitioners
    Luca Berardi, Global youth representative.

THEME 1: Mapping capacity building provision and needs

  • Talk 1.1 – Developing national level metrics of capacity building provision and need
    Mark O’Connell, University of Gloucestershire.
  • Talk 1.2 – Plenary panel discussion: Mapping the current conservation capacity landscape

THEME 2: Regional perspectives

Capacity building issues from around the world: solutions and the way forward.

  • Talk 2.1 – Africa
    Julius Arinaitwe, Director of Partnership, Communities and Capacity Development, BirdLife International.
  • Talk 2.2 – Asia
    Madhu Rao, Regional Advisor (Asia Program) – Wildlife Conservation Society; Development Coordinator – Asian Species Action Partnership.
  • Talk 2.3 – Europe
    Neil McIntosh, Project Manager LIFE e-Natura 2000edu, EUROPARC Federation.
  • Talk 2.4 – North America
    Jim Barborak, Director, Center for Protected Area Management, Colorado State University.
  • Talk 2.5 – Oceania/Australasia
    Rosalie Chapple, Protected Areas Learning & Research Collaboration (PALRC); Board Director, Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.
  • Talk 2.6 – South America
    Martin Mendez, Wildlife Conservation Society, Director, Southern Cone and Patagonia.

THEME 3: Cross-cutting capacity visions for the future

  • Vision 1 – A fully professionalised conservation sector
    Professionalisation – what it is, the benefits and risks of the approach, what capacity is required to deliver it? Capacity building issues from around the world: solutions and the way forward.

    Mike Appleton, Global Wildlife Conservation

  • Vision 2 – The ability to evaluate our capacity building activities
    Does it work – the development and use of capacity building evaluation methods.

    Eleanor Sterling, American Museum of Natural History
    Ryan Finchum, Colorado State University

  • Vision 3 – Gender equality in conservation
    Solutions to address gender biases and access issues in capacity building and grant making systems.

    Helen Anthem, Fauna & Flora International

  • Vision 4 – Appropriate capacity within the next generation of conservation professionals
    Capacity in relation to the needs of entry level and early career stage conservation professionals.

    Stuart Paterson, Fauna & Flora International

  • Vision 5 – Capacity delivered through innovative partnerships
    The role of partnerships in addressing global capacity needs.

    Kiragu Mwangi, Birdlife International

  • Poster session 1
  • Conference banquet – The conference banquet is held from 19.30 onwards.


  • Wed 31 Jul 2019

THEME 4: Funding for conservation capacity building: donor perspectives and interactions

  • Session 4.1 –  Big challenges & big thinking: what’s on the horizon for capacity building?

    Global challenges are bigger and more complex than ever before. How are donors approaching these challenges and how does capacity building fit into the equation?

  • Session 4.2 – Sharing and building on lessons learned

    • Parallel session 1- Defining and measuring success
      Gain a deeper understanding of how donors plan and measure success for capacity building, including diving into metrics, indicators, and more.
      Helga Rainer, Director for Conservation Great Ape and Gibbon Program, Arcus
    • Parallel session 2- Innovative partnerships
      Discuss novel and effective partnerships between donors and the capacity building community. Katy Scholfield, Co-head of Programmes, Synchronicity Earth
    • Parallel session 3 – Learning from Failure Hear from donors about lessons learned from case studies of programs or activities that have experienced significant challenges.
      Simon Mériaux, MAVA Eva Rehse, Executive Director, Global Greengrants-UK
  • Session 4.3 – How do we create and invest in sustainable capacity development?

    In small group discussions, exchange perspectives to explore how to create and invest in sustainable capacity building for conservation.

  • Session 4.4 – Improving our shared understanding for capacity development and defining next steps
    Report back on discussions to identify themes and next steps to inspire a way forward from a shared understanding.
  • Poster session 2
  • Evening side-event – Online capacity development (To be confirmed)

    Eva Garen, Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI), Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


  • Thurs 1st Aug 2019

THEME 5: Tools for conservation capacity – overviews, discussions, hands-on experience

  • Keynote address – Thriving at work: Enablers of change at an individual and organisational level
    If we have knowledge and skills and can’t do what needs to be done, we have potential but not actual capacity. For change to be enabled we need to apply a host of less tangible abilities, attitudes and reflective approaches. This talk will begin to explore how we could foster learning environments to support the development of these critical but often ignored facets.
    Rod Sterne, (WWF) and Thirza Loffeld (DICE)
  • Session 5.1
    Approximately 8 different themes designed as an opportunity to connect deeply with key issues. This will be a ‘World Café Style’ event. Questions for each table will be framed in advance by the theme leads, and a facilitator and scribe will record the important discussion points and actions.
    1. Mentoring and Coaching, Mark Day (RSPB)
    2. Training, Beth Robinson (WILDTEAM)
    3. Networks and Partnerships, Kiragu Mwangi (BirdLife International) and Ana Porzecanski (American Museum of Natural History)
    4. Technology, Stephanie O’Donnell (WILDLABS)
    5. Organisational development, Sara Calçada (Fauna & Flora International)
    6. E-learning, Ellie Smith (ZSL)
    7. Learning styles and plans, Thirza Loffeld (DICE) and Rod Sterne (WWF)
    8. Evaluation, Eleanor Stirling (American Museum of Natural History)
    9. Community of practice, Andrea Santy (WWF) and Christina Imrich (WCS)
    10. Formal education, Kate Mastro (WCS)
  • Session 5.2
    Re-run of theme discussions (above) to provide an opportunity for participants to engage in more than one theme and have sufficient time for quality in depth discussion. At the end of the process each theme will produce a ‘poster’. These will be posted over lunch to allow participants to review and make comments). This will enhance learning and provide a record for the conference outputs.
  • Session 5.3 – ‘Market place’: A celebration of our collective experience
    An offer-and-share event demonstrating a range of capacity building support available. Participants can informally move around discussing, observing and participating in demonstrations. Stalls will include:
    • Higher- education programmes (Cambridge University, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies etc. )
    • Conservation Leadership Development Programmes (the Conservation Leadership Programme, Russell Train Education for Nature Programme, the Whitley Fund for Nature, EDGE Fellowships)
    • Professionalising PA Management online learning
    • Capacity for Conservation
    • Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

We will also be running a ‘connecter-ometer’: A matrix of issues and tools. People will be able to post up their names if they have something to share, run live during the session.

Interested in hosting a market stall?

If you wish to host a 'market' stall please download and fill in this form.

Closing Plenary

  • Discussion – A global network of conservation capacity builders and donors
    The potential for developing and maintaining a global network of capacity developers and donors: Problems, potential solutions, opportunities and the way forward.
  • Closing keynote – A vision of the next 20 years of conservation capacity building
    Speaker to be confirmed.
  • Conference summary: Emerging themes – Overview of emerging themes from all three days of the conference and how these will be presented in post-conference outputs and events
    Conference day organisers.
  • Concluding remarks and thanks
    Mark O’Connell, University of Gloucestershire.

Post-conference training event in London

  • 5th - 6th Aug 2019

Delivering training workshops for wildlife conservation.


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