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A man, a woman and a child hold hands.
An illustration from the guide "Mapping the Lands of Traditional 'Invisible' Communities in the Cerrado"
Illustration by Carmen San Thiago

Learning from Success

Innovative new grantee resources promote effective conservation practices

Sharing best practices within the conservation community is one way to enable the most effective use of funding and effort.

CEPF’s “Building on Success” learning resource series provides tools for this kind of exchange by highlighting proven conservation approaches from around the globe. Six innovative learning products describe best practices from three biodiversity hotspots—Cerrado, Eastern Afromontane and Indo-Burma—but the lessons are valuable well beyond the boundaries of those regions.

Found on CEPF’s Learning Hub, the resources were created by experienced conservation practitioners to make it easier for CEPF applicants, grantees, conservationists and others to replicate successful practices. Most of the learning products are also available in more than one language.

“These resources look at how to use that successful approach to scale up conservation and help others understand how they can do it themselves in their own backyard," said Nina Marshall, CEPF’s senior director of monitoring, evaluation and outreach. 

The resources:

  • Prepared by Terra de Direitos, “Mapping the Lands of Traditional ‘Invisible’ Communities of the Cerrado” is a guide and video focused on best practices related to documenting the lands of Indigenous and traditional communities from the Cerrado Biodiversity Hotspot in Brazil. The booklet features the strategies used to map lands occupied by the “invisible" communities whose land is not identifiable on official maps, making them more vulnerable to agricultural expansion and resulting pressures on natural habitat. The guide booklet is available in Portuguese and Spanish, and the video is in Portuguese.
  • "Empowering Women in Conservation" is a training resource designed to help practitioners strengthen women's voices in conservation. Based on experiences from


    A woman peers out from the front of a small boat while monitoring a lake in Cambodia.
    Monitoring local lakes in Cambodia.
    © 3S Rivers Protection Network (3SPN)
    the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, this presentation is a valuable resource for training people and organizations on successfully integrating women into conservation—an essential consideration when planning conservation projects that will have lasting results. The PowerPoint and accompanying script are available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. 
  • “Master Class for CEPF Applicants” uses best practices from the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot to provide detailed guidance on how to prepare a top quality project proposal. The master class addresses project design, budgeting, monitoring, safeguards, gender considerations and other topics. While geared to CEPF applicants, the master class is a valuable resource for anyone interested in developing a conservation project. It is available in English and Spanish.
  • “Establishing and Managing Freshwater Fish Conservation Zones with Communities” Based on lessons learned in the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, this comprehensive guidebook (in English) and video (in English or Spanish) were created by FishBio with input from other CEPF grantees. The materials outline how to establish and implement fish conservation zones (FCZs). The guidebook contains high-quality photos, case studies and interviews, while the video provides a 12-minute overview. CEPF also provided FishBio with a grant to replicate the concept in another biodiversity hotspot. Through this project, FishBio is working with local communities and conservationists to establish fish conservation zones in Costa Rica.
  • The Bustard Conservation Portal was created by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Cambodia to support the conservation of bustards—tall, terrestrial birds that inhabit the grasslands of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Bustards are one of the most threatened groups of birds in the world today as they face many challenges, including agriculture, hunting and power lines. This web portal focuses on best practices developed in the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, serving as a valuable hub of information for conservationists seeking to protect these threatened birds.
  • Featuring best practices from Burundi and Rwanda in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, the "Solutions Worth Sharing" manual provides comprehensive guidance for the use of strategies to engage communities in sustainable practices. The methodology was created by Resilience Now to introduce and ensure the long-term use of conservation and sustainable development methods. The manual is available in English and French.

“These learning resources are a good way to help our grantees have an enduring legacy via the great ideas that they have and the successful practices that they've been able to implement and share with others,” said Marshall.