ENVISION | Improving biodiversity and human well-being through inclusive conservation

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 08 September 2021



From 01/01/2019 to 31/12/2021

ENVISION is a research project that develops an inclusive approach to the management of protected areas, known as ‘inclusive conservation’, with the aim of improving biodiversity and human well-being

Inclusive conservation involves developing and applying inter- and trans-disciplinary tools and processes to identify, compare and balance the consequences of different visions for how nature should be conserved.

ENVISION enhances understanding about social and ecological consequences of protected area management with an aim to facilitate reflection on future growth and landscape change.

The project uses inclusive conservation to open-up a dialogue across the various stakeholders of a protected area, and to collectively define and balance visions for protected area management.

The ENVISION project will result in the development of several communications and policy tools to identify, compare and balance the multiple visions for any given area. ENVISION will also enhance understanding about social and ecological consequences of protected area management with an aim to facilitate reflection on future growth and landscape change.


Focusing on improving biodiversity and human well-being

More inclusive approaches are needed to protected area management that enhance the conservation of protected areas and provide for multiple well-being benefits for people and nature.

  • Protected areas conserve biodiversity and ecosystem functioning that underpin essential services.
  • They are a critical and cost-effective component of adaptation and risk reduction strategies.
  • The protected area network in the EU is among the most ambitious in the world.

The Convention on Biological Diversity is a multilateral treaty with three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

Numerous targets are set out under the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (the Aichi Targets). However, these targets are not likely to be achieved partly attributed to:

  • Difficulties in balancing conservation goals with economic and social drivers
  • Low stakeholder involvement in protected area conservation
  • Protected areas lacking support, such as capacity among local and national governments

The project´s inclusive approach with its comprehensive understanding and consideration of these issues is critical to safeguard biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being.


Towards a better future for people and nature

ENVISION uses a variety of tools and processes that emphasize local and regional participation, engage diverse groups, and facilitate reflection on future growth and landscape change.

The project stages involve:

  • Step-1 | Developing mixed-method, participatory scenario planning tools and processes.
  • Step-2 | Identifying, comparing and balancing multiple protected area management visions.
  • Step-3 | Enhancing understanding of the social and ecological consequences of multiple visions for protected areas management
  • Step-4 | Making evidence-based recommendations in order to inform post-2020 biodiversity policy.


In partnership with local residents, protected area managers and diverse industry groups, ENVISION will examine the consequences of multiple visions for protected area management in four case study areas.

  • Kromme Rijn and Utrechtse Heuvelrug regions. The Netherlands 
  • Sierra de Guadarrama. Madrid and Segovia, Spain 
  • Västra Harg. Östergötland, Sweden 
  • Denali National Park. Alaska, United States 

To guide decision-makers, a toolbox is being developed which includes:

  • A set of methods to collect context-based knowledge from multiple local stakeholders’ perspectives, knowledge, and values and support the facilitation of place-based processes that can foster inclusive conservation.
  • Methodological approaches to identify visions and build future scenarios for protected areas management that can be used in both face-to-face and remote events. Examples of these approaches are visualization/graphical tools embedded in interviews or workshops
  • Tools to address power dynamics and inequalities for promoting stakeholder participation and engage in collective action.
  • Activities to create understanding and trust between researchers and decision-makers, with the aim that scientific knowledge can reach conceptual and instrumental impacts on the policy domain.


ENVISION was funded through the 2017-2018 Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA joint call for research proposals, under the BiodivScen ERA-Net COFUND programme

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