Towards future-oriented conservation: Managing protected areas in an era of climate change

Lorrae van Kerkhoff*, Claudia Munera, Nigel Dudley, Oscar Guevara, Carina Wyborn, Carolina Figueroa, Michael Dunlop, Melissa Abud Hoyos, Javier Castiblanco, Laura Becerra

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Citations (Scopus)


    Management of protected areas must adapt to climate impacts, and prepare for ongoing ecological transformation. Future-Proofing Conservation is a dialogue-based, multi-stakeholder learning process that supports conservation managers to consider the implications of climate change for governance and management. It takes participants through a series of conceptual transitions to identify new management options that are robust to a range of possible biophysical futures, and steps that they can take now to prepare for ecological transformation. We outline the Future-Proofing Conservation process, and demonstrate its application in a pilot programme in Colombia. This process can be applied and adapted to a wide range of climate adaptation contexts, to support practitioners in developing positive ways forward for management and decision-making. By acknowledging scientific uncertainty, considering social values, and rethinking the rules that shape conservation governance, participants can identify new strategies towards “future-oriented conservation” over the long term.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)699-713
    Number of pages15
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019


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