August 28, 2018 – by Judith Scarl, NABCI Coordinator – Today I am excited to share NABCI’s new Relevancy Toolkit, a resource designed to facilitate conversations between the bird-focused community and other partners whose broad goals may align with bird conservation outcomes. Since actions and outcomes that benefit birds can also have far-reaching benefits for human health, economic interests, and other human goals, engaging a broad community to work towards common goals can ensure we have the capacity and buy-in to tackle complex conservation challenges. Many of us collaborate with diverse groups such as private landowners, agricultural organizations, industry, land trusts, transportation departments, or community groups. For bird conservation professionals seeking to engage new partners, this toolkit is meant to help you find a “hook”- a way to engage a new audience to begin a discussion about how you can work together to achieve shared goals.
This toolkit showcases dozens of published studies linking birds and bird conservation with other human benefits, from ecotourism revenue, to pest control services, to increased property values, to human health. This 13-page toolkit is not meant to be used for partner communications as-is; rather, once you understand your target audience and their interests, you can select examples from within this document that will resonate most strongly. Some partners may wish to pull out a few examples and create a handout tailored to a specific audience; for example, this sample one-pager may be useful to build connections with the USDA and affiliates.
More and more, conservation professionals understand that we can’t achieve conservation in isolation, and our best chance of success comes when we emphasize the far-reaching benefits of conservation activities- benefits that go far beyond birds and other wildlife. Whether you’re looking to reach out to a specific new partner, exploring ideas for other types of organizations you might partner with, or just looking for some general talking points and fun facts about the relevance of bird conservation, we hope that this toolkit has something for you.
Once again, this product represents a tremendous collaboration by many NABCI partners over the last 1.5 years, and I thank everyone who submitted relevance examples, developed text, formatted the document, and generally provided guidance along the way. A special thanks to Steve Albert from the Institute for Bird Populations, whose leadership and hard work made this document possible.
This toolkit is meant to be a living document- over the next few years we’ll be updating this resource with additional examples of bird conservation relevancy. We’d love your input- do you have other sourced examples of bird conservation relevancy? Send them along! Are there ways we can make this document more useful or user-friendly? We’d welcome your feedback.