Within the bird conservation community, partners often collaborate with such diverse groups as private landowners, agricultural organizations, industry, government agencies, transportation departments, local community groups, and land trusts. For these partners, birds are not always the first priority nor do these partners necessarily know how birds relate to other environmental and human interests.
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) is an assemblage of government agencies, private organizations, and bird initiatives that foster collaboration and help partners across the continent meet bird conservation objectives at various scales.
NABCI has created a relevancy toolkit that creates links between different groups and demonstrates how bird conservation can contribute to a diverse set of economic interests, human health, clean air, and clean water. This toolkit consists of dozens of published studies connecting birds and bird conservation with other human benefits.
NABCI recommends using this document in this way:
- Research your audience. What are their priorities and interests?
- Select a few examples from the toolkit that will resonate most strongly. (Keyword “tags” are provided to facilitate this search).
- Cut and paste these (re-wording or expanding them, as appropriate) into either the developed template or a vehicle of your choosing.
- Use the examples as a launching point for discussions on the ways that your interests overlap.
What can the NABCI Relevancy Toolkit studies offer land trusts?
- Provide examples that can help land trusts use birds to strengthen their conservation mission, build capacity, and create success stories around birds.
- Engage decision makers, administrators, and the public by providing a “hook” that appeals to potential partners within and outside traditional bird conservation spheres.
- Support the development of grant proposals with facts and results from studies linking birds with economic benefits.
- Use to initiate conversations and craft targeted conservation messaging to achieve common goals with a diverse set of stakeholders and open dialogues about potential areas of collaboration.
Here is an example of a handout generated from information in the relevancy toolkit which is tailored to a specific audience: Ranchers, Farmers, and Birds: A Natural Partnership.
If there are questions about the toolkit and how the information it provides can best support land trusts, reach out to the NABCI Private and Working Lands Subcommittee. This subcommittee was formed to help state and federal land management agencies, as well as non-government conservation organizations, better interact with private landowners to facilitate bird conservation on these lands. Members work with partners to identify opportunities to integrate bird conservation priorities into private lands conservation efforts.
NOTE: this toolkit is a living document and will continue to be updated with more examples about how birds can contribute to human needs and thrive together.