Carla Archibald | Conservation Science. Identifying environmental preservation & sustainability for wildlife Australia
Conservation Science — Research, Policy & Practice


Browse through various articles and news published by me to find out what I’ve been up to, more about my research in conservation science, and the impacts on ecosystems and biodiversities in wildlife. Information on preservation, environment, wildlife, natural resources, sustainability, protection, nature and more.


The Challenge of Making Conservation Go Viral

What we are doing & where you can find us?

While there are many environmental challenges to solve, individuals around the world are inspiring a new generation to care about nature and to find solutions to the planet’s challenges. Occasionally, a conservation initiative will “go viral,” with rapid, widespread adoption and implementation that transforms the relationship between people and nature across large areas. What is it about these conservation initiatives and leaders that allow them to create a wilder, healthier world? And what is it about these conservation initiatives that leads to their widespread adoption? Understanding who these change agents are and why an initiative goes viral is essential to evidence-based conservation policy and practice.

Please join us for our workshop entitled “Inspirational stories and the challenge of making conservation go viral” (#WCC_10265) to learn more about this research. This session is designed to share insights, which will help us to inspire, strengthen and catalyse conservation initiatives around the world. First, we will share existing stories about leadership and successful projects happening globally. Second, we will highlight insights from the social sciences that improve our ability to strengthen and/or upscale these initiatives. Finally, we will work with participants to problem solve challenges they face within their projects.

Room: 310
Date: 5 September 2016
Time: 11:00 – 13:00
Stage language:  English

Contributing members of the workshop include:

  1. Bruno Monteferri MPhil in Conservation Leadership, Cambridge University

  2. Mike Mascia Senior Director for Social Science at Conservation International

  3. Crista Valentino Founder and Chief Coalition Builder of CoalitionWILD

  4. Morena Mills Senior Lecturer of Conservation Science at Imperial College London in the UK and an Adjunct Researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia

  5. Carla Archibald DPhil in Conservation Science, The University of Queensland

* Flamingos on private lands in Spain

* Flamingos on private lands in Spain

A private protected area example (my PhD)

There is no denying that human activities have crippled ecological processes and species persistence throughout the world. To keep up with the rapid loss of these processes and species, conservation initiatives are implemented in places to safeguard remaining areas (e.g. protected areas, community managed forests etc.) or to manage environmental quality (e.g. invasive species management, fire management etc.).

Market researchers’ and strategists’ have an expansive tool belt, full of useful methods to identify and motivate consumers to behave in certain ways. Many of their insights come from the Diffusion of innovation theory, which helps us uncover how, why, and at what rate, innovations (in our case, conservation initiatives) are adopted and spread.

As conservation initiatives are moving more and more into the private space (e.g. private protected areas) and need to operate within complex social-ecological systems, tools to achieve conservation targets while complementing social and economic goals are often desired. Conservation on private or community-owned land generally targets anyone that is willing to adopt the action. Money is often scarce to incentivise landowners to uptake these actions and/or the management intensity dictated in the contract is too intense for the landowners to agree to.

* Black-breasted Buzzard nest founds on private lands in South Australia

* Black-breasted Buzzard nest founds on private lands in South Australia

Marketing private protected areas is unlike marketing a new brand of toothpaste. Everyone brushes their teeth and everyone needs toothpaste to do so. Conservation on the other hand, may not have as many direct or obvious benefits – which means that most of the ‘marketing’ we need to do is targeted toward convincing people that engaging in that action is beneficial for them.

Currently, private land conservation tends to target threatened ecosystems or areas rich in biodiversity for their management action — but this approach lacks one significant consideration, the people and communities in which these actions are to be implemented. Not considering people’s motivations could not only lead to poor adoption rates and mediocre land management, but also raises equity issues/implications.

My PhD project focuses on understanding what characteristics of private protected areas, their adopters and the broader environment that surrounds them leads to their widespread adoption? I am analysing the adoption rates and patterns of different private protected areas programs. For example, we are interested in understanding how different types of people and communities (e.g. primary producers, age brackets, urban vs rural) are responding to different types of private protected area (e.g. voluntary PPA’s, incentivised PPA’s, short or long term contracts etc.). Understanding how private protected areas have diffused and spread through communities will (hopefully) give us insights into better ways to target and tailor future private land conservation.

Contributing members this private protected area work

  1. Carla Archibald PhD in Conservation Science, The University of Queensland

  2. Morena Mills Senior Lecturer of Conservation Science at Imperial College London in the UK and an Adjunct Researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia

  3. Jonathan Rhodes Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

* Private protected area, in this case, is defined as an area protected under national, state or regional law to prevent certain types of land uses and generally involved conservation management actions to be carried out on the land (e.g. conservation covenant or easement). These areas tend to be listed under IUCN category 6 as a protected area with sustainable land/resource use.