We first began the research for the Collaborative Conservation Atlas project back in 2013 with the goal of identifying and systematically describing collaborative initiatives across the state to gain a better understanding of ‘who is doing what, where?’ Since then, we have identified 140+ long-term collaborative and multi-stakeholder initiatives working across the state on many different kinds and combinations of natural resource and environmental issues. While each group is unique, the initiatives in our study share the following characteristics:
- they include a range (3+) of stakeholders representing the diverse perspectives of organizations, interest groups, and/or individuals with a stake in the outcome that participate on a regular basis or have recognizable responsibilities within the initiative.
- the core participants pool resources and assets to achieve shared objectives
- they formed to achieve one or more conservation or natural resource-related goals
- participants engage in a sustained process of interaction or consensus building at some point(s) during the group’s history lasting at least two years
Our research continues on how and why collaboratives get started, and what organizational models they adopt to achieve their shared objectives. A final report on the project will be released upon its completion in 2018. Below are some highlights of what we have learned so far.