Round River Conservation Studies is an ecological research and education organization whose goal is the formulation and implementation of conservation strategies that conserve and restore wildness. We recognize that flourishing wildness and wild places are important in, and of, themselves.
Employing the principles of conservation biology, we formulate strategies to give our partner communities, organizations and governments a well-founded scientific basis for their long-term conservation planning efforts.
- To lead innovation and experimentation in the field of conservation biology at the international level and accelerate application and uptake of emerging ideas.
- To develop, implement and refine innovative and effective conservation strategies that are tailored to local circumstances and are capable of securing durable conservation outcomes.
- To demonstrate tangible conservation gains in selected large intact landscapes that provide for biodiversity, local communities, and recognition for the cultural and traditional practices of indigenous peoples.
- To lead innovation and experimentation in the field of conservation education and leadership.
- To cultivate an active, informed and inspired constituency of international young scholars, as scientists, artists, and conservation activists and advocates by providing innovative and respected experiential conservation education and leadership training.
- To develop and implement innovative conservation analyses to international peer-review standards as a platform for conservation advocacy.
- To secure a trusted role and broad reach by engaging respectfully as scientists, planners and strategists, consultants and trainers with a variety of partners including organizations, indigenous peoples, academia, governments, local communities, foundations, individuals, and corporations.
- To utilize student field programs to build one-to-one relationships on the ground, provide for effective field data collections, and nurture a community of future conservation professionals.
- To establish partnerships with indigenous or local communities to advocate for conservation, exert political and legal leverage, and establish enduring institutional arrangements to secure gains.
- To maintain a clear focus on areas of core competency and utilize partnerships and service providers to deliver other critical roles.
Round River Conservation Programs
Round River engages in conservation programs in several countries, often deploying Round River students, cooperating with local partners to advocate for conservation gains, and applying technical analysis and resources as needed to support these efforts.
Many of these programs and their projects involve a mix of applied skills and different forms of engagement, in varying sequences:
- Initial contact with prospective conservation partners, often including indigenous people(s);
- Establishment of student programs, beneficial and appropriate;
- Providing strategy assistance and training to local community members, partners and/or the creation of local organizations;
- Analysis of conservation values, often articulated through a Conservation Area Design (CAD) or similar;
- Development of land plans that define and secure conservation gains as well as appropriate economic development opportunities;
- Development of implementation strategies, with other partners; and,
- Engagement with local communities to support implementation by providing assistance or identifying additional partners to help with local needs for social, education, cultural and economic development.
Scope of Regional Conservation Initiatives
The number and scope of these regional programs is reviewed annually. The criteria for selection of regional conservation programs include:
- Opportunity for significant conservation gains in large, intact landscapes;
- Opportunity to partner with indigenous or local communities, as well as, national and international conservation organizations to achieve and maintain conservation gains; and,
- Opportunity to develop and implement innovative conservation strategies that can serve as precedents.
- Providing training to this and the next generation of conservationists , strategic support, and targeted capacity building for the implementation of conservation gains are key priorities for Round River. The Round River Center for Conservation Leadership directs Round River’s student programs, leadership training, and strategy development activities.
- Activities within the Conservation Leadership Centre are organized under two complementary programs:
- Conservation Leadership Training Program; and,
- Conservation Strategies Program.
Round River Student Program
The focus of our Student Program is to encourage and expand the commitments, minds and spirits of future conservationists to cultivate an active, informed and inspired constituency of international young scholars, as conservation scientists, artist, activists and advocates by providing innovative and respected experiential conservation education and leadership training. The principal activities of the program include:
- Innovation and experimentation in the field of experiential conservation education and leadership training;
- A recognized leadership role in the establishment of conservation literacy criteria and guidelines;
- Providing direction, curriculum, academic accreditation and instruction for student activities in various regional programs; and,
- Promotion of conservation training and leadership through publications and symposia.
Since 1991, Round River has engaged local people and employed conservation science to develop conservation plans that exceed 100 million acres and achieve protective measures for over 10 million acres. Below is a brief outline of our recent activities.
2014 - The Yukon North Slope Conservation Initiative was established with the Wildlife Management Advisory Council and the Inuvialuit Game Council. The Idaho Wolverine – Winter Recreation Study was expanded to include sites in Montana and Wyoming.
2013 - With the Navajo Nation, the 1.9 million acre Diné Bikéyah Conservation Plan was developed as a national monument proposal for consideration by the Obama Administration.
2012 - Conservation projects with the Botswana Okavango Research Institute in Botswana and Conservación Patagónica in Chile were developed and student programs initiated.
2011 - After a 14-year partnership with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, formal negotiations with the BC government resulted in over 7 million acres receiving conservation measures and protection.
2010 - Reached the successful conclusion of a 10-year forest reserve and capacity building partnership with Fundación Cordillera Tropical in the biologically rich highlands of southeastern Ecuador.
2009 - To curb hunting of grizzly bears in northwestern British Columbia, a hunting business and its 2 million acre guiding territory was purchased. The Wolverine – Winter Recreation Study in partnership with the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station was initiated.
2008 - Under a directive from the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Round River completed the Kunene Regional Ecological Analysis, to identify the region’s ecological values and to map proposed park boundaries.
2007 - Following on an engagement that began in 1993 with the Heiltsuk First Nation, Round River assisted with a youth cultural camp in the Koeye River watershed of British Columbia.
2006 - The Great Bear Rainforest campaign utilizing a Round River Conservation Area Design achieved 5 million acres of new protected areas on the coast of British Columbia.
2005 - The Government of the Northwest Territories’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources sought Round River’s technical capacity to identify priority areas for inclusion in the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy.
2004 - For the British Columbia government Round River developed a Conservation Area Design for the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area that set a new standard for adaptable information systems for the conservation of large intact landscapes.