Conservation Optimism is a spirit and an ethos that many organisations are embracing as we all move forward to build a more effective, more inclusive, and more active future for conservation. To this end, we are working to build robust reciprocal relationships with organisations — collectively called the Conservation Network of Optimists Worldwide, or ConservationNOW — that uphold the vision that we have outlined in our Mission Statement:
● Conservation Optimism is a global community dedicated to inspiring and empowering people around the world to make a positive difference for nature.
● We are committed to fostering effective action, interest and wonder in the natural world, across generations, borders, languages and cultures.
● We are dedicated to equipping, enabling and empowering conservationists at all career stages and from all backgrounds.
● We are building a community whose members can draw strength, resilience and energy from togetherness and shared purpose.
● We will amplify the reach of conservation by transforming the discourse from “doom and gloom,” into a refreshing vision of the future of nature and how to get there.
● We will bring society together in realising this vision, including voices from the arts, business and civil society as well as from conservation science and practice.
● We believe being optimistic shouldn’t underestimate the challenges faced in conservation. Rather, optimism uses the power of hope to provide motivation for meaningful action. This helps us learn from our setbacks and successes to move forward and find new solutions.
● We are an inclusive movement of scientists, artists, professionals, businesses, NGOs and generally motivated humans of all ages and backgrounds, open to everyone.
By joining ConservationNOW, you are agreeing to strive to join us in:
● Being optimistic but realistic
● Building an inclusive global community
● Changing the discourse about conservation and what it can achieve by focusing on what works, what is being done, what can be done, and how
● Sharing stories, tools and ideas to help us all do conservation better
As a member of the Conservation Optimism Network, you pledge to refrain from:
● Engaging in messaging that is counter to the ethos of Conservation Optimism
● Excessive self-promotion on the site
● Any behaviours as part of the community that would violate our Community Guidelines
● Lifting up the other members of ConservationNOW community
● Fighting burnout and negativity
● Combining disciplines and sectors in innovative and creative ways
● Using a range of approaches and forums, both online and in person
● Amplifying diverse voices and experiences
● Being free-thinking and informal
What this means is using scare tactics and negative messages without providing an action point, or engaging in messaging where the primary takeaway is despair and demotivation. Obviously all conservation groups will need to share sad, scary, troubling, sobering, infuriating, or otherwise bleak stories sometimes, but Conservation Optimism means finding a way to give people a way of contributing to solutions, whether that be a way to take personal action, contact a policymaker, learn more about researchers or groups who are working to address the issues, support a cause, or something else.
Partner organisations will
● Actively use the #conservationoptimism hashtag on social media with appropriate and relevant content that embodies the #ConservationOptimism vision & complies with the general Conservation Optimism Community Guidelines
● Always include an action point in negative messaging so that people can find positivity in even dire stories
● Contribute a minimum of two blog posts per year for dissemination on conservationoptimism.org
● Provide a profile for use on conservationoptimism.org (see below)
● Select a point person to be the link to Conservation Optimism and to engage actively with us regularly
Conservation Optimism will
● Share and spread the partner’s conservation optimism messages across all of our channels to help further the partner organisation’s reach and expand their audience. We will also encourage other network members to do the same.
● Publicise the organisation’s relevant work, news, and events to our network
● Edit and host blog posts by and/or about the member, and push them out on our social media channels to ensure maximum impact
● Provide regular updates and facilitate open communication for each representative