Wetland CEPA methods


See below for information on this publicationIn this section of the CEPA pages we will be highlighting materials of use to those involved in planning CEPA activities or developing CEPA programmes and action plans; the focus will be on materials that describe CEPA methodologies for wetlands although less specific methodologies are also included. 

Directly associated with the implementation of Ramsar's CEPA  Resolution X.8 (here), A Guide to Participatory Action Planning and Techniques for Facilitating Groups has been developed to assist the CEPA Focal Points of the Contracting Parties to the Convention in the action planning process. Complementing this is the CBDs CEPA Toolkit which provides tools concerning where, when and how to use a range of education and communication interventions of broader relevance to CEPA practitioners.

The publications below document a broad range of CEPA methodologies not all of which are focussed on wetlands. They are presented in four sections:
Communication techniques;
Communication with a focus on visitor centres;
Participatory techniques and capacity building
; and
Methods in environmental education/ education for sustainability

While we hope these divisions are useful, please be aware that the sections are not mutually exclusive: there is inevitably overlap. As with other pages within this mini-Web site, this is a work in progress and we hope that readers will be willing to share here effective resource materials that you have developed or used (contact hails [at] ramsar.org).

All links below are to electronically available documents.

Communication techniques
CEPA Evaluation Design Toolkit

Produced by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and the City of Cape Town this  toolkit was developed to assist CEPA managers, practitioners and partners in planning the evaluation of their CEPA programmes. The experiences of four local governments - Cape Town, Edmonton, Nagoya and São Paulo - were used in the development of the toolkit  providing a range of contexts in which the practical planning tools can be applied. Download as a ZIP file here ♦

Key findings From Recent National Opinion Research on "Ecosystem Services"

From two polling firms in the US, some survey results on how the general public views the many critical benefits provided by nature. The majority thought these benefits "very important" with the provision of clean air and water, food, medecine and safety from floods and hurricanes, identified as of high priority. See their list of alternative phrases to describe ecosystem services. Download the PDF here. ♦

The Language of Communication - how to communicate effectively to build support for conservation

From a US polling firm, some findings from a national survey provide recommendations on language and messaging to build support for conservation when targeting the general public. Download this 11-page pdf here  ♦

I'm tired of having my awareness raised!

A thought -provoking article on awareness-raising from Terry Clayton, Senior Science Writer at Red Plough International. Available online here.

iReport Toolkit

Some words of advice from the professionals working with CNN on 'telling your story like a pro'. In simple soundbites of information, these professionals share tips on the ingredients of a good story, shooting better videos, and recording your story. Read more here. ♦

Sell the Sizzle – the new climate message

The authors believe that climate change is no longer a scientist’s problem – it’s a salesman’s problem. Their publication provides simple tools and tactics to help communicators (the salesmen) ‘sell’ climate change and human solutions to the problem in a way likely to elicit positive responses from the reader. Available in PDF format here. ♦

Branding Biodiversity

The authors note  "We’ve taken a critical look at today’s biodiversity messages to see whether they align with the emotions of the people they are aimed at. And we’ve combined these with the principles of branding,not simply logos and slogans, but a coherent set of values and promises which will trigger action. The results are both provocative and exciting. They challenge us to deliver a newnature message." In PDF here  ♦

The Psychology of Climate Change

The Psychology of Climate Change : A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public is an easy-to-use guide to help you through the steps you will need to take to go beyond informing your readership about the solutions to climate change to motivating and empowering them to adopt the needed changes. Download in PDF format here.

Communicating science

Write a press release, briefing policymakers in science-related issues, making a science news story for radio - a series of articles from well-known media writers covers these and other topics on the web-based Science and Development Network. Available here.

New rules: new game

An easy-to-read 12-page booklet providing a practical guide for action on changing behaviour to stop damaging the climate. It’s intended for businesses, NGOs, government authorities and international agencies undertaking or planning climate change communication. Produced by the communications company Futerra, it is available as a PDF file and can be downloaded here. ♦

CEPA toolkit

Although designed to assist CBDs focal points in implementing their National Biodiversity Stategies/Action Plans, this toolkit offers all CEPA professionals a wide range of resources to update their knowledge and skills. It includes fact sheets, checklists and practical examples from all over the world. Available online and for download here. ♦

Designing a Communication Strategy: The 4-P Workshop

Published by Conservation International, this text is intended to help stakeholders plan an awareness campaign. The 4-P Workshop takes readers through the planning of a two-day workshop to analyse conservation problems, the potential targets, the most appropriate communication tools to reach each audience, and the development of a campaign plan taking into account the local context and resources. Available for download in PDF format here.

Communicating Sustainability - How to produce effective public campaigns

A UNEP/FUTERRA guide (published in 2005) that shows how the power of communication can be harnessed for achieving the goal of promoting more sustainable lifestyles. It is designed for local and national government authorities as well as communication professionals - in fact for anyone who wants to develop and implement public awareness campaigns on these issues. Available for download as a PDF file (2.7MB) here. ♦

Successful Communication: A Toolkit for Researchers and Civil Society Organisations

Published in 2005 by the Overseas Development Institute, this toolkit is for researchers and practitioners who wish to communicate to policymakers. The toolkit addresses the questions of how researchers and CSOs can best communicate evidence in order to inform or influence policy, to achieve their own stated development objectives, or simply to make their own knowledge accessible and understandable to a wider audience. Available as a PDF file here.

Communicating for Recovery: A guide to developing a Recovery Plan Communications Strategy

This 50-page guide has been developed from a recovery project by WWF Australia. It details eight steps to developing and implementing a communication strategy and the authors intend the guide to be used as a model that recovery teams can adapt to suit their own setting, to ensure that their communications with key stakeholders are relevant, strategic, cost-effective and accountable. Published in 2004, it is available in PDF format here.

Managing coastal activities: new help for local authorities

This publication provides guidance for local authorities on their powers to regulate activity and their responsibilities to promote good practice among all users of the coast. It provides information to help identify current issues; act only when needed; use the right mix of measures for the local circumstances; promote solutions through voluntary action or self regulation; develop effective partnerships in management etc. Published in 2004, available online as PDF (353KB).

Communication and Natural Resource Management: experience/theory

Prepared by the Communication Development Initiative and FAO's Communication for Development Group in 2003, this resource book looks at how experience is and can be guided by theory and how theory can be derived from understanding experience. Available for download as a PDF file from FAO here (132KB).

A guide to advocacy work in the water and sanitation sector

A source book published in 2001 by WaterAid for anyone working in the water and sanitation sector who wants to undertake advocacy work. Explains the different advocacy tools, provides practical examples of advocacy work, provides information on key policy actors and processes and how to influence them at international levels and to provide information on agencies, networks and institutions engaged in advocacy work in the freshwater sector. Available for download as a PDF file here.

Wetlands Outreach: Getting the Message Out - New Techniques and New Partners for the Millennium

The product of an intensive, two-day discussion among 45 wetland outreach professionals from NGO's as well as state, federal and local governments in the USA, this publication notes the abundance and high quality of many outreach products but identifies some important gaps. Published in 2000, the document, available in PDF format, identifies generic problems, solutions and areas for future strategic wetland outreach development and cooperation.

Communication with a focus on Wetland Education Centres
Visitor segmentation

An assessment carried out by the UK’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) to identify what type of visitors come to the centres,  identifying visitors variously as 'social birders', 'fun time families' etc.  The survey work took place during 2010. According to Chris Rostron, Head of the Wetland Link International network of centres under WWT, “this enables us to better provide attractions, activities and information for the visitors, as well as informing our future planning for our centres”. Available for download as a PDF here. ♦

Developing a Wetland Centre: 1. Public centres and CEPA

A manual produced by Wetland Link International outlining the philosophy, thinking and questions to be considered when developing and running a wetland centre. The emphasis in this volume is on CEPA (communications, education and public awareness) within wetland centres that are open to the public as conservation centres and visitor attractions. Available for download as a PDF file in Chinese, English, and Portuguese

Challenge for visitor centres: linking local people, visitors and protected areas

Documents the discussion papers and working group conclusions from a seminar jointly organised in August 2000 by the World Commission on Protected Areas and the Finnish Forest and Park Service. Available in English as a PDF file from the Web site of IUCN , it covers a whole range of practical issues from developing permanent exhibitions, to protected areas and their role in environmental education, to designing and delivering an interpretative guided walk etc.  Take some time to look around this Web site - great info for the public.

Participatory techniques and Capacity building

Science for Environment Policy In-depth Report: Environmental Citizen Science

This 32-page report prepared for the European Unionn addresses three key questions :
How could new and developing technologies help citizen science projects feed into environmental policy?  Is environmental data by citizen scientists as accurate as environmental data produced by professional scientists? How can citizen science benefit environmental monitoring and policymaking?  Available here as a PDF
Choosing and using citizen science

This 28-page guide from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK assists readers in deciding whether citizen science is likely to be useful, and which broad approach to citizen science is most suitable for a particular question or activity. Available as a PDF ♦
Beyond scarcity: citizen science  programmes as useful tools for conservation biogeography

This article in the Journal of Conservation Biogeography looks at the breadth of citizen science projects/programmes considering the skill levels needed, time required by the citizens, the methods used, the diversity of results, and an analysis of the value of such programmes in involving ordinary people in working with scientists to collect credible, useful data and at the same time re-connecting people with the natural world. Available here as a PDF ♦
Stakeholder engagement: Participatory approaches for the planning and development of marine protected areas

This publication from the World Wide Fund for Nature and NOAAis intended as guidebook for those working in Marine Protected Area management but has broad relevance for all those concerned with managing the environment. In 36 pages it provides a five-step process with each step moving towards progressively greater stakeholder participation and more shared responsibilities. Available here in PDF ♦

Empowering the Grassroots: BirdLife, Participation, and Local Communities

This publication uses case study material to generate some key messages on how local conservation groups can empower local communities in managing their natural resources; in linking biodiversity to their own livelihoods and wellbeing, standing up for their rights, monitoring sites, and building  pride and identity linked to their local wildlife.  Available here in PDF ♦

A Guide to Participatory Action Planning and Techniques for Facilitating Groups

This guide has been developed for the Ramsar Convention to assist in the CEPA action planning process for the wise use of wetlands; the latter is a key component of the Convention's CEPA Programme. The guide provides a practical approach to participatory action planning including techniques for facilitating groups. It can be downloaded in PDF format in English, French and Spanish. ♦

Enhancing the Wise Use of Wetlands: A Framework for Capacity Development

Developed  by Wageningen International for theAdvisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention, this illustrated framework to help those responsible for wetlands invest in people at all levels - from governmnet staff to wetland users - to ensure that wetlands are wisely used through the development of caapcity development programmes at national, regional and local levels. Although aimed primarily at Ramsar's Administrative Authorities, it is also useful for a wide range of stakeholders involve in wetland management from civil servants, to NGOs, to training institutes and facilitators of wetland management palnning processes. Download the PDF here.

Particpation, Consensus Building and Conflict Management Training Course

These are the skills that will help water resources decisions makers avert conflict, deal with conflict should it arise, and use water decisions as a venue for dialogue when others are closed to parties locked in various types of non-water conflicts. Download here in PDF format (2.5MB).

Dealing with Conflicts in the Implementation and Management of the Natura 2000 Network: A review of 24 best practice case studies

This report considers the causes of conflict, key concepts in conflict management, four ways of relating to stakeholders and case examples. Available for download here. ♦

Current practices in solving multiple use issues of Natura 2000 sites: Conflict management strategies and participatory approaches

This study from Institute for Water Resources, USACE, looks at the underlying theory on participatory approaches and conflict management, provides an overview of multiple use issues and conflicts in Natura 2000 sites, and identifies some success factors to prevent and manage conflicts. Produced for the European Commission by Alterra, Wageningen, the Netherlands, it is available for download here. ♦

MSP Resource Portal: building capacity to facilitate multistakeholder processes and social learning

An online source ofinformation from Wageningin International on  practical tools for managing mukltistakeholder processes. ♦

Participatory Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation

An online source of practical information from Wageningin International on managing and learning for impact that aims to help build the capacity of individuals and organisations to effectively implement PPM&E systems (courses, advisory services, evaluation); contribute to innovation in the field of PPM&E; and provide practical web based resource materials, experience sharing and learning with this PPM&E resource portal.

Learning together to manage together: Improving participation in water management

The handbook from the Ecologic Institute explains why it makes sense to be more ambitious about participatory processes rather than simply informing or consulting stakeholders and the public, and it provides the methodology for creating the right framework for a successful participatory process. It offers practical guidance for the development of participation processes that meet the actual needs of stakeholders and aims to serve as a reference book for the selection of adequate participatory methods. Published in 2005, it is available here in PDF format in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish (3.69MB).   ♦

Systems thinking and practice: Diagramming

From the Open University: some great online demos on diagramming that can be adapted for stakeholder workshops- spray diagrams, rich pictures, systems maps, multiple cause diagrams and sign graphs. Online here. ♦

A One Stop Participation Guide: A Handbook of Public Participation in Environmental Assessment in Southern Africa

Offers helpful tips and the process to follow for public participation from the perspective of the four key stakeholders who are part of any public participation process: Practitioners, Civil Society, Government and Developers. Also has a chapter on conflict management. Published in 2005, by the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment, it is available here in PDF format here. ♦

Stakeholder dialogue– A good practice guide for users

A 20-page report which provides a useful guide for those considering working with their stakeholders in a constructive way. It describes what stakeholder dialogue involves and the benefits it brings, and describes how this approach was used on the Isles of Scilly. In PDF format here.

Environmental Education / Education for Sustainability

Building a Sustainable Future: A Strategic Approach to Environmental Education in the Tonle Sap Region – Cambodia

Based on an assessment of local communities' perceptions of water and how water impacts on their livelihoods, this environmental education (EE) plan of action builds a common EE agenda which recognises the need to incorporate local culture, spiritual beliefs and religions and puts communities and their well-being at the very centre of activities. In PDF format here (1.26MB)

Handbook on methods used in Environmental Education & Education for Sustainable Development

This 110-page book, published in 2004, introduces educators to the basic ideas relevant to the various EE and ESD methods, using practical examples - a useful reference guide for educators. Synopsis of the book is available here and the full document can be downloaded in PDF format if you first join the MedIES network. Look for instructions here.

Ranger Interpretation Handbook

Rangers, nature interpreters and those involved in environmental education can use natural or semi natural areas to illustrate ways in which we can all create a more sustainable future for the planet. This handbook with examples of "best practice" has grown out of a desire to share that knowledge and good practice in our efforts to promote a more caring approach to use of the planet's finite resources and to ensure a healthy future for our children. Published in 2003, in PDF format here (520KB).

Enabling Ecoaction: a handbook for anyone working with the public on conservation

A joint publication in 2003 by the Humane Society International, WWF Australia and IUCN's Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), this handbook is designed to assist environmental educators, managers, local government environment officers and others to move away from traditional brochures and posters for the public to participative community-driven approaches to conservation that focus on enabling collective action for change. Available for download as a PDF (1.03MB) or can be purchased in hard copy from publications@wwf.org.au.

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

This ESD toolkit was published in 2002 to  provide community leaders and educators with an easy-to-use manual to help them start the process of combining education and sustainability.  Can be downloaded as a PDF file or viewed in HTML.

The Pollution Prevention Guide

Written from 30+ years of experience with service-learning and environmental education, this guide was produced in responce to a growing demand from teachers and community organizers for detailed practical tips on how to organize successful pollution prevention service-learning projects. In PDF format here.

Education for Sustainability. From Rio to Johannesburg: Lessons learnt from a decade of commitment

A report on the lessons learnt about the contribution of education to sustainable development over the past decade, since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the ‘Earth Summit’) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Prepared by UNESCO, the report was published in 2002 and is available in PDF format here.

The Path to Success: Some Pioneering Examples of Environmental Education

Documents some successful examples of environmental education from 15 countries representing the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and South America. Can be downloaded from the IGES Web site in PDF Format (go to Publications & Activity Report).

Environmental Education for a Sustainable Future: National Action Plan

Published in the year 2000, this document can be viewed in html or downloaded  as an Adobe PDF file (about 500KB) from Environment Australia's Web site. The plan is intended to provide leadership to the many different sectors involved in environmental education activities and promote better coordination of these activities.

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