The protection requirements of forests, parks, refuges, and preserves changed enormously when the global information age arrived.
Threats to conservation missions now include: rapidly evolving global markets for resources, interstate and international pollution, concern that terrorists will target symbols of serenity or national icons, and notorious violent crime where harm to the concept of refuge extends far beyond the immediate victim.
Once successful by reacting to resource harm and crime, conservation law enforcement agencies face increasing demand that they become predictive and protective.
Previously focused within a limited jurisdiction, successful agencies must now negotiate priorities and share data with a dazzling array of other jurisdictions, scientists, and shareholders.
Having employed ‘random patrol' or ‘call for service' models as their management strategies, agencies now must target priority risks employing interdisciplinary mitigation strategies. Success will require evolving from a largely independent work force in isolated duty stations to connective, information rich and management driven operating conditions.
Perhaps most importantly, agencies urgently require meaningful performance measures, linked to the agency priorities, to prosper in the increasingly data driven and competitive funding environment. They must promise measurable results and deliver on those promises.
Fortunately, the information age also contains solutions to many of these challenges. The Institute for Conservation Law Enforcement, while still in its early years, is developing the workforce, management systems and information tools to help agencies succeed.
Employing scientific research and the extensive problem solving capacities of universities, we seek to support agencies and individuals engaged in solving similar problems. The Institute's early work centers on the National Park Service. Now, ICLE and its director, Ken Johnson, are expanding their focus to serve conservation law enforcement more globally.
Follow this link for more about these conservation capacity challenges and their solutions:
The Next Evolution of Resource Stewardship