Nonprofit Partnership Provides Access to Online Conservation Collaboration Tool

Mar 19, 2014 11:00 AM ET

Written by guest blogger Jeff Ghannam from Wildlife Habitat Council.

One of the ways that Waste Management (WM) achieves its corporate sustainability goal is by partnering with conservation organizations like the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), a nonprofit organization that promotes and certifies wildlife habitat conservation programs on working lands.

WHC certifies 132 WM programs through its two signature programs: Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning. The Wildlife at Work program provides companies like WM with a structure to create, conserve or restore wildlife habitats on their lands. The Corporate Lands for Learningprogram promotes the use of habitat as a platform for hands-on conservation education for school and community groups. These certifications especially recognize outstanding native habitat management and conservation education programs developed through partnerships with local community groups and organizations.

WHC provides additional value for conservation partners like WM through its participation in the Conservation Registry, an online, interactive database that tracks and maps conservation, restoration and wildlife habitat enhancement projects across the world. By posting its certified programs on the registry, WHC allows partners like WM to track all of their conservation programs on one portal so it can manage its data more efficiently and better understand and convey the breadth of its conservation programs.

Defenders of Wildlife initiated the Conservation Registry in 2008 to facilitate informed decision-making, inspire collaboration, provide context and increase effectiveness for conservation work. It started in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and has since grown to more than 110,000 projects in all states. The Conservation Registry now includes international projects, and WHC is one of the pioneers in this international expansion.

Anyone can create a conservation project in the registry, but an organizational portal like WHC’s provides users with their own customized platform for planning, tracking and promoting progress towards implementation of a conservation plan.

Perhaps most importantly, the registry acts as a synthesis tool to bring together often-isolated information and data from groups ranging from small organizations and individual landowners to state and federal agencies. It allows landowners like WM to better understand the conservation context in which they are working and therefore allows for connectivity between important habitats. For example, its helps landowners determine the degree to which actions are taking place within identified conservation priority areas.

To see all the WM programs that are WHC-certified and listed on the Conservation Registry, click here