Conservation Framework: Conservation Priorities for Species and Ecosystems

Ecosystems Branch
Posted on: 11/29/2009 - Updated on: 3/06/2020

Posted by

Jessi Kershner



Faced with the increasing number of species and ecosystems at risk and escalating threats such as climate change, resource managers and practitioners need a way to prioritize conservation challenges in order to allocate limited resources. The Conservation Framework provides a set of decision support tools to enable collaboration between government and non-government resource managers and practitioners using clearly defined criteria to:

1) prioritize species and ecosystems for conservation; and

2) determine the most appropriate and effective management actions.

The Conservation Framework is designed to optimize allocation of resources, including staff time and dollars. In the past, priorities were assigned using lists designed for categorizing the status of species and ecosystems based on extinction risk. To better manage for species and ecosystems of conservation concern, British Columbia developed the Conservation Framework to optimize allocation of resources, including staff time and dollars.

This is an approach that:

• is based on specific goals to guide conservation efforts for species and ecosystems of conservation concern;

• addresses the issue of jurisdictional rarity (where a species’ range “drifts” across a jurisdictional boundary);

• is proactive for species and ecosystems that are not yet at risk but are experiencing serious downward population trends;

• adequately addresses British Columbia’s stewardship responsibility for globally important species and ecosystems;

• is based on the best available scientific information to quickly and transparently prioritize species and ecosystems and assign them to appropriate management actions.


Ecosystems Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Environment. (2009). Conservation framework: conservation priorities for species and ecosystems. British Columbia, Canada. Retrieved from CAKE:

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