Pandas in the Wild | WWF
Pandas in the Wild

Posted on 28 April 2017

Adaptive management makes us as effective as possible
Maria Fernanda Jaramillo, Knowledge Sharing and Learning Manager for WWF Forest and Climate, travels the world helping WWF teams and our partners better integrate adaptive management strategies into their programs and projects. 

“Being able to identify and incorporate lessons learned is very important to ensuring that our efforts are as relevant and impactful as possible,” she says. “It’s much more effective to integrate these processes into all aspects of our work than it is to reflect back at the end of a project.  But, that can require some special skills and behavior changes in order to do it correctly.”

In December, she flew from a lessons collection workshop in Jakarta with colleagues at WWF-Indonesia to Bogota, Colombia to facilitate a workshop for the Capacity Building Programme on Territorial Indigenous Governance. This workshop was the first in-person meeting of the Programme’s Coordinating Pedagogic Committee, which is made up of representatives of the five participating countries – Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru – as well as members of WWF and Forest Trends.  

Designed by a consortium of indigenous organizations, universities, and NGOs, the Programme will empower Latin American indigenous communities to overcome governance challenges in their territories.  150 Indigenous People will be able to participate in the year-long curriculum.

“The curricula includes a broad spectrum of topics, from collective rights, to gender and generational equity, climate change risks, drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, and conflict resolution,” according to Maria Fernanda.  Increasing capacities to navigate these issues strengthens indigenous governance, and supports self-sustaining natural resource stewardship abilities and subsequent access to REDD+ and other benefits.

Maria Fernanda has been facilitating the participatory development of the Programme from its inception, including collecting experiences from previous processes to define its scope and methodology, building off and learning from what has happened in the past.  As the Programme moves forward with implementation, one of her tasks will be the assessment of lessons learned at every step of the way through adaptive management.  By incorporating reflection and learning into the program cycle, Maria Fernanda ensures that the partners are able to make adjustments to improve implementation as needed, and to better achieve the overall goals.

Building and supporting science-based, impactful programs is central to WWF’s mission.  As an organization – as people who cherish and depend on this planet – we choose to direct our resources towards efforts that will have impacts at-scale. Practicing adaptive management through systematized lessons collection is one tool we can use to be as effective as possible as we work towards a world where humans live in harmony with nature. 
Maria Fernanda facilitates an exercise in Bogota, Colombia
© Naikoa Aguilar Amuchastegui / WWF