Conservation Partnership Task Force on Diversity
Strategic Plan To Promote Diversity Within The Partnership
In June 1994, the Conservation Partnership Coordinating Council established the Conservation Partnership Task Force on Diversity. The Task Force, with three members from each of the partners, was charged with developing an action plan to promote the value, benefits and importance of diversity within the Conservation Partnership. The Task Force met September 19-20, 1994, in Washington, DC. Discussion centered around three areas: What is diversity? What is the value of diversity? and, How do we broaden opportunities for participation in the Conservation Partnership?
The strategic action plan consists of three broad goals identified by the Task Force. Achieving these goals will produce an environment that will foster broad participation in, and support for, the programs of the Conservation Partnership. Beneath each of the goals are listed several action items that will be undertaken to achieve those goals.
What is Diversity?
Diversity is a word with many different meanings in many different contexts. Within the Conservation Partnership, diversity is a concept of inclusiveness concerning both the clientele being served and those who are coordinating and providing the services. It goes beyond routinely accepted notions of race and gender and embraces all cultures and all people who use, manage and receive the benefits of our abundant natural resources. Traditionally viewed as serving agriculture, the Conservation Partnership has expanded its scope in recent years to address many different facets of natural resource management. Ensuring that all segments of society are served by, and have the opportunity to participate in, our nation’s conservation programs is a primary objective of this strategic plan.
What is the Value of Diversity?
Participation by a diverse population can bring many new resources into the Conservation Partnership. It will provide opportunities for more input in decision-making through access to different thoughts and ideas. Fresh perspectives and new approaches can be brought into the problem-solving process. Increased participation will give more people “ownership” in the conservation movement, generating more support for the partnership approach. Building a broader base of support will, in turn, multiply access to new program resources, better funding, and increase political clout at all levels. Diversity also brings different cultural perspectives and understandings to the conservation movement, enriching our knowledge and appreciation of different ways of doing business.
A conservation partnership enhanced through diverse participation.
Increase sensitivity and understanding that contributions made by different segments of society are important to conservation efforts.
- Promote and provide education on the value of diversity.
- Through the partnership information network, provide examples of opportunities for increased participation (e.g. associate supervisors, youth boards, auxiliaries).
- Conduct outreach activities to better communicate with organizations, institutions, and entities that represent diverse groups.
- Increase partnerships with Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBUACs) and 1890s institutions.
Increase awareness that conservation programs have an impact on all segments of society.
- Assess district services to all socio-economic levels to ensure equality in delivery of services.
- Promote participation in urban and non-agricultural activities (e.g., 10 Urban Pilot Projects).
- Develop, market and implement a Conservation Partnership information and education program relative to this goal (i.e., how conservation activities affect everyone and how everyone is affected by those programs).
- Assess human resources available and evaluate their participation in the Conservation Partnership at the state and local level.
Ensure that organizational structures allow for diverse participation.
- Review and assess federal, state and local laws and policies to advance opportunities to broaden participation.
- Encourage the inclusion of municipalities/urban areas within district boundaries.
- Explore opportunities for compensating district officials for their participation in and contributions to the district programs.
- Assess diversity at the local, state and national levels of leadership to chart progress in achieving a “membership” that reflects the respective partnership clientele and publicize the results of such assessments.
- Encourage district boards to conduct and manage meetings at times and locations and within time frames that offer opportunities for broad participation.