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Much of the narrative around conservation dwells on doom and gloom – habitats being destroyed, species being pushed closer to extinction, and destructive projects – despite the presence of noteworthy successes and promising practices.

A new Mongabay reporting project aims to identify solutions to environmental challenges, so that they can be celebrated and adopted more widely. We’re searching for real-world examples from both land and sea, which can help conservation groups, agencies, and communities address the problems caused by habitat loss, over-harvesting, climate change, pollution, and other threats. Through this reporting effort, we aim to help groups who may lack access to information on available tools and strategies, by highlighting where and why conservation efforts have been successful. Highlighting success stories can lead to transformative change by providing practitioners with blueprints and case studies for effective models.

Ingenious solutions to conservation challenges may emerge from conservation organizations or other groups ranging from indigenous communities to entrepreneurs outside the traditional conservation sector. By highlighting such lesser-known approaches to conservation as they emerge, we can help the formal conservation sector recognize them. The reporting project will also, when relevant, seek out lessons learned from challenging projects, as a point of comparison, by examining what can go wrong and how conservationists have adapted to changing conditions.

The series

Stories in this series will look at successful projects or initiatives and examine which components (e.g. project design, consultative process, pre-conditions, tools, collaboration, monitoring and evaluation, etc.) enabled the effort to meet its goals.  To be considered as a solution, projects or initiatives should have a long enough track record to generate the evidence needed to support conclusions about effectiveness and honestly consider its limitations.

We welcome proposals for stories about efforts to address, or even resolve, conservation problems that can be adapted or replicated elsewhere by providing insights that groups facing similar challenges can actually use.

Each story will be approximately 800 to 1,500 words in length and should include quotes from at least 2 or 3 original interviews. Authors will be expected to provide 5-10 publishable photos (either original, provided by those interviewed, or found free of copyright restrictions online) to accompany their articles, along with captions and photo credits. We will also consider proposals for fully edited and produced videos of up to 10 minutes in length.

Completed stories will be published in English on Mongabay.com under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing and re-posting. They could also potentially be translated into another language and published by Mongabay.

Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-story basis. Completed stories will be paid per word, depending on the journalist’s experience and the complexity of the reporting.