One of the foremost challenges in global biodiversity conservation efforts is understanding the effectiveness of different strategies for achieving the intended results. Despite the role that healthy forests and other ecosystems play in addressing crisis like climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental health, resources to carry out conservation work are often scarce. Shedding light on how well different approaches are performing, what is being learned along the way, and what information gaps remain provides opportunity for knowledge about conservation to be shared among practitioners, policy makers, and the public.
Viewed together, the stories in this series will provide a detailed look at conservation challenges within their context along with exemplary conservation strategies that are showing progress or promise. This project takes a solutions journalism approach so articles may look at unsuccessful projects as a point of comparison, examining why they weren’t successful and what elements may have been missing.
Suggested story topics and guidelines:
We welcome proposals from experienced journalists for conventional news stories, in-depth features, investigative reports, profiles, and case studies. We will also consider proposals for fully edited and produced videos of up to 10 minutes in length. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Case studies of conservation projects, including key outcomes, background and evolution, keys to success/enabling factors.
- Large-scale conservation that is being driven by community institutions, values, and actions around the world.
- Projects led by historically marginalized groups, including women and Indigenous peoples.
- The effectiveness of new technologies or methods being applied in conservation such as projects that are monitoring biodiversity, particularly large mammals and fish that have suffered from habitat loss, poaching, and trafficking.
- Pandemic-related changes to conservation practice, including shifting business-as-usual approaches to “development” toward more sustainable models.
- Projects that broaden the constituency involved in biodiversity conservation.
These stories can cover a range of scales, from grassroots to national governments. However, stories need to focus on initiatives that have strong track records, beyond the anecdotal, with documented evidence of success, such as sustained lower rates of deforestation.
Each story will be between 800 and 2,000 words in length and will include quotes from at least three original interviews. Authors will be expected to provide five to 10 publishable photos free for Mongabay’s use to accompany their articles, along with captions and photo credits.
Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-story basis. Completed stories will be paid on a per word or fixed fee basis, with rates depending primarily on the journalist’s experience. Mongabay.com publishes under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing, translation, and re-posting. More information on Mongabay’s editorial standards and practice can be found here.
How to submit your story pitch
To send Mongabay a pitch, please be prepared to also share your resume/portfolio along with three samples of your work. The story pitch should be roughly 500 words in length and include a title for the project. Viable pitches will clearly explain the specific subject you would like to write about in detail and your approach to covering it, and describe a few potential sources. If you are proposing a story that is led by video, please indicate that and include a short description of your video idea. Pitches for video-led stories should also include an expected shot list and interviews.
Support for travel expenses may also be provided by Mongabay. Please include a preliminary travel plan and budget estimate (using this template) if support for travel expenses will be required to carry out reporting. Do not include payments for your work in this budget estimate. Please also describe COVID-19-related precautions you intend to take and any travel restrictions that may impact your plans.
- Pitch a story to the Global team in English