New tool for understanding the values of conservationists launches

12th July 2019

A new tool has been launched to help conservation organisations and groups understand how similar their views are on key questions about the future of wildlife conservation. Building on the first large-scale study of the views of those working to protect the natural world, the tool can be used for teaching or to support strategy development within organisations. 

 The online tool, called GOFOX or Group and Organisation Future of Conservation Survey, launched today at the David Attenborough Building, which is home to the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. GOFOX was created in collaboration by the University of Cambridge, Fauna & Flora International, the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds.

 GOFOX builds on the success of the Future of Conservation Survey and was created in response to a demand from its potential users. GOFOX allows users to create bespoke version of the Survey for distribution to a group of colleagues or students, and receive tailored analysis of the results. This allows exploration of points of agreement and disagreement within the group, comparison of subgroups. It also allows users to place their views alongside the respondents to the global Future of Conservation Survey which has over 10,000 respondents in 150+ countries to better understand where they sit in the overall landscape. 

GOFOX is designed to be used by Conservation NGOs wishing to generate discussion amongst their staff or members about their individual conservation viewpoints and how these relate to the work of the organisation. This could be done as part of a strategic planning process, which is the case for the British Trust for Ornithology. Andy Clements, their CEO said: “GOFOX has enabled us to think very differently in the way in which we might do conservation, and for the BTO specifically it has enabled us to bring together both the science and the people-based conservation in determining our future direction”

Teachers in conservation courses who wish to use the tool to support learning about diverse perspectives in conservation and self-reflection of students on their own views.

Professor Christina Hicks, Lancaster University said: “I found it a fantastic way to introduce the idea that there are different rationales for conservation and not all conservationists have the same world view. It was a really valuable teaching tool to help students get to know each other a bit, stimulate debate and illustrate, in a very real way, the very different ways in which conservation can be justified.”

Funding for GOFOX has been received from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative Collaborative Fund, which is supported by the Arcadia Fund, and from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account at the University of Edinburgh.

Visit the GO-FOX – The Group and Organisation Future of Conservation Survey project page.

More on the Future of Conservation Survey: 

Youtube video:




Image credits – Thumbnail image – University of Cambridge | Side image: (1) Pei Rong Cheo, (2) Berry Mulligan