Conservation Planning Tools Assessment

Barriers to Use

Organizational Support

  • The assessment asked what level of agreement each respondent had with the following statements regarding support for using conservation planning tools within their organization (see Figure 10 below).

Figure 10: Level of Agreement with Each Statement About Organizational Support, whereby +2=strongly agree and -2=strongly disagree

Statement Agreed: Ranked +1 or +2 (Percent/Number) Mean Summary
There is strong support for conservation planning tools in our organization. 49% (924) +0.5
Our organization is very aware of the capabilities of conservation tools for planning-related work. 48% (896) +0.4
Our organization has sufficient technical support for conservation planning tools. 44% (827) +0.2
Our organization pays for all of the training we need in conservation planning tools. 27% (497) -0.3
Our organization has funds allocated to invest sufficiently in conservation planning tools. 18% (341) -0.6

Factors Preventing the Use of Conservation Tools

  • Respondents were also asked what factors have prevented them from using conservation planning tools in their work (see Figure 11 below).

Figure 11: Factors Preventing the Use of Conservation Planning Tools

Preventing Factor Total (Percent/Number)
Cost of tool/software 55% (1028)
Time needed to learn tool 50% (944)
Cost of training 47% (883)
Not enough data/wrong kind of data 19% (361)
Hardware issues/not enough computer capacity 14% (255)
Not aware of tools/availability/uses/value 7% (136)
Tools not applicable/necessary/worthwhile/useful 5% (98)
Leadership/management/community-client not interested or supportive 4% (76)
Not applicable to position/used by others 3% (55)
Low priority/not the main focus of work/organization 2% (42)
Current tools are sufficient 2% (35)
Indicated at least one 89% (1663)

Level of Interest in Training

  • 19% of all respondents indicated a "very high" interest in training with specific conservation planning tools. 32% had a "somewhat high" interest; 31% "moderate" interest; 11% "somewhat low" interest; and 6% "very low" interest. Only 3% had no answer. Map 1 below provides a regional look, specifically at the percentages of respondents in each with a "very high" and "somewhat high" interest in training.

Map 1: Level of Interest in Web-Based Training or Workshops Focused on the Use of Specific Conservation Planning Tools and Issues Related to Tools, grouped by 9 regions. The color scale and corresponding number represents the percentage of respondents in each region whose interest level was very high or somewhat high.


  • Planners face a number of challenges in using data for conservation planning. Of those, "finding money to pay for software and training" topped the list with 64% of all respondents. A "lack of trained staff" was reported by 47%. The issue of "not knowing what data and information are available to my jurisdiction/client" was claimed by 42%. 32% saw a "lack of local support" as one of their biggest challenges. Other answers are included in Figure 12 below.

Figure 12: Challenges in Using Data for Conservation Planning

Challenge Percent/Number
Finding money to pay for software and training 64% (1205)
Lack of trained staff 47% (876)
Not knowing what data and information are available to my jurisdiction/client 42% (780)
Lack of local support 32% (605)
Technical difficulty of using unfamiliar data 31% (578)
Suitability of scale 29% (540)
Obstacles to data sharing 25% (460)
Unfamiliarity with particular ecosystems or habitats 11% (201)
Lack of time 2% (33)
Other 7% (132)
Indicated at least one 90% (1689)
None 5% (85)
No answer 5% (98)