International conferences to identify regional capacity building issues and solutions


As the world's population and industrialisation grows, the threats to species and habitats increase in number, impact and extent. How will the conservation sector provide the skills, knowledge and information (conservation capacity) to tackle these issues? Scaling up current capacity development activities at local, national and international levels is one of the major issues facing conservation in the 21st century. To provide a forum for tackling these capacity problems, Mark developed and led a series of international conferences on 'Capacity Building for Conservation'. In total, over 600 delegates representing 300+ organisations have attended the meetings. These include representatives from international NGOs, NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and community groups. 


  • South America regional conference: Villa de Leyva (Colombia) 2013. 

  • Africa regional conference: Nairobi (Kenya) 2015.

  • Asia regional conference: Pune (India) 2017.

Key Outputs

  • The Villa de Leyva declaration (PDF).

  • Film on capacity building (view).

  • Publication: O'Connell, M.J., Nasirwa, O., Carter, M. et al. (2017). Capacity building for conservation: problems and potential solutions for sub-Saharan Africa. Oryx 51: 1-11. (PDF)

  • Post-conference capacity building working groups and networks.

  • Global conservation capacity building conference (London, 2019).