Why is a Strategic Plan important for international conservation?

This is the first Service-wide strategic planning initiative ever undertaken on the theme of international conservation. This Plan will guide our internationally related activities for the next 10 years both at home and abroad, and help us to conserve animals, plants, and their habitats for future generations.

Global issues such as climate change, wildlife disease, invasive species, and illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade are increasingly important factors in wildlife conservation. The capacity of other countries to address conservation problems affects the health and viability of shared species, and of species important to the United States for their biological services and intrinsic value to the American public. Migratory species that breed in the United States will decline if not conserved in other parts of their range.  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) aims to develop a comprehensive strategy for how it will address issues that affect wildlife of concern internationally. This strategy, in the form of the International Conservation Strategic Plan, will include several new approaches and potential changes in focus to resource conservation abroad. The plan describes how the Service will guide our work to conserve wildlife and habitats across the globe for the next ten years, Fiscal Years (FY) 2013-2022.

The Strategic Planning Process

DIC Strategic Planning Session. Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS

In February 2010, International Affairs began holding focus group sessions for Service staff to gather input on international priorities and actions. Focus group sessions were held in all eight Service regions and the Service headquarters from February through July 2010. Focus group sessions for other Federal agencies were held in October 2010. The conservation community at large provided input for the International Conservation Strategic Plan at a meeting in November 2010. Public and other stakeholder comments were solicited via mailing lists, the web, and social media for a period of 30 days.

A total of 411 individuals participated in focus group sessions and online through the data gathering feedback process. This feedback informed the drafting process, which took place during 2011. The plan is currently undergoing internal review and will be published for review in the Federal Register when that review is complete.