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Land & Biodiversity

ELI’s Naturally Green Planning Program

The Naturally Green Planning Program works to integrate biodiversity protection into land-use planning. Community planning and development decisions made at the local, county, and state levels have a significant and cumulative effect on the conservation of plants, animals, and natural communities. While many planners and decision-makers express interest in using their tools to conserve habitat and wildlife, most land-use decisions are made in the context of competing political interests, and without the information necessary to make science-based, conservation planning decisions.

Featured Areas of Expertise and Resources:

  • Resources for Community Planners: To help planners integrate conservation science into community planning, ELI develops resources that translate science into practical guidelines and identify effective policies and policy reforms. ELI will launch NaturallyGreenPlanning.org to help planners convince local decision-makers that nature conservation is an important component of a 'green' community, to develop naturally green plans and management tools, and to connect with local conservation experts who would be willing to engage in local planning efforts.
  • Convening Experts: ELI works closely with experts in the fields of conservation biology and land-use planning to identify opportunities for and barriers to using biodiversity information in community planning and to develop model approaches for promoting meaningful collaboration between conservation biologists and community planners.
  • Research and Policy Analysis: ELI conducts research on opportunities for and barriers to integrating conservation into community planning, including market research on how to motivate local planners and decision-makers to incorporate conservation biology in land-use decisions and mapping of high risk critical habitats in six case-study states.