Optimistic, Driven, and Evidence-based
My motivation to join CEC came from the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals working around the world on similar topics. I am also keen to showcase my work to like-minded colleagues within the CEC network.
I believe education and communication efforts around biodiversity conservation must be more closely focused on behaviour change. Additionally, I believe education and communications efforts in this field must be designed, and implemented, based on evidence drawn from past projects in the conservation field. Moreover, professionals in this area need to embrace failure and implement robust evaluation and monitoring, thereby creating the opportunity to improve and explore lessons learned.
Diogo studies the way social and natural sciences interact, with a focus is on behaviour change and evidence-based conservation. He first gained experience in environmental education while working as an educator and guide for the Lisbon Zoo in Portugal. His work has taken him beyond his native Portugal to Brazil, India, São Tomé and Príncipe, Costa Rica, and Sri Lanka for work in environmental education, social marketing, community-based conservation, and natural resource management.
Diogo has a degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and a MSc in Conservation Biology and PhD in Biodiversity Management from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent (UK). He is currently a David H. Smith Conservation Fellow researching the impact of conservation programs aiming to change behaviour and the application of social return on investment metrics. Diogo also writes regularly for mainstream publications and manages a biodiversity-related social media platform with more than 16,000 followers.
Currently, my main project focuses on the use of Social Return on Investment (SROI) to evaluate conservation outreach projects. SROI is a framework where costs (e.g. money, time) are compared to the benefits (e.g. number of individuals, area protected) of a given conservation project and transformed into a ratio of benefit per unit of cost. The use of SROI in conservation can not only help shed light on what makes some projects more efficient than others, but also inform the design and implementation of future projects. By providing an in-depth evaluation of conservation outreach projects and going beyond simplistic “success” or “failure” labels, the use of SROI aims to improve resource allocation and ensure that—even in a climate of financial uncertainty—conservation projects deliver the most benefits possible.
I am currently also working in projects around community-based conservation in São Tomé and Principe, West Africa, and Peru, Colombia and Bolivia in South America.
Lastly, I have just edited a storybook, in collaboration with 18 other biologists, which aims to showcase the incredible field stories we experience during our careers and in this way highlight why we are so passionate about nature.
|2014||David H. Smith Conservation Fellowship||Society for Conservation Biology|
|2012||International Union for the Conservation of Nature / Thomson Reuters Media Award||IUCN / Thomson Reuters|
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