Developing robust strategies is the heart of conservation planning. This involves the generation of creative and defensible strategies, assessing the likely impact of those strategies against conservation goals, selecting strategies to pursue, and capturing the rationale for a strategy in a theory of change. Because the benefits of conservation strategies depend upon where they are implemented, an important component of assessing the benefits of a strategy is to map it. Mapping strategies has the additional benefit of being useful for implementing selected strategies.

The purpose of making results chains and strategy maps is to understand the likely outcome of a strategy, its costs and risks, and probability of success, so that you can intelligently select among possible strategies. Although we list results chains in the step prior to strategy mapping, we note that these can be done in either order. Specifically, it may be useful to do a ‘back of the envelope’ mapping effort to assess the potential of a strategy as a filter before developing a full results chain for a strategy.