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Environment

Photo of the Nevada Desert.Photo of environmental conservationists at work. These conservationists use Miradi to manage their project.Photo of undeveloped, rocky and steep stretch of California coast.

Benetech’s Environment Program

When it comes to tackling urgent, immense and complex environmental problems, how do we know which efforts are working and which could be improved? How do we know that our efforts are yielding the desired short-term results and that we’ll achieve our goals in time? These were big questions being asked by many leaders managing projects in the environmental conservation movement.

Technology, they found, could help. However, multiple off-the-shelf tools, developed for business use and not conservation management, were needed to answer these questions. They were inefficient, not integrated and costly to deploy to users in the field. Worst of all, they did not provide a comprehensive solution. What these conservationists and practitioners needed was a user-friendly platform that would enable them to plan, monitor, evaluate and collaborate on their projects. Benetech’s Environment Program was founded to fill this gap—to empower conservationists to meet their goals more effectively and achieve better conservation outcomes.

We believe that with the right tools and technology, we can help improve our global future. That’s why Benetech works to give conservationists, scientists and researchers the tools they need to tackle the vast range of environmental threats, from global challenges to local conservation campaigns. There are more people than ever working to safeguard our planet’s non-renewable resources. Benetech helps them to share their discoveries and work beyond artificial boundaries so that everyone benefits from what is learned.

What We Do

Miradi

Miradi is an open-source software application that enables users to design, monitor and evaluate their conservation efforts. The software allows them to develop project objectives and interventions, prioritize threats, look at event chains, assess which actions are working and adjust their strategies accordingly. Miradi, developed by Benetech in collaboration with the Conservation Measures Partnership, bundles key functions of existing commercial product management tools (which are not designed for conservation management) together with conservation-specific best practices at a low cost.

Miradi is also unique in that it allows conservationists to focus directly on outcomes. Measuring activities is easy, but measuring the resulting outcomes of these activities is more difficult: Is the rate of deforestation slowing as we develop alternatives to over-logging? Is ocean acidification declining as we limit fossil fuel emissions? With Miradi, users can track their measurements to consistently determine which interventions are working and which efforts need improvement.

Whether used to manage a small county park or revive an entire marine habitat, Miradi helps conservationists to integrate best practices in environmental adaptive management with local expertise, empowering them to succeed in their efforts to protect and restore species and ecosystems.