Is there room in the situational analysis for biological/ecological processes?

Is there room in the situational analysis for biological/ecological processes?

Question: This post is in support of the following question: “I wonder, is there room in the situational analysis for biological/ecological processes? I understand the focus on human behaviour as we are drivers of so much biodiversity loss but change can also be caused by biological change/progression. Unless a habitat is a climax ecosystem then processes like succession are likely to cause change. By focusing solely on behaviours of humans perhaps we limit the solutions that we identify. Writing tree growth as a threat to biodiversity (in some situations - generally very much in favour of trees) might be correct - perhaps more deer would slow the growth of seedlings but trees grow, it is just what they do. By doing so they create more shade and change the habitat suitability for some species. There is no human behaviour driving the tree growth once they are planted and if they require no irrigation. I have not explained this very eloquently but hopefully someone understands what I am driving at (if not ask questions and I will try my best to clarify).” Eliza Leat

Response: First of all I love these sorts of questions that can challenge/test the strategy approach and get my brain working so thanks Eliza! I would suggest:

In the situation analysis:

  • Creating a threat e.g. native plane/animals or invasive species (see threats reference sheet) to capture the natural; succession/ecological process you are thinking of.
  • Including any current behaviours that are driving the threat e.g. planting (but not including them if not currently occurring)
  • In the theory of change:
  • Adding work packages to manage/remove the threat linked directly to the threat, or include work packages that change/enhance the status of the biological target directly, e.g. planting/release of the biological targets (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Example situation analysis and theory of change for biological targets being affected by biological processes.

If I have misunderstood your question or the solution does not work for you or make sense, ten please say so and I will add/change what I have put.  In any case would be great to hear from Eliza or other members about this and if this helps at all.