The Mitigation & Conservation Hierarchy

Our Vision

Empowering everyone – individuals, organisations and governments – to build a nature-positive world, in which nature and people can thrive together.

Our Approach


We believe this vision can be achieved from a local to global scale – through lifestyle changes and systemic changes – by creating a global framework for uniting diverse human actions towards net positive outcomes for nature.

We call this framework The Mitigation and Conservation Hierarchy.

Through its application in policy-setting, business planning and individual consumer choices the conservation hierarchy can guide the actions of diverse stakeholders towards sustainable human footprints and aspirational positive outcomes for nature.

How can I use the Conservation Hierarchy?

Using the conservation hierarchy entails a process of goal-setting, action planning, implementation of actions and monitoring progress.


The figure below, taken from Milner-Gulland et al. (2021), illustrates application of the MCH using a Plan-Do-Check-Act or Adaptive Management process. An overarching goal is set, with a timeline and a baseline. This is scaled down to specific targets for different sectors, locations and actors. The relevant implementers use the Four Steps approach to support planning of actions to implement targets, monitor outcomes, review and revise actions. Outcomes are integrated across scales, impact types and actors, and progress towards the goal is assessed.



Land Use

Fashion & Textiles

Minerals & Mining


Institutional Sustainability



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