The Conservation Commons is first and foremost an idea. It is the expression of a collaborative effort to improve open access to data, information, and knowledge related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity with the belief that this will contribute to improving conservation outcomes. Support for this initiative is presently drawn from governments, international and multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, the private sector, and many other interested parties who share similar goals of ensuring the sustainable use of biodiversity while conserving the integrity of biodiversity for future generations.

Second, the Conservation Commons is an approach designed to improve the management of data, information, and knowledge related to conservation. Many initiatives for generating conservation-related data, information and knowledge resources currently exist throughout the world, at local, national, and international levels, and many more are being created. The Conservation Commons will support and strengthen conservation decision making and our ability to scientifically comprehend the complex integrity of nature through the logical synthesis of these resources and technical ’inter-operability’ between systems and databases. Similarly, the Conservation Commons will promote informed participation and stimulate innovation in conservation for scientific, social, cultural, economic, spiritual, and environmental ends.


The Goal of the Conservation Commons is to promote conscious, effective, and equitable sharing of knowledge resources to advance conservation;
Expand access to biodiversity data, information and knowledge through improved technology, integration and inter-operability of systems;
Address legal concerns which exist with respect to the sharing of biodiversity data, information, and knowledge in the public domain;
Promote organizational and professional cultures which actively support the sharing of biodiversity data, information and knowledge resources;
Create and maintain positive incentives, capacity and resources to promote the sharing of biodiversity data, information, and knowledge;
Communicate the principles and objectives of the Conservation Commons to the global community;
Promote the provision of data, information, and knowledge that supports conservation decision making at the local level.


Open Access
The Conservation Commons promotes free and open access to data, information and knowledge for all conservation purposes.
Mutual Benefit
The Conservation Commons welcomes and encourages participants to both use resources and to contribute data, information and knowledge.
Rights and Responsibilities
Contributors to the Conservation Commons have full right to attribution for any uses of their data, information, or knowledge, and the right to ensure that the original integrity of their contribution to the Commons is preserved. Users of the Conservation Commons are expected to comply, in good faith, with terms of uses specified by contributors.