Resource Kit Principles
We have learnt a number of important lessons from the eradication projects that have been attempted in the Pacific. These lessons have significantly influenced the development of the Resource Kit. Project managers and eradication team members should consider these principles as they move through the eradication process and ask how they can apply them to their projects.
As major decisions are made in the planning and preparation for the eradication operation, the project manager must remember to continue to verify that the project remains feasible. Some changes made late in the planning process may mean that significant changes are needed in the approach if the project is to remain feasible. Without ongoing checking of project feasibility you run the danger of attempting an eradication project that has major risks of failure.
See Feasibility Study section for more details.
Stakeholder support is key to project success. Involving the right people at the right time in the project will build support and ownership of the project among people and organisations.
See Stakeholder Engagement section for more details.
Eradication is only the first step in island restoration. If the benefits of eradication are to be long lasting the island must be protected against further invasions.
See Biosecurity section for more details.
Collecting information before and after the eradication will allow you to demonstrate the benefits of the eradication.
See Monitoring and Evaluation section for more details.
The implementing agency must take full ownership and responsibility and show leadership for the project from start to finish. This involves complete commitment to the planning and resources required (including the allocation of enough time to do the work). Experience has shown that where this does not happen problems arise (e.g. team members' time is diverted to other projects, essential work is either not done or done at the last minute) and the chances of failure increase. The time required from each team member must be formally endorsed by the implementing agency.
If this is your first eradication project, consider starting with a small project and slowly increase the size and complexity as you build capacity and confidence. Your first project could be a small unoccupied island, with one invasive species, simple logistics and no major risks. It is better to build your skills and capacity on this type of project, rather than a large occupied island with a number of invasive species and many issues to resolve.
Stage by stage planning of every aspect of the project increases the chances of success because it involves considering all the resources needed for the project, sets out how to get them, when you will need them and who will be responsible for them. It also allows you to identify issues and anticipate problems early on and put in place measures to deal with them. Good planning cannot be rushed or done at the last minute; experience has shown that many eradication projects fail due to insufficient planning and preparation.
Eradication projects are all about establishing networks, learning from others and sharing experiences. Even the most experienced people need help with some aspect of every project. Involving experienced people from the start allows you to take advantage of knowledge that has been gained in other projects and reduces the chances of making mistakes later on. Using independent experts to review plans and provide advice throughout the project will help ensure you are making the right decisions and allow you to learn from the experts. Many implementing agencies in the Pacific will not have staff with the complete range of skills and resources required for each project. You must be prepared to obtain missing skills from others.
Each project will create new lessons and knowledge about eradications. Build into the project, time to reflect and distribute lessons learnt, both among the team and to the wider invasive species management community. You also need to make sure that the least experienced team members are given the opportunity to use the project as training so that the capacity of your organisation can grow.
Every eradication project builds on knowledge gained from projects before it and much of this knowledge is gained through learning by doing. The most effective way of learning how to do something is to be actively involved in doing it. Actively encourage your team members and stakeholders to be involved. It is a great way to build a team and educate and inform people about the benefits of eradication projects. Involvement helps develop knowledge and skills for future projects.