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Biodiversity conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources are inextricably linked to people’s rights to secure their livelihoods and live in dignity. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is committed to ensuring that our conservation activities at the very least do not further disadvantage poor, vulnerable or marginalised natural resource-dependent people, and that, wherever possible, our activities contribute to improving human well-being.
We are also committed to respecting human rights, promoting their protection and realisation within our conservation programmes, and supporting the improvement of governance systems that can secure those rights.
FFI has a long history of working with communities in biodiversity-rich landscapes to empower them to act as effective custodians of their precious, yet threatened, natural resources. We recognise that the livelihoods of rural communities are complex and dynamic; they are not just a means of making a living but a way of life in which autonomy, a sense of purpose, the maintenance of cultural values, and a voice in decisions that affect their lives are often at least as, and sometimes more, important than cash income.
We therefore promote the use of the participatory principles and holistic analytical framework of Sustainable Livelihood Approaches to empower women and men to make their own livelihood choices more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
Through technical advice, training and mentoring, the Conservation, Livelihoods and Governance programme supports FFI staff and partners to work effectively with local people and to understand and integrate their needs and rights within conservation initiatives. Key areas of work include securing land and resource use rights, addressing gender issues, helping develop sustainable economic opportunities and recognising the multiple values of nature.
In addition to providing direct support, the programme produces written guidance and tools, and facilitates the analysis, documentation and sharing of good practice and lessons learned between FFI project teams and externally. Many of these documents can be found in the Livelihoods & Governance library.
The Conservation, Livelihoods and Governance programme actively participates in a number of external fora including the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group, a Gender and Environment Working Group, and the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights, an international initiative that aims to ensure effective integration of human rights in the policies and practices of a number of international conservation organisations.