Rural communities often face significant barriers to developing ecologically sustainable, economically viable and socially acceptable livelihoods strategies. These include poor infrastructure, lack of market information, weak negotiation skills, low levels of education and limited access to financial, agricultural and other services.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and partners work with women and men in such communities to facilitate improvement and diversification of economic development options. We aim to help them improve household income and food security while at the same time reducing pressure on wildlife and associated habitats.
This may be through sustainable direct use of wild resources, such as timber and non-timber forest products as well as freshwater and marine fisheries. It may also involve enabling local people to benefit from indirect use, such as nature-based tourism (including wildlife-watching and hiking, scuba diving, and snorkelling).
In some cases, we work on market systems that are indirectly linked to biodiversity. For example, improving productivity and market access for agricultural or fisheries products can enable people to earn a living without having to overexploit wild resources or expand their agricultural plots into forests or other natural areas.
Crucial to the development of economically sustainable livelihoods strategies is an in-depth understanding of markets and the facilitation of stronger, fairer relationships between producers (e.g. farmers, fishers) and buyers. FFI’s Conservation, Livelihoods & Governance team therefore works closely with our Conservation Finance & Enterprise and in-country teams to facilitate development of inclusive, financially viable enterprises that benefit local communities and hence incentivise biodiversity conservation.