Conservation of the natural world has long been practised by those who live closest to it. Local communities and organisations hold indispensable knowledge of the landscapes, species and unique characteristics of their environment, making conservation initiatives near impossible without their input. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has worked in partnership with local conservation organisations worldwide for over a century. In the last year alone, we contributed to the conservation of almost 49 million hectares of land, 282 protected habitat sites in 45 countries and the establishment of 25 environment and conservation laws – all achieved by working with and through local partners.
FFI’s Our One Home campaign calls on governments worldwide to commit $500 billion towards the protection and restoration of the natural world, with that amount increasing every year. It is vital that these funds are directed towards the local organisations who work closest to nature, who know best where and how to deploy resources, and who can implement real change.
Too often, local voices are ignored or marginalised in top-level decision making. Now, those voices are more important than ever. As part of the Our One Home campaign, our partners on the front line of conservation joined our call for the protection of nature to become a global priority.
“The money that is spent in major international meetings would save more than half of the planet if it is directed towards the field. Someone once said that ‘conservation without means is a conversation’ plain and simple. It’s time to take action, otherwise tomorrow will be too late.”
FFI and the Centre Forestier de N’Zérékoré (CFZ) began conservation efforts in 2009 in the Ziama Massif, a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve. Ziama harbours the last remaining populations of forest elephants in Guinea, as well as other threatened species such as pygmy hippopotamus and western chimpanzee. We are focusing on conserving what remains of the Upper Guinean Forest and are working to provide a vital habitat corridor for wildlife to move between Guinea and neighbouring Liberia. Read more on the vital work happening in Guinea in our case study.
“We need nature, protected and functional, to thrive as a society. Investments in nature - not just at a global and strategic level, but in local initiatives that respect and celebrate the peculiarities and richness of every piece of nature around the world - could give it the strength to recover.“
Brazil’s Atlantic Forest supports incredibly rich and unique biodiversity – 450 different tree species have been recorded in a single hectare and the forest is home to many animals and plants found nowhere else on the planet. Through the Global Trees Campaign, our local partner Sociedade Chauá is working to ensure that the most threatened species are planted back out into the forests. Hear more from Pablo in our case study.
"Strong conservation actions towards defending biodiversity will not only protect the valuable ecosystems in the tropics, but will guarantee food security and contribute to the maintenance of social and environmental resilience into the future."
FFI has been working with CoopeSoLiDar, a local NGO in Costa Rica, since 2013, to protect the marine environment and ensure local community involvement in the creation of new protected areas. Working with the local fishing community of Cabuya, a new Marine Protected Area was established in 2013, informed by the community’s traditional knowledge of the area’s local marine biodiversity and traditional, low impact fishing methods. Read more from Vivienne in our case study.
“We work within a community that has no buffer against unexpected disasters that negatively affect their already fragile livelihoods.”
We have been championing wildlife conservation in Kenya since our foundation in 1903. Exactly a century later, we opened an office in Nairobi and established a formal country programme, and for a number of years we have been working with national and local partners to support communities on the Kenyan and Tanzanian coast to sustainably manage their marine and coastal resources. Learn more in our East Africa case study.
“Local communities and organisations are ready to work together to protect irreplaceable indigenous peoples and restore degraded ecosystems...We request the governments of the world to provide natural resources along with the financial investment needed to combat ecosystem degradation and protect the natural world.”
FFI and the Myanmar Biodiversity & Nature Conservation Association have worked to support local conservation in Myanmar since 2008. The Tanintharyi region in southern Myanmar is home to indigenous communities who have a deep, long-held relationship with their ancestral lands. A key part of our work in Tanintharyi involves the expansion of community forest management and building local capacity in monitoring wildlife and local threats to species. Read more about our work in Myanmar in our case study.