Local Engagement and Empowerment

Local Engagement and Empowerment
Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen - bjornfree.com

  • Local Conservation Groups are active at more than 2,700 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas
  • Local involvement results has proven to achieve conversation solutions which is more successful and appropriate than those devised by external organisations working alone
  • Local Conservation Groups enhance the impact of limited conservation resources
  • BirdLife’s LEEP programme helps communities to win recognition for their rights, and makes sure that their voices are heard by governments and decision-makers.

Working with people locally is critical to effective, sustainable and equitable conservation. This attention to local values and voices finds expression across BirdLife’s programmes, from policy influence and poverty reduction, to climate change adaptation and monitoring of species and sites. Conservation cannot succeed without the consent and participation of the people who live in or near, obtain their livelihoods from, or simply enjoy the sites that threatened bird species depend on. With limited resources for conservation work, the survival and recovery of species and ecosystems depends on the willingness and ability of local people to manage and protect them.

BirdLife and its Partners have already established more than 2000 Local Conservation Groups at Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. The ultimate aim is for all 12,000 IBAs around the world to be looked after by community-based organisations with the commitment and expertise to conserve their sites and wildlife, and to use them sustainably for their own benefit and for the use and enjoyment of generations to come.

BirdLife's Local Empowerment Programme aims to provide effective support for local conservation actions by strengthening and expanding networks of local organisations. The Programme’s vision is that “local organisations at critical sites for biodiversity are empowered to effectively conserve, manage and defend their sites, so that biodiversity values and benefits are provided locally, nationally and globally in the long term”.

Local Empowerment Publications

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Conservation and Rights - BirdLife International's position

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