Local Engagement and Empowerment Programme
Local Conservation Groups are active at more than 2700 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas
Local involvement results in more successful and appropriate conservation solutions than could be devised by external organisations working alone
Local Conservation Groups multiply the impact of limited conservation resources
BirdLife’s LEEP programme helps communities win recognition of their rights, and makes sure their voices are heard by governments and decision-makers
Working with people locally is critical to effective, sustainable, 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 more effective support for local conservation actions, and to strengthen and expand 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”.