Conservation and Rights


The welfare of people everywhere is intimately dependent on the health of the Earth's ecosystems and the goods and services they provide. The functioning of those ecosystems is underpinned by biodiversity - the complex interactions of living organisms which together supply provisions, support production, regulate ecosystems and provide cultural, spiritual and recreational benefits.

Experience shows that conservation is more effective and sustainable with the engagement and support of local people and that appropriate attention to human rights issues can enhance the probability of positive outcomes for biodiversity and for people.

BirdLife works alongside local communities, adapting conservation measures to the local social, economic, environmental, cultural and legal circumstances, helping to integrate conservation with social development, livelihood security and human wellbeing, for the benefit of people and biodiversity - addressing people's right to development, and their right to a healthy environment.

BirdLife's Position on Conserving Biodiversity, Respecting Rights (PDF, 50KB)


The Conservation Initiative on Human Rights (CIHR)

BirdLife International is a founder member of the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights (CIHR) that aims to promote increased integration of human rights in conservation.

Together with Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy, Wetlands International, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the World Wide Fund For Nature/World Wildlife Fund (WWF), BirdLife is committed to upholding an agreed set of human rights principles.

CIHR members have come together because of a common interest in promoting positive links between conservation and rights of people to secure their livelihoods, enjoy healthy and productive environments and live with dignity.

We believe that by working collectively we can better advance our work in this field. Over the next two years we will jointly develop a programme of collaborative learning on how to implement these principles within our work.

To find out more, visit the CIHR website



BirdLife’s position on Conservation and Gender

Women and men interact with the environment in different ways, based on their different needs, priorities, and uses for natural resources. Culture, tradition, tenure and rights also create differences in the way men and women relate with the environment. Men and women also have different knowledge about the environment and value natural resources in different ways. Understanding these differences, and ensuring that women and men’s perspectives, knowledge and needs are integrated into conservation projects, can help make conservation initiatives more effective, as well as ensure a balanced set of outcomes in which both women and men benefit.
BirdLife seeks to understand and take account of gender differentiated roles and to promote gender balance internally (within the Partnership) and externally in the locations and among the communities with which we work.

BirdLife Position on Conservation an​d Gender (PDF, 35.16 KB)