Building Local Pride


Even at the ends of the earth, conservation does not work in isolation. Most of our parklands and agricultural projects lie close to a few villages; the impact of these projects often extends throughout the region. Their future depends on their relationship to these communities—and conservation-related economic development can play a major role in the future of these communities as well.

We love the places where we live and work; boosting local pride in these spectacular landscapes and their notable wildlife creates a common identity around conservation. Town cleanups, from removing litter to painting fences and improving facilities, give the physical landscape a face-lift and increase citizens’ appreciation of it. Community hikes, dances, festivals, and fairs, poster campaigns, radio programs, and promotional films build a shared appreciation for the natural values of these places. This appreciation of the unique values of these remote villages helps compel younger generations to stay and engage in their communities, instead of heading to bigger cities.

We aim to be generous, engaged neighbors as well as good land stewards. We have bought most of our conservation land from absentee owners, often foreigners; we never move settlers unwillingly from land and frequently help property owners relocate in places more suitable for their needs. At all of our projects, we preferentially hire locals and train them to tackle conservation jobs. We have run numerous capacitation programs in wildlife tracking and park operations, and developed initiatives to teach greenhouse construction and maintenance (which is important given the lack of fresh vegetables in some of our conservation areas).

Learn more about our community renewal projects:

 

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