Protecting nature – from butterflies to great apes, savannahs to oceans
– takes people from all walks of life to succeed. Communities
, governments, businesses, schools and churches are vital partners in all of our conservation efforts.
Consider a forest
village that hunts its wildlife and cuts its trees. One day, someone buys the adjacent forest and creates a preserve. Over the years, the community forest is completely cut down. Soon local leaders debate how to gain control of the preserve. Meanwhile, hunters are already there, poaching and logging
. In the end, the forest preserve’s fate rests entirely on whether the people recognize its value to their future – how it attracts tourists, offers sustainable resources, protects and cleans their water and provides spiritual comfort.
This scenario plays out again and again the world over. It illustrates why we partner with other conservation groups and work closely with all sectors of society.
At CI, we begin with local people, who are essential to ensure that conservation takes hold and lasts. We join heads of state to formalize conservation milestones for nations. We promote innovative projects with industry, in which we play a dual role of constructive critic and cutting-edge advisor.
This issue's cover story reflects how complex, yet how fruitful, partnerships
are for biodiversity conservation. In the southern Andes
of Peru and Bolivia, millions of acres of rich species
habitat are protected because of CI-supported alliances. Conservation enterprises are another example, such as in Bolivia with Madidi's Chalalán Ecolodge
, started by CI and now owned and managed by the indigenous community.
Other examples of CI partnerships highlighted in this issue of Conservation Frontlines have led to economic opportunity
for struggling coffee farmers in Colombia and international recognition for outstanding ecotourism
CI will continue to build partnerships as the surest path to lasting conservation success.