Did you know that indigenous and traditional communities hold claims to nearly one quarter of the world’s land? These people are the keepers of some of the most pristine lands remaining on Earth. They are holding the line as development, climate change and political issues are impacting the lands they depend on for social, cultural and economic survival. The Nature Conservancy is working hand-in-hand with communities to help defend, manage and maintain these vital places, and support the fulfillment of indigenous rights.
No one’s survival is more intimately linked to the lands and waters than the indigenous people who have lived in the Amazon rainforest for thousands of years. In the Amazon Basin alone, Indigenous people occupy more than 20 percent of the land, which spans across nine countries and is the size of the continental United States. In order to protect this vital Basin, the Conservancy and local partners are working with indigenous communities on training and capacity building, land management and sustainable funding—empowering them to sustainably care for their traditional lands for the long-term, and influence the laws and government programs that determine their future. Likewise we are helping First Nation communities in Canada and British Columbia gain the right to manage their traditional territory—giving them an equal seat at the table for decisions that impact the lands and waters they rely upon for survival.
And in Africa we are helping build a model for community-based conservation across northern Kenya. Working with local communities and the government, the Conservancy is helping implement sustainable land conservation and management practices, resolve conflicts, establish a security force to keep both people and nature safe and build local economies.
And in Australia, we are working with the aboriginal people to conserve habitat for wildlife and provide sustainable livelihoods. We are working with communities and the government to implement sustainable land conservation, management practices and funding sources, helping reunite them with the lands of their ancestors.