Back to top

The Ethical Conservation Alliance creates toolkits and resources and delivers training to enable conservation practitioners in building respectful partnerships with local and indigenous communities

Effective community-engagement for nature conservation cannot be done from a distance. It is founded on trustful and resilient relationships between communities and conservationists, and requires the practitioners’ sustained field presence.

Effective nature conservation requires a suite of contextually appropriate conservation interventions that are co-designed with community partners or adapted at the community level. Interventions must be scientifically, culturally, and ethically appropriate.

Treating communities with respect and aiming for equal conservation partnerships with them is essential. The code of beneficence and non-malfeasance must be followed in community engagement.

In an equal conservation partnership, there’s no room for deceit or withholding information. Community members must be involved in making choices, and provided with avenues to seek explanations and share their opinions or misgivings.

Effective conservation partnerships require respectful, open, and integrative negotiations. Mutual respect and trust can facilitate effective negotiations and robust agreements.

Empathy allows conservationists to assess the costs of conservation from the perspective of the communities. It enables them to be more accommodating and appreciative towards the latter. Empathy can be enhanced with practice and through immersion in the community.

Conservation is about identifying threats and opportunities, responding to them promptly but patiently, and monitoring the outcomes. Managing expectations and figuring out how to respond to biodiversity-unrelated requests is a constant challenge that conservationists must embrace.

Strategic Support
It is the larger economic forces –rather than communities– that typically overwhelm conservation. Governments have the authority to bring about greater balance between conservation and economic development. Practitioners must oppose governments when appropriate, but they must also be willing to work with them in the interest of conservation.

Vatosoa Rakotondrazafy

Sonam Tashi Lama

Manfred Epanda

Farwiza Farhan

Dr. Shivani Bhalla

Dr. Rodrigo Medellin

Dr. Micaela Camino

Bayarjargal Agvaantseren

Dr. Koustubh Sharma

A Trainer's Guide: Engaging with Local and Indigenous Communities for Biodiversity Conservation (coming soon)

Part 1

The introduction to the trainer’s guide provides tools and methods to ensure the workshop is fun and focused on the themes. It also provides a refresher on the PARTNERS Principles.

(coming soon)

Part 2

Day one of the Partners Principles Workshop includes exercises to introduce participants to each other, define workshop guidelines, share expectations, and discuss take-aways. It describes exercises that help participants understand community-led engagement and helps take a deep dive into the principles of Presence, Aptness, Transparency & Respect.

(coming soon)

Part 3

Day two of the Partners Principles Workshop focuses on refreshing learnings from the previous day, and detailed discussions on Empathy, Negotiations, Responsiveness, and Strategic Support. The section provides guidance on how to wrap up and conclude the workshop.

(coming soon)

Our Supporters

“I feel that this alliance, that joins with other conservationists, was exactly what I needed to improve my work and feel more secure in my own efforts.”

Dr. Micaela Camino,
Proyecto Quimilero