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Encouraging local people to feel a personal empowerment to protect their natural world, is fundamental for the future of conservation. As a charitable Foundation, we are thrilled to be working with organisations which place communities at the forefront of their conservation efforts.

Increasingly raised in climate conversation, the Earth is becoming rapidly destabilised by devastating anthropogenic factors such as rising CO2 levels from the burning of fossil fuels. We are in a critical situation whereby we face tipping point, and therefore conservation actions at a global scale are key to a healthy planet which exists for future generations. If we are to experience such a world, these efforts must be seen from the top-down to grassroots level.

“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”

Sir David Attenborough

If the cultural heritage of these communities is to thrive for decades to come, it is critical for these people to learn how to co-exist peacefully with their natural environment. If we, as stewards of our planet, are to make a real difference, it is imperative for there to be greater inclusion and engagement of local communities. This active participation goes hand in hand with empowerment, a feeling which can translate to employment, role establishment, or family support for example.

Positioned in a range of unique destinations across the globe, our partners are making a genuine difference through empowering people to protect their natural world. The knock-on effects from such engagement is truly inspirational. To discover two real-world examples from partners of the Pelorus Foundation, please read on.

The Frontier Collective

Operating across the African continent, Frontier is a non-profit, Public Benefit Organisation which supports conservation initiatives through delivering effects-based solutions in remote environments. Essentially, Frontier’s client base is made up of precious ecosystems and their inhabitant wildlife.

The prevalent challenge facing the team is that of illegal wildlife crime. Poaching threatens around 1,000,000 species in Africa, driving some to extinction.

Realising that the physical presence of individuals on the ground is incredibly efficient, the Frontier team are training local people to operate as field rangers across the continent through transitioning their diverse skillset and expert knowledge. Patrolling, law enforcement and changing camera SD cards are just a few examples of tasks a field ranger must undertake.

Recommended by the IUCN, there should be one field ranger per thousand hectares. Due to Africa’s vast size and abundance of wild species, we need to increase these numbers to effectively tackle illegal poaching and crime. This being said, the process of field ranger selection is long and arduous due to high application numbers.

Following numerous interview stages, training and skills development, the Frontier team will personally try to understand each individual by meeting their families and visiting their communities. This in-depth selection and training process is key, enabling Frontier to understand the locals and help them strive towards long term success in their career as field rangers. Through encouraging the locals to adopt greater ambitions, the process enhances community empowerment in conservation. 

Seas4Life Trust

Raising awareness and critical funding in the East African region, the Seas4Life Trust is taking a direct approach for the long-lasting benefit of local communities. The organisation firmly believes we must rebuild our vulnerable ecosystems and protect them for future generations to experience.

The health of our ocean is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. For example, it has captured 90% of the additional heat generated from greenhouse gas emissions, and absorbed 25% of all CO2 emissions. Our ocean ecosystem is therefore fundamental for the global climate system and planetary strength as a whole.

Not only do marine and coastal ecosystems store vast amounts of CO2, they protect coastal communities from climate impacts. Providing food, recreational, medicinal and economic opportunities, these ecosystems significantly support human well-being.

The Seas4Life Trust addresses this interdependency through its innovative marine conservation initiatives, each of which would not be possible without the active participation of local communities. The organisation is currently operating in the Mswambweni seascape where an extraordinary array of marine species reside. This area of patch reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds is home to migrating humpback whales, sea turtles, whale sharks and the threatened dugong.

The Trust is aiming to educate the community on the potential for this ecosystem to provide access to economic and social benefits. To achieve this, the organisation adopts an inclusive approach to coastal protection through placing the responsibility in the hands of the locals by inviting them to appreciate the surrounding marine ecosystem. Through evolving into custodians of their ocean resources, these local Kenyans are consequently empowered.

These are just two examples of our partners who are driving community empowerment within the conservation space. Follow the link below to learn more.

Ultimately, humans must live in balance with nature, understanding and accepting that we are interconnected to a greater system. If we can continue to spread awareness at a local and global scale, increasingly communities will strive to protect, preserve, and promote their natural world.