Local communities around the world invest unmatched time, resources and energy in cultivating, stewarding, and defending the landscapes that provide for their livelihoods and wellbeing. As the environment erodes and the climate becomes less predictable, the struggle is global, but one in which the time, effort and investment are overwhelmingly made at the local level. Local actors hold the knowledge of their ecosystems, have the deepest stake in their protection, and have developed diverse institutions for natural resource management that are critical in providing resilience in the face of disturbance, scarcity or crisis.
Unfortunately, many of the modern systems and institutions set up to protect the planet have been designed in a top-down way that at best ignores local efforts and leadership, missing a critical investment opportunity, and at worst threaten community efforts, taking decisions and access away from local people and advancing outside agendas. Read More