BirdLife International is a global Partnership of over 110 national conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. Many of the pressures on the environment that threaten birds, their habitats and biodiversity also have adverse effects on local communities. By integrating conservation and development through a process of empowerment of local communities, bottom-up decision-making and support for measures to meet people?s needs and improve local livelihoods, BirdLife International helps people to achieve secure, sustainable livelihoods that are positively linked to natural ecosystems.
Note: these are initiatives led or coordinated by the BirdLife International Secretariat. The hundreds of projects managed by national BirdLife Partner organisations are not included:
1. Local Conservation Group approach: BirdLife International involves local communities through support to empowerment of, and good governance by, local institutions at priority sites for biodiversity conservation (Important Bird Areas). Local Conservation Group members monitor their site, engage in advocacy work, carry out conservation activities, and develop ways of generating income within the local community.
2. Improving Livelihoods Projects (funded by SwedBio and AECID): These projects aim at improving livelihoods by promoting sustainable use of renewable natural resources through increased participation of local communities in biodiversity policy making and implementation. They have been in implementation at a range of sites in countries in Africa since 2004.
3. Promoting biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use in Important Bird Areas in the Dry Forest of the Piura Region, Peru: This programme aims to: increase people?s capacity to exert their rights through strengthened and legally recognised CBOs; increase incomes through improved agricultural capacity and ecotourism; and strengthen the role of rural communities in natural resources planning.
4. Reviving Hima, an ancient Conservation System for a Modern World: This programme, being led from BirdLife?s Middle East Division in Amman (Jordan), aims to combine the traditional community resource management approach of hima with that of Important Bird Areas (IBAs).
5. Conserving Massif de la Hotte?s forests, Haiti (funded by Darwin Initiative, CIDA, MacArthur Foundation): This programme is a collaborative effort coordinated by the BirdLife Caribbean Program but with input from Nature Canada (BirdLife in Canada), Zoological Society of London and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and working through Société Audubon Haïti. The aim is to preserve the last remnants of forest in this exceptional area of biodiversity. This is being done by working to improve the livelihoods of the communities living within and around the massif, with an initial focus on provision of fresh water, schooling facilities, employment through managing tree nurseries and reforestation, and building the capacity of local NGOs.
6. Understanding, assessing and monitoring ecosystem services for better biodiversity conservation (funding from the UK government's Darwin Initiative programme): This three-year project will focus on developing a site-focused, participatory, robust and inexpensive methodology for understanding, assessing and monitoring the ecosystem services provided through the conservation of priority sites for biodiversity. The approach will be tested by Bird Conservation Nepal (BirdLife in Nepal) but its development will be guided by the whole BirdLife Partnership of over 100 national non-governmental organisations (NGOs).