Local Livelihoods

For WCS to be successful in its mission to save wildlife and wild places, our conservation work must benefit people as well as animals. Directly or indirectly, we all depend on Earth’s resources for our livelihoods and our survival. People around the world fish, farm, log, and hunt for food, shelter, and other necessities for their families and communities. However, these resources are finite. If we harvest and use them in unsustainable ways, the resources we need will eventually run out.

WCS conservationists work with community leaders and members to develop ways people can use their land and water to generate income while promoting natural resource conservation. We help local people create new agricultural products and practices, modify fishing techniques, generate ecotourism revenue, and provide recovery aid to areas devastated by violence and natural disasters. Investing in the current and future quality of life is the key to sound conservation practice.

Band e Amir

Afghanistan's First National Park

Despite three decades of warfare, Afghanistan gazetted its first national park on Earth Day 2009. WCS field scientists conducted wildlife surveys, delineated the park’s boundaries, and helped the government develop Band-e-Amir’s management plan, hire and train its rangers, and design new laws for the national park’s creation.

From the Newsroom

One Fish, Two Fish, Big Fish, Better FishMay 13, 2010

A 12-year study off the coast of Kenya deconstructs old notions of how fishery closures affect local economies. Hint: They help them.

Snails Save the DayApril 28, 2010

African giant snails are giving local villagers big options when it comes to food and livelihoods, and gorilla poaching is not one of them.

Spare the Fish, Save the ReefsJune 18, 2009

A new study says that banning certain types of fishing gear can help save coral reefs from the damaging effects of climate change, by protecting key fish populations that help stressed reefs recover.

An Uncommon PartnershipJuly 31, 2008

For the world’s poor who live outside the borders of cities and towns, help is often scarce. A new WCS-led study identifies some 16 million impoverished people who make their homes in remote corners of the globe, out of reach of major development assistance programs.

Clothing with a ConscienceJanuary 7, 2008

“Conservation cotton” from Africa is making its way onto the backs of U2 fans across the world, thanks to a partnership between Hard Rock International, T-shirt company edun LIVE, and WCS.

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