Communities

Across the planet we collaborate with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to achieve a shared vision for a more secure, inclusive, just, equitable, and resilient future, where wildlife remains a visible, thriving, and culturally valued part of the wild places where our partners live and we work.

At WCS, we choose to work in the most isolated, wild, and high-integrity places left on the planet. For the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live there, these forests, grasslands, and coastal reef systems are the source of their families’ livelihoods and wellbeing and the foundation of their cultural identities.

Through a human rights-based approach that engenders inclusion, equity, and justice, WCS seeks to support and facilitate Indigenous Peoples’ and local community-led conservation and their effective integration into the management of existing protected areas and surrounding landscapes to protect Key Biodiversity Areas, high-integrity terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and to more effectively mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Their direct and continuing interest in the health of these systems has made Indigenous Peoples and local communities our best partners and most important political constituency for conserving natural resources in the wild landscapes and seascapes where we work.

Simply said, WCS wants to save wildlife in wild places, and so do the people who live there.

Through our Global Rights + Communities Program, we support many Indigenous Peoples' and local community-led conservation efforts in this shared vision, and also facilitate spaces to bring their perspectives and rights into other conservation models.

Our human rights-based approach

Indicative Work

IPLC Conservation Heroes

A collection of stories featuring the voices of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

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Communities Website

Learn more about WCS Projects with Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

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Indigenous-Led Conservation

Highlights of partnerships and collaborations from WCS Canada.

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A Vision Document for Kahuzi-Biega National Park

WCS has been here for more than 20 years, working with partners to advance a model for effective human rights-based conservation.

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The State of Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Lands and Territories

A technical review that includes their contributions to global biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, the pressures they face, and recommendations for actions.

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The 10-step process for Territorial Land Management

A toolbox for Indigenous Peoples and local communities on land management. Published in Spanish.

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