Celebrating Diversity in Conservation
Written by Cailin Mackenzie, GLOBE Intern
Photograph by Rafael Araujo (Brazil), (2 & 3) Ami Vitale (Kenya & Canada), Erika Nortemann (Canada), Ted Wood (Australia)
What does Pride have to do with conservation? Pride 2015 celebrates the joys and challenges of human diversity and exemplifies the possibilities when different people work together to achieve tangible success like the historic Supreme Court decision to uphold same-sex marriage. The Nature Conservancy actively works to be just as diverse and complex as the lands and waters we protect. Indigenous peoples populate nearly a quarter of the world’s area and live alongside 80% of the world’s biodiversity and our long history of collaboration with these communities has had a remarkable impact.
Washington tribes have been critical in our work to repair marine, riparian, and terrestrial function.
- Our Emerald Edge program facilitates trans-border conservation to empower young indigenous leaders and sustainably secure the future of the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world.
- The Quinault tribe works with us to protect blueback salmon habitat and remove derelict crab pots protecting crustaceans and mammals.
- We partner with the Makah tribe on a streamlined vessel traffic system to minimize oil spill risks.
Around the world the Conservancy relies on the unique knowledge of our partners broaden, deepen, and inform our work:
- In Brazil, we helped inaugurate the Amazon Indigenous Training Center to pass on traditional ecological knowledge and protect indigenous land management.
- In Australia, we are promoting traditional indigenous fire strategies for long-term land management, and have helped secure more that 23.5 million acres of Indigenous Protected Areas.
- In Kenya, we support a community conservation network that marries wildlife protection, land management and sustainable agriculture, benefitting more that 320,000 people on 7.4 million acres.
Biodiversity is imperative for its symbiosis – nature’s divergence works together to strengthen the whole, and conservation needs to mimic this identity. We promote our internal diversity with celebrations, employee resource groups, internship programs, and recruitment resources to increase the resonance and applicability of our perspective. Celebrating what makes us different is a critical and too-often overlooked component of successful conservation. What makes you different?