Community Stories

Highlighting how local communities around the world are creating change for the better, engaging in environmental conservation to support sustainable livelihoods.

Each of these ‘Community Stories’ showcases a fresh perspective and insightful approach to community conservation and sustainable livelihoods, within a local environmental, cultural and political context. The stories display how communities can take collective action, through home-grown environmental stewardship (and where possible, drawing on a supportive policy environment), to improve local ecosystem and community well-being.

Explore the map below to find stories by location and click on the icon to view the full story page. Or use the menu to the left to choose directly from a list of all the community stories.

** New ** Severe land degradation and environmental disasters can act as triggers to new community conservation and development initiatives and as stimulus to existing ones. ...

** NEW ** Sasi laut is a local knowledge and culture-based practice of coastal resource conservation. Sasi laut weakened due to a lack of government concern about destructive fishing activities. Through cooperation of multiple stakeholders, the sasi laut system has strengthened, helping locals to consider...

** NEW ** Koh Sralao is a small 300 household mangrove-estuarine fishing village on the southwestern coast of Cambodia. Fishers have spoken about fish declines for decades and continue to be concerned about fish stocks...

Les Village's marine environment was devastated by a traditional local use of cyanide for catching marine ornamental fish; however, local conservation began when eco-friendly, community-based approaches were introduced to restore local marine resources...

Between 1999 and 2002 there was exponential growth in the number of Galopagos fishing license holders and vessels. Consequently, fishing effort increased in the spiny lobster fishery leading to its over-exploitation...

** NEW ** Since 2011, indigenous communities have worked with researchers from the Asociación Faunagua, World Fisheries Trust, and the University of Victoria, to better understand the fisheries situation, and identify pathways to improve livelihood and food security in the region...

The Olifant communities face several challenges to their livelihoods including threats to close the fishery and proposals to build a mine adjacent to the estuary. Working with their community partners, the Olifants Estuary fishing communities are addressing these challenges...

The coastal ecosystem conservation activities conducted by the local communities have been studied as part of a comparative analysis of the social and ecological conditions that each community experiences, and their influence on the nature of community conservation....

Bridging organizations can contribute to a more balanced conservation effort through collaboration, communication and resource sharing – all of which include and resonate with local communities....

As a way to deal with the many pressures on local natural resources, the Bluefields Community Development Committee is seeking to support the transition of Bluefield’s economy from resource based to service and hospitality based...

The growth of aquaculture and the opening of a new sea mouth has resulted in environmental and social consequences for the Chilika Lagoon. To address these changes lagoon fishers have come together in protest....

West Coast Aquatic provides several consensus-based forums, including a Governance Board that makes policy recommendations to government, and multi-sector roundtables for salmon management, for involving First Nations and other local communities in decision-making....

The Coquimbo Region's climate is semi-arid with scarce rainfall. The increasing water scarcity is particularly challenging for the Coquimbo Region’s communities as many make their livelihoods from agriculture and goat farming....

Conservation was seen at Koh Pitak as being an essential element of livelihood recovery. The community recognised that they themselves were partially to blame for the environmental degradation that had occurred and designed initiatives to reverse this trend. ...

The Maya people engage in conservation activities that help to maintain the services that the local environment provides....

Due to a number of factors, Odisha is one of the poorest states in India. The Samudram Women’s Federation, a state level federation of women fish workers and a social enterprise, is working to reduce poverty and protect biodiversity....

In Paraty, the Caiçara communities include Tarituba, Praia do Sono, and Trindade, each of these communities face different challenges and are working towards different solutions. ...

The people of Qeshm Island have a strong connection to the land and sea. This connection, and sense of environmental belonging have encouraged them to actively participate in community conservation. ...

The Kesho Trust has a long term commitment to the Saadani area and is involved in a variety of initiatives, including a project called Promoting Environmental Conservation and Cooperation...

In an attempt to protect local forest reserves, community members in Tujereng, The Gambia, have pursued the government’s Community Forestry Programme (CFP), seeking new ways to sustain and expand local conservation efforts....

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have been forced to utilize legal actions to protect their resources and have their Aboriginal rights recognized....

The Ysyk-Köl Biosphere Reserve (YKBR), the largest protected area in Kyrgyzstan, gained international UNESCO designation in 2001. Lake Ysyk-Köl, which is considered as a sacred lake by local people, is a keystone element within the YKBR....

The Punta Allen community is estimated to be less than 1 metre above sea level, with a population of around 600 persons. Their co-management approach has helped the fishery to develop in a sustainable manner....