A new group for conservationists who work with local people

Over the last 30 years, Community Conservation Inc. has worked with lots of local groups, conservation leaders, and organizations in our efforts to involve local communities in conservation. We aren’t the only ones who see local communities as the best hope for conserving biodiversity.

But over the years we noticed there isn’t much connection among these groups.

So we recently formed a group of past and current partners to meet regularly and share ideas. The new Partner Network includes Community Conservation’s current and past partners from all over the world.

In this group, conservationists can problem-solve together and share what has worked best for them. The beauty of community-based conservation is that it’s flexible enough to work anywhere in the world, but this also can make it complicated. The ecosystems can be very different. Plus, human cultural practices, existing conservation efforts, and policies and laws can all vary.

We’ve been meeting virtually once a month, initially learning about the work of each group through presentations and discussions.

In addition to the partner group meeting once a month, our executive director is teaching a seven week course for partners called “Introduction to Community Conservation of Global Biodiversity Conservation.” Nearly 15 staff from our partner organizations are taking the course, which just started this month.

Community Conservation has always been a resource to our local partner organizations, but now they will be a resource for each other, too.

Giving Tuesday Partner Highlights

Throughout the week of #GivingTuesday (Nov. 30th) 2021, we highlighted each of our partners in our social media. Check them out:

Meet the Partner Network

Teri Allendorf

Executive Director, Community Conservation Inc.

Dr. Allendorf has worked on issues of local communities and conservation since 1994. She has a passion for understanding local people around the world – their diversity, priorities, and values. She has partnered with NGOs and communities on conservation issues in Nepal, Myanmar, China, and India, published numerous peer-reviewed articles, taught courses, and consulted on biodiversity projects in Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, Nepal, Guatemala, and Guyana.

Olivia Cosby

Project Coordinator, Malaysia

Olivia Cosby is working to combine conservation and community outreach while conducting fieldwork in Sarawak, a state located on the island of Borneo, Malaysia. Through workshops and hands-on fieldwork, Olivia teaches people from local longhouse communities how to map land boundaries and check trail cameras.  She is an MS student affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and a fellow of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Focus species: Bornean orangutan

Jasmine Gavin

Conservation Intern, Sarawak Forestry Corporation

Jasmine is working with Olivia Cosby and Sarawak Forestry Corporation to develop a community-led wildlife monitoring program at Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary by focusing on building the capacity of women and youth to support conservation. During her previous internship, she focused on nature tourism, conservation education with local students, and bat conservation in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak.

Focus species: Bornean orangutan

Sam Helle

tiger biologist and CoFounder, Project Conservation

Sam is a conservation biologist and current PhD student at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research primarily focuses on tiger conservation, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, and community-based conservation initiatives in Nepal. She is currently working on training communities to do camera trapping and wildlife monitoring.

Focus species: tigers

Birendra Mahato

Founder, Community Conservation Nepal

Birendra Mahato is director and founding chairperson of the Tharu Cultural Museum and Research Center in Chitwan, and Community Conservation Nepal. He has also worked with Green Society Nepal. He works on a variety of community-based conservation projects in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park.

Focus species: small mammals of Nepal

Denis Ndeloh

Founder, CBBM

Denis is the founder and President of CBBM (Community-based Biosynergy Management). He holds a doctorate degree in Human Ecology at the Vrije University of Brussels, Belgium. He has extensive experience in the study and conservation of Cross River gorillas in Cameroon. He has also worked with Ba’aka pygmies in East Cameroon on great apes conservation and livelihood issues. He is also Director of Wildlife at the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, in Nunavut, Canada.

Focus species: Cross River gorilla

Dinesh Neupane

Executive Director, Resources Himalaya Foundation

Dinesh’s PhD is from Arkansas State University on elephant conservation in Nepal and has conducted several other research projects in Nepal. Dinesh is currently most interested in the human dimension of conservation, empowering local people by conducting wildlife monitoring and small mammal conservation trainings in Nepal.

Focus species: elephants, pangolins

Rose Ragai

Wildlife Officer, Sarawak Forestry Corporation

Rose is a Wildlife Officer for Fauna (Terrestrial) Research and Conservation Section with Sarawak Forestry Corporation. Over the last 16 years, she has gained experience in various field inventories and monitoring of different taxa (i.e. mammals, birds, amphibian, reptiles, insects and plants). She is very interested in integrating the knowledge of biological diversity with the local communities livelihood, in order to achieve sustainable development.

Focus species: Bornean orangutan

Sam Shanee

Founder and Projects Director, Neotropical Primate Conservation

Before establishing NPC, Sam worked on various wildlife rescue and reintroduction projects in South America, Asia and the Middle East. Sam has an MSc in Primate Conservation and a PhD in the conservation and ecology of Andean primates. Since 2007 he has been in South America carrying out conservation and research in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. He tries to bridge the gap between academia and activism.

Focus species: primates of Peru

Khine Khine Swe

Executive Director, Friends of Wildlife

Khine Khine Swe has worked for CC’s partner organization in Myanmar, Friends of Wildlife, since its inception and has been its Executive Director for two years. There are very few women executive directors of nonprofit organizations in Myanmar. She has over 14 years of experience working with local communities on conservation projects, and she has a BA in geography from Mandalay University and an MA in geography from Yadanabon University.

Focus species: Hoolock gibbon, Eld’s deer, clouded leopard

Arjun Thapa

Conservation and Research Director, Small mammals conservation and research foundation

Arjun Thapa founded SMCRF, a nonprofit based in Kathmandu dedicated to the study and protection of small mammals in Nepal. Arjun completed his PhD on the conservation ecology and genetics of red pandas at UCAS’s Institute of Zoology in China. He has studied small mammals for over 20 years, and has been involved in several of Community Conservation Inc.’s projects, most recently teaching community forest groups how to monitor wildlife.

Focus species: small mammals

Jessie Young, President

President, The Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group

Jessie Young founded and leads the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group (CBSWCG), a group made up of a female representative from each of the eight communities involved in the sanctuary. She is also a Community Development Officer for the Belize Red Cross, founder of the Harmony Preschool, a past community rep on the Protected Areas Conservation Trust board, a mediation/conflict management facilitator, and Founding member of the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization, and a Member of the Task Force Maya Forest Corridor. She has received the Commonwealth Points of Light Award, Woman of the Year award for community development work, the James A. Waight Award, and the Equator Prize. Jessie Young’s late husband, Fallet A. Young, co-founded the Community Baboon Sanctuary in the 80’s with Community Conservation Inc.’s founder, Rob Horwich. The sanctuary is now managed by the CBSWCG, led by Jessie.

Focus species: black howler monkey

In the world we’re working towards, local groups would either manage or co-manage conservation of the landscapes around them. They would work alongside scientists and biologists and participate fully in decisions about their lands.

Want to talk more about community-based conservation? Join our new public Facebook discussion group “All About Community-Based Conservation.”

Want to learn the basics? Watch “What is Community Conservation? (In 90 seconds).

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