People and REDD+ on the Front Lines

Wildlife Works was founded over 20 years ago based on the recognition that protecting forests and wildlife can only succeed when forest communities have access to wildlife-friendly, regenerative economic pathways. Mike’s basic idea is that if you want wildlife, you have to make sure it works for local communities.

Forest communities must have the power of self governance to implement culturally relevant solutions within their ecosystem. Their social, health and economic development determines the success of any forest protection effort. But because of deep rooted power structures, many forest communities have been disenfranchised from their sovereignty and economic power. This gap between policy and people holds climate action back. Nature based solutions are only sustainable when financing and decision making power flows directly to those on the ground. When done transparently, with integrity and true partnership between forest communities, REDD+ projects are a scalable solution that uphold forest communities governance. At Wildlife Works, the deep investments in social development programs are not merely a co-benefit, they are essential activities that drive the success of protecting forests and wildlife. We recognize that forest communities hold the solution for their ecosystems so we depend on their knowledge and collaboration.

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