Forests & People

The future of forests around the world depends closely on the well-being of millions of forest people.

Because WWF sees people as part of the solution for forest conservation, our approach is firmly rooted in their involvement to preserve forest ecosystems and landscapes.

The fate of forests and plight of the poor

Many biologically rich and threatened forests around the world are home to some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

As stewards of globally important biodiversity, these communities have a role to play in sustaining the capacity of these resources to provide critical environmental services—both locally and globally.

Hence, to maintain the richness of forests, we must integrate poverty-alleviation into the forest equation.

Our work with forest people

These initiatives include work with the Candoshi and Achuar of Peru, the Karen of Thailand, the Dayak peoples of Borneo, and many others across the globe.

Guiding our collaboration with indigenous people for forest conservation is a set of principles, which are applied across the global WWF network.

According to these principles, we will:
  • assist indigenous peoples' organizations in our conservation work, strengthen such organizations, and develop their capacity
  • assist them in gaining access to other sources of technical and financial support for issues that fall outside WWF's mission
How do we approach the human dimension of our conservation work?
  1. We try to understand the linkages between poverty and the environment, and the socio-cultural and economic context in each area where we work.
  2. We carefully assess how our activities can affect poverty.
  3. Our programme planning, implementation and monitoring efforts involve resource-depending communities. In the process, we identify common interests and carry out projects that benefit both people and the environment.
  4. We seek to understand the linkages between sustainable resource management, environmental quality and equitable development.
  5. At times, our partners complement our activities through their specific expertise, helping to effectively address poverty-environment issues at all levels.
  6. We integrate poverty and equity issues into our work on footprint and consumption.

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