03Breakthrough 03

Empower delivery of locally led solutions in collaboration with national and international partners

Global ambitions, local actions

Local communities and organisations have irreplaceable knowledge of the natural world that is vital to sustaining healthy ecosystems. But their voices too often go unheard in top-level decision-making. We must empower local people on the front line of conservation.

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Enabling locally led solutions

Reform structures of decision-making

Governments and policy bodies must greatly increase support for on-the-ground conservation leadership and capacity globally. Solutions must support and empower those operating in the most severely affected areas and who have the best understanding of the threats to nature and the complex social and economic processes underpinning those threats.

New global commitments to protect and restore nature must be followed immediately by ambitious national plans that create the enabling policy environments that can empower those most affected to shape and lead solutions, in collaboration with partners.

Enabling locally led solutions: our work

The global guardians of nature

Too often, those most adversely affected by the destruction of nature – and those most able to make an impact to protect and restore nature – are overlooked in top-level decision-making. Yet we know that locally led solutions are the most effective. FFI has worked closely with local conservation organisations worldwide for over a century.

In 2020, FFI partnered with almost 400 organisations and provided dedicated support and training to almost 5,000 conservationists around the world. Whether in Belize, Kenya, Cambodia or Kazakhstan, effective protection and restoration of landscapes, species and broader ecosystems is utterly dependent on local knowledge – both natural and social. 

Hear their voices

Jeff Wilson/FFI


A lack of funding, capacity and conflict are but a few of the challenges that local communities and organisations face in the protection of their local environments. Governments and funders have a responsibility to support those who most need it and who can best protect the natural world.

we want to see

Enabling locally led solutions: actions

Growing local conservation capacity

  • More funding for the local governance of nature
    A far greater share of aid and philanthropic funding flowing directly to those most affected by, and most able to deliver, nature protection and restoration
  • Government support to increase capacity for local management
    National governments actively delivering the supportive policies and enabling conditions needed for locally appropriate nature conservation initiatives to grow and sustain impact
  • Local empowerment to hold most powerful to account
    Local actors empowered to drive accountability for delivering on nature and climate goals and removing the drivers of nature loss

Enable locally led solutions: actions

Protecting nature’s defenders

Nature defenders – from rangers, to civil society groups to journalists – face increasing levels of intimidation and threats, and the number of people being murdered for defending nature is growing at an unconscionable rate every year. 

In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we call on governments and companies to uphold the law and actively stop intimidation and physical violence committed against nature defenders, and ensure that they can work and live safely.

Act now

Ask the UN to commit to $500bn a year for nature.

Sign the petition

Support our work

FFI works on over 140 projects around the world protecting threatened species and habitats. Donate to support our vital conservation work on the ground.

Share your voice

The Five Breakthroughs for Nature are fundamental for a healthy planet. Share the solutions for a more prosperous natural world.

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FFI’s scientists and staff are pioneering the latest conservation methods around the world to target the biggest threats to nature. Contact our specialists for further advice and information on the Five Breakthroughs.

Email: [email protected]