Working with Local Partners
“If you want to go fast, go alone, If you want to go far, go together.” This well-known African proverb encapsulates the core of our work. Nature conservation is cooperation. We achieve more by working with other parties.
WWF is often the “connector” in protecting an area. We want to bring all interested parties together. This ranges from local organizations, companies, and governments to the population. We don’t just want to listen, but rather set up a project together and determine what needs to be done. In doing so, we try to represent everyone’s interests as well as possible.
In the WWF network we call this “inclusive conservation”. We work closely together with parties such as the Public Entity Bonaire, Saba Conservation Foundation, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, STENAPA, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and the Park management authorities they represent on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean, FKUP and many others.
At the World Wide Fund for Nature, we believe that people are at the heart of our conservation work. WWF operates in some 100 countries, including isolated and dangerous areas where poaching and illegal activities threaten the natural resources of both humans and animals.
We work closely and with respect with local and indigenous people. This approach is a core principle for WWF. In this way, our work also benefits the local population. Working together creates challenges, but overcoming these challenges makes the solutions extra valuable.
We achieve our greatest success when we brainstorm about and implement solutions together with local communities that are not only good for nature, but also provide well-being and prosperity for the people who live and work in that landscape.
We often work with local organizations. They are run by people who know and represent the environment, the history and all the interests at stake. In addition, they have a broad network and can therefore reach the right people. They speak the language literally and figuratively. That is why it is precisely these kinds of organizations that are valuable to work with.
Good relationship with local government
Local and regional authorities are also important partners for WWF. In order to influence policy-making and to gain broad support for our work, a good relationship with the government is of utmost importance. We inform and advise them on legislation and regulations that give both nature and the local population a sustainable future. An example of this is the collaboration with the local and national government of the Dutch Kingdom to save the coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean.
Companies can be either part of the problem, or they can use their influence and innovative strength to be part of the solution, in which way they can add value to their company. Leading organizations know that success isn’t just about growth. Sustainability doesn’t just mean less damage is done. To thrive in the long run, businesses need to be self-aware and give back more to the people and the planet than they take.