In recognition of the vital role of local organizations in assuring long-term conservation, WCS and FFI are announcing new commitments to help local partners build critical capacities to adapt to new realities. With the support of Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, the WCS Local Conservation Partners Fund and FFI Conservation Resilience Fund will invest in initiatives that strengthen local leadership, sustain impact through diversified business plans, and provide adaptive and flexible models for durable conservation outcomes.
“WCS is committed to the long-term conservation of the planet’s remaining intact and critically important Nature’s Strongholds across more than 60 countries around the world. To deliver impact at this scale, partnerships are necessary at both the local and global level,” said Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO. “We are excited to collaborate with FFI globally on coordinated investments to catalyze on-the-ground action and capacity development across our joint portfolios.”
These investments seek to build on the efforts of both organizations to support local partners and communities throughout the pandemic, as well as the success of the FFI Partner Crisis Support Fund. With the support of Arcadia, FFI provided rapid financial and technical assistance to partners during the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. In a number of cases, this prevented organizational collapse and the loss of years of conservation effort.
Crucially, these partners have been able to start to address some of the immediate impacts of the pandemic, including the breakdown of the tourism industry and greater pressure on natural resources. The new commitments from FFI and WCS will now look to the future, with a focus on adaptive conservation strategies, diversified income streams, increased financial resilience, and new ways to protect and strengthen institutions to deliver the maximum impact for nature.
“FFI knows that the only way to effectively protect our natural world is alongside those who live closest to it,” said Mark Rose, FFI CEO. “These critical Funds will build conservation resilience worldwide, supporting our local partners to protect nature in the face of future crises, to reduce the scale and impacts of climate change and ensure planetary health, for the benefit of all humankind. Ambitious collaborations such as this between FFI and WCS will be crucial to tackling the ecological emergency we find ourselves in.”
These complementary initiatives in each organization will enable us to amplify the knowledge, experience, and lessons learned that will be generated through our networks, and will help create strong and lasting constituencies for conservation.
WCS and FFI partners continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to a shared mission to conserve the planet’s remaining strongholds for intact ecosystems and iconic species. However, the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges faced by many of the local groups in and around the places where we work. As the threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and global pandemics pose urgent challenges, there is tremendous need and opportunity to invest in local partners so they are more resilient to the overwhelming effects of global and regional crises.
“We are always delighted to support excellent organizations as they work together to protect our natural world. We recognize that local communities and groups based in the most threatened and biodiverse places on Earth are central to leading long-term conservation efforts. We hope that with FFI and WCS’s support, local conservation partners can continue their urgent work, even in times of uncertainty and crisis,” said Simon Chaplin, CEO Arcadia.
WCS and FFI collaborate with hundreds of local partners and communities to achieve a shared vision for a more secure and resilient future for people, wildlife and the planet. The WCS Local Conservation Partners Fund and the FFI Conservation Resilience Fund will help strengthen a set of these vital organizations through targeted funding, training, technical support, and community building. Both organizations understand that local partners hold the knowledge and experience necessary to generate new, sustainable pathways in their conservation work and therefore the funds have been established to be flexible to meet the varied, diverse needs of each local partner.
Other highlights of the Local Conservation Partners Fund and the FFI Conservation Resilience Fund:
- Priority areas for both the WCS Local Conservation Partners Fund and the FFI Conservation Resilience Fund include; Organizational Strategy, Finance, and Management; Governance; Leadership and Innovation; and Development and Implementation of Donor Required Social Safeguards.
- FFI will be developing a new Organizational Resilience Check tool that will help partners look much more specifically at what it means to be resilient- to be able to not just survive shocks but be better able to predict them. This tool will help organizations develop Resilience Plans, to prioritize need and drive change.
- The FFI Conservation Resilience fund will also include focus on supporting partners to develop conservation enterprise schemes to explore new markets and diversify income through providing ‘proof of concept’ grants, supporting the pilot phase of enterprise development.
- FFI and WCS will design a series of joint community building, training and networking opportunities across our fund recipients. Peer group sharing and learning will also be further supported through partner-to-partner exchange visits.
- Whenever possible, materials, resources, and lessons learned will be open access through posts to the Capacity for Conservation website, WCS and FFI websites, or other relevant online platforms.
The WCS Local Conservation Partner Fund is being managed by the WCS Learning and Leadership for Conservation (LLC) team. To learn more about the fund and LLC, visit: https://www.wcs.org/our-work/solutions/building-conservation-capacity. Contact: LCPF@wcs.org
FFI (Fauna & Flora International) protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and that enhance human well-being. Operating in more than 40 countries worldwide, FFI saves species from extinction and habitats from destruction, while improving the livelihoods of local people. Founded in 1903, FFI is the world’s longest established international wildlife conservation organisation and a registered charity. Visit: www.fauna-flora.org. For media enquiries: email@example.com
Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $910 million to projects around the world.