Sustainable Community Development
while conserving spectacular ecosystems
A core element of NCI's ethic is to link the well
being of local communities with actions that conserve the environment.
We aim to provide sustainable incomes for communities, and to develop
awareness of the need for sustainable management of natural resources,
and away from common practices such as unsustainable or illegal
La Ceiba, Ecuador,
we are working with communities to implement improved grazing management
practices that increase income and reduce overstocking of animals.
To add further value, we are working with the Brazilian cosmetics
firm Natura that pays the community good prices for the sustainable
production of the essential oil from the Palo
Santo plant, helping to promote the conservation of 7,500 acres
of endangered tropical dry forests.
At the newly created Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo reserve
in Peru, we helped local artisans form the cooperative Mi Esperanza
(My Hope) to market beautiful value-added products such as multi-colored
baskets from the local chambira palm. Our work with the
communities and in developing sales outlets has resulted in an average
doubling of incomes in communities around the reserve.
The rewards of this strategy are apparent when,
for instance, community members of the Village of Tahuayo, Peru
have twice denounced illegal loggers this year, perceiving this
unsustainable extraction to be against the community’s interests
in a sustainable lifestyle. In both cases the reserve authorities
were able to confiscate the illegal timber with government assistance.