Our planet's biodiversity has evolved over millions of years, but we’re now experiencing the first major extinction caused by humans.
Whether you value nature for its intrinsic worth, the ecosystem services we rely on, its untapped potential to solve human challenges, its ability to inspire awe, or just want to see children growing up with some of the same species as we’ve known, its clear we need to act.
However we are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Over 50% of us are now living in cities. We're increasingly reliant on a food system which disconnects us from where our food comes from. And we have a growing reliance on technology.
Yet there's an opportunity to intervene, which has an almost immediate impact.
Getting people involved in small acts of stewardship creates significant ripples in their lives, their communities, and for their region. Environmental volunteering serves as one of the most low cost and effective ways to give people this experience, with community groups forming the backbone of where this volunteering happens.
Studies are showing that community-based conservation strategies are some of the most successful and resilient, if they are properly resourced. Yet my research has found that there is a systemic underfunding of community conservation around the world.
Telling stories about the impact of a conservation project lies at the heart of the major concerns of community conservation: Funding, Volunteer Engagement and Project Continuity. Much of this responsibility falls on the group coordinators, some of whom are paid, many who are not.
This is why I’ve focused on this area to put better tools in the hands of group coordinators to tell the story of their group’s impact, and build their capacity to develop an engaged volunteer base to help restore our planet's biodiversity.