Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods

Through improved agricultural practices, community-managed microcredit programs, and sustainable production techniques that increase incomes while protecting forests and watersheds

Sustainable livelihoods that increase incomes while protecting the environment are critical to any lasting conservation effort. Community-managed microcredit programs, sustainable coffee production and growing crops under tree canopies are just some of the approaches that JGI introduces in our work with communities. We help families meet their basic need for food, school fees and other resources to enable them to enjoy a more sustainable future while reducing reliance on natural resources.

Environmentally friendly activities that improve incomes help to create a sustainable livelihood. Improving family resources improves school attendance, which reduces early pregnancy for girls and increases the socio-economic prospects of the family’s children. Better incomes means more access to health care, better nutrition and less human-wildlife conflict, an issue often driven by the need for basic resources like food and shelter. Consequently, sustainable livelihoods remain a core component of all of our conservation action plans.

When we think about conservation of chimpanzee habitat, we must take into consideration the people who live there as well. In order for communities to live in balance with their available natural resources, individuals must find methods of receiving income in sustainable manners. Improving livelihoods while protecting the environment ensures that communities can continue to thrive for decades to come, which is essential to our community-centered conservation approach.

The well-being of people and the environment already go hand in hand, and centering community economic enterprises around this understanding helps communities increase their desire and ability to use natural resources sustainably and responsibly. As a community’s knowledge of the relationship between their well-being and the well-being of the environment increases, the propensity of those who exploit the land and its wildlife for economic gain will subsequently decrease, thereby helping extinguish threats to apes and their habitats both indirectly and directly.