Conservation ultimately comes down to people – their behaviors toward nature, their beliefs about its value, and their ability to protect it without sacrificing basic life needs. And so, conservationists must become as skilled in social change as in science; as committed to community-based solutions as national and international policymaking. Nowhere are community-based solutions needed more than in the world’s areas of highest biodiversity – from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa and India to Asia and the Pacific islands. These areas may be rich in natural resources, but poverty is also high, making social and environmental change a challenge for hundreds of thousands of communities. Rare and its partners in 50+ countries throughout these regions are committed to designing conservation programs that benefit both people and nature – ensuring that change is embraced and sustained.

The Rare approach includes:

1) Determining human behaviors causing threats to biodiversity, such as overfishing, illegal logging, or unsustainable agriculture

2) Conducting an ongoing search for the most innovative community-based solutions proven to change these behaviors – what Rare calls conservation “bright spots”

3) Launching social marketing campaigns to increase adoption of these alternative behaviors in the world’s highest priority areas for conservation. 


  • Putting conservation in local hand.  While Rare sources solutions, it does not directly implement outreach at the local level. Changing behaviors requires a nuanced understanding of social and cultural norms and trusted messengers from within each community. Therefore, Rare trains local partners and supports them during all stages of implementing what’s known as a “Pride campaign.” A Pride campaign inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique, while also giving them alternatives to environmentally destructive behaviors. Rare trains local leaders to run “Pride campaigns” – which borrow private sector marketing tactics normally reserved for selling things like cars, soft drinks, and video games – and use them to sell more sustainable behaviors.  
  • Creating power in numbers. Each Pride campaign targets a specific site, yet Rare launches them in cohorts of 10-15 — all focused on a common issue — so that partners can share learning and serve as a network for broader change. In the Andes, for example, Rare is working with partners at 11 sites to introduce incentives for watershed protection. In the Coral Triangle – a vast area in Southeast Asia that is home to 75% of the world’s coral species - Rare is working with dozens of communities to train fishers on the benefits of better managing their protected areas, as well as providing the tools to do so. Each year, Rare and its partners launch Pride cohorts in each of the four languages in which our training is offered. The focus for each cohort is determined approximately one year in advance, at which time Rare begins recruiting partners with shared goals and capacity to participate in the three-year program.
  • The power of community pride. Rare trains local conservation leaders all over the world to change the way their communities relate to nature. Our signature method is called a “Pride campaign” – so named because it inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their community unique, while also introducing practical alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Pride campaigns are based in social marketing – the use of private sector marketing tactics to “sell” social change. These tactics include audience segmentation; focus-group testing of highly targeted messages; use of multiple media vehicles and outlets to reinforce messages over a sustained period of time; and rigorous measurement of “product adoption” (i.e. new attitudes, behaviors, and sustainable alternatives). Social marketing has been used for years to successfully tackle issues such as smoking, HIV-AIDS, and seatbelt use, but has not to date been fully tapped on behalf of conservation. So while many large organizations are working top-down on international regulations, corporate buying practices, and national systems of protected areas, Rare is focused on supporting their work from the bottom up. This means reaching millions of people who live in and around areas containing the highest levels of biodiversity. People whose day-to-day behaviors, livelihoods, and culture will greatly impact how well global conservation projects will be embraced and sustained at the local level.
  • The importance of partners. Rare does not directly implement Pride campaigns. We train local organizations in methods for social and behavioral change and then rely on them to add an essential understanding of local culture and norms as they conduct all outreach. These local implementing partners are critical to both achieving and sustaining impact at the community level. Rare also partners with organizations at the national and international levels to ensure that local strategies are well-integrated with broader conservation priorities in the region. 


for more info please visit: http://www.rareconservation.org/

Youtube official channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/rareconservation/videos?view=0


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