We work together with Indigenous and local communities to promote conservation and sustainable livelihoods.

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Hombre Shuar frente a una cascada

We are a part of nature

Nature and Culture prioritizes people in our conservation efforts

Many Indigenous and local communities live in the most important and biodiverse places on the planet. Nature and Culture’s work emphasizes the connection between conservation and human well-being.

Free, prior, and Informed Consent Consultations

Our staff develops strong relationships with Indigenous nationalities and provides extensive technical and legal support to define and achieve their own conservation goals through a process called Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.

This UN-backed international human rights standard ensures “all peoples have the right to self-determination” and “all peoples have the right to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” We believe Indigenous nationalities should have the right to consent to any action that would affect their lands, or withhold consent.

Critical resource protection

Indigenous nationalities and local communities rely on many of the resources that these amazing, biodiversity-rich areas provide, including clean water supplies. These are their communities and ancestral homelands. They know better than anyone how and why to protect these lands that are critical for their communities to thrive.

Indigenous territories in the Amazon show lower deforestation rates and have lost less carbon to deforestation, even than protected areas.

With their protection of major, carbon-storing areas, local and Indigenous communities are helping mitigate the progression of climate change for the entire world.

Promoting sustainable livelihoods

Securing a sustainable source of income for Indigenous and local communities is an important component of what we do. Nature and Culture identifies sustainable methods of harvesting natural resources, and then assists with the technical implementation, production, and selling of resources to buyers that are committed to best practices.

Read about one of the super fruits of Amazon – the aguaje and how we’ve helped a Peruvian community harvest and bring this product to market more sustainably.

Collective Rights and Equality

Indigenous peoples have lived on their lands for countless generations. Their cultures and livelihoods are inextricably woven into the fabric of nature around them. Nature and Culture values Indigenous nationalities and their abilities to protect their land. This is why giving them legal rights to their land enables them to better protect it from human extractive activities.  Read about a huge victory – Ecuador’s first Indigenous-led nationally protected conservation area here.

Shuar man in forest

Beyond land rights, Nature and Culture believes that cultural diversity and human rights are key to an integrated conservation approach. We have helped many Indigenous communities document their cultural heritage and languages, and we regularly hold skill-building and gender equality workshops in local communities.

Maintaining cultural diversity protects biological diversity.

Together with Indigenous cultures and other local partners, Nature and Culture is working to create a more diverse and sustainable planet.