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Partnerships for Community Involvement in Conservation

Developing the capacity of partner institutions for training and outreach, and increasing the level of community involvement and benefit from conservation.

Enhancing Marine Conservation Education
Treasures in the Sea

Treasures in the Sea training workshop in The Bahamas.

Meg Domroese


In conjunction with the Bahamas Biocomplexity Project, an interdisciplinary study of marine protected area networks, the CBC is working with Bahamian partners to enhance marine conservation education. With primary partners — the Bahamas National Trust, and the Bahamas Ministry of Education,Youth, Sports and Culture — the CBC developed Treasures in the Sea: Our Bahamian Marine Resources, a resource book that provides teachers with scientific information and engaging, hands-on activities that encourage students to discover, cherish, and protect the sea and all of its treasures.

Community Involvement in Biodiversity Conservation
Web of Life

Malagasy students play the "Web of Life" game.

Meg Domroese


In Bolivia, the CBC joined with the National Museum of Natural History and the Bolivian Fauna Collection (La Paz), and the Noel Kempff Mercado National History Museum (Santa Cruz) to bring community and scientific expertise together to enable effective local and regional planning for biodiversity conservation. This association was called Conservación de la Biodiversidad para un Manejo Integrado (COBIMI), or Biodiversity Conservation through Integrated Management. Recognizing the urgent need for communities living in and around protected areas to actively participate in and benefit from the conservation of the resources upon which they depend, the COBIMI partners convened workshops to develop dialogue among local stakeholders, provided training for these groups in communication and outreach; and provided financial resources and technical assistance for communities and protected area staff to design and implement, for the first time, their own conservation projects. Several innovative community resource management projects were implemented, including community museums (or "interpretive centers"), ecotourism facilities, trails for tourists that highlight biodiversity, and protected area informational materials. To learn more about Pacha Trek, a collaboration across communities and ethnic groups in the Andes to introduce visitors to local natural and cultural history, visit the Trek Apolobamba website.

In the Solomon Islands, the CBC is working to build capacity for biodiversity conservation and more balanced land-use practices. The CBC is initiating community-based biodiversity research, education, and conservation activities that span the archipelago.

Interpreting Biodiversity : Training and Collaboration on Exhibition Development
Pacha Trek

An exhibit along the Bolivian Andes highlighting plants in the region that are used for medicinal purposes.

Felicity Arengo


Presenting complex scientific concepts in a way that is meaningful and relevant to target audiences is important for engaging them in conservation. Interpreting — effectively translating information and making it accessible — is an important function of museums, and one that the CBC has brought to bear in many different contexts.

The CBC's partnerships in Madagascar inspired the production of a manual, Interpreting Biodiversity: A Manual for Environmental Educators in the Tropics. The manual outlines the basic building blocks for an interpretive program on biodiversity, including principles of exhibit design, presentations, community outreach programs, and evaluation. The manual has served as the basis for workshops linked with CBC field projects in Madagascar, Guatemala, and Bolivia. It has been distributed to educators in more than 30 countries and is available in English, French and Spanish.

The CBC has worked with partners to highlight biodiversity conservation issues through exhibitions designed to be mounted at the Museum as well as in the partner institutions. In Bolivia, the CBC and the AMNH's exhibition team worked closely with the National Museum of Natural History in La Paz and the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz to produce an exhibition, Exploring Bolivia's Biodiversity , to be displayed at all three museums. In Guatemala, a CBC-Exhibition team collaborated on plans for renovation of exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History in Guatemala City. The relatively small input of the team from the Museum sparked a greater effort by the Guatemalans, who took their existing collections and, with a few simple changes and a lot of imagination, made them over into something new. Click to learn more about the CBC's role in exhibitions.

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