Local community participation in conservation efforts is imperative if projects are going to have a sustainable long term positive impact on the environment. Within the developing world rural communities are highly dependent on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods. It is therefore important that these communities are involved with conservation efforts to help protect not only the environment from destructive activities, but also to ensure that local rural communities benefit from such efforts.
From inception Frontier has been highly aware of the potential role that local rural communities can play in conservation projects. Local rural communities are sometimes referred to as being part of the ecosystem, and are therefore treated as another aspect to which conservation efforts have to be directed. Through practices such as capacity building, raising biodiversity awareness, training activities, alternative income generation and sustainable resources use, local communities feel the benefit of conservation and will be encouraged to continue conservation efforts long into the future.
Training is an essential component of Frontier's research projects and is necessary to ensure the local community is willing and aware of the importance of environmental protection.
There is a strong focus on raising awareness through workshops and lessons in the local schools and communities. Many individuals are lacking basic skills and knowledge in conservation management, thus formal training is required to ensure continued research and protection after Frontier leaves.
Training programmes and encouragement is provided to local stakeholder briefs to build confidence in the importance of their work, thus increasing their motivation to work efficiently and effectively. This training incorporates a range of necessary skills, from sourcing funding to practical workshops in biodiversity surveys and data collection.