Conservation gets marketing make-over to raise public support

Conservationists are adopting consumer-style marketing techniques in order to galvanize public support for their work at two international organisations.

Rare Conservation's previous campaign work in Mexico's Sierra de Manantlan Region and Biosphere Reserve has led to agriculturally related forest fires being cut by almost half, as well as a huge drop in pollution

Rare Conservation's previous campaign work in Mexico's Sierra de Manantlan Region and Biosphere Reserve has led to agriculturally related forest fires being cut by almost half, as well as a huge drop in pollution

Using traditional marketing techniques that have been proven to raise the profile of consumer products, the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Rare Conservation (RC) aim to target public apathy towards environmental and conservation issues, eventually catalysing change.

Together, the partnership will set thirty separate campaigns in motion around the world in a bid to build public support for and help advance conservation projects over the next three years.

"This partnership allows us to combine our expertise and enhance our overall impact in the communities that are the highest priority for conservation efforts around the world," said Steve McCormick, president of TNC.

"The support and involvement of local communities is the key to lasting conservation success. These campaigns are a fantastic way to get people aware of and involved in protecting their natural resources."

Worth US $3 million, the alliance will allow TNC's international country managers to integrate RC's "Pride" methodology to raise local support for conservation activities in places such as Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, advancing protection and sustainable development.

Recently, two Pride campaigns run in Mexico inspired community support for a protected area and subsequently led to a 45% reduction in agriculture-related forest fires, the establishment of the country's largest community-based recycling programme, and the censuring of a major watershed polluter.

"If we know where the world's key regions are and we know that the principle threats to these sites are social, political and economic, we are left with two questions: what methods best address these challenges and how can we take what works and make it available throughout the world?" RC president Brett Jenks explained.

He added that the partnership would enable the proliferation of methods that had been proven to work, as well as their replication in other places.

"Collaborations that are effectively run are the future of conservation. In order to achieve the critical mass needed to turn the tide, we must propagate approaches that can catalyse change around the world."

By Jane Kettle


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