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Empowering Communities Stories

Student waters plant in school garden

With access to fresh water, a school garden grows

In 2009, principal and teacher Marcia Novakc da Silva decided to join forces to start a community rainwater project, led by the organization Incra and supported by WWF. The work is one of  several projects for the recovery of the springs and water supply in region.

  • Empowering women and families to build healthy communities and a healthy planet

    Meeta is a young mother from India. Back-to-back pregnancies and heavy housework responsibilities took a toll on her health and wellbeing. Noting her declining health, a neighborhood social worker invited Meeta and her husband Ramkishore to participate in a CARE maternal health program that fostered open communication, education and access to family planning information.

  • Across Mozambique and Tanzania, women show us how to improve communities and protect our planet

    As WWF works with communities around the world to preserve habitats, wildlife, and natural resources, we know that it is critical to engage both women and men for the best results—environmentally, socially, and economically.

    A group of women and children from the Sicubir community, Angoche, Mozambique
  • Cultivating sustainable livelihoods and environmental resiliency in Mozambique

    In Mozambique’s Primeiras e Segundas region, villagers are taking part in a savings and loan association that’s revolutionizing how they manage their financial and natural resources.

    Women in Mozambique James Morgan WW272137
  • Saving a beloved home along the Luangwa River in Zambia

    June 21, 2018

    The Luangwa River is one of the longest remaining free-flowing rivers in Southern Africa. It flows through an area which boasts some of the most pristine habitats left in Zambia for elephants, lions, leopards and a myriad of other wildlife. A dam has been proposed on the Luangwa that would flood almost the entire Luembe chiefdom, destroying habitats and displacing thousands of people.  

    Two women use the river to wash up while avoiding the threat of crocodiles along the Luangwa River.
  • Changing people and landscapes: Farida's story

    May 24, 2017

    In Kyrgyzstan, community based conservation activities led by Farida Balbakova have paved the way for an integrated, climate-smart landscape management plan to protect the snow leopard.

    Farida Balbakova
  • Del First and Ethan Three Stars are revitalizing their native Dakota language

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    When Del First was growing up on Fort Peck Indian Reservation in the 1960s, everyone in his neighborhood spoke Dakota, a language of the Sioux Nation. Today, hardly anyone does.
    plains generationext summer2017
  • WWF's Nathalie Simoneau on how empowering women improves local conservation

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    WWF explores how can we better understand the dynamics between men and women in a given culture and their impacts on natural resources.
    Nathalie Simoneau
  • Jacqui and Jeff Morby on community-led conservation

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2016
    Sometimes the pursuit of a goal produces advantageous byproducts.
    Namibia Devils Claw Farming Winter 2016 Magazine
  • Brighton Kaoma on using radio to raise environmental awareness

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2016
    When I was 14, I had an idea. Everyone listens to the radio in Zambia; often people turn it on just to hear the time announced. Why not use Kitwe’s airwaves to educate my community about the environment?
    Luangwa Reiver Generation Next Winter 2016 Magazine
  • President's Letter: Sizing up conservation

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2016
    WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts on working with communities to create highly local solutions to multiple environmental challenges.
    Carter Roberts
  • Life in Nepal

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2014
    How a tiny, mountainous country became one of the world's biggest conservation successes for wildlife—and for rural communities with pressing health needs.
    Hero Nepal Winter2014
  • Property Rights: A River Changes Course

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2014
    Securing property rights for women in Mali
    Women in Mali
  • Can protecting fish and improving farms ease the food crisis in Mozambique?

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2014
    Will simultaneously developing no-take fishing zones and working with farmers to establish conservation agriculture techniques result in more food for local consumption?
  • A Model Fishery in Ecuador

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2014
    Manta :: Ecuador
    man holds fish
  • A Tale of Three Cities

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2014
    Taking Climate Action to the Streets
  • After Earth Hour: Small Steps, Big Impact

    March 26, 2014

    Earth Hour is just the beginning. You’ve shown the planet you care by turning your lights out for one hour. So what’s next?

    Closeup of bike pedal
  • From Fishers to Weavers

    January 13, 2014

    WWF—through USAID’s Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP)—helped revive and adapt a weaving program in Malaysia that would enable the women to earn income and sell fewer fish.

    weaving a bracelet
  • Wildlife Management Areas Spread the Wealth in Tanzania

    October 22, 2013

    With the help of the WWF team and other NGOs, such as African Wildlife Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Frankfurt Zoological Society, the number of WMAs and the amount of land they protect is growing dramatically.

    serengeti animals
  • Primeiras e Segundas

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2013
    Along Mozambique's coast, a new sanctuary offers opportunities for people, the economy and wildlife
  • In Tanzania, an Orphan Gets an Education Thanks to Wildlife

    October 01, 2013

    Mbaranga’ndu is one of Tanzania’s WMAs created under an official land-use designation that allows local residents to benefit from governing an area’s natural resources sustainably.

    Juma profile
  • New Hope for Forests and Families in Indonesia

    May 07, 2013

    WWF has offered a way for community members to help rehabilitate their forests and earn a living. Our reforestation programs in Indonesia help preserve our most precious wildlife and empower local people.

    Acil at nursery
  • Meet WWF's Jenny Springer

    April 04, 2013

    As leader of WWF's People and Conservation Program, Jenny Springer bolsters community-based conservation and natural resource management strategies. She works with colleagues all over the world to help promote active community participation in resource management.

    Jenny Springer
  • Protecting Monarch Butterflies and Their Forests

    February 28, 2013

    Every year, monarch butterflies mirgrate between 1,200 to 2,800 miles, leaving their summer breeding areas in Canada and the United States to return to hibernation colonies in the forests of central Mexico. To help local communities keep the forest intact, WWF helps establish alternative income-generating ventures, including sustainable mushroom and tree nurseries.

    monarchs cloud mexico travel