Community development is instrumental for successful conservation programs as much as initiatives directly targeting animals. Local communities in Changtang and Hunchun depend on Earth’s resources for their livelihoods and survival. They farm, breed and hunt for food and other necessities for their families. However, even where it is not hunted, conflicts often arise between human communities and wildlife.
WCS works with community leaders and members to develop ways people can use their land and water to generate income while promoting natural resource conservation. We help local people create new breeding practices, find tailored solutions to mitigate wildlife-human conflicts, and encourage sustainable ecotourism. Investing in the current and future quality of life is the key to sound conservation practice.
Currently, both WCS China programs in Changtang (Tibet) and Hunchun (Jilin) feature articulated initiatives to improve livelihoods of local communities through our wildlife conservation projects. Examples include involving community members into the patrolling work, helping to build up a sustainable separation system for livestock and providing economic compensation for livestock losses due to wildlife hunting.