Community Centred Conservation (C3) was borne out of the aspirations of three young people in Palau, Micronesia, who were passionate about nature but disillusioned with the approach of large international NGOs, particularly the lack of time and funds spent at the grassroots level to truly understand and appreciate communities' needs and fully involve them in the development of conservation strategies. With our backgrounds in marine management and education and we decided to create a truly grassroots community-immersed NGO which focused on a two-way process for conservation; learning from local communities about their innate knowledge of environmental resources and at the same time providing them with the information they required from collaborative scientific studies to make their own decisions about sustainable resource management.
Our ethos centres around the efficient and wise use of funds, hence all of our staff are based in our target regions or in virtual offices; no precious conservation funds are wasted on large administrative offices in Europe or North America but are channeled directly into our projects to benefit communities, endangered species and habitats. Conservation is not merely an exciting career path for our staff but a true passion and lifestyle choice based their common concern in leaving behind a planet fit for future generations of living beings.
Approaching its 10th year in existence, C3 is now a rapidly growing network of conservation practitioners, living and working day-in, day-out at the grassroots level, producing credible scientific results, landmark conservation projects, building the capacity of future leaders and key institutions in all corners of the world. We have learnt from the mistakes made in the past by the top-down colonial conservationist approach and are making strides towards spreading a new global understanding of community-centred conservation as a complex, dynamic, multi-disciplinary paradigm capable of delivering results not only at the local level but with regional and global implications.