Freeland’s Wildlife Protection and Community Development Program
Limited resources, capacity and monitoring systems are among the many challenges facing the front-line rangers tasked with defending Southeast Asia’s protected areas. Well-organized and dangerous poaching gangs exploit these weaknesses and as forests deteriorate, locals become trapped in a vicious cycle of over-exploitation and diminishing economic opportunities that has a disastrous effect on the eco-systems, wildlife and, ultimately, human welfare.
Improving Front-line Protection
Developing Wildlife Monitoring Systems
Strengthening Protected Area Management
Empowering Local Communities
Since the program begin in 1999, Surviving Together has developed a comprehensive approach to conserving protected areas and their biodiversity, bringing together local rangers and reformed poachers as unlike allies. Through these collaborative efforts, the program addresses the root causes of environmental degradation and bolsters protection on the front lines of conservation, where it is needed most. Surviving Together educates teachers and children to ensure the lessons learned will continue to reap positive benefits from healthy eco-systems for decades to come.
Where We Work
In Thailand, the focal site for Surviving Together, in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai (DPKY) Forest Complex, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. The site comprises five protected areas, covering more than 6,000 square kilometers across six provinces. This area is a refuse for a number of threatened species, such as the Indochinese tiger, clouded leopard, Asian elephant, pangolin and Malayan sunbear.
Surviving Together gives local communities, too often marginalized, a voice in how to best manage and protect the precious natural world in their backyards. It also unties them with park officials, previously perceived as the enemy, in a spirit of cooperation. It’s a strategy that is a win-win for both biodiversity and local communities. The result is a sustainable park protection system that can be adapted to almnst any terrestrial or marine protected area around the world. Proving Its versatility, the program has already operated in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.