Rare, which merged with the Nature Conservancy, works to train local conservation organizations to eliminate environmentally destructive practices. Their method is focusing on helping communities take pride in their local habitat. According to an article in the New York Times, Rare successfully harnesses social marketing in their ‘Pride Campaigns’, which has been replicated all over the world more than 200 times. In addition,the organization trains local conservationists, called Rare Fellows, who take on a global problem in a local area. Fellows earn a Master’s degree in communication for conservationists at the end of their two-year fellowship.
Indeed, conservation ultimately comes down to people – their behaviors toward nature, their beliefs about its value, and their ability to protect it without sacrificing basic life needs. And so, conservationists must become as skilled in social change as in science; as committed to community-based solutions as to national and international policy making. And nowhere are community-based solutions needed more than in the world’s areas of highest biodiversity – from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa and India to Asia and the Pacific islands. These areas may be rich in natural resources, but poverty is also high, making social and environmental change a challenge for hundreds of thousands of communities. RARE and its partners in 50+ countries throughout these regions are committed to designing conservation programs that benefit both people and nature.