In order to accomplish our objectives for wildlife preservation, we consider the development of local communities to be an absolute necessity and the involvement of these local communities to be an essential factor in achieving our goals. Microprogrammes for economic development are therefore essential to our work. They are designed to offer committed villagers sustainable alternatives to the overexploitation of natural resources and to the pressures exerted on their animals.Our involvement does not imply assistance. We encourage the groups with whom we work to change and improve their own living conditions themselves. Thusly, we are with and behind them, helping them to implement their initiatives, providing them with technical training, helping them to create microbusiness or microcredit programmes.
For example, in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), hunters become breeders and women who sell bonobo meat become soap or fuel retailers. In Zambia, farmers grow chilli peppers to help keep elephants out of their crop fields. In India, farmers injured in conflicts with wildlife now produce fruit juices or jams, while in Nepal, groups who habitually overexploited their natural environment now group together as tailors or work in agricultural cooperatives.