What We Do:

Community-Based Enterprises

Community-Based Enterprises

Local communities are integral in protecting World Heritage sites. In support of locally owned businesses, we have worked with the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (a project of the United Nations Development Programme), which provides support for training and credit and financing to build sustainable businesses around World Heritage sites.


We launched the Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation—COMPACT—working with UN agencies, including the UN Development Programme. 

The COMPACT is a small grants program that builds community-based initiatives that increase the effectiveness of conservation of local ecosystems in and surrounding World Heritage sites while working to improve the livelihoods of local populations. Since we launched the COMPACT, we have stimulated 200 community projects in eight countries.


Did you know the world’s greatest concentrations of species are found in the tropics, in countries that also have some of the highest levels of poverty? 

The Equator Initiative—a partnership between us, the UN, individuals, businesses, governments and communities—champions community efforts to link economic development with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. 

The Initiative’s work is organized around three themes:

  • The Equator Prize: a prestigious international award that recognizes local efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
  • Equator Dialogues: an innovative program that fosters dialogue to celebrate local successes, exchange best practices, share experiences and inform policy; and
  • Equator Knowledge: a research and learning initiative dedicated to sharing best practices for conservation and poverty reduction.