Rare in action

Using social marketing to protect biodiversity.

73 campaigns in 2010 alone.

Rare’s approach to conservation has its roots in Saint Lucia, where in the early 1980s young forestry officer Paul Butler was determined to save a notable species of Caribbean parrot. Building on his experience, the organization developed an innovative model in which it partners with local conservationists around the world to implement behavior-changing social marketing campaigns aimed at protecting biodiversity and community livelihoods.

Since 1988, Rare has trained 214 local leaders to launch ‘Pride’ campaigns –inspiring individuals to take pride in their natural resources – that alter the way their communities relate to nature. Campaign managers – known as ‘Rare Conservation Fellows’ – from all over the world have established protected areas, saved species, enacted legislation, formed community outreach organizations and developed constituencies for conservation that remain active in these regions long after the campaigns have ended. In 2001, Rare launched its first centralized training center in the United Kingdom to train English-speaking conservationists from multiple regions. This was quickly followed by a Spanish-language program based in Mexico, a Bahasa center in Indonesia, and a Mandarin language program in China.

Reflecting a decade of rapid expansion, Rare has gone from launching two to three campaigns annually to supporting 73 in 2010 alone. Collectively, the organization’s work has reached an estimated 10 million people in 57 countries.