Indigenous and Local Community Engagement

DOI-ITAP works with NGOs, local communities, Indigenous peoples, women, and youth groups to enhance public participation to hold governments more accountable and promote partnerships for natural resources management.

Below are some selected examples of DOI-ITAP work strengthening Indigenous and community engagement worldwide!


Protected Area Management in the Selva Maya (Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico)

The Selva Maya, or Maya Jungle region, spans Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico, and is home to diverse wildlife and hundreds of ancient Maya cities. 

DOI-ITAP works with in-country partners and DOI specialists to strengthen protected area management, environmental governance, and local community empowerment in the region, bolstering cross-border collaboration

DOI-ITAP engages local communities in conservation efforts through initiatives such as voluntarily setting community lands aside for conservation, promoting community-based tourism, and empowering Indigenous women and youth as conservation leaders. 

With support from USAID Guatemala, DOI-ITAP and its partners have contributed to recovery of forest cover, successful prosecution of environmental crimes, wildfire prevention, protection of archaeological sites, and combating wildlife trafficking.



Community-Based Tourism in Morocco

DOI-ITAP supported women’s cooperatives involved in promoting environmental conservation and income generating activities, such as the marketing and commercialization of Argan Oil.  

  • Primary Partner: State Department/Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES)
Community-Based Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzania

DOI-ITAP strengthened local community management of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) through training, equipment provision, and infrastructure development. These efforts enhanced the status of the WMAs as tourism destinations, which in turn provides economic benefits to the local communities.

  • Primary Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Tanzania
Youth & Education in Jordan

DOI-ITAP helped established a "Junior Ranger Program" for young people living near Petra Archaeological Park focused on celebrating natural and cultural heritage.

  • Primary Partner: USAID/Jordan
Indigenous Leaders Peer Exchange U.S.-Colombia-Peru

DOI-ITAP led a peer exchange for indigenous leaders and government officials from Colombia and Peru to the U.S. to review best practices for extractive industries in indigenous territories. The activity included exchanges with DOI/Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) management in Colorado and with the Crow Nation leadership in Montana.

  • Primary Partner: USAID/South America Region
School Children Attend Marine Science Camp in Chile

With the Chilean Government and more than 30 partner organizations, DOI-ITAP designed and led a three-day science camp program for 100 school children, teachers and university students from throughout Chile. The camp curriculum followed NOAA's Principles of Ocean Literacy.

  •  Primary Partner: State Department/OES
Public Participation in Guatemala

DOI-ITAP launched the public-private-civil society forum to promote information sharing and consensus building on protected area management. This model has been replicated and institutionalized in other geographic areas.

  • Primary Partners: Congressional Direct Apportionment via USAID/Guatemala and State Department/OES



    Doi Itap Factsheet Security Stability Governance Overseas Final [pdf]
    Preserving And Managing Cultural Heritage Final [pdf]
    Doi Itap Factsheet Youth Engagement Final [pdf]

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