Founded by Sara Lara as an initiative in 2004, Women for Conservation empowers and partners with women around the globe to protect endangered wildlife and their habitats. With its work initiated and primarily focused on rural communities in Colombia, the organization collaborates with local women’s groups to provide conservation education, environmentally sustainable economic opportunities, and access to family planning. In addition to benefiting more than 1,000 women, these projects have helped to protect over 50 endangered species at five critical project sites with astounding levels of biodiversity.
Throughout her career, Lara was inspired by great women doing extraordinary conservation work in their countries, leading her to create Women for Conservation. The organization seeks to encourage women of all ages to take part in protecting nature and to become involved in conservation – a field that has often excluded and neglected the voices of women.
“Over the years, we have faced different challenges when working to create opportunities for women,” said Lara. “But we always moved forward, implementing projects that allowed us to talk about issues such as family planning, economic empowerment, and saving wildlife.”
During the summer of 2019, Lara decided to pursue her dream of fully dedicating herself to Women for Conservation and established the organization as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Virginia. She looks forward to working with women around the world to advance environmental education, to support their involvement in policies that benefit land conservation and wildlife protection, and to help them be heard and seen – using the organization as a platform to promote their work.
“Many women face abuse in different ways and suffer in silence, similar to how the Earth is being exploited,” said Lara. “Through Women for Conservation, we seek to create positive change and to have a space where women can feel safe to speak, to act, and to get involved. I have seen firsthand the recovery of endangered species when the whole community comes together to help nature. We are now facing an unprecedented rate of species extinctions, largely due to habitat loss caused by humans; it is only by working with people, especially with women, that we can find the solution. We invite you to join our cause and thank you for your support, for being part of this new phase, and for caring for nature.”