About Us

The Altai Project protects natural landscapes and wildlife and supports Indigenous peoples and traditional lifeways in Eurasia. We conduct our work through community collaborations, biodiversity initiatives, and targeted campaigns.

How we work

The Altai Project works to achieve our mission through financial support, strategic exchanges of expertise and technology, strengthening protected areas (including sacred sites), and amplifying the voices of frontline partners and experts through storytelling and advocacy.

We support conservation efforts, wildlife research and protection (snow leopards, raptors, Altai argali sheep), protection of sacred lands and traditional and spiritual lifeways, and careful renewable energy infrastructure development.

Throughout our programs, we engage with Indigenous peoples. Not only do we support their efforts to govern their traditional natural territories, we believe that Indigenous peoples hold the key to living in balance with nature—a key that must not be lost. Protection of sacred lands and strengthening traditional knowledge are priorities.

In collaboration with other international nonprofits, we support and participate in activism to prevent or mitigate potentially destructive development that threaten ecosystems, communities, and biological diversity. Our partners are generally people and organizations in the local community, and we strive to maintain long-term relationships.

We are unique

The Altai Project is the only international nonprofit interconnecting nature conservation with sustainable development, Indigenous communities, and cultural heritage and facilitating these ap­proaches in Eurasia Because we are small and dynamic, we can be flexible to constantly changing conditions and opportunities in the larger region.

Thanks to our personal connections in the region and decades building expertise, we can leverage our funding by supporting effective nonprofits and frontline defenders whom we know are trustworthy and effective.

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What is Altai?

The Greater Altai Ecoregion is of global importance. It stretches across parts of Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia.

Complex structure for a strawbale at Bobrovka

Our History

Throughout its 25 years work, The Altai Project has constantly evolved for the protection of natural and cultural heritage in Eurasia.


Meet The Director

Jennifer Castner, the director of The Altai Project, brings years of expertise, fundraising, grantmaking, and passion to her work.

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The Altai Project/Earth Island Institute has a 4-star rating from CharityNavigator.org

We are a project of Earth Island Institute (EII). Earth Island Institute is a non-profit, public interest, membership organization that supports people who are creating solutions to protect our shared planet.

Earth Island Institute develops and supports projects that counteract threats to the biological and cultural diversity that sustain the environment. Through education and activism, these projects promote the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the Earth.

Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 by legendary environmentalist David Brower as an innovative solution to this dilemma. Rather than create dozens of separate non-profit groups with the same basic administrative needs, Earth Island acts as an umbrella organization, providing individual projects with the freedom to develop new initiatives by offering a wide range of professional services, from fiscal administration and program management to office space and equipment.

Earth Island's Project Network consists of over 80 projects worldwide (see the Project Directory for program and contact information).

Charity Navigator awarded Earth Island Institute 4 out of a possible 4 stars. A 4-star rating indicates that Earth Island Institute adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Charity Navigator is America's premier independent charity evaluator; they help donors make intelligent giving decisions by providing in-depth, objective ratings and analysis of the financial health, accountability, and transparency  of America's largest charities.

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