Species protection through development work
In order to successfully implement species conservation, it is necessary – in addition to education – to take measures securing people’s livelihood and protecting nature at the same time. Coexistence with wild animals can only succeed if people have enough to eat and feel safe. Often, there is not only a lack of knowledge for that but also a lack of recognition of one’s own potential and the opportunities to put it into practice.
“Village communities must be given the chance and opportunities to push forward their own development, and to do that in harmony with the ecological characteristics of their environment. That is the only way how sustainability can be achieved. We can actively support them in that.”
Lars Gorschlueter, Foundation Founder
We bring together all relevant members of the villages – village councils and village development committees – and work out strategies with them on how to change their situation. In workshops, we teach new skills and provide tools so that they no longer have to rely on selling concessions to trophy hunters, for example, but can develop other – nature-conserving – measures to generate income. They learn new methods of making development sustainable to nature, use their creative space, and plan with their own resources.
Community Based Natural Resource Management
To build new capacity that enables people to take action themselves, we developed the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) program, which has now been running in Botswana for nearly a decade. Training workshops develop new skills for community-based organizing, as well as financial and project management, e.g. to run their own ecotourism businesses or establish sustainable organic agriculture. That way many jobs will be created that incorporate the idea of species conservation from the very beginning. Capacity building as well as the joint development and implementation of activities ensure that village communities develop a strong interest in their success, feel responsible and become self-sufficient in the long term.
Improving rural livelihoods
Communities staying afloat in the past through trophy hunting tourism now generate revenue e.g. through community campsites for ecotourists. Ecotourism generates 40 times as much revenue as trophy hunting and employs almost only locals. Communities can also become self-sufficient by producing their own food and selling it to safari lodges and neighbouring communities. All of these activities promote a harmonious living together in rural communities adjacent to wildlife sanctuaries, as they add value to natural resources and wildlife which are no longer seen as a threat by the people involved. With the increase in community income, social service facilities such as health centres and educational institutions are subsequently created. Wildlife conservation is also given a new emphasis. We are working with village councils to develop conservation programs for wildlife in the area and projects that reduce human-wildlife conflicts.
Leading the way
The first communities have now taken a pioneering role. Other communities in neighbouring regions want to take up the ideas and ways of working in order to create measures to generate new income in their villages themselves. One example of this is the Mababe Community Camps set up by SAVE, the profits of which are fed into local social projects. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, the camps are unfortunately currently closed – we hope to reopen soon!
We can do more
With your help, we are constantly working on a sustainable local community structure.