eArth Samvarta Foundation aims to save the planet, one river at a time. Our project in Community Driven River Conservation is dedicated to the great Saryu (Ghaghra) River, which is home to the majestic National Aquatic Animal of India- the Gangetic Dolphins. Our conservation strategy harnesses the natural relationship of the local community with the river ecosystem.
At present, the relationship is marred by confrontation and threats like hunting, poaching, and dumping of waste and toxic effluents. Additionally, wildlife crime in the Saryu river ecosystem is mostly poverty driven. Keeping in mind the development aspirations of the local communities, eSF’s River Driven Sustainable Development Strategy empowers the local community to convert this relationship of confrontation into a relationship of symbiosis with the river.
Converting confrontation into symbiosis
Community Driven River Conservation Program The Model
Our River Driven Sustainable Development Strategy links the development aspirations of the local community with the conservation of the river ecosystem. In doing so, eSF empowers the local community with sustainable livelihoods that are driven by conservation goals.
The Community Driven Development Strategy can be visualized as conservation of the Saryu River ecosystem at the core along with opportunities for community empowerment through:
- Human resource development
- Energy Access
- Food Security
- Health & Sanitation
- Waste Management
Components of the Community Driven River Conservation
Four Pillars Of Community Empowerment
Our model also strives to seek strong representation of the local communities in local decision making and in gaining a voice with policy makers at various levels.
Pillar 1: Education & Training
Educate the local community to understand the ecological threats to the river, solutions to save the river and benefits of doing so.
Pillar 2: Resources, facilities and tools for the communities
Support the local community with the resources they need for protecting the river. Empower them to be a voice for the River and its wildlife.
Pillar 3: Incentives and Rewards for sustaining local stewardship
Encourage sustained participation of the local community through mutually augmenting benefits for the ecosystem as well as the community.
Pillar 4: Legislative and Policy support that enable communities to participate in conservation
Ground level insights from the local community help policy makers and political representative respond to their constituents.
Ultimately, with a vision to turn confrontation into symbiosis, eSF is ensuring that community development and ecological conservation are not competing against each other but are mutually reinforcing.