Key to success /competitive edge and challenges
What is good/special/unique about “The Institute for Enhanced Livelihood”?
(a) There* are many strategies, plans and programmes in the world today for better managing the world environment, at the international, regional and national levels with, as one of the ultimate goals, sustainable development and poverty eradication. One of the identified limitations/obstacles in implementing them is lack of human and financial capacities. It results that most of these documents stay in offices’ shelves and are not translated into on-the-ground work, provision of employment and increased livelihoods.
(b) Even when financial resources exist/are not limiting, people who are aware of these funds, or who can draft suitable projects for funding, or who can follow up with implementation are lacking. There seems to be a divorce between implementation, available funding, plan of action, technical support. There is also a divorce between the actual people who implement the actions and the people who participate in training workshops.
(c) The Institute and its network of partners will continue assisting the clients during the implementation phase and thus follow through on commitments.
(d) The Institute endeavors to link knowledge and application by connecting people who have the knowledge and experience to the people in needs, and by making accessible the vast knowledge available in the world to people who need to apply that knowledge. In doing so, the Institute will contextualize training into national and regional realities.
(e) The approach adopted by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity** for the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas was developed to address these limitations, but they currently focus on a small fraction of the society i.e. government representatives/ POWPA focal points, while the Institute will work with regional organizations as well as government, organizations and indigenous and local communities representatives. The Institute will devote significant attention to school children and the youth by proposing ways of integrating features of green economy into school and university curricula.
(f) The Institute will identify areas (countries, programmes / projects, governments, communities, societies) where there are pressing needs for both human, institutional and financial capacities to develop and implement policies, programmes and projects that should lead to human well-being and not stop at the conservation of biodiversity. Many of these areas have already been identified in various documents such as the reports of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), national and regional reports under the MEAs.
(g) The Institute for Enhanced Livelihood integrates a sustainability dimension by maintaining some momentum following the training workshops, inter alia through the establishment of mechanisms for ongoing mentoring and support, and linkages with school and university curricula.
(h) It is a light organization, relying on human contacts through networking. As a network, it will be useful to recipients i.e. trainees but also to resource persons who will share their expertise and learn about and from other members. The structure of the |Institute is mainly horizontal, with very thin hierarchy between the founders, the advisory board and the other members of the network. Such a structure promotes democracy, and participatory approach. Thus the effectiveness of the Institute will depend greatly on the capacity of the core group and the good will of resource persons to interact within the network, and its strength will rely heavily on the ability to mobilize human and financial resources.
(i) “The Institute for Enhanced Livelihood” undertakes capacity-building activities, not in a vacuum. It responds to clearly identified and immediate requirements of countries/regions to address their short and long-term needs for better livelihoods while they are striving to implement regional and multilateral environmental agreements, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the UN Framework Climate Change Convention, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, other biodiversity related international and regional conventions, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
(j) In carrying out its activities, the Institute contributes to poverty alleviation and hopefully, when activities are considered at the regional level, to regional peace.
- In order to achieve its goals, the Institute articulates its activities around the 6 Cs, ingredients of success in enhancing livelihoods and implementing multilateral environmental agreements i.e. capital, capacity, commitment, communication, cooperation and coordination. Commitment, sense of networking and synergy, and efficiency (to do the maximum with minimum resources) are the main values of the Institute. The Institute will put forward its values, and the commitment, integrity and reputation of its core members and its advisory board to strengthen and maintain the trust that the clients and funders need to have. It will work in a transparent manner and disseminate information about its plans, operations and achievements widely through its website, other communication means including social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter, brochures and presentations in meetings. The composition of the advisory board and of the Steering Committee will be very crucial as it will have to include people of outstanding reputation who share the vision and values of the Institute and have various perspectives on capacity building needs and processes and complementary skills in particular for fund raising and communication
- There are some challenges worth noting. They include:
- (a) the fact that capacity needs are only a part of the problem; political will is an underlying and critical factor for livelihood;
- (b) lack of basic infrastructure e.g., internet capabilities in recipient countries;
- (c) that for distance learning, it may be difficult to contextualize local with general; and
- (d) that because courses require a time commitment, not all ‘trainees’ will have time
*The bullets from (a) to (f) are based on a study carried out by TNC (?) in preparation for the e-learning modules on PAs available on the CBD website at http://www.cbd.int/protected/e-learning/
**The President of “Institute” led that work