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Sustaining eco enterprises in India

19-Jan-2007

Fisherwomen of Palavakkam produce puppets with the help of ngo PAVAI: the puppets are now being showcased by a German museum. The Bio Resource Center established a spirulina unit, with the assistanc...

Fisherwomen of Palavakkam produce puppets with the help of ngo PAVAI: the puppets are now being showcased by a German museum. The Bio Resource Center established a spirulina unit, with the assistance of women groups in Nadukkuppam. They aim to supply school children in the adjoining areas. Fish and shrimp picklers sourcing the raw materials locally, successfully brought it to the local markets, assisted by PLANT. 

What makes one eco-enterprise successful and another one fail? How can NGOs and CBOs strengthen these initiatives and the links to overall ecosystem conservation objectives? That were the objectives of the one day workshop in Nagercoil.

Many small scale micro-enterprises have been developed under the Green Coast Project in India. Green Coast aims at livelihood restoration through the sustainable rehabilitation and management of coastal ecosystems. Yet the benefits of conservation interventions are often accrued in the long run. That’s why Green Coast partners seek to create financial incentives for the participating communities in the short or medium term. 

Eco-enterprises turn out to be a potentially successful instrument. Moreover, they play a key role in enhancing community resilience to natural disasters as people diversify their skills. The eco-enterprises provide alternative sources of livelihoods. And, as many of these enterprises are led by women and dalits, these also contribute to empowering marginalized groups. 

In the first session the Green Coast partners proudly presented ‘their’ eco-enterprise initiatives, from coconut leaf mat making to fish drying and mushroom culture. Partners explained the adopted techniques and shared their difficulties. The second session identified gaps in the existing capacities of the partners, like marketing skills and financial management.

Conclusion was that there is a need to support these initiatives through capacity building and skills upgrading. The partners developed an action plan under the Green Coast to strengthen the eco-enterprises by e.g. networking, exchange visits to share ideas and technologies and capacity building workshops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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