Eco Relief is a Non-Governmental Organisation that promotes ecosystem-based solutions for the integrated management of land, water and other environmental resources to facilitate a green economy that improves human well-being. The biodiversity that comprises ecosystems and the benefits they provide to humanity (ecosystem services) are the fundamental units for life support on our planet. Our activities cover two key ecosystems comprising Terrestrial Ecosystems and Aquatic Ecosystems; as they hold the foundation for the natural processes of climate regulation and play a key role for water quality, food security, flood protection and even drought control. We advocate for ecosystem-based approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation because they are readily accessible to the rural poor in developing countries and have proven to be cost-effective for implementation.
The Organisation was borne out of the concern that global economic development has come at the expense of enormous pressure on the health of our ecosystems and the drivers of these pressures include climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and unsustainable resource demand by people. While these have presented extensive risks to livelihood, global action hasn’t been profound on turning these risks into opportunities. By delivering initiatives that optimise the transformative power of integrated land and water resources management and adaptive capacity against climate change, we connect and support vulnerable communities to cope with these risks. This is how we frame the resolve to build capacity in the use of sustainable options for drivers of economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Our vision is to bridge the environment and human well-being. This comes on the heels of empowering people to have equitable and sustainable access to ecosystem services such as water, food, and energy; with minimal impact on the environment while developing the capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate changes resulting from their actions. At Eco Relief, we support vulnerable communities Manage the Unavoidable and Avoid the Unmanageable! Our strength lies in the partnership we build with different stakeholders along the sustainable development value chain from policy development to project delivery – including inter-governmental organisations, donors, NGOs, government agencies, corporate institutions, municipalities and private individuals.
Our organisation operates as a network of entitities with a common interest in promoting healthy ecosystems as drivers of economic growth and sustainable development. Key advantages of being part of this network include:
- Joint design of knowledge products to promote and operationalise the integration of water security and climate resilience into development planning and decision-making processes.
- Efficiency in aid intervention – though joint development of programmes and capacity building for resource mobilisation along different segments on the development value chain.
- Coordinated monitoring of performance indicators and benchmarks, consolidated feedback to donor organisations, and data integrity to inform policy decisions.
- Strengthening of initiative and campaigns towards achieving the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
Eco Relief conducts research with grassroots partners to identify communities in critical need of development intervention. This is followed by consultative meetings with community representatives so that their participation and inclusion in framing desired outcome enables us identify the best solutions that fit their local context. We then catalyse action through design of tailor-made programmes or projects and the raising of funds to finance implementation.
Our unique approach to harness the power of networking with local NGOs, companies, government agencies and private individuals as a platform for consultations, dialogue, knowledge sharing and one-to-one engagement with recipient communities is to ensure ownership and sustainability of all development outcome. Our strategy therefore constitutes a paradigm shift: we are moving from the Business As Usual methodology of packaging development aid and delivering to target groups without their participation, to tailoring aid that reflect the local perspectives and circumstances of the community in need.
We aim to promote water security and climate resilience development as the much needed pathway for poverty alleviation in a Green Economy; cutting across agriculture, energy, fisheries, health, industrial production and other uses. Our focus is on society’s most vulnerable group of people comprising:
- Marginalised People
- Smallholder farmers
- Indigenous Peoples