Communication for sustainable development of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve
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The approach of a sustainable development demands strong cultural changes on a global scale that allow solving the social and environmental problems of today and learn to live in a sustainable way. Before this challenge, the Yasuní Programme thought about how to develop a communication that was basing on its axes, human rights, intercultural participation, approach of genre, equity, joint responsibility, and was managing to strengthen or generate networks, work places and debate and political incidence on different topics from the territory of the Reserve of the Yasuní Biosphere in a context marked by the existence of environmental crimes like the illegal extraction of wood or meat of mount, the petroleum development, the nonperformance of norms for the handling of solid and liquid garbage, crimes committed by public, private institutions and by the citizen or common city dweller.
The Program proposed to obtain a change in the antagonistic relations for others of collaboration, with a participative approach that was making the success and sustainability possible. The strengthening encouraged the organization and leadership, the training, the collaborative work, and the creation of proper communication products. Also the inclusion of the local interests in the planning and decision making on the actions for developing was facilitated.
The big cultural diversity demanded the search of mechanisms and spaces so that the different indigenous, rural, half-caste, urban and rural cultures could express themselves in a region where diverse native languages (kichwa, shuar and waotededo) coexist. Also it implied a comprehension of the spaces and the ways of there communicating, the customs and the type of knowledge that every human group establishes as valid. Initially, more "western" spaces were used as workshops, in which precisely, there was demonstrated the need to be provided with translators. From this, the communication flew and consensuses developed.
Purpose of the activity
A sustainable development approach has as principle to seek to meet the needs of the present without mortgaging of the future generations. This demands strong cultural changes at the global level that allow solving social and environmental problems of today and learn to live sustainably. Faced with this challenge, the Yasuní program sought to develop a communication that substantiate their guiding shafts, human rights, participation, a multicultural approach of gender, equality, co-responsibility, and managed to strengthen or build networks, areas of work and debate and advocacy on various subjects from the territory of the Yasuní Biosphere reserve.
The program recognized it did not have the proper tools to apply its principles during the implementation phase in the field and made the effort to establish a real, horizontal and transparent dialogue with other cultures. The communication was intended to be ambitious and include a dimension that integrates the global problems and the need for action at the local level. With a comprehensive vision, the program worked for a sustainable and socio-cultural development aimed at the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, within the framework of Good Living.
Original issue addressed by the activity
The management and implementation of Joint Programmes is complex and sensitive, especially in terms of the Yasuní program, since it provided a diversity of actors, both the State and the private sector and civil society. There were also many sensitive issues such as conservation and development, the situation of the isolated indigenous peoples, trafficking in wildlife, oil extraction, the illegal extraction of wood, among others, as well as distinct agendas and proposals on the same territory.
An initial diagnosis determined that communities and local Governments had a partial perspective of reality; the Yasuní program thought important to show a broader view, in a context marked by the existence of environmental offences such as the illegal extraction of wood or Bush meat; oil exploitation that does not meet social and environmental parameters in its activities of exploration, extraction and transportation of crude oil; and in breach of rules for the management of solid and liquid, waste crimes committed by public and private institutions and by the citizens or a common citizen.
Strategy / approach chosen to address the issue
The Program proposed to obtain a change in the antagonistic relations for others of collaboration, like result of designing participative strategies suitable for the interested parts. The efforts of the Program Yasuní to contribute with an approach that was making possible the success and the sustainability of the interventions that were translated in a change of the approach of development towards the construction of capacities and not of infrastructure. This beginning was the base of the actions of communication. The strengthening and leadership was encouraged, the training, the collaborative work, the creation of proper communication products. Also there was facilitated the inclusion of the local interests in the planning and decision making on the actions for developing. The big cultural diversity of the Reserve of the Yasuní Biosphere demanded the search of mechanisms and spaces so that the different indigenous, rural, half-caste, urban and rural cultures could express themselves, in a region where there diverse native languages (kichwa, shuar and waotededo) coexist. Also it implied a comprehension of the spaces and the ways of there communicating, the customs and the type of knowledge and knowledges that every human group establishes as valid. Initially, more "western" spaces were used as workshops, in which precisely, there was demonstrated the need to be provided with translators. From this, the communication flew and consensuses developed. The translation and the respect in the times of other cultures were indispensable for the decision making.
Implementation of the strategy / chosen approach
At the end of the mid-term evaluation, one of the first basic lessons learned was the Yasuní program should handle a joint image: removed the logos of agencies and standardized the use of one that would represent the programme, the Ministry of the environment (MAE) and the MDG-F, in all products and processes, activities and communications. What may seem trivial meant a big change in the communication and facilitated the perception of the program by members and external stakeholders. On the basis of a Communication Plan, consensual mechanisms were generated for external communication, such as newsletters published in the web page of the MAE, and the constant production of printed material, audiovisual and electronic: documents, books, posters, campaigns, videos and radio spots, among others. A good relationship with the national and local media with a continuous approach that was not looking for position program, but the concept of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve was established. This relationship began with a press conference, in which shared the actions of the programme. The strategy to provide information to the local media was very positive as established alliances, at both local and national level, and enabled an experiential knowledge through field visits to the Yasuní Biosphere reserve with which the local, national and international journalists found the beauty of the Yasuní, management initiatives and the effort that people capsized in the projects, and dissemination of all actions of the Yasuní program.
The Yasuní programme established clear rules and simple internal communication and information channels, with a direct and timely information exchange. The coordination of the programme used various mechanisms, such as written agreements and records that were generated after each meeting and circulated immediately by electronic means to be reviewed and approved. This granted the communication and follow-up process. Always sought to give more time to the actors and institutions involved so they issued criteria; However, it also demanded ability and punctuality. In this way, all actors in the various bodies would know the progress achieved and could also support various activities and generate alliances. Those communities that had a history of prior social organization, benefited from the existing spaces to socialize and develop projects. Participation is motivated through assemblies and meetings, reported on progress, decisions were validated, and commitments were made prioritized actions.
We sought to raise awareness and influencing the formation of local actors (from schools, communities, and local administrators) with regard to the conservation of biodiversity and the responsibility of all and all to care for the environment. He worked with leaders and leaders of communities, young students, park guards and teachers. Ultimately, the needs of various institutions of the State and of local actors came together.
Whereas a complex context, the Yasuní program he led a campaign of prevention of environmental crimes that emerged within the Management Committee of the YBR of the sustainable life Media Bureau. Actions and products that were generated from the environmental crimes prevention campaign includes a series of elaborate communication products (spots of radio and television, gigantographies, among others) which are supplemented by inter-agency work, with the establishment of monitoring mechanisms, support material to Control forest units, as well as the construction of the Repeater antenna and a new river transport for the patrol boat.
Results and Impacts
One of the fundamental achievements of the Yasuní Programme is the recognition, equal, and all populations of the reservation by the Committee of management of the reserve biosphere Yasuní (CGRBY). During the last Assembly, the Waorani were more numerous than the Kichwa and Shuar; However, groups with less representation also managed a space in the CGRBY.
Local populations perceived firsthand knowledge and culture were considered and valued. The communities had the opportunity to share their experiences; found a higher level of self-worth, confidence in personal abilities to sustain the project, overcoming potential obstacles and walk towards a future better.
Some examples are the women of Challwa Mikuna, the Association of recyclers of Orellana and youth leaders Youth Foundation (YLF), who participated in various fairs and workshops where taught to others, shared processes and faced various personal and professional challenges. One aspect that stood out in the youth leadership Foundation was his perception of having greater security and freedom of action by having the confidence of organizations and authorities with whom they worked. Their responsibilities increased gradually, at the same time that the momentum with which the goals rose. They now have more tools and funds allocated by the participatory budget of the municipality. They also had the support of the Yasuní program to explore various forms of communication in their work of environmental education, and the opportunity to work in collaboration with other organizations of the Yasuní program. This represents one of the cases in which the program knew empower strong leadership.
Young people from all the Ecuador came together to the highest national authorities and prestigious academics to know better the meaning of the YBR, and expressed their commitment through art (photo competition) and replicated these actions in its various provinces. The local media understood and adopted the concept of the YBR, in its richness as both natural and cultural heritage.
Experiences and programming on the banks of the river: a systematization of the Yasuni Program in Ecuador.
The program culminated in January 2012.
Potential replication / application
The experience of the Yasuní program is valid when an intervention intends to use participatory methods, creative and fun inspired by an approach to adult education, where what is learned must be, and be seen as useful and relevant to everyday life. When you want to appreciate the local culture product knowledge and experience. The development of communication tools, such as the Challwa Mikuna food recipes is a simple option that affects directly and pragmatic to be an alternative food for the local population.
It applies also if you want to delete the vision of a beneficiary and avoid a paternalistic and condescending connotation, and talk about the degree of appropriation, in practice, social actors with the ability to exercise their rights, and generate social relations and collaboration between the people involved.
The Yasuní program worked hard last year to strengthen the empowerment of young people through the 2011 Yasuni campaign, which generated a Declaration and commitment of young people for the preservation of the Yasuní Biosphere reserve. Youth strengthened his knowledge of the natural and cultural heritage of the reserve and established a network of youth organizations throughout the country. They generated the following projects:
- Video of the Yasuní Campaign of 2011.
- Photoreport competition “Yasuní, a Window to the world”
Communicational Products of the Campaign for the prevention of environmental environmental crimes.
- Radial wedges
- TV spots
- Printed products
Primer "Discover the aquatic animals of the Amazon".
(NOTE: these products are on the cd of final products delivered to Roshni at Yachana Lodge)