Local Champions

Published: 15 July 2021
Last edited: 03 December 2021

Having local champions is key to give thrust to the initiative & for the communities to own it. This also leads to rapid spread of such conservation successes & sustained motivation. Several deliberations were held initially with the communities of the three pilot villages in order to increase awareness about the impending ecological threat & the advantages of integrated approaches at the community & stakeholder level to manage the resources collectively and efficiently. During these deliberations, local champions were identified from each village. Though many interested individuals came forward, it was Mr Ivan Jimo in Sukhai village, Mr K. Vikuto Zhimomi in Ghukhuyi village and Mr Kakishe Muru and Mr Bokato Muru who were in constant touch with us & took keen interest in what the project had to offer and most importantly understood the reasons behind it.  We put them in touch with like minded leaders of the communities carrying out similar conservation activities in NorthEast India. There was transfer of knowledge when we invited other community leaders to the CCA as well as organised the travel of our local champions to witness other successfull case studies. We have also involved them on several online as well as offline platforms where they could speak about their conservation initiatives.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Enforcement and prosecution
Management planning
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

In order to support and motivate them, we continuosly had an open communication with them to tackle all the challenges on the way. Continuous motivation from our side was one of the enabling factor that lead to the local champions mobilising community members and explaining concepts & problems in simple ways giving easy to understand examples that people relate to.

Lessons learned

The involvement of communities, through local champions and stimulating local initiatives, has been key for successful mainstreaming of nature in sustainable development and enhanced awareness of sustainability.

 

Based on all this exposure the local champions as a part of their own grasroot organisation and without TERI's help has submitted their first independent proposal to the UNDP and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change of India funded project titled 'Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures(OECMs) initiatives geared towards helping these communities.

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