Approaches and Strategies for Change
1.Putting people at the center of our change process: People, are the key to Conservation – we are all integral to the environment in which we live. The only way to effectively restore, protect, conserve and manage the environment is by working with people, building partnerships and mobilizing action. Ethical values and a sense of spirit are essential for sustainability.
2.Holistic Approach – The environment is shaped by a number of factors including geography and biophysical factors, the social, economic and by political actions and policies. AEPA takes a holistic approach to environmental management and recognizes that actions must address all these factors. We engage in cross cutting issues such as poverty alleviation, gender equality, youth, social justice and HIV/AIDS.
3.Adopt Integrated Watershed Approach: AEPA takes watershed as an ideal unit for a realistic change as Integrated Watershed Management (IWM) is an approach that recognizes and operates based on the interconnectedness of ecology, economy and society.
4.Promoting Change through Model and Evidence: AEPA's primary concern is not widening its reach, but building replicable models of true change that are equitable, sustainable and replicable. It engages change agents and facilitates a breakthrough change in policy and practice through demonstrating models and evidences of change from its efforts. So, building concrete environmental sustainability solutions through a combination of field-based projects, advocacy, action research, information and knowledge dissemination, education and awareness work is a key approach to change.
5.Coaching and Incubation of Change: Change is like a baby. It needs incubation and coaching to grow fully as desired. DfA adopts "Coaching for Community Change" approach to create, drive and sustain the change process. 'Community coaching is an adaptive process tailored to unique community contexts to guide systemic change via participant empowerment. Coaching supports and builds on the best in the community and often leads to catalytic change.' Mounting evidences demonstrated that coaching is an extremely effective tool for helping groups reframe their operating systems, challenge assumptions, unleash new ideas, transition to new leadership and negotiate partnerships—critical competencies for successful community building.'
6.Local Capacity Building and Participation: AEPA works in a decentralize context, i.e., in villages and watersheds, progressive empowerment and development of local capacity is critical for communities to successfully lead their own development and ensure sustainability. In the context of AEPA, community empowerment is to mean the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, and hold accountable institutions that affect their lives. Thus, local capacity building is a key to the success of AEPA's decentralized development initiative that entails devolution of resources, responsibilities and accountability. Hands-on trainings, knowledge exchanges, devolving resources and strengthening and creating local level institutions are some of the key capacity building actions that AEPA will undertake in its efforts of building local capacity.
7.Participation/Empowerment: Involving local communities, civil society organisations and indigenous peoples in the planning and execution of field programmes taking into account their knowledge, skills as well as cultural and socio‐economic needs. Organizing “people-focused” activities that protect and enhance their local environment, ecosystems and productivity based on natural resources. Empowering people to protect their environment by supporting them to take action and control over access to natural resources through sound long‐term resource management
8.Linking conservation with livelihoods Improvement: AEPA links conservation with livelihoods development with the recognizing that conserving and managing natural resources is essential in the fight against poverty and that the poor are heavily dependent on natural resources and particularly vulnerable to environmental change. Linking conservation with livelihoods is a key to sustainability and adoption of conservation innovation.
9.Partnership: AEPA strives to build partnerships with other organisations, governments, business and local communities to enhance impact and effectiveness in its interventions.
10.Gender Sensitivity: AEPA will support the critical role played by women in the conservation and management of natural resources as well as initiate and strengthening policies and interventions that minimize gender inequalities. It will strengthen the role of women in natural resource management and support women to gain access to ecosystems services and livelihoods