The Eco-Sys Action Foundation teams up with local partners around the world to create long-lasting conservation programs that are sensitive to the needs of local people.
Programs include sending kids to school, checking up their health, planting trees and establishing micro-businesses. While the pilot project started in cheetah areas in Kenya, many actions have been taken with kids around the world including Hong Kong where a cartoon book has been created about the shark fin soup issue.
The foundation’s eco-detective orange sparrow mascot, Boopy, helps to introduce facts and solutions to kids and getting them involved in sustainable development.
Eco-Sys Action Foundation works closely with communities so that they can understand the benefits to protect their fauna and flora. Eco-Sys aims to send local kids to school, to provide health care and to establish a micro-economy through small businesses, as well as handicrafts purchased and distributed by Eco-Sys Action through its commercial division, Eco-6.
By providing communities with clinics, schools and other solutions to improve their livelihood and their economy, Eco-Sys Action helps them work for a better environment and more viable protection of their wildlife.
Eco-Sys Action looks at the big picture in areas where it develops projects by combining the environment, health, and education issues. Eco-Sys Action works with local partners to create long-lasting conservation programs that are sensitive to the needs of local people.
Another important side of Eco-Sys projects is that they aim for communities to be self-financing in the medium to long-term outside assistance or charity, but with self-respect and pride for the people concerned.
Understanding children’s power
Eco-Sys Action’s goals are usually to directly benefit the children in the areas where it works. They are an extremely important generation that in many cases will influence adults and soon decide on the environment’s future. Bringing education to those kids is a priority, but making sure that they are healthy is even higher on the agenda. Eco-Sys Action refuses to only spend efforts on wildlife when kids in villages around hardly reach their fifth year of age.
Eco-Sys Action partners with leading foundations around the world. Those organizations have in common their top scientific expertise as well as a wish to involve local communities on long-term solutions.
With these, Eco-Sys Action pioneers how conservation can be better adapted to the challenges of protecting wildlife in countries where poverty and other community problems are front and centre. Eco-Sys Action identifies the missing links needed to benefit the villages and ease pressure off their environment. All Eco-Sys Action projects are based on on-site travels and assessment.
Kids ready to fight with a little help
Believing in kids’ power and the wish to inspire more and more young people to get involved in conservation is also central in all Eco-Sys Action’s works. The set-up of a cartoon mascot, Boopy, and related stories shows a unique way of teaching while having fun for kids all over the world.
At the same time Eco-Sys Action checks the possibility to set up small businesses like beekeeping, handicraft manufacturing, etc. and organize small cooperatives that will be the base for enhancing the local economy, create jobs and advertise in a positive way the plea of wildlife.
A pilot project in Kenya
In its largest project to date, Eco-Sys Action has set up its organization in Nairobi, Kenya: Eco-Sys Wana Duma (literally Eco-Sys Cheetah Children). Through this Trust, the Eco-Sys Action Foundation will
- sponsor kids in areas which are home to a population of cheetahs
- develop micro-credit to encourage micro-businesses (beekeeping, handicraft, etc.)
- work on eco-actions with schools (tree planting, birds nesting, etc.)
- set up community activities (video shows on cheetahs, soccer tournaments, etc.)
The project has already started with 35 kids mostly orphaned from AIDS from the Wana Duma Children Project. What Eco-Sys Action brings them is not only school fees payment (when it applies) or shoes and uniform, but a thorough follow-up including health check, how they perform at school, study orientation, etc. The goal is to follow them and help them find a suitable job that can make them self-sufficient. It is also important for those kids to rediscover some pride and confidence in their harsh life.
Eco-Sys Action is also working on establishing a Cheetah Beekeeping concept that appeals to the community. A lot of small Eco-Sys Action franchises will also be opened through micro-credit. A percentage of the proceeds will go back directly to the education system.
Eco-Sys Action has teamed up with Action for Cheetah in Kenya (ACK) to link the project and show the villages involved that cheetahs are more valuable alive than dead.
Together with ACK, Eco-Sys Action has developed an exclusive range of handicraft products, some of the most important items being a watchband and a beaded hut box, sold together with a watch. This trendy concept product has been kindly supported by actress Isabella Rossellini. She fully understands how important it is to gain financial support for this project and to help communities living in conflict with cheetahs increase their economic power.
With its base in Nairobi, Eco-Sys Action wishes to increase the number of children benefiting of its Wana Duma project and also extend it to other areas of Kenya where cheetahs live. It shall also tremendously help ACK in its mission to save the last remaining (less than 1,000) cheetahs of Kenya. With a national census, an upcoming radio collar follow-up of eight cheetahs and related conflict solving efforts with farmers among other activities, ACK has helped people understand the stressful situation of cheetahs in this beautiful country.
What is the vision?
The global dream at Eco-Sys Action is that thousands of kids will have hope again and endangered species will be saved while communities around will live a better life.
One of the main goals is to establish eco-centres in China (China Eco-Centers or CEC). It would be franchised Centers where kids can learn about every environmental subject, from why there is pollution to why we need to recycle. Kids would also learn about their wildlife, China having wonderful biodiversity, which is very much threatened. CEC is also the door opened to the world where kids can learn about how other kids live in faraway countries and what their problems are. Studying other countries’ wildlife and how ecosystems interact with one another is also a major goal of the CEC.
The current new generation of kids in the world holds the key to nature’s future and Chinese kids have a major role to play. We, as adults, have the responsibility to help them in understanding problems, defining solutions, and taking action.
China is at the centre of our planet’s future. Because of its recent major developments and economic boom, it’s upper- and middle-class has grown tremendously.
Pollution is rampant in all major cities and is becoming a national priority. Glaciers are melting and becoming a major threat. Water problems are already highlighted by increased desertification. Demand for wood and palm oil used in consumer products has endangered forests in many countries, threatening major species like orangutans.
Legal unsustainable products like shark fin and bear’s bile are in higher demand every day with huge consequences on ecosystems. Illegal trade is fueled by the economic boom and threatens snow leopards (for their body parts), elephants (for their ivory), rhinos (for their horn to be used for medicinal purposes), among other animals.
Some countries easily blame China when they don’t do much for their wildlife, and some people say that the future is bleak. But there is still one major hope in fighting this trend: kids. Eco-Sys Action is looking for partners in Hong Kong and China to develop those China Eco-Centers as well as a centre in Hong Kong at a place already identified.
Dreaming of a better world. Acting now to build it up.