Empowering People2020-04-02T13:36:04+00:00

Freshwater

Empowering People

Supporting grassroots movements and local communities is fundamental to Synchronicity Earth’s approach. Many of the threats communities face from the transformation of the world’s freshwater ecosystems are related to those which negatively impact freshwater biodiversity.

Around the world, grassroots organisations are working to conserve wetland ecosystems and defend local communities’ rights to freshwater. But grassroots capacity for freshwater species conservation is generally low, particularly in the tropical, high biodiversity basins where this programme is focused.

Image © Synchronicity Earth

Our programme aims to empower local people as managers of freshwater ecosystems by:

Supporting communities to establish and manage freshwater conservation areas.

We are working with local organisations who are engaging communities in developing conservation areas in freshwater habitats which also benefit local people. This approach has become popular for marine ecosystems, but are partners are showing it can be just as effective in freshwater systems, increasing the abundance and diversity of freshwater species while increasing local incomes and protecting the freshwater ecosystem.

Empowering women in the management and governance of freshwater ecosystems.

Across the world, women often play critical roles in providing, managing and safeguarding water resources. However, women’s participation in decision-making over water resources remains limited in almost all of these places. Solving today’s most pressing water issues depends on not just the participation, but the leadership, experience, and guidance of women.

Securing local peoples’ rights to use, manage and govern freshwater ecosystems.

Evidence suggests that secure community-based tenure is essential, not only for maintaining livelihoods and social and cultural identity but also for meeting conservation and climate change objectives. Water law reforms have largely neglected community-based management of freshwater ecosystems. Supporting work to establish and advance community rights to freshwater can be a powerful mechanism for advancing both social justice and environmental conservation.

“People depend on the river for fishing and for farming, in fact, life itself revolves around the river system, so if this system is broken or damaged, it destroys the livelihoods of all these people living in the area.”

Ange Asanzi, Africa Program Associate, International Rivers