Name of organisation
Integrated Village Development Trust (IVDT) UK
Private and institutional donors through IVDT
Number of staff
4, plus volunteers
Number of visitors per year
Overall aims of the centre
To promote the protection, regeneration and conservation of mangrove in particular, and the environment generally.
Description of the centre
We have a small Eco-Centre at Madanpur which is used as a base for organizing the work, for training, meetings, etc., as well as providing a demonstration kitchen garden and pond. Most of our work is carried out in more distant areas, with a nature reserve, mangrove nurseries, and plantations alongside estuaries and creeks, and general tree nurseries and plantations almost everywhere in the area. Our education work is carried out in schools and communities across the project area, as are our grafting, composting and natural pesticide programmes.
Main CEPA work area
We have produced a range of teaching materials on mangroves in particular, and the environment more generally. In additional we publish “The Hental”, a regular environmental magazine for Eco-club members, and have broadcast episodes of Eco Radio programmes in Eastern Odisha. We work with schools and the community, and our aim is to raise environmental awareness and responsibility. In addition, we are working hard to improve the skills of observation and recording amongst schoolchildren and students.
Top three successes
Engaging the community in mangrove tree-planting and maintenance (reducing erosion, protecting against tidal surge, and building environmental sustainability); traditional scroll stories in education and awareness; sustainable kitchen gardens (improving family income and nutrition). Our most successful work is thanks mainly to serious community involvement. This is the most important lesson we have learnt, and one which is valued by those we work with, local communities, of course, but also by organisations such as the Odisha Forest Dept.
Top three challenges
It is a constant struggle to raise funds for our work, though the combination of environment and development has wide appeal in the UK. We have struggled in the past when we tried to impose approaches that were unfamiliar in India, and learnt that it is usually wisest to play to our partners’ strengths, and allow time for new ideas to be taken on board. We have always believed that encouraging communities to carry out the practical work is the most sustainable approach because it gives them ownership, but this is often hard in areas of widespread poverty – one way of helping this is taking advantage of government schemes wherever possible to help supplement people’s incomes.
Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; Running effective administration; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning.
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