CEO’s Report 2010

Charlene Hewat

Charlene Hewat

Over the past decade uncontrolled environmental destruction has led to a loss of livelihood options and capacities and a consequent increase in food insecurity.  Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, local energy and fuel wood solutions and more sustainable agricultural options are all desperately needed by poor and vulnerable rural and peri-urban households across Southern Africa.

The environment is shaped by geography and biophysical factors, by social, economic and political actions and policies.  Environment Africa takes a holistic approach to environmental management, recognizing that its actions must address all these factors so as to achieve sustainable development.  Environment Africa addresses cross cutting issues such as poverty alleviation, gender equality, social justice, disability issues, children and youths’ rights and also HIV and AIDS issues.

Environment Africa’s programmes and interventions cover key areas of sustainable use of natural resources which include soil and water conservation, training of trainers (TOT) and training for transformation (T4T), establishment of local by-laws and a comprehensive plan for disaster preparedness that sets up and strengthens local Environment Action Group (EAG’s) and supports them to becoming local institutions.

Environment Africa is truly an African organization with humble beginnings.  Today it works in many parts of Southern Africa including Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique and has established international links in Europe, USA and Australia.

Environment Africa has a deep understanding of the African Way.  We have learnt that in the long term AID is not the solution for our people and our continent and that we need to move from AID to TRADE.  To this, Environment Africa is promoting the concept of PPCP’s, Private, Public, Community Partnerships and it is our belief that this is the future for sustainable development in Southern Africa.

This new and innovative funding approach to conservation and communities in Africa has been launched through the Africa Green Fund initiative where countries and smaller localized areas are establishing local Green Funds such as the Victoria Falls Green Fund, to enable the implementation of projects at a local level.  This will enable the uplifting of communities and the protection of the environment in the long term as we understand that the key to success is about ownership and empowerment.  This initiative truly promotes the concept of PPCP’s as the way forward for Africa and unlocks the keys to empowerment and ownership at the local levels.

“Give a man a fish you feed him today, Teach a man to fish and you feed him until the fish run out.  Teach a man to breed fish, you build a business, sustain a community for life and ensure the survival of a species” – Charlene Hewat