Ecological entrepreneurs, an alternative future, with alternative actions…
For almost 8 years Eco-Alianza has been exploring ways to create and strengthen ties with the different sectors of Loreto, with the aim of developing this community through the conservation and wise use of natural resources, that is Ecological Entrepreneurs.
Initially, these links were motivated by the need to protect and preserve our natural and cultural environment through environmental education and coordinated work with different governmental institutions.
Through the years we realized that something was missing — it was not only a question of conserving, but of promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. But how could we go about supporting this?
A possible solution
Initial efforts began with a publicity campaign to promote responsible consumption and resource use, particularly among the fishing sector.
Much effort and time were invested in these actions, but it became apparent that promoting conservation and regularization within the fishing sector, through workshops and trainings to promote the valuing of natural resources, was not enough.
Disseminating information to the community of Loreto to support responsible fishermen still was not closing the circle so that fishermen could improve their earnings if they acted responsibly and sold their catch locally.
After six years of development, a new strategy has taken shape — one that focuses on a new idea, a new concept that could take us down a different path and offer the possibility of different outcomes.
The strategy change
Instead of focusing on showing fishermen how overfishing impacts the fishery negatively, the new strategy focuses on creating positive opportunities to develop ideas that diversify and supplement their income, Ecological Entrepreneurs:
A program for providing customized advice towards creating and developing profitable activities in addition to fishing, their main activity.
In this sense, we want to be clear that our intention is not to eliminate fishing activity, as it represents a commercial activity that is important, with traditional and cultural relevance in the community.
What we are interested in is providing fishing families with other sources of income — activities that build respect for the resource by showing fishermen how to take advantage of it through activities such as nature tourism.
“A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
So, this is how Eco-Alianza arrived at this point, where our mission has been evolved and reinforced. We are now starting with a new project: a business incubator for Ecological Entrepreneurs aimed at helping entrepreneurs become competitive by generating alternative economies, under a model of sustainable local development. The project also has the intent of reducing the current negative pressure on the local environment. As this stage of the project, we already have six entrepreneurs involved, taking important steps towards capacity-building, and developing their ideas of enterprises into economically viable and environmentally sustainable businesses.
The process is long and requires commitment to achieve the desired success, but we are prepared now to provide assistance all along the way.