Our approach

Our approach for biodiversity conservation at the Odyssey Conservation Trust is based upon our own experience in the field, working for 20 years with local communities in biodiversity-rich areas, and on the acknowledgment that local communities, and especially women, are the keystone to maintaining ecosystem health for present and future generations.

Sustainable resource use by local communities is dependent on their access to education, both environmental and academic, and to reproductive health such as family planning which reduce the environmental pressure through controlled  demographic growth.

Global development "requires a holistic approach to address the multiple, intertwined and complex challenges of our time" so that it tackles poverty reduction, job creation, inequality, climate change and environmental degradation.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.

We are promoting an approach for ecosystem health which is:

  • Holistic: By integrating biodiversity and development under the same roof, our programs deliver a synergy of results for local people and the environment which have a much broader impact than single-sector programs;
  • Gender specific: By promoting the key role played by women in resource use and poverty reduction, our programs empower women to make their own decisions about their own lives and the future of their children.
  • Community-Based: Strategies used in our programs are based on traditional management practices and community-based management systems;
  • Pragmatic: We solve problems by treating their causes and therefore deliver tangible benefits to local communities where they need it the most in the areas of family health, food and water security, livelihood, while maintaining environmental health;

Local people, and especially women living in biodiverse areas rely nearly entirely on natural resources for their subsistence  and millenia-old traditions of resource use have therefore made them the custodians of traditional knowledge about biodiversity.

At a time when humankind has finally realized the global value of biodiversity and how its existence depended on it – in the form of fresh water, food, carbon storage and other natural resources that sustain human life - conservation programs can only be sustainable if they fully integrate the socio-economic development and well-being of local people.

Simply stated, local people can only fullfill their role of custodians of biodiversity if they are fully involved in the management of natural resources and use their resources sustainably, and if their priority needs in term of food security, access to drinking water, family health and livelihood are addressed simultaneously.