Day 5 - March 23
Community Taba, daily report, 03/23/06
The day started with Donato introducing the day’s schedule, and reviewing the four goals of the Taba. The day’s emphasis would be on CAPACITY BUILDING, thus putting efforts in the context of MDGs. He explained that grants can be earned through contextualizing efforts in MGD framework.
Sean presented the local newspaper article featuring Esther & the Taba, saying “Thanks for sharing your beautiful face with us.”
Sean then gave an introduction on the MDGs. He explained that each UN convention comes up with targets and goals. MDGs are the tool that takes all these goals & puts them together in a comprehensive fashion, thus lending it more power. The MDGs serve as the main funding framework for governments and increasingly NGOs. He further explained that the MGDs are a communities to subscribe to it. Sean further went on to say that community projects generally involve each of the goals of the MDG, thus giving the project power and potential. He then underscored each goal and its link with biodiversity:
- Eradicate poverty & hunger – means boosting income above $1 per day – using biodiversity wisely decreases poverty – the strength of communities is that our projects involve multiple people & are scalable
- Ensure all boys & girls complete primary school – will insure that resources continue to be used wisely across genders
- Promote gender equality – women understand medicinal plants, agriculture, and daily tasks that involve natural resources
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS and malaria
- Insure environmental sustainability – this is the least understood of the goals since it is broad and cross cutting. Making it real to people may be difficult, since there are many ways to define it.
- Develop global partnership –governments and NGOS need to really commit to this; funds spent on communities is spent well and in thoughtful way.
The GTZ developed toolkit and posters are the most effective mechanism he has seen to show how community projects deliver all the goals.
Suhel from GTZ then took the floor and explained the politics and history behind the MDGs. He maintained that the MDGs have always been rather abstract. He emphasized that being at such a political venue, communities need to consider how to have the best impact and what they can take back to their communities. GTZ developed a tool to show that local communities contribute to all the MDGs. This was done to show to global leaders that community issues matter. The idea of a poster was born to fill the need to create something the global leaders would have time to look at. It was effective and complete since it has a combination of both visual material and text. Communities get to analyze the impact of projects and show links of impacts to the MDGs.
Suhel displayed one of the toolkit posters they developed for a project. He explained that at first, this particular project showed only one MDG, biodiversity conservation. They were able to use the money they received from the first project to achieve the other MDGs. Their projects contained a series of six pilot projects, with understandable goals, both analyzing and displaying tool; three overall sections; and a one page word text at the top explaining project. Suhel stated that it is a good exercise if the group analyzed four projects in breakout groups. They can then create a preliminary poster to be displayed at the local-global dialogue.
Sean interrupted the meeting to announce that the Governor of Parána has invited 100 people to his palace for lunch today. Sean offered that a critical mass stayed behind for the TILCEPA side event at lunch, while still appreciating the Governor’s invite. The group deployed for the Governor’s lunch committed to return by 2:30pm, and left.
Livingstone then took the floor to explain how he has been able to use the toolkit for his own project. He displayed on the poster where the Makuleke people live (map), and then went on to explain how they were forcibly removed from their land in 1969, and their ancestral land became a national park. They later re-claimed ownership after the apartheid regime fell. They committed the land to conservation and eco-tourism, thus organizing their community towards a common goal. Since they did not have the capacity to run the program alone, they sought the help of NGOs and private sector for development. They developed an integrated and comprehensive plan to locate projects, and create a business venture. Hence, they opened up two lodges, run by the community, and an airstrip for tourist to enable them to fly directly in the area. They created forums of exchange (for resolution) and radio broadcasting for disseminating the project information. Some of the benefits they realized from these projects includes the profits reinvested into the community, in fulfilling need for electricity, building schools, providing scholarships, wildlife management, and so forth. The poster highlights all the projects visually and textually.
A question/suggestion came from the audience asking/recommending that the toolkit be also presented in Portuguese since it is only in English. This was greeted with a round of applause. Another community member, Wanda, asked regarding the resources set aside for these 15 years to reach the MDGs. She felt that resources were diverted to Iraq and the War on Terrorism, and the Third World neglected.
Suhel clarified that the posters already exist in non-English languages. The toolkit is applicable, regardless of language. As for the resources question, he clarified that he can only speak for the government of Germany who has set apart considerable sum for development. He further brought up the Small Grants Program who funds projects directly (with $60 million directly funding community work in over 80 countries). Therefore he summed up his presentation by pointing out although the route may not be direct and fast, the process does work for communities.
The afternoon session was cancelled because of weather issues.