Collaboration in Action
Global industries like tourism and mining, as dominant, single sector economic contributors dependent as they are on the natural resource assets important to local communities, have the potential to introduce sustainable change models which can address poverty reduction and gender disparity through livelihood restoration and socially sustainable corporate community development practices.
The positive and negative key attributes which tourism and mining share often include contributing more than governments, donors or NGOs to host communities. Both sectors also have the potential to play a stronger role in supporting sustainable and responsible development at a community level. Yet, they both pose risks with severe negative consequences of environmental degradation, economic disturbance and population displacement, inequality and poverty within their sphere of influence.
Prior to joining SRK Consulting UK as Principal Social Consultant, Dr Cathryn MacCallum worked for more than 10 years with Mark Proctor of Sazani Associates in Zanzibar, East Africa. The pair pioneered the notion of pro-poor tourism and fostering an integrated approach to livelihoods that enabled the rural communities to achieve shared value. “As an island, the coastal communities depend upon the natural capital assets that the tourists come to experience,” explains MacCallum. “As predominantly conservative Islamic communities, tourism not only restricts their access to land and sea, but also confronts them with public nudity, alcohol and what they would consider immoral behaviour. All this set against a background of rural poverty, more than 90% youth unemployment and 40% illiteracy.”
MacCallum and Proctor engaged with communities to identify the global pressures and forces that impacted their livelihoods. Their work highlighted three global pressures: Tourism, Salafist Islam and climate change.
Using this information they developed a sustainable technical and vocational training programme for young people, enterprise development support for rural communities and a contextualised curriculum for secondary schools that focussed on healthy and sustainable life skills. Examples in action include a network of young solar technicians installing community solar hubs and community crab-fattening schemes and sea cucumber on growing in the mangroves.
The results are tangible, says MacCallum, noting that: “Rural women are being heard by decision makers and community leaders, child nutrition has improved, along with numeracy and literacy; young people are becoming productive and actively engaged in society and tourism is benefitting from locally sourced quality produce and a diversified economy not solely dependent on them.”
This approach holds promise within the mining context which stands to benefit from broadening its focus on social complexity and existing human diversity, thereby making it possible to formalise commerce, particularly in the mineral trade, and build stability.
Sazani works in partnership with civil societies, local and regional governments to promote sustainable livelihoods and challenge global poverty and it’s consequences. We do this through research into social and environmental justice and developing innovative learning approaches that approaches that involve shared experiences with the global south.
Sazani has registered offices in Wales (UK), Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Belize. Find out more (PDF).
We have received funding support for our work from Comic Relief, UKAID through the department for International Development, the EU through Europe Aid and structural funds, The Welsh Government and the Waterloo Foundation.
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