A crash course in changing the world.
"The community should be trusted." That's the advice of John Kasaona, a world-changing conservationist who wants to see local communities put in charge of solving their own environmental problems, and empowered to conserve their own natural resources.
Kasaona grew up watching his father hunt and kill endangered animals in in the Kunene Region of Namibia, in order to put food on the table for his family. But today, Kasaona's father is no longer a poacher. Instead, he works to protect the same animals in Namibia, as part of a community-organized effort to build up wildlife tourism in the region.
"Some conservationists try to protect rhinos and elephants by keeping local people away from these animals," Kasaona says. "But the best way to save endangered beasts is to let villagers own them. They should be able to protect them or eat them as they choose." Kasaona believes that local communities will make smart choices, if they are empowered to reap the rewards.
"Why? Because keeping the animal population alive proves more valuable to the village in the long-run. It helps them bring in tourism money and to take pride in the wildlife all around them."
"You don’t need a university degree to understand this. People take care of what they own. If they benefit from something, they value it."
Kasaona is part of a growing global movement, dedicated to empowering local communities to put their indigenous knowledge to good use. The Community-Based Natural Resource Management Network, or the CBNRM Net for short, is helping track and guide the movement in more than 70 countries around the world.
Your mission this week is to find out more about the movement to put traditional knowledge to better use -- and help spread its vision for the future.
Uncover a community management success story from the CBNRM Net's collection of more than 250 case studies from 75 countries.
Or, pick an indigenous knowledge case study from the KIVU (Knowlege, Imagery, Vision, and Understanding) Project for Indigeneous Knowledge.
Super-objective: If you want to make an extra heroic effort this week, see if you can find follow-up information on the same case from another source. Bring the EVOKE network completely up to date on your success story.