Conservation Entrepreneurship/Business Plans/Ideas

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Assignment three[edit | edit source]

Assignment THREE is to post an idea for a social enterprise that you are interested in. This is just a very preliminary brainstorm. It could be a new enterprise, or a new direction for an existing organization. Again it should be brief, but do explain why this idea is of interest to you. Be creative, this is just a brainstorm.Lynch 16:13, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Note- feel free to comment or discuss any of the other posts found on the discussion pageLynch 00:37, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Responses are below:

Project Idea: I am interested in doing a project on specialty cacao production in Latin America. I have been getting increasingly interested in this sphere and am sending out feelers in the Chinantla area of Oaxaca where I have been doing my thesis work to work with producers in the area. There are a number of interesting things about specialty cacao production: 1. The prices paid for fine flavor cacao (that is either criollo or trinitario variety) is 3 times or more the global bulk price of cacao. 2. There is an unsatisfied demand for high quality cacao by gourmet chocolate markets (which are growing)and chocolatiers are very interested in forming direct marketing relationships 3. Cacao agroforestry systems have the potential to be highly diverse biologically and provide numerous goods and services in addition to cacao. 4. Criollo cacao, which is still very locally cultivated in Mexico and elsewhere is endangered by replacement by higher producing but inferior quality forestero variety cacao. 5. The potential for making a good story of criollo cacao, community conservation areas in the Chinantla, and a chocolate produced not only with local cacao but also with other local flavoring ingredients is very high. Check the following pages:

1. ( This is the area where I have been working and could be the site for a cacao project

2. ([backPid]=322&cHash=5195e794cb) Article on the site of Bioversity about gourmet cacao to boost income and conservation.

3. ( A new organization of artisanal chocolate makers in the U.S. who proscribe to direct marketing and Slow Food's principals of "good, clean, and fair" Lichenology 17:01, 13 January 2009 (UTC)jay bost

I think there is an untapped market for ecotourism from the US and mainly western countries. The gay travel and tour market prefers to travel where other gay people are, and where they are likely to feel accepted. Many ecotourism destinations are the antithesis to this idea. But just as gay markets travel to London and Amsterdam in droves, I think they should go to Ecuador and Peru, too. So one idea I have is to create a business catering to gay ecotour excursions. Brian~~ (why doesn't this sign it?)

Project name: Michoacan
Author: 16:09, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Project Idea: I have been interested in the idea of importing environmentally conscious products from the region of Michoacan, Mexico where I have been working. There are a number of resources and animals that they have been trying to protect from the Monarch Butterfly to orchids and traditional products (like embroidered clothes, etc.) that would be affordable and attractive to the American consumer. Particularly in the area where the Monarch Butterflies are, there are a number of value-added products that have been created and made but due to a lack of market access they have fallen to the way-side, leaving community members frustrated and struggling to find cash generating activities as well as relying on the land in unsustainable ways in order to subsist. I need to think it through a bit more but there is a store called Alternatives here in Gainesville that sells products with the same idea in mind. Whether it be to a sort of middle-man, a linkage or a non=profit of its own... These links talk about one of the founders of the efforts to help connect rural communities with resources and markets. I have also been working with him for the last 4 years. ~Miramanni

Brian- If you look just below the buttons to save and post your entry there is a box that has in bold the words 'Insert' and 'Sign your name.' If you just click on the four ~'s next to 'sign you name' it will sign your name for you. Or you could probably type the four ~'s. Lynch 01:00, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Project idea: An idea that I have been toying with for a few years now with some friends is an NGO that acts as a media outlet for small communities in Ecuador. From the small amount of exploratory work I have done on the subject, this is not necessarily a new concept. I’ve researched and read about a few projects (see below for example) that have aimed to put cameras or camcorders into the hands of say, children or indigenous people. While this isn’t a new idea, I do feel that it is an underutilized tool in the non-profit sector. The basic idea is that the best stories, and the ones that carry the most meaning and really hit home, are those that are told by the people themselves. I know numerous people in a small community on the coast of Ecuador who would love to tell the story of how immigration is growing their community at too fast a pace for their liking; or a community in the lowlands who would love to share their story of deforestation and the misdoings of oil companies. For years indigenous peoples across Ecuador, and elsewhere, have wanted a voice that will be heard on a larger stage. An NGO that has the ability to offer a means to allow their voices to be heard would be, in my opinion, well taken. The videos or pictures taken would not only offer an outlet for the people, but also has the potential to be used as a tool to bring in funds for community projects etc.

Here’s an examples NGO: Lynch 01:35, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Human-wildlife conflict is a tremendous issue across the globe and especially in Africa where I do my research. When we visited rural communities this past summer one of the key issues we heard was that wildlife would come and raid crops or kill livestock but there was either no response by game guards or they came too late to be of any help. Also, most people complained that there was not adequate compensation for damages caused by wildlife. These factors reduce people’s tolerance of wildlife and increase the likelihood that local people will not engage in conservation behavior or will actively seek to hurt or kill animals. I would like to develop a project to address these issues. I am not sure as to what form of mitigation would be most effective. Efforts could be targeted at compensation such as developing better compensation for losses or incentives for practices that discourage wildlife from raiding crops and livestock. On the other hand, focus could go towards preventative measures such as a program tested in East Africa that used cell phones on to alert game guards when problem elephants approached farms. Many mitigation strategies have been tried so the trick will be in deciding what combination of efforts or what novel strategies will be most useful as well as sustainable and cost-effective. Kifaro50 06:08, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Project name: Pirarucu Fishery Enterprises
Author: Emiliano 03:22, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Project Description: Less than 20 years ago pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) status was critical and the species was considered critically endangered in the Amazon River basin. At that time fishery of pirarucu was banned by law in Brazil. This situation began to change in the turn of the millennium when scientists working side-by-side with local traditional fisherman developed a time and cost-efficient method of counting pirarucu that was also accurate and precise. For the application of the method the only pre-requisite was the participation of experienced fisherman. This tool allowed local communities to promptly estimate fishery stocks, hence evaluate and develop their conservation strategies. Soon enough, based on the counts, the Brazilian Government allowed the fishery of pirarucu to start at Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve [1] and in subsequent years to expand to other areas of the basin. This was a very significant achievement to communities and pirarucu conservation because it empowered communities to land and natural resources and at the same time contributed to the conservation of pirarucu. This chance to empower people, however, was not developed to its full potential. I point out two major issues of concern: (i)The Harvest of a wildlife population has an intrinsic limit resulting from the carrying capacity of the environment (food, space, shelter, mates...). Human populations, on the other hand, tend to increase exponentially and readily outgrow natural resources, turning a sustainable harvest into overexploitation. (ii) Only a small portion of the revenue made by pirarucu fishery is passed on to the communities that work in the conservation of the species. This happens because although the communities have the right to exploration of the resource the production chain has not evolved from the old patronage system, still favoring the big fishery patrons in the big urban areas. To solve these social and environmental issues I am planning two enterprises. My first idea is to add value and decrease harvest of pirarucu through sportive fishery. Sportive fishery would have a much smaller harvest and the price per pirarucu could be greatly increased, making more revenue with less fish. The second would be to explore the pirarucu market and production line to revert the profit from fishery to communities, instead off patrons. This would be done by creating a social enterprise that would cut the middle man and allow local fisherman to sell their products directly to regional markets.

Project name: Iauaretê Project
Author: Emiliano 05:51, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Project Description: Like most extant large wild cat species in the world today, jaguar (Panthera onca) survival has three major obstacles: (1) destruction/fragmentation of habitat, (2) depletion of natural prey and (3) direct hunting. All of which are related to human activities. These obstacles are not trivial ones because they are connect with national and local economics. At a national scale the need for development pledged by governments calls for the expansion of cattle and soy bean plantations and the construction of all-weather highways that cut through forest. At local scale rural populations compete with jaguars for food and also kill jaguars directly. Jaguar kills are generally associated with depredation of livestock by jaguars which and consequent retaliation by villagers. In resume, jaguars have little to no economic value (or even a negative value in the case of the local villager who's cow was eaten by a jaguar) to countries or communities that would justify investing in stopping these activities. To change this scenario I propose a enterprise that would aggregate value to jaguar through tourism, making jaguars economically profitable for communities and at the same time empowering people to their local natural resources. ............