Economic Rationale / Business Model:
The Tropical Research and Conservation Centre' (founded in 2001) is a registered NGO focusing on, natural resources management, indigenous knowledge/resources preservation, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and community livelihoods. The objectives of the organization are:
-to promote conservation of natural resources; educating rural communities, and the general public on environmental, economic, social, ecological and cultural needs for conservation of natural resources;-to build community capacity in natural resources management;
-to promote sustainable agricultural practices in rural communities in order to improve their livelihoods: organic farming, mixed cropping, livestock production, etc;
- to develop pilot projects with farmers and rural communities that will help in the conservation of natural resources.
Some past project partners include: Akwa Ibom State Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation; People Trust for Endangered Species, UK; People Resources and Conservation Foundation, USA; Australian Landcare International; GEF/UNDP Small grant program; Mohammed Bin Rare Species Conservation Fund; Prince Bernard Nature Fund; Sequoia zoo; USA; Sacramento Zoo; Columbus Zoo, USA; New Forests Project, USA; World Agroforestry Centre, (ICRAF); World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT), Center for Development and Environment-Switzerland; etc
Project Potential Risks:
-Increased community awareness on mangrove roles: Community members recognize the value of mangroves and the linkage between mangrove conservation and community livelihood.
-Increased community knowledge on mangrove conservation needs (ecological needs, economic needs, socio-cultural needs) and sustainable harvesting practices.
-Degraded mangrove sites restored and sustainably managed; ensuring protective habitat for many coastal species.
-Remarkable (80%) reduction in commercial harvesting of timber/firewood as a result of the introduction of livelihoods alternative among key mangrove dependents (in bee/snail farming).
- Increased in a number of juvenile crabs, fish, shrimps, snails, periwinkles, turtles, etc as their habitat (mangrove) is improved for their survival, thus protecting and sustaining an important food source for coastal communities.
- Reduced coastal erosion/flood; Mangrove vegetation helps in protecting coastlines against wave damage during storms.
-Reduced deforestation and carbon emission rate with the adoption of fuel-efficient biomass stoves