SGEA doing its work voluntarily with the youths, it is an organization that respects youth and adolescent liveliness and exploration. So we work with them as support organization for young people. We are developing innovative ventures by young minds, facilitating leadership skills and intellectuals and increasing awareness on coastal issues amongst young. SGEA is a non-profit, non-political, and learning organization, committed to developing the uninhibited expression of young people with the aim of sustaining a platform that enables young people to be effective and expressive agents of change.
Mission: The mission of this organization is to restoring the aquatic environment at the estuaries; and exploring newer ways of eco-friendly sustainability in terms of livelihood.
Vision: The vision is the great fusion which we dream- here, the population will live and grow with its rich natural environment, not exploiting it, rather exploring it to find newer means to develop the region, thereby grow themselves.
Current activities: Right now, SGEA is working hard with afforestation; plastic free island, youths specially focusing on renewable energy and pisciculture; organising awareness campaigns; chemical-free farming along with the revival of the long abandoned indigenous varieties of paddy once grown in the area or adjoining localities.
Action area: SGEA works currently in Gosaba Block, Canning Sub-division, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India. The island is the home place for about 122,000 people, out of which, more than 60% is SC/ST community. The story of the region and its people is same throughout. Endangered traditional livelihood [caused by heavy erosion triggering loss of farm-land; forest-resources like wood, honey etc. being unavailable either for the strict enforcement of the present laws, or being scanty due to over-exploitation; crab, fish and other aquatic resources being scanty than earlier] is not peculiar to one or two blocks of the zone, but to the whole of the region.
The other occupations on these islands include fishing and fish cultivation, honey collection, crab dealing and similar livelihoods, which are heavily dependent on harvesting local flora and fauna. The unique ecosystem of the Sundarbans has consistently provided the natural resources to sustain the communities living there. However, the increasing lack of awareness regarding the dwindling health of this ecosystem and its biodiversity, poses a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of those very people inadvertently harming it.
The Kumirmari village, hidden amidst the maze of forested islets that make up the Sundarbans, has largely survived due to the sheer zeal of its residents. One of the remotest islands of the Delta, Kumirmari often faces complete isolation from the mainland due to connectivity and transportation barriers. Even a boat to or from the island is at the mercy of the river’s tides - taking anywhere between 4-6 hours to ply across. To this day, the islanders are bereft of regular health care and electricity, while being constantly at a risk of losing their homes due to rapid soil erosion by the highly destructive river.
Mangroves, with their roots gripping the soil tightly, are proven to be the strongest barrier against the river’s eroding powers. They are also the only naturally occurring, and hence sustainable, line of defense for these islands against the regular cyclonic storms, ever increasing in frequency. SGEA aims to restore the mangrove forest cover bordering the Kumirmari island, through annual four months long plantation drives carried out on the remotest island of the delta. The program builds public awareness on the necessity of mangroves by involving the local residents of the island in the plantation process, and simultaneously sets up a framework to conserve the existing mangrove forests. The sustainability of the program is to be achieved by integrating three main approaches:
- Experiment and awareness
- Children intervention
The most effective method of continuing efforts at mangrove restoration beyond the yearly plantation drives is through building community awareness regarding the significance of the mangroves in protecting their islands and their homes. Experimentation and knowledge sharing is taking an important role on conservation and plantation in the vast area of Sundarban. It gives the knowledge of mangrove species, their characteristics and effectiveness against soil erosion and story on man and mangrove. SGEA also holds similar intervention sessions with local fishermen and farmers on other issues that pertain to environmental and biodiversity conservation.
As a measure of carrying forward the message to the next generation, SGEA invests in directly educating the children of the island on the mangroves’ importance. SGEA envisioned, making a new generation in that region who can to engage in preserving the local biodiversity.
SGEA carries out plantation of mangroves over four months every year, along with distributing other plants to the residents of the nearby villages. This is the direct intervention part of the program, aiming to gradually restore the natural forest cover and ecology on the island through regular afforestation.
SGEA not only planting mangrove in the river side but also plant fruit trees to build destroyed ecology of these islands and also for the livelihood. We have a target this year we will plant 70000 fruit plants in each family of the block.
THEORY OF CHANGE
The process of change that SGEA plans to achieve is explained through a Theory of Change. The Theory of Change flowchart shows how the results of the specific interventions undertaken by SGEA logically relate to the organisation’s broader objectives, in steps of short-term, intermediate and long-term impact. It follows the chain from the outcome of SGEA’s initiatives to their overall impact, such that the results of each level contributes to the results of the next, thus providing an efficient basis for monitoring and evaluation of the SGEA programs.
|A self-sufficient Sundarbans where the islands are naturally protected from soil erosion and climatic disasters, and the people have secure livelihoods, and assured access to education and healthcare.||Create mangrove embankments around the islands, and equip the community for their preservation, by linking livelihood opportunities with the replenishment and utilisation of the natural biodiversity of the Sundarbans and providing an improved quality of education for the people.||CREATING MANGROVE EMBANKMENT|
Work with panchayats and Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) in the planning and implementation of mangrove plantation programs aimed at creating natural embankments to protect the island against natural disasters.
BUILDING ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
Involve the youth and school children in the environmental impact projects to create environmental awareness and inspire voluntary action from them.
LINKING LIVELIHOODS WITH BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Generate environmentally conscious occupations by encouraging usage of seeds produced by local self-help groups to create income.
ENSURING IMPROVED QUALITY OF EDUCATION
Cultivate a culture of prioritizing children’s education by spreading awareness regarding its importance and value in gaining better living conditions, and work with local schools to provide more interactive and relevant curricula.
Building from the TOC, we outline below the following logical framework (log frame) approach for the monitoring and evaluation process. The log frame approach allows us to structure the primary elements of SGEA’s engagement (not exhaustive) to establish logical linkages between programme activities and the ultimate desired impact. Using the log frame approach to outline the activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact, we then lay out the detailed indicators by which the project will be measured in the subsequent section.
Table 1 specifies the projects’ goals, outcomes, outputs and indicators with a logical connection between each stage. The data and assumptions required are also noted.
|Project description||Indicators||Data source||Assumptions|
|Goal||To restore and conserve the mangrove cover and natural biodiversity of Kumirmari island, providing protection against natural disasters and soil erosion||Comparative effect of storms in areas protected by mangroves, biodiversity observed on the island||Survey records, forest dept. statistics||That official statistics and surveyed observations are accurate|
|Outcome||The mangrove growth along the banks of the island protects it from cyclonic winds and riverine erosion|
The local communities consciously maintain the mangroves as well as the natural biodiversity of the island
The children form a more environmentally aware generation who carry forward the values of restoration and conservation
|Records of erosion and cyclonic destruction in mangrove rich areas|
Community efforts for the maintenance of mangroves and other plant saplings
Children's perception on the possible solutions to environmental problems
|Mangrove trees are fully grown before a severe cyclone hits the island|
Villagers have space and means to cultivate plant saplings
Surveyors can communicate with the children
|Output||Increased area of mangrove cover|
Improved awareness on the necessity of mangrove plantation and biodiversity conservation
Increased consciousness regarding environmental issues in children
|Number of mangroves planted|
Number of village communities
participating in meetings and awareness sessions
Number of people attending the fair
SGEA records, panchayat records
|Selected areas are suitable for mangroves|
Villagers are able to attend meetings and awareness sessions
Fair location is accessible to children from nearby villages, children get permission from parents to attend
|Activity||Mangrove plantation drives|
Community outreach sessions on importance of mangroves as well as conserving biodiversity
Children’s fair focusing on environmental concerns
|Sufficient funds for mangrove seeds|
Village panchayats cooperate in arranging meetings
Sufficient space and funds for the fair arrangements
It is never proper to say that we are the best for the job. But we can safely say that we are the people who are already doing this job for years with positive results already streaming in.