ESMERALDAS CORPORATION FOR TRAINING AND INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT
The coastal province of Esmeraldas, in the north of Ecuador, is among the poorest in the country with some of the highest unemployment rates. Its economy is based on fishing, agriculture and tourism. Following an earthquake in 2016, the region is struggling to rebuild its economy. In addition, industrial shrimp fishing is threatening the coastal ecosystem, particularly the mangroves. There are many heterogeneous actors within the territory, but they are poorly connected to each other, which limits the possibilities for an integral development of the territory.
CEFODI IN BRIEF
CEFODI (Esmeraldas Corporation for Training and Integral Development) is an Ecuadorian NGO in the province of Esmeraldas.
Created in 1993, its main actions are :
- empowerment of local associations and improvement of production systems
- sustainable management of natural resources, in particular access to drinking water, sanitation and mangrove management
To achieve this, it aims to strengthen the capacities of several actors :
- women’s groups
- organisations of fishermen and cocoa producers
- local communities
- small farmers
- local governments
It also works to gather all these actors, private and public, in a discussion around the complete development of the territory.
CEFODI & SOS FAIM
The partnership between CEFODI and SOS Faim started in 2019.
SOS Faim's partnership with CEFODI focuses on building the capacities of several local organisations so they become autonomous :
- organisations of producers from sectors that are strategic for the territory (fishing, cocoa, community tourism)
- self-managed community-based savings and credit groups
- fishermen's organisations for sustainable mangrove management
SOS Faim's support also aims to set up co-management and consultation mechanisms between public actors (such as local governments) and private actors (producers' associations, women's groups, local communities) in the aim of developing the territory further.
What prospects ?
Better access to markets in promising sectors should consolidate the initiatives of producers, who will thus be able to improve their income in the long term and contribute to the economic reactivation of the area following the 2016 earthquake.
Given that women are more marginalised, CEFODI will focus on strengthening their capacities as a priority.
The NGO will support the initiatives of young people and, creating youth committees will open up spaces for them to express themselves and to undertake citizen initiatives in consultation with local governments.
Bringing public authorities and civil society together makes it possible to develop a concerted vision of territorial development and to implement integral territorial management processes. SOS Faim will share with CEFODI territorial development experiences in other countries, with a view to interlearning and capitalisation.