BOS+ IN ACTION - WHAT WE DO
Many rural communities in the southern hemisphere largely depend on their environment to make their living. Many people in the countryside live off agriculture, livestock farming, hunting, fishing or foraging for fruit, ... As a result of population pressure and societal changes (monetary economy, globalisation, etc.) the pressure upon these ecosystems is increasing. Ecosystems often degrade because the pressure exceeds the capacity: fields and meadows where the ground is totally exhausted, forests that are being cut down, rivers that are being overfished... Ecosystems are becoming increasingly fragile.
The people who live there are also becoming more vulnerable and get caught in a negative spiral that they cannot get out of by themselves, since they do not have the necessary capital (human, natural, social, physical and/or economic). They generally have two options: 1) they ‘carry on farming’ in increasingly difficult conditions; 2) they emigrate to the cities in the hope of finding a better income there. Both options usually lead to the same outcome: increasing poverty.
BOS+ WANTS CHANGE
BOS+ wants to break through the vicious circle of increasing poverty and the progressing demise of the ecosystem, which many rural communities end up in and can’t get out by themselves. BOS+ wants to maintain and repair the resilience of the ecosystems and local communities. In other words, BOS+ wants encourage sustainable development for communities whose ecosystems are degraded or which are being degraded in order to achieve the restoration, sustainable management and the maintenance of the natural resources of the ecosystem in question.
In an increasingly globalised world, the behaviour of the northern hemisphere has more impact than ever on the southern hemisphere, and vice versa. BOS+ does not just dwell on the outline of the problems but reflects on possible solutions, for example to encourage both individuals and companies toward conscious consumption and production, mobilise governments to achieve their commitments and setting concrete interventions around the environment and climate within the NGO sector.
BOS+ is aware that the conservation, management and restoration of natural resources are not usually first priorities for poor local populations, but rather issues such as poverty reduction, health, education, ... However, BOS+ is convinced that the ecological aspect is of crucial importance to bring about a real and sustainable development. In the southern hemisphere there are many opportunities to achieve this sustainable equilibrium. BOS+ is therefore participating with the local partners and beneficiary communities to find solutions that reconcile socio-economic development restoration, management and preservation of their ecosystem. BOS+ is active in the following sectors:
- Forestry; more specifically forest conservation, management and restoration aimed at a win-win-win (social, climate and biodiversity)
- Agriculture; more specifically sustainable, organic and agro-ecological farming, paying attention to agroforestry
- Water; more specifically integrated water management at the level of micro and sub-basin
- Environment; more specifically development which integrates the ecosystem
- Strengthening civil society; more specifically in terms of conservation, management and restoration of the ecosystem of the intervention area (and wider)
HOW IS BOS+ WORKING TOWARDS MORE AND BETTER FORESTS?
BOS+ is building up expertise relating to forests, trees and development in close dialogue with national and international research institutes. At the same time BOS+ is expanding its network by exchanging knowledge and expertise and undertaking joint activities towards more and better forests.
1. BOS+ is developing activities on terrain with a dual purpose: local sustainable development and forest conservation, management and/or restoration;
2. BOS+ is committed to strengthening the capacity of forest managers who live in (the buffer zone of) forest areas so that they can guarantee the future of their natural resources;
3. To government, civil society organizations, businesses and schools BOS+ offers unique educational tools that contribute to an understanding of the global issue of natural resources and encourages desired attitude changes;
4. BOS+ raises awareness and mobilises the public about the societal importance of trees and forests, and offers people the opportunity to get involved for more and better forests; and
5. Based on an active press and media strategy, BOS+ is bringing its analyses, perspectives and claims to the attention of policy makers, and the public opinion and therefore contributes to a visible appreciation of trees and forests.