WHERE IS BOS+ ACTIVE?
The educational and awareness-raising work of BOS+ today is mainly focused on Flanders and Brussels. In the future BOS+ aims to expand its operation gradually as a result of good contacts and relationships within Belgian and international networks.
In the southern hemisphere, BOS+ is currently working in three countries in the Andes-Amazon region of Latin America, namely in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Most of the activities in the south are in middle income countries, with particular attention paid to climate and environment.
green: the regions where BOS+ is active at the moment
yellow: the regions where BOS+ wants to start up activities in the near future
Bolivia, a lower middle income country, is facing poverty associated with the loss and degradation of its valuable ecosystems. The distinct cultural and natural diversity makes this country very interesting. However, threats lurk around the corner. Moreover, there is limited capacity in the society to manage its natural resources in a sustainable manner. BOS+ is still very interested in Bolivia and will continue its work over there until 2026. Bolivia has been declared a 'fragile state' on certain lists. Due to the vastness of the country it is necessary that BOS+ makes geographical choices within the country in 2015. BOS+ provides resources from the federal government, the Flemish Government (Environment), private financing and own funds.
Ecuador is an upper middle income country of stark contrasts on many levels: social, economic, geographical, ecological... It is a country with very valuable natural resources that are very important to the national treasury. A proper political and social conduct policy is needed. The National Development Plan has 3 similar goals already closely linked to the mission of BOS+: (3) improving the population’s quality of life, (4) strengthening the capacities and capabilities of citizens and (7) ensuring the nature’s rights and the promotion of environmental sustainability. The index of deforestation and forest degradation is high in Ecuador, especially in certain provinces where threats are imminent. BOS+ still sees potential in Ecuador. There are already efforts to be undertaken until 2021, adapted to international, national and rather local strategies. BOS+ provides resources for this purpose from the federal government, the Flemish Government (Environment), private financing and own funds.
Peru, an upper middle income country, has a considerably large area of nearly 20 million hectares of protected areas. The diversity of ecosystem goods and services is breathtaking, given the climatic, geological... diversity. There is no doubt that these natural areas do not only have a high landscape and biodiversity value, but that a certain richness of these global public goods is of great socio-economic value. A greater wealth also represents a potential risk of attracting threats. Think of illegal logging, mining petroleum, gold, copper, gas... At the same time there is pressure from the surrounding population in the buffer zones, because these people often find themselves in the vicious circle of increasing poverty and progressive degradation of the natural resources which they can claim. BOS+ still sees possibilities to provide useful work in Peru until 2021, in agreement with other international and national. BOS+ provides resources for this purpose from the federal government, the Flemish Government (Environment), private financing and own funds.
Starting in 2017, BOS + wants to expand to Africa, particularly to Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Africa is rightly called the continent of the future. The challenges are enormous, including in the field of BOS+. Since BOS+ eventually wants to develop a structural cooperation plan with other players that have years of expertise in the area within complementary topics.
UGANDA AND TANZANIA
Uganda and Tanzania, both low income countries with poverty especially among the rural population, suffer a great pressure on their natural resources. Many of these rural families depend on subsistence farming and are in the vicious circle of poverty and progressive degradation of their natural environment. BOS+ wants to get to know the context over the following years and identify interesting partners in connection with fellow program NGOs (primarily Trias and Vredeseilanden) in order to start the first intervention around 2017. BOS+ provides resources for this purpose from the federal government (target countries), private financing and own funds. Uganda is incidentally one of the six partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation that has the status of 'fragile state' in the DAC list.
Ethiopia, a low income country, suffers from land degradation and poverty. While 85% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods, the effects of climate change are becoming more evident. This means that the rural population of Ethiopia is vulnerable for social, economic and ecological crises. A key to the solution will be to combat deforestation and forest degradation, on the one hand by managing the remaining vegetation and forests sustainably, and on the other hand by restoring degraded land. BOS + will work toward this goal in Tigray, in the north of the country, in cooperation with other actors from civil society, academic and government sectors, ensuring that in the long term the local population can interact sustainably with the natural environment. In this way the vicious circle of poverty and land degradation can be broken. BOS + provides resources for this purpose from the federal government, private financing and own funds.