The aim of the programme is to develop a practical cost-effective model which will produce entrepreneurs and individuals in rural areas who can derive a living from sustainable services and businesses which positively contribute to the local economy, while benefiting the local environment and its natural capital base.
The target for this localised pilot programme is mainly youth with limited tertiary education access, but who have a drive willingness to act positively for their community and environment, contributing to a more resilient society, water security, environmental health and social justice. The pilot programme is based in the upper uMzimvubu catchment and will work in conjunction with and is complementary to existing youth and skills development initiatives throughout the District. Through provision of practical and marketable skills and access to a functional network of relevant role players and work opportunities, the aim of the Ecofutures Programme is to produce not only employable people, but entrepreneurs who can derive a living through providing services which positively contribute to a resilient society and a thriving rural natural environment.
The Ecofutures green economy toolkit is under development and will help equip several rural target groups (high school students, YES4Youth participants, and possibly Traditional Council and Grazing Association members) in understanding basic green economy and ecosystem concepts, including:
The toolkit material should enable facilitators to brief and train the YES4Youth candidates on various themes, as part of their core training. The toolkit will then be refined into a printable form which will further be developed.
Future themes include Nature and Biodiversity whereby endangered plant species & alien species, and grasslands & wetlands shall be monitored. The other theme will be Resource Use which shall deal with waste management, another theme shall be Local and Global Issues which shall entail water pollution and conservation.