Ecovillage Transition Strategies
”You never change the existing reality by fighting it. Instead, create a new model that makes the old one obsolete." - Buckminster Fuller
Building on 20 successful years of global networking, sustainable development, and education, GEN is ready to scale up its partnerships with governments, NGOs, and donors to implement policies and solutions at local, regional, and international levels. In addition to five-year goals and targets, GEN is implementing an ecovillage transitions strategy using the following Adaptive Governance Cycle:
- Identify hot-spot communities and key players
- Facilitate participatory community and multi-stakeholder appraisal
- Recognise strengths and leverage points in each of the 4 dimensions of sustainability
- Co-create Community Resilience Plan
- Inform Authorities and adapt development plans
- Act to implement changes in behaviour, norms and infrastructure
- Draw lessons learned and disseminate best solutions
- Build community of practice and multi-stakeholder alliances
- Integrate policy adjustment inputs for adaptive governance
- Adapt policies for resilient communities and sustainable development
- Develop national action plans for resilient communities
- Regularly review policies and budgets
GEN has successfully coordinated the development of thousands of ecovillages around the world. Demand for Gaia Education’s EDE’s is rising rapidly and GEN is increasingly recognised as a force in the development of sustainability policies, educational programmes and practical implementation. The “four pillars” of sustainability (Ecology, Economy, Culture and Social) are well understood as reliable indicators against which to measure progress towards ecovillage recognition. Building on this groundbreaking, grassroots work GEN now plans to scale up its work to include influencing decision makers at all levels in society. This strategy will be developed and implemented over the next ten years.
GEN will create partnerships with local and national government bodies, NGOs, international donors and private investors. Policy discussions will be held, and policy changes made, based on the outcomes of ecovillage and GEN activities at local, regional and international levels.
In various countries and regions ecovillage transition strategies have been scaled up in close collaboration with governments over the past decade. The government of Senegal has adopted a radical national program to transition 14,000 traditional villages as ecovillages and this process is well underway. Religious organisations in Senegal have also recognised the value that ecovillage transition brings in terms of maintenance of religious and spiritual values and to the health of the local people, the environment and the biodiversity of the area.
Other countries are waking up to the benefits to be derived from involving local populations in large-scale community-led sustainable development. The DR Congo is considering setting up a Ministry of Ecovillages. Regional authorities in Thailand are, similarly, supporting large scale ecovillage development, in order to transition whole provinces to eco-provinces. Large scale ecovillage developments are also taking place in India, Bangladesh and Burma.
GEN’s “big solution” is empowering the millions of small solutions -- people and projects within communities working for a healthy planet and vibrant future for our children and all life.