Civil Society Organizations and Business
Companies do not traditionally work with civil society organizations to focus on becoming more sustainable. In the Netherlands, this type of cooperation has become more normal, but in countries like Kenya, it is still in its infancy.
CREM, together with Steven de Bie from Conservation Consultancy and local consultant Simon Thuo, was asked to provide training on working in this manner to Wetlands International Kenya.
The training was focused on the dynamics of the private sector and its developments, focal points, areas of interest and needs. The goal was that Wetlands International Kenya would learn how to present itself as a valuable partner for (international) companies in the region.
Training in Elementaita (Kenya)
The five-day training course took place in July 2017. It combined assignments, role play, pitches, a company visit and knowledge transfer from trainers and speakers (from companies, civil society organisations and research organizations). The closing assignment focused on ‘what next?’ In this assignment, the participants had to create an implementation plan for themselves: a link between their current work and their future work with companies. The participants were enthusiastic and eager to learn, which translated to action. On the follow-up day at the end of August, led by Simon Thuo, participants spoke about actions they had taken, progress they had made and their plans for 2018.
It was a good time for the training course. Water scarcity is a growing issue in Kenya and the region. Companies realize that the continuation of their business could be in danger and are looking for solutions. Through collaboration with Wetlands International, they can contribute (more) to sustainable economic development in a healthy ecosystem. This means profit for their company, and for the environment.
The training was made possible thanks to support from NUFFIC (Netherlands Fellowship Programmes) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information: Jolanda van Schaick