Corporación Socio-Ecológica para el Futuro de Bolivar

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Public Statement 2016

Title Strengthening Ecofuturo’s rural base by recognizing and valuing the role of rural women in development and peacebuilding in the municipality of Bolívar, Valle del Cauca
Type of organization Community-based organization
Country Colombia
Duration  One year
IAF Funding   $25,454
Counterpart Committed $6,077
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 30
Indirect:90
Primary program areas Education/training

Organization
Corporación Socioecológica para el Futuro de Bolivar (Ecofuturo) is a community-based non-governmental organization that improves the quality of life of rural farmers and their families through the promotion of conservation and environmentally friendly practices. Ecofuturo began in 1996 as a result of plans to create a reservoir in the municipality of Bolivar, Embalse Guacas, for the provision of water to the region. At the time, people living in the region were brought together through a community consultation process to be informed about the planned construction and participate in activities related to relocation. Following their participation in this process, 297 residents of the municipality decided to create Ecofuturo to continue working to find solutions to the problems facing their territory.

Ecofuturo is governed by a board of eight directors and a general assembly of 297 members. The directors each represent a watershed (microcuenca) in the municipality of Bolivar. The Executive Director manages a four-person team that includes administrative personnel and staff dedicated to each of its areas of work: environment, community organizing, and territorial planning (ordenamiento territorial).
Since its creation, Ecofuturo has received support from the European Union, municipal authorities and the environmental authority for the department of Valle del Cauca (Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca-CVC), and has focused on solving the environmental challenges facing Bolivar by working closely with the community.

Project Description
Ecofuturo is one of a cohort of IAF Grantees that will support peace-building efforts at the grassroots level. Ecofuturo has identified women's livelihoods and work on rights as an essential element of peace-building. Ecofuturo will create spaces for women living in the rural municipality of Bolivar to reaffirm their own value as peace builders, recognize and strengthen their contributions to the rural economy, learn about their rights and obligations and avail themselves of public programs created for their benefit. The project will directly benefit 30 rural women who live in the areas around the municipality of Bolívar and indirectly benefit an additional 90 family members.

Rationale for Funding
Grassroots organizations and nongovernmental organizations have an important role in building peace in Colombia. As Colombians begin to imagine a future without conflict, these organizations and their members must have their voices and proposals heard. To do this, they must have tools and spaces for learning and sharing, in this way building trust and relationships of mutual support among each other and with other actors in the country.

Learning Opportunity
This grant adds to a cohort of projects that support peace-building efforts at the grassroots level. The grant will give IAF the opportunity to learn about how building trust and relationships of mutual support between grantee partners and other actors in the country can be a first step towards national reconciliation. These grants will also help the Foundation to learn how to more effectively respond at scale to challenging opportunities such as the peace process in Colombia.