2012-01-27 8:08 PM EST |
Reminiscing about the Guad8 group, I remember the first time I met them. That was before they became the “cohort” into which they became after two years of group work. In this becoming they developed new relationships and friendships that probably would have never happened if they had not decided to get involved with Rare. In those initial moments I’m sure they asked themselves, how was it that I got here and signed up to work with these “Rare” people that I know very little about? All this happened barely 2 years ago. How time flies, eh?
It was in those moments when together, Rare and the Guad8 team, saw ourselves before the commitment we were setting off together. A commitment that implied a journey whose fate was in our hands. Together, Rare and the Guad8 team agreed to invest time and resources in the application of a methodology and conservation approach that was unorthodox, combining such diverse and unknown topics as “Pride” and “ARA”. In those moments these words said very little to this group and generated angst. How does one do “Pride + ARA”? What a question!
So we arrive to this moment after 2 years and we can see how much things have changed. Now the Guad8 team is a group of conservationist that became veterans of conservation battles that can show much more than scars, but actual conservation results. I’m sure this has generated a feeling of wellbeing and pride to have overcome the adversity of the unknown, in this case the question: will we be able to change the behavior of communities that have been doing activities in a certain way for generations, in just two years? Well this group actually did it. This process has generated confidence, satisfaction and energy where before there was doubt and insecurity. That is very rewarding and Rare is quite proud of that. That is the “POWER OF PRIDE”. When actual results on the ground reflect behavior change where before it was not believed possible must be very rewarding and a source of significant pride. The results this group has obtained are more than just documents or studies. They are real results with real people. These results are commitments from landowners to change their productive practices towards more environmentally friendly ways of production. This in turn has generated increased potential habitat for species that only the scientists know exist, AZE species. Species that are so threatened that only small populations exist in very restricted geographies. Those results are worth celebrating!! That is what this group has achieved. The Campaign Managers of Guad8 approached their respective communities and made an impact on how they see themselves and participate of conservation right there on the ground. Successes not because of government intervention but because of their own will and desire to succeed propelled by “PRIDE”, in essence, the POWER OF PRIDE.
Celebrating the graduation of the 11 individuals of Guad8 sees the growth process of a seed that is nurtured, watered and cared for resulting in a “machinery of change”. That is what Pride has generated, results that for most people not familiar with find it hard to believe possible. A machinery of change because the work and the influence of the individuals of Guad8 have only just begun and we expect will continue growing and producing long lasting results. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GUAD8 TEAM.