Vision: ECI believes in human resource development at the grassroots level in the paradigm where conservation of environment is a pre-requisite for sustainable development.
Eco-Conservation Initiatives (ECI) was registered in 1999 under Societies Registration Act 1860 No. RSICT319. This is a national NGO with headquarters inIslamabadand field units throughoutPakistanranging from Skardu in the North andHyderabadin the South. ECI has won the certification award fromPakistanCenterfor Philanthropy (PCP) for its internal governance, financial management and program delivery. This is a well established, well-known and qualified organization with expertise in issues and their management related to sustainable agriculture development, rural enterprise, integrated farm management, livelihoods development, community based eco-tourism, biodiversity & environmental conservation, natural disasters, quality education and capacity building of communities in different ecological zones across the country. This is basically concerned with farming communities and grassroots group including both the men and women in under developed areas. Moreover, ECI has in-depth experience in conducting training workshops, feasibility / research studies, surveys, awareness campaigns, conferences, symposia, exposure visits and strategic planning.
The prevalent apathetic condition of the farming community inPakistan, increasing unchecked population growth rate, deteriorating state of the environment and worsening situation of climate change at the global level led the founding members of ECI to establish this organization. Before the maturity of this idea in mid 1999, several meetings were held among the founding members, progressive growers, leading economists of the country and renowned conservationists. As a result, ECI was established in June 1999 with the charity mission to support the downtrodden and underprivileged class of society for enhancement of quality of their life. ECI is fortunate to seek the moral, professional and technical support from the founding members from 1999 to date that would certainly be continued for indefinite period.
ECI emphasize upon sustainable integrated management of crops from preparation of the land to post-harvest practices in the context of environmental conservation and marketing of the produce. In this context, organization has to work in close harmonization with the target growers so that enhanced sense of community participation in various activities, promotion of collective decision making & cooperative farming at the village level, improved social relation of community with the mills management, thereby congenial environment for smooth business, raising greater awareness about the impacts of climate change and interests among the farmers in farming practices at the community level may be ensured.
One of the main focuses of ECI is to build capacity of the growers through on-farm training for demonstration of productivity enhancement of the food crops including cotton, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, cereals, rice, as well as wheat, etc. Currently, ECI is providing services on more than 30,000 hectares of land working with about more than 50,000 growers throughoutPakistan. At present, more than 2,000 contract growers are working with ECI since 2004 in different areas to enhance the productivity of their crops through our services.
As part of its inherent strategy, ECI has to carry out the tasks in a way that capacity of the farmers is built in post-harvest management practices, development & rehabilitation of efficient irrigation systems, water conservation, water harvest techniques and identification of reliable markets for their produce. Furthermore, ECI has established many “Farmer Field Schools” (FFSs) in Punjab & Sindh to empower the youth both technically as well as professionally in modern agriculture taking into account the aspects of food security. The main purpose of this initiative is to empower the growers so that they could start their own agricultural businesses. In all the agricultural and horticultural programs, the organization emphasizes upon sustainable integrated management of crops from preparation of the land to post-harvest practices and marketing of the produce.
At present, ECI is operating a number of development projects with the financial support of national as well as international donors including Government of Pakistan, UNDP, UNICEF,USAID-CNFA, AKDN, WDD – Government of Sindh, NORAD and private entrepreneurs at the large level. The sole objective for establishment of ECI is to widely implement environment friendly approaches for the cause of agriculture and sustainable development taking into account the aspects of transboundary environmental conservation with focus on mitigating climate change trends. In the last three years, ECI has successfully enhanced capacity of Sugar Mills in integrated crop and pest management and helped almost 20 Sugar Mills to establish their own biological based laboratories, which are running as successful programs to date. As a result, they have saved huge amount of resources by adopting the ECI introduced ICM/IPM approach. One of the most distinguishing features of ECI is being the only organization in non-profit sector who deals with highly technical aspects of agriculture sector inPakistan.