Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
IWC is an evolving online COP–Community of Practice. We engage in sharing Experiences & Knowledge from across the world. We discuss, debate, consult Experts and seek to enlist the common man in the movement for sustainable enjoyment of bounties & beauty of Nature such that each individual contributes her might. As on 13th June 2011, we have 4813 members 4040 of whom are from various states of India. All the states in India are represented on our site.
India is the second biggest parliamentary democracy in the world with a
growth rate of 8-9% p.a. The demography is skewed towards people under
the age of 30. A quick analysis of the age group of our members show a
majority in the age group 18-30. The average annual income is around US$
300-400. Our engagement with this community online is in terms of
sourcing content by way of articles, research reports, trip reports and blogs. Most of the content of IWC is user generated. Besides this, we draw experts for our online chats from our user base. The site has been online since 2000. According to 'Alexa stats', "almost all the site's visitors are in India, where it has attained a traffic rank of 34,741. Indianwildlifeclub.com is in the “Wildlife” category of websites. The site has a bounce rate of about 41% (i.e., 41% of visits consist of only one pageview)."
In addition we have 639 members in our yahoo group, 725 in IWC
flickrgroup, 148 subscribers in youtube and 1818 likes on facebook.
Our engagement with the community offline has been mainly through film
screenings and photo exhibitions. IndianWildlifeClub.com has produced five
documentary films relating to nature and wildlife. Our documentary films have participated and won acclaim in National/International Festivals like
Mumbai International Film Festival, 2000, Delhi International Film Festival, 2001, IDPA Awards, Mumbai, 2004, Travel Film Festival, Kerala,2006, Dhan Development Film Festival, Madurai, 2009 and Mediterranean Environment Awards, Turkey, 2009. Most of our Films have been screened by different TV Channels in India, some dubbed in Hindi and other local languages.Some have been acquired by Indira Gandhi National open University (IGNOU) for Environment Education. IWC has done programmes/Campaigns with 1.WWF 2.WPA 3.BNHS 4.Nehru Bal Bhawan 5.Cathay Pacific Airlines 6.Fuji Films and 7.HeeK Children‘s Magazine.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Rapid decline in forest cover is causing a decline in species diversity of the country besides causing man animal conflict. Given the large human
population India has, we need to find a balance where, in many areas
adjacent to or in protected areas we need to empower and educate people
who live in close proximity to wildlife. The passion and resources of
NGOs/Government agencies continue to be applied in established
ineffective ways. We need to first change our mindset to overcome deep-rooted roadblocks in protecting our wilderness areas. Successful solutions to wilderness crisis elsewhere in the world are not one-shot, immediate result acts. They involve community organization, appropriate technology, transfer of ownership, change in behavior, and long-term maintenance. Integrating these dimensions - one project at a time - is hard, and trying to replicate in other projects is much harder. This difficulty has made our ability to scale the work within our current bureaucratic process impossible. The community of online nature lovers at IWC has reacted positively to a collaborative approach that transparently, and efficiently destroys our roadblocks, empowering us to solve the wilderness crisis.
The project targets the community as the prime mover, and drives the conservation efforts of experts, bureaucrats and volunteers to sensitise the community and utilize the power of concern to support and promote conservation measures, which would call for community sacrifice.
The emphasis on the community is the innovation.