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NCI and RARE Inspiring Southern Ecuador Communities to Conserve Natural Resources
January 2010

Inspiring local communities to take pride in their natural assets

NCI is building a relationship with US-based conservation NGO, RARE, that will help inspire small community members in southern Ecuador to take pride in the natural assets that make their communities unique, offering them viable means to protect these assets. Rare is supporting the deployment of a Pride campaign in southern Ecuador, which is Rare’s methodology for changing attitudes and behaviors in an effort to protect natural resources. A major goal of the project is to conserve the 12,000 acre San Andres watershed to protect the water supply and water quality in the region. Rather Rarethan using a top-down approach by working only with regional governments, for example, Pride campaigns work from the bottom-up involving and engaging every segment of the community: teachers, business and religious leaders, elected officials, and the average citizen. The use of private sector marketing tactics to “sell” social change is a key component of a Pride campaign, with such tactics as focus-group testing of highly targeted messages; use of multiple media vehicles and outlets to reinforce messages over a sustained period of time; and rigorous measurement of “product adoption” (i.e. new attitudes, behaviors, and sustainable alternatives). All in all, Pride Campaigns have the advantage of appealing to people on an emotional level, generating an increased sense of pride and public stewardship that goes beyond merely raising awareness.

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