Citi Foundation and WWF Russia will help national communities in Kamchatka
According to WWF analysis, Altai and Kamchatka are the regions where small ecologically oriented family business has great opportunities to develop. However, some obstacles appear on the way to sustainable “green” economy: due to extreme poverty in remote areas, local communities are too poor to qualify for bank loans or other traditional means of financing to start their small businesses. Another problem is lack of effective advertisement and promotion of community products and services to regional, national and international markets.
Poor indigenous communities scattered on the vast territory of this region are actively involved in illegal hunting and fishing and have no other source of income at all. As a result of poaching populations of endangered salmon species and other wildlife suffered considerable decline last 15 years. At the same time Kamchatka has unique landscapes: active volcanoes and geysers, wild salmon rivers, beautiful coasts. This area - still wild and undeveloped -- has great potential for ecotourism and sustainable development on the base of indigenous communities.
Citi Foundation grants about 9 million rubles to support indigenous communities of Altai and Kamchatka on the way of achieving legal sustainable livelihood. Micro-grants will be given to those communities which are oriented towards collecting and marketing non-timber forest products. Micro-grants will be given in spring 2014 by virtue of approved business plan.
Main conditions are:
- business plan has to provide new jobs
- collecting non-timber products has to be market oriented
Sustainable Livelihood Initiative in Altai and Kamchatka is a promising strategy for development of community-based socio-economic mechanisms and increasing the income of poor communities in the habitats of endangered species in both regions.