Environmental Africa Trust
Environment Africa Trust (EAT) supports organisations working in Sub-Saharan Africa that encourage sound environmental management and biodiversity conservation through a strong community economic development focus to achieve sustainable livelihoods.
EAT is a UK Registered Charity (no. 1025443) aiming to support appropriate projects operated by self-sustaining organisations in sub-Saharan Africa. It emphasises African partners taking the lead to define their needs and aspirations and the ways in which EAT can provide assistance.
EAT recognises the growing interrelationship and interdependence between the environment and development fields, and aims to support African projects which share this recognition and work to bring about a productive and sustainable combination of both to the benefit of communities.
EAT's objectives are:
- advance public education in the importance of species and habitat conservation;
- relieve poverty, with particular emphasis on the responsible management of natural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa;
- promote sustainable means of achieving economic growth and regeneration within Sub-Saharan Africa.
EAT is currently run by its Board of Trustees with support from advisors.
EAT supports organisations working in Sub-Saharan Africa that encourage sound environmental management and biodiversity conservation through a strong community economic development focus to achieve sustainable livelihoods.
Going further, with its revival also recognising a renewal of its values, EAT’s vision is to be a UK Charity supporting appropriate projects operated by NGOs and other recognised bodies in Africa. It aims to operate flexibly and with minimal overheads or permanent infrastructure so that it can maximise support to overseas organisations. It emphasises African partner NGOs taking the lead to define their needs and aspirations and the ways in which EAT can provide assistance. Where expert technical assistance is required it should be contracted by EAT according to need, allowing flexibility in the type, location and duration of support and reducing expensive UK infrastructure. It is the view of EAT that development of the economies and conservation of the habitats of the South will only come about through listening to and engaging with those from the South who articulate the needs of their own communities.
EAT recognises the growing interrelationship and interdependence between the environment and development fields, and aims to support African projects which share this recognition and work to bring about a productive and sustainable combination of both to the benefit of rural communities.
MCDI is the first such project. EAT is also opening up discussions with other potential African partners in several other sub-Saharan countries in Africa.
EAT was founded in 1993 by Douglas Chandler as a vehicle for promoting environmental sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa, where he had lived for many years.
On retiring Douglas returned to UK and tried to settle down. His concern for species conservation, particularly Black Rhino, prompted him to commence exploring ways of providing assistance. His analysis concluded that education about the issues was an important component. Eventually he, along with others, founded EAT as a means of addressing the education issue. He established a schools correspondence programme involving more than a dozen pairs of Zimbabwean and UK schools. Information was exchanged between the schools for some time until his untimely death in 1997.
Regrettably the other Trustees lacked the resources needed to continue the work, principally time, and EAT fell dormant. However the Chairman, by now Mike Chandler, with the agreement of the other Trustees explored the options. Closing EAT down and transferring the assets to another Trust was the obvious easy option but this was quickly set to one side. Instead a number of initiatives were undertaken to seek out a partner of some kind, EAT had an asset, namely the Charity Commission registration that the Trustees were reluctant to relinquish providing a sustainable arrangement could be made.
Arrival of Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative and Kilimanyika
In 2004, through EAT’s network, an introduction to Mpingo Conservation Project, now known as Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative (MCDI) was effected by Fauna & Flora International (FFI). FFI’s support for MCD had been long lived and had seen the project taken from an undergraduate expedition in 1996 to a project funded by BP and the Darwin Award and was running as an NGO in Tanzania with full-time staff by 2004. FFI continue to have a strong relationship with the Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative. At this time, MCDI was seeking a UK representative charity to support it in its fundraising, awareness-raising and operational activities and EAT felt this was an opportune moment to both support MCDI’s development and for its own revival.
A correspondence was initiated by email between the two organisations. In due course an agreement was reached that MCDI would put forward two Trustees to come on board alongside the existing EAT Trustees. Together they planned to revive EAT to become in the first instance the vehicle in UK that MCDI needed and secondly to develop in its own right. The involvement of the MCDI was therefore not only of benefit to the Tanzanian NGO, but also to EAT itself, and the charity is now undergoing a committed revival with support from Comic Relief and other donors.
Since 2007, EAT has been working with Kilimanyika, a firm offering specialist technical support in natural resources management, communications and campaigns. Kilimanyika conceived and now manage the Sound & Fair campaign which is being supported through EAT with donor funds.See more