Our approach and values
Inclusive – nobody left behind
We support a community experiencing multiple disadvantages: we are indigenous ethnic groups located in the last mile, with little infrastructure or services, facing poverty, health issues, food and water insecurity, impacts of climate change, and uncertain jobs. Our women and children particularly feel the effects. We want to include all stakeholders, and to provide opportunities for the most disadvantaged in our community to be heard and to benefit.
Only by building the skills and capacity of our communities can we effectively manage our natural and other resources. Together we hope to learn the skills that allow us to find appropriate solutions to our daily challenges and towards a healthy and long-term future in Togean Islands.
While talking is important to decide how and where and when and with whom to do things, doing is where the actual change happens. We are doers.
Embrace and drive change
Reluctance to change landed us where we are now. Only change can move us to a healthier and more secure future.
Doing more with less
We aim to provide value-driven solutions that are financially viable as well as environmentally sound. Resources are too precious not to use wisely for best effect. We are not building an empire; we are building a healthy place to live, work and play.
Ethical and sustainable
We value all life forms that call Togean Islands home. That includes humans. Fair treatment and care is extremely important to us, be it the earth, the wildlife or the people. We will try to think ahead seven generations when considering the impact of our interventions.
Together we are stronger. There is strength in diversity. We aim to facilitate the togetherness and to value the potential contribution everyone and everything thing has to give.
Passionate and committed
We understand this process will not always be easy. When we fall down, we will get up again, work out what we can learn from the experience and keep going. When we fail, we will try to understand why and we will try something different. When we succeed, we will celebrate. We will share both our failures and our successes so that others may learn from them too.
Our inspired-by-nature approach
Our focus is on action-based, results-based measures. We are aware there is no time to waste when it comes to addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and the underlying factors such as poverty, disadvantage, lack of opportunity and inequality. We wish to prevent further damage to ecosystems, preserve remaining wildlife and restore systems that have already been damaged.
Not only do we work to protect nature and repair the damage caused by humans in our biosphere, but we also take our guidance and inspiration from it. Here are some ways in which Togean Conservation Foundation does that:
We understand that we are stronger together. By working together for mutual benefit towards shared goals and outcomes, we can harness resources and use them more effectively for the benefit of all life that exists here.
Partnering allows us to share our expertise, energy and ideas while allowing us to draw on the expertise, experience and resources of others. This applies to our relationship with sponsors and funders, volunteers, local businesses, government departments, and other local, national and international organisations.
Let nature do the job it evolved to do
Everything in nature has a purpose and function and has developed strategies evolved over time to enable it to survive. We recognise the value and contribution of every organism. By rebuilding healthy ecosystems, we can restore balance to our region, just as nature designed it.
We also apply this principle to our teams and project partners. We recognise the role and function of every team member or partnership member, respect the skills and knowledge they have evolved and enable them to perform their function efficiently within our work team ecosystem.
Work with nature, not against it
We understand that every natural system is on a journey. The destination is to become a complex web of relationships that are mutually dependent and sustainable. Severing these relationships results in ecological breakdown.
As well as trying to ensure that nature’s journey is assisted and not disturbed by our interventions, we also try to apply this principle to our human and organisational relationships. By networking effectively with and bringing together individuals, groups, businesses, communities, departments and organisations we can form a complex but beneficial web of relationships.
Restore balance and harmony
When things get out of balance, problems arise. Addressing these imbalances is a critical part of ecosystem restoration, otherwise some organisms benefit at the expense of others.
When we manage our coastal resources or forest resources in an extractive rather than regenerative way, natural capital is lost.
With our approach firmly rooted in the principles of community development, we try to ensure under-represented groups have the opportunities they need in order to flourish, be it sharing the wealth of ecotourism projects with local communities, supporting and building the capacity of women to enable them to develop sustainable and equitable livelihoods or designing projects to support wildlife that is endangered or threatened. We endeavour to help everybody to find their voice and to hear those voices. Our view of community extends beyond the human, as we are just one member of a complex community of organisms that make up our biosphere.
It’s Togean Islands diversity that makes it so unique and rich. The various islands are diverse in origin and geological makeup. The residents are diverse in ethnicity, language, and culture. The combination of wildlife is unique on each island. This diversity is an asset and deserves to be treasured, nurtured, cultivated and celebrated. It is our diversity that we seek to share with the world.
We fundamentally oppose anything that threatens our diversity, because this is both our stability and our strength. This applies to policy, farming methods, coastal management strategies, education, and everything in-between.
Whole systems approach
We understand that we inhabit an interconnected and complex system. We are part of an overall landscape. We encourage all stakeholders to recognise that everything we do impacts on others, and on other parts of our ecosystems. Damaging our forest has an impact on our reefs, our farms, our incomes. Failing to foster equal opportunities for our women has an impact on our children, our economy and our livelihoods. For this reason, we will consider Togean Islands as one large ecosystem, one biosphere and endeavour to ensure that the work we do in one area has positive benefits for all others. We will consider the impacts from ridge to reef, from elders to babies, from birds in the sky to the fish in the deepest of our seas.