Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Reflections on The Twitter Eye lens
A Review of a Foundation and a Peoples Programme 
  


Save our Seas [SOS] foundation is a non-profit organization with a following of 1350. It was started in 2003 by His excellency Abdulmohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh out of a combined passion of scuba diving, everything marine, its environs especially its conservation policies. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The Forest Peoples Program [www.forestpeoples.org] [FPP] is a registered charity in the United Kingdom, with a following of 8233, with the aim of supporting and defending indigenous forest communities globally through legal and educational channels. The FPP has consultative status with the United Nations [UNESCO].

These two NGOs work indirectly for the preservation and conservation of the natural world. They are known to influence both local and global politics. Agenda 21 of the United Nations has a chapter to the role of NGOs in partnering for suitable development. Both NGOs focus on long term goals, maintain institutional independence and political neutrality. Improved communication technologies have been able to promote their causes possibly through citizen science where they have empowered experts/scientists to reach places with poor public or environmental performances which have been brought to their attention by local inhabitants in these places.

The SOS foundation is known to organize large scale actions around specific themes, especially with businesses that seek to empower populations to regain control of their lives. They also work to strengthen local organizations for example, in 2016, its magazine arm wrote an article on the temporary ban of octopus fishing in Madagascar [www.saveourseasmagazine.com/octopuss-garden-madagascar/] this simple action triggered a domino effect that influenced tangible changes in the Ecosystem Services in this region. The real story here is how they impacted the local communities by networking and roping the political powers to change local fishing laws in the country. The Forest Peoples Program is committed to sustaining communities through social justice, which has become an important role in promoting sustainable community development at the grass root level. The SOS foundation has created trends by giving attention to projects they have funded/ collaborated and by organizing annual conferences where they have pulled in marine scientists from different disciplines around the globe. These individuals or organizations have been rewarded by either having project ideas funded or having their research published on both their social and environmental impacts. 

The FPP is very sophisticated at wooing the media in terms of size and its financial strength is found in the humanitarian realm. The FPP give legal advice, and as far as the science is concerned, they have many volunteer scientists like anthropologists who work alongside them, that are able to drum up public support, for example, in November 1996 in Argentina, they [FPP] helped coin the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity [www.forestpeoples.org/partner/international-indigenous-forum-biodiversity-iifb] which continues to impact and empower these communities by reaching out at times through microfinance in order to mobilize educational community programmes that contribute to a platform of public awareness about them.

The SOS foundation and FPP have networked through social media and impacted world politics, which has seen an increase in funding from public and private grants. Globally, there is a growing demand for information in terms of actions in the enhancement and protection of biological diversity through the stewardship of natural resources. The “Twitter handle” has enabled both NGOs to reach people like You and me, they have managed to engage us with their worlds by making us part of theirs when we clicked and followed. You know what, I kinda Like it. My little voice that meets thousands of other voices that turn into a tsunami that brings in change.

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