Sustainability is the cornerstone of all African Conservation Trust projects and integration with existing initiatives is of paramount importance. All current ACT initiatives were developed after years of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and submitted for funding consideration to a range of donors, as far back as 2006.
Our projects are first identified by the recognition of critical environmental, conservation or heritage issues and secondly, from interaction with local community members. Community involvement is a priority: we ensure that they play a direct role in every project’s implementation. Skills transfer and mentorship are always built-into project implementation plans, ensuring the sustainability of projects long after ACT's intervention has ended.
In addition, ACT meets regularly with stakeholders from a range of interest groups, including local and provincial government, localised NGOs and community structures, other environment and heritage organisations, landowners and the private sector to maintain a strong support base for each ACT-initiated project.
ACT is approached on a regular basis but we only implement a project after we have gained an clear understanding of the specific requirements in a particular geographical region or village. We always undertake our own needs assessments to confirm and ascertain the type and level of intervention that is necessary and then design project interventions accordingly.
Generally, ACT has been able to secure funding and resources ahead of time to successfully implement projects, and therefore prefers not to embark on a project if we are uncertain of its sustainability and full funding support. If ACT is requested to undertake an initiative to support or implement a project with which we feel we are unable to cope, due to our own resource constraints, we prefer to source another similar organization or group to undertake the project and provide backup support, rather than stretch our resources and fall short on delivery.