What is an Ecovillage?


One of the Jatukik Providence Foundation’s proudest achievements has been the establishment of the pilot ecovillage in Kibeti. But what does it mean to be an ecovillage? Why does JPF believe that the ecovillages can be effective tools for providing communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a long-term pathway out of poverty?


“ECO”- As the “eco” in ecovillage suggests, the primary focus of the ecovillage model is to create communities whose relationships with the natural world are both harmonious and sustainable. To achieve this goal, ecovillages utilize a number of green initiatives including but not limited to: supporting organic food production, use of renewable energy sources, preservation of natural surroundings through proper waste and energy management, maximizing use of local materials for construction and manufacturing, and protection of biodiversity. This model of effective and respectful use of natural resources makes a particularly compelling case for long-term sustainable development in the DRC, which ranks among the world’s poorest countries based on per capita GDP but one of the richest in natural resources and minerals. By sharing knowledge about agricultural techniques and energy and resource management, the ecovillage model aims to promote sustainable social and economic development in the DRC by creating a system in which the Congolese people can take advantage of the abundance of natural resources around them as a means to achieving growth and prosperity.


“VILLAGE”-Central to the ecovillage concept is the establishment of community. In addition to integrating harmoniously with nature, members of the ecovillage implement systems and infrastructure for democratic governance, commerce, and education. In the DRC, where a lack of good governance, public participation in the political process, and gender equality have stifled growth and reform, the ecovillage emphasis on self-governance and self-sufficiency represents a promising community model for the empowerment of women and democratic decision making.



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