Las Historias Detalladas (Basados en visitas de campo y entrevistas extensas)
- Tailandia – Provincia Nonthaburi – Reutilización y Reciclaje en el Templo Wat Suan Kaew – Wat Suan Kaew Un templo combina la reutilización creativa y el reciclaje, la agricultura sustentable y programas sociales.
Las Historias Cápsulas
- Sudáfrica – Humedales Walkerstroom – Ecoturismo – Al proteger praderas y humedales se fomenta el turismo de naturaleza y estimula a la economia local.
- Zambia – Transformando Comunidades a través del Desarrollo Sustentable – Un programa de conservación de vida silvestre y desarrollo comunitario protege la biodiversidad mientras mejora la vida en las aldeas de la región.
- Suecia – Reforma Fiscal Ecológica – La reforma fiscal genera amplios incentivos para la sustentabilidad.
- Brasil – Icapui – Microcréditos – Los microcréditos sirven de alternativa a la sobreexplotación de langosta por parte de pescadores.
- India – Rajasthan (y otros estados) – Centro Artesanal Ranbathore – Una pujante comunidad artesanal revive tradiciones locales y genera empleos alternativos para mujeres en zonas rurales deprimidas.
- India – Rajasthan – “Universidad Descalza” – Un programa aldeano revive la sabiduría tradicional, su autosuficiencia y el desarrollo rural holístico.
Sudáfrica – Humedales Walkerstroom – Ecoturismo
by Amanda Suutari
The town of Walkerstroom is three hours southeast of Johannesberg in the heart of the last great stretch of grassland in South Africa (possibly Africa). Its population of 6,500 people has been declining with the cancellation of a railroad originally planning to run through the town. Due to this outmigration, about half of the houses were derelict and empty. There was no tourism, nearly three-quarters of the businesses had closed down, and the main employers were government services. Neither the grassland nor the nearby wetland had any legal protection. As local activist Elena Kotze points out, the townships suffer “the urban woes without the advantages of urban areas,” including high unemploymennt, no services and few prospects for the future except to leave for the cities, further impoverishing the townships.
Ancient upland grasslands once covered about 60% of Africa. Africans use many indigenous plants and animals in traditional medicines, many of which are unique to South Africa’s grassland, making it an irreplaceable gene pool which could supply both traditional and pharmaceutical products sustainably. Its natural collection and slow-release of rainwater also feeds three of the country’s major rivers. While some pristine areas remain, some 60-80% of these grasslands have been transformed by timber plantations, open-pit coal or gold mining, sprawl, or cropland.
When Elena Kotze and her husband arrived in Walkerstroom in 1989, she began to take an active interest in finding ways to protect the local grassland and wetland, and to rejuvenate the economy. The grassland supports great diversity of flora and fauna, including many species of birds, and here she saw potential for birding enthusiasts. She opened up a guesthouse for tourists, much to the amusement of locals. Shortly after, many of the derelict houses began filling up with birding tourists. A second guest house opened in 1992, followed by several more. A cheese factory, cafes and local craft shops soon followed, and today there are five guest houses/lodges, seven bed and breakfast cottages, a butcher, bakery and art gallery. Kotze has been encouraging local industries that use local resources, for example paper production by reeds, pressed wildflowers, pottery, basket making, and production of value-added agricultural products such as cheese, salami, jams, pickles, wine, beer and chutneys. For tourist guides, learning first-aid skills as part of their training elevated their value and status to communities who lacked access to basic medical services. They also had to learn about the wetlands and grasslands as well as local culture and history, which bridged a widening gap between the older and younger generations, and helped to build pride and a sense of connection and stewardship for their natural and cultural heritage.
Kotze and her husband have also initiated work to have 1,000,050 hectares of grassland declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She has helped to create the umbrella organization GRASS (Grasslands Require Active Support to Survive) that brings together government agencies, non-government organizations, youth groups, etc. to carry out research (in particular surveying, mapping and land-use patterns) and campaigning. GRASS has been accepted by all departments and agencies involved, and has attracted the interest of the National Water and Forestry Affairs Ministry for potential replication (integrated catchment management and civil-society-government parterships are popular politically but Walkerstroom is the first living example of this). Out of this grew the Ekangala Grassland Trust, which is a campaign for formalization of the Grassland biosphere reserve under UNESCO. This idea has some popular support as towns outside of the reserve are asking for inclusion.
Another project Kotze has been involved with is the creation of the Walkerstoon Wetland Reserve. The wetland has always been critical to economic survival of local herders, who would burn some of the grassland to ensure a green grass supply. In the years before the reserve was designated, none of the crowned crane chicks fledged, but after burning was restricted in designated areas, reed beds have increased and the number of crane chicks who fledge has increased dramatically.
While many problems still remain, Kotze notes the dramatic change brought in with the recent economic revival, which has also prompted the creation of a business forum and a cultural association. This has brought in new people and new skills from outside, which has reversed the spiral of outmigration and brain drain.
This is a good example of how tourism can prompt local people to learn more about their own natural and cultural heritage, inspiring a sense of pride and stewardship over its future. It is not known from the information whether the area is accessible financially and culturally to tourists or limited to well-off educated white birders from Europe or other parts of South Africa. If this is upmarket or niche tourism, there is the question of risk of gentrification of the town, and the segregation of industry with most of the menial service jobs going to local people. Also, local people feel tourism isn’t enough to support the town’s economy.
For more information visit Changemakers.
Zambia – Transformando Comunidades a través del Desarrollo Sustentable
by Amanda Suutari
In Zambia’s North Luangwa Valley, where rampant illegal wildlife poaching in the 1980s decimated the wild elephant population and left villagers living in extreme poverty, Hammerskjoeld Simwinga – known as Hammer – is utilizing innovative sustainable community development strategies to restore wildlife and transform this poverty-stricken area.
Heading up the North Luangwa Wildlife Conservation and Community Development Programme (NLWCCDP), Simwinga protects the biodiversity of the North Luangwa National Park while simultaneously improving village life in the region through micro-lending, education, rural health programs and women’s empowerment.
Simwinga began working in the region with the US-funded North Luangwa Conservation Project in 1994, when local economies relied heavily on income from poaching. He helped villagers form “wildlife clubs” that used small business loans to provide basic goods, services and legal jobs as alternatives to working for the poachers. Each wildlife club was run as a free enterprise; village entrepreneurs were expected to repay their start-up loans.
Through the wildlife clubs, villagers opened small general stores and grinding mills, offering employment to millers, mechanics and bookkeepers. The program also assisted subsistence farmers with seed loans, transportation and technical assistance to help them grow protein-rich crops with better yields so they did not have to depend on meat from wild animals. Simwinga tied the entire project to protection of the wildlife, thus supplanting an illicit economy based on poaching with a legal one.
Simwinga’s tireless efforts have led to a dramatic transformation of the region. Income has increased one hundred-fold among the villagers and family food stocks have doubled. As a result, illegal elephant poaching is now 98 percent controlled and bush meat poaching is minimal. Wildlife has returned to the area, including elephants, hippos, Cape buffalos, and puku. Even critically endangered black rhinos have been reintroduced in the North Luangwa National Park by the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
The program now reaches more than 35,000 people and serves as a model for other sustainable development programs throughout the African continent.
Government Interference and Continuing Need for Support
Simwinga began his community development work with the North Luangwa Conservation Project (NLCP), a US-funded organization founded in 1986 by Dr. Delia and Mark Owens that trained local game scouts and worked with villages to rehabilitate and conserve the 6,200-square-kilometer North Luangwa National Park. In the 1980s the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) set regulations on, but did not ban, trade in ivory, resulting in years of massive elephant poaching in Africa; half of Africa’s 1.2 million wild elephants were killed between 1979 and 1989 and North Luangwa’s elephant population dropped from 17,000 to 1,300.
As the successes of NLCP’s work became apparent in the mid-1990s, powerful government officials and others capitalizing on poaching saw their profits dwindle with the slowdown in the illicit ivory and meat trade. In 1996, Zambian government officials arrived in Mpika and seized the NLCP offices; the entire project came to a halt. Within weeks the project was reopened but after a year of uncertainty, NLCP was turned over to a new management organization. They were unable to fund all of NLCP’s initiatives and quickly dropped support for all village development programs.
But Simwinga was undeterred. He worked tirelessly to keep the community development program moving forward, funding the project partially through loan payments from villagers. For almost a year he worked alone with the communities, regularly walking 30 kilometers between villages. Slowly he pulled together a substantial Zambian non-government organization, NLWCCDP, and attracted small funding to keep the work alive. His challenge now is to manage the ever-growing demand for the project in neighboring regions and bolster financial support from the international community.
In 2007, Time Magazine named Simwinga one of their “Heroes of the Environment.” Read full article
Hammerskjoeld Simwinga is a recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize. For more information see the Goldman Prize website.
Suecia – Reforma Fiscal Ecológica
by Amanda Suutari
Compared with the rest of the world, European countries have very well-developed “green” fiscal policies. While most of the these are applied to transportation (motor vehicles, gas and diesel), “green taxes” are used to address various other issues such as waste management, packaging, air emissions, fertilizer use, and extend to other market-based incentives such as trading “credits,” take-back programs for manufactured goods, deposit-refund schemes, rebates, the removal of perverse subsidies (and introduction of others) and various other programs. While many of these measures were originally used to target certain environmental issues, there has been a trend towards more comprehensive tax reform to shape environmentally responsible practices across the board.
Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Western European countries and Japan have set up commissions to explore the opportunities for and issues surrounding introducing broader green tax shifts. In the three decades up to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, there was growing awareness in Sweden of carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, and the signing of the Rio Declaration pushed them towards more clear commitments. The government had been trying to find the best way to reduce all types of emissions, but the economy had slowed down. Their dilemma was how to do this and still raise employment and also survive in a transforming global system that put increasing pressure on national industries to become more “efficient” by externalizing costs.
Knowing that environmental regulation was unpopular, especially among industry, the government decided to introduce several taxes in 1991. One of these was the carbon tax, levied on a two-tiered basis for two classes of users, household and industrial. They were able to introduce them to households (who depended on this mainly for home heating and transport) because there was broad popular support. Introducing these taxes began to have an effect on heating infrastructure, where the use of biomass increased in local heating districts. It also created new demand for biomass and led to innovations in the field, as well as improvements in other technologies in home heating efficiency.
For industry, who were opposed to the taxes, there were initial exemptions and incremental expansion of taxes. Sweden was among the first countries to initiate the “feebate” system, which was a way to get support from business. The revenue collected from these various taxes was returned to any businesses who increased efficiency of their plants, proportionate to the increase; in other words, the bigger the improvement, the bigger the refund. This would help businesses offset the costs of investing in improved efficiency. Under this feebate system, NOx emissions fell by 35% in the first year alone, and investment in abatement technologies went up accordingly. (This is a situation where heavier polluters are transferring resources to, or subsidizing, lighter polluters – -instead of the case where government and public typically subsidize heavy polluters with elevated health care costs and reduced quality of life).
The taxes have influenced emissions even more dramatically on carbon and sulfur than on nitrogen. The tax on sulfur led to a reduction in sulfur content on fuels 50% below the legal requirement and halved SO2 emissions in the last eight years. The total decrease in emissions since 1970 has been over 70%, and Sweden has led the 30% club, in a pledge to reduce SO2 emissions by 1993-95, and other countries such as France, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and West Germany followed suit, pledging reductions of 40-50% by the mid-nineties.
The effects of these changes are apparent on ordinary lifestyles. Emissions controls are used on cars, appliances are energy efficient, homes are energy conserving, and household and industrial materials are recycled. One of the cleanest garbage-to-fuel plants in Karlstad separates and recycles most of its input and burns the rest for energy. Co-generated steam from the plant provides hot water and heating for 60,000 of the area’s residents, and an adjoining landfill feeds a biogas system for additional energy. There is a “solar” village above 58 degrees latitude where households have managed to meet their heat and hot water needs by solar alone for five months of the year, which shows the potential for northern regions to take advantage of the longer days of summer. Taxes on nuclear energy have also been part of a plan to phase out nuclear power by 2010, while retaining limits on hydroelectric power. Over the years these programs have evolved and extended to nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides, scrapping cars, gravel extraction and others.
In 2000, a broad tax “shift” created revenue and raised employment levels through job skill training. The word “shift” is important because while the goal may be have been aimed at raising revenue, it has also redirected the flow of money through the Swedish economy where the tax burden is heaviest on those who exact the greater costs on society. For example, some of the taxes on home heating and electricity have been combined with offsetting tax cuts, which include lower income taxes and social security contributions. Notes:
- One speculation is that the expansion of the EU might give northern and western Europe the incentive to externalize some of their costs onto Eastern Europe – -and this is already happening in Slovenia, which is said to be on its way to being the new “Detroit” of Europe, where heavy industries are taking advantage of the removal of barriers and lower costs to set up plants there. At the same time, there might also be changes in terms of technology transfer and harmonization of technologies across the region as well, which may allow Eastern Europe to leapfrog some of the more backward stages in development taken by the West. It is possible to imagine both trends happening simultaneously.
- This case, or a similar one, might be useful in looking at larger-scale, global tipping points where an economic system is fundamentally redesigned in a way to internalize costs and cause far-reaching effects on the infrastructure of production, distribution, marketing, consumption, lifestyle, transportation, energy, land use, waste, employment, social services, etc. While taxes in the US are a dirty word, and any talk of fiscal restructuring puts most people to sleep, there could be many concrete examples of the spin-off effects to bring this case alive to ordinary readers. While the Irish “plastax” (preceeding) is an interesting case in that it shows how targeting a specific problem can bring quick results, a case like this would show a slower, more fundamental process which results in a deeper economic and social transformation. In effect, it’s a vision of full-cost accounting, and much of Northern and Western Europe have managed to incrementally introduce these changes with strong support from not only the public, but also industry – -if introduced with careful consideration for incentives and the clear understanding of potential for savings. And of course, Scandinavia or western Europe, while leagues ahead of the rest of the world, are still far from achieving what will be an ongoing drawn-out process which each region will have to follow their lead while adapting to regional conditions.
For more information visit the HORIZON Solutions Site.
Brasil – Icapui – Microcréditos
por Amanda Suutari
Icapui es un pueblo agrícola y pesquero de 17,000 habitantes en la costa noreste de Brasil. Ambas actividades han sufrido debido a sequías prolongadas y una disminución en la captura de langosta. En esta región, las pequeñas empresas no pueden obtener préstamos, los agricultores y pescadores se encuentran en crisis, y los jóvenes huyen a las ciudades buscando la supuesta mejor vida en las urbes.
Un día durante una reunión publica, a los pescadores de langosta se les informó de una nueva ley federal que obligaba la captura de langosta con trampas, quedando prohibidas las redes. Esto molestó a los pescadores, ya que el 95% usaba redes porque las trampas tienen menor rendimiento. Aunque los pescadores comprendían que tarde o temprano se acabarían a la langosta, tenían familias que alimentar y consideraban que sus necesidades inmediatas tenían prioridad sobre la sustentabilidad a largo plazo.
Los lugareños pensaron que la mas obvia – y quizá la única – manera de fortalecer la economía local era atrayendo a una empresa multinacional, a pesar de que no resolvería del todos sus problemas, y traería además consigo problemas económicos, ambientales y sociales inesperados.
Sin embargo, un líder comunitario de nombre Francisco de Oliveira Repoucas Neto desarrolló la idea de combinar “microcréditos” con capacitación en administración para forjar empresarios de entre los residentes. En 1996 Neto inició un programa de nombre Orgape, u “Organización de Apoyo a Pequeñas Empresas”. Orgape combina cuatro tipos de servicios:
- Microcréditos flexibles a lugareños.
- Capacitación en administración de pequeñas empresas.
- Apoyo a microempresas en cubrir las discrepancias entre oferta y demanda.
- Capacitación de jóvenes como futuros emprendedores.
Los prestatarios pagan un 3% de interés. Esto no es suficiente para cubrir los gastos operativos de Orgape, y para cubrir la diferencia obtiene donativos de oficina y dos salarios (cada agente, nativo de la comunidad en que trabaja, puede administrar hasta 150 prestamistas) por parte de los municipios donde opera. Los municipios cooperan, ya que se benefician de una pujante comunidad empresarial y cuesta menos de lo que normalmente invierten en desarrollo económico.
Orgape opera en ocho poblados (cada uno con una población de entre 10 y 15 mil habitantes) y su tasa de clientes morosos de 2.4% es la más baja de Brasil. En caso de que el cliente no pueda pagar, se le otorga una extensión y ofrece capacitación empresarial, que ayudan a muchos a hacer sus pagos. Orgape ha ayudado a 1,335 familias en Ceara, uno de los estados más empobrecidos de Brasil, y el 75% de sus clientes han aumentado sus ingresos familiares en un 42%.
El proyecto ha ayudado a algunos pescadores a hacer la transición a otros negocios, como son la cría de ovejas, la conversión de un puesto de cerveza en una pensión, un salón de belleza, y expansiones de empresas existentes como restaurantes. Los préstamos también han fomentado el darle un valor agregado a los productos locales; por ejemplo, un agricultor de arroz compró la maquinaria que necesitaba para procesar su cosecha y venderla localmente, en vez de enviarla a la ciudad, y además rentó su maquinaria a otros agricultores aumentando aún más sus ingresos. El programa además está creando contactos entre los prestatarios, permitiéndoles tratar directamente entre sí, creando cadenas de distribución y abasto local. Las utilidades de los pequeños empresarios son sustentables porque responden a necesidades locales, ofrecen bienes y servicios a precios del mercado, y reinvierten en microempresas, diversificando su perfil.
Además de fortalecer la independencia financiera, el programa ha impulsado la madurez política en comunidades acostumbradas a depender de funcionarios corruptos que antes compraban el voto. También ha reducido la vulnerabilidad de residentes a la “invasión” por parte de multinacionales.
* Los términos “microcrédito” o “microfinanciamiento”, junto con otros de moda como son “comercio justo” y “orgánico”, han sido sobre-explotados y manipulados por intereses financieros internacionales al grado que causan confusión y escepticismo. Con el fin de aclarar esto, la intención del microcrédito como camino al desarrollo:
- Ayuda a familias pobres a que se mejoren, en vez de darles limosna.
- Se basa en la confianza, no en procedimientos legales.
- Es una respuesta a la banca convencional que tradicionalmente niega créditos a los pobres
- Es una alternativa a la inversión por parte de multinacionales para comunidades marginadas que han perdido sus recursos tradicionales.
Para mayores informes visite Changemakers.
India – Rajasthan (y otros estados) – Centro Artesanal Ranbathore
by Amanda Suutari
When the 400-kilometer-square Ranthanbore National Park was created in the arid part of eastern Rajasthan, those living in the reserve were relocated onto marginal land lacking in water, fodder or proper agricultural land. Displaced from their traditional resource-based economy, villagers were driven into casual labor such as agricultural or construction workers breaking rocks or clearing roads on construction sites.
Around this time, a Delhi-based craft society, Dastkar, identified the area as a potential candidate to build up a crafts industry. Dastkar is a society for crafts and artisans, working to improve the economic condition of craftspeople, and to preserve India’s rich and diverse artisanal traditions threatened by social and market forces. Crafts may include pottery, accessories, garments, or home furnishings. Their process includes identifying skills, creating awareness among locals of the skills, then developing with the villagers designs, markets, and ways to invest incomes generated. Through these activities it hopes to market actually useful products (and not encouraging consumption for charity), encouraging use of recycled or locally available goods such as newsprint, scrap paper, rags, cane, wool, or reed. The emphasis on self-sufficiency also prevents the dependence on exploitative “middlemen” through direct sales to customers at its cooperative shop, exhibitions, and bazaars. Its core philosophy is, to quote its website, “to make itself redundant.” Dastkar has also recently gotten a permit to export outside of India. Each year it chooses 8-10 groups to work with, and today works with over 100 groups in most states of India.
When Dastkar began to visit Ranthambore in 1989, locals were skeptical. Dastkar representatives saw the creative potential in the villages from the local artisanal traditions, including the decorative madna paintings on the walls of houses. Part of the initial work was simply motivating women to understand their own potential, and to earn their trust as outsiders to the villagers. When an initial consignment was finally agreed upon, a group of 35 women worked for 10 days to produce an order of various goods, for which they were paid an amount comparable to the equivalent of backbreaking physical construction labor. This served as encouragement and stimulus, and the cooperative began to grow in numbers: by 1991, 18 months after the first project, 75 women were involved, which has grown to 300 people today whose activities range from embroidery to leather, dyeing, pottery, patchwork and block printing. The role of the members has also evolved from making crafts to going to bazaars to run the stalls and interact with visitors, as well as organizing the accounting, marketing, and management.
The Ranthanbore Craft Community Center has since opened, which houses an office, sales outlet, training/workshop center, raw material store, guesthouse and community center. Since the beginning of the project, there has been a noticeable change not only in the level of confidence of the women, with the weakening of purdah (covering of faces and staying at home) but also in the intercaste relationships between Hindu as well as Hindu-Muslim relations. It has also helped to revive and strengthen knowledge of and appreciation for traditional crafts.
For more information visit Dastkar.
India – Rajasthan – “Universidad Descalza”
by Amanda Suutari
Popularly known as “Barefoot College,” the Social Work and Research Center (SWRC) is a unique organization located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. It conducts multiple projects, aiming to promote traditional wisdom, self-sufficiency and holistic rural development. After seeing a devastating famine that killed thousands of people in the state of Bihar, founder Sanjit Bunker Roy set up the organization in Tilonia village in 1972, with the vision that this should not be in a city run by trained professionals but in the countryside among villages whose knowledge could be tapped to solve some of rural India’s problems.
At that time, Tilonia was typical in the sense that it was suffering many difficulties, such as unemployment, illiteracy, and little access to clean water, health care, or education. Most of all, villagers lacked organization and a sense of their own power – -most were too disenchanted with the petty corruption of village officials and demoralized by poverty to imagine they could change their situation.
The projects began with training to villagers to give them tools to help themselves, which would undermine the mentality that only qualified professionals could help them, as well as revive a sense of pride in traditional knowledge and practices. To date the center has trained two generations of villagers without any formal degrees to become alternative health care workers, solar engineers, hand pump mechanics and teachers. There is a broad range of projects, such as water management and revival of rainwater harvesting, night schools for children busy on the farm by day, health centers, solar power development, environment-friendly, cost-effective housing techniques, income generation and revival of regional artisanal skills combined with fair trade enterprise, community education via traditional media such as puppets and storytelling, women’s development groups, and community action to challenge the misuse of village government funds.
Solar power was first used in 1986 on a large scale to provide energy for the 80,000-square-foot campus, which today is totally self-sufficient in energy. The center has installed solar home lighting systems and produces solar lanterns, which produce a combined 178 kilowatts of solar energy across the country. Health centers are small dispensaries which charge a nominal fee, and provide services which combine “biochemic” and natural medicines, and services for women’s health, family planning, and trained midwives. There are also programs for physically challenged youth, and “mental wellness camps” which provide access to government psychiatrists to patients with mental disorders. There are 150 night schools for children whose farming duties prevent them from attending school during the day, and these are powered by solar lanterns. Teaching aids and learning materials used in the night schools are made from waste materials. Instruction is both formal and practical, for example children may learn about animal husbandry as well as reading and math. A mobile library also visits villages with the goal of encouraging children to read.
There is also the regeneration of waste lands by transplanting drought-resistant seedlings grown in the college nursery, the installation of hand pumps and the desilting of village ponds to recharge groundwater, and these construction projects have provided employment to landless laborers. Traditional media such as puppetry has been instrumental in communicating to semi-literate audiences information about health issues, education and human rights. Income-generation has helped to arrest urban migration, and handicrafts are being sold through well-known fair trade organizations Traidcraft, Friends of Tilonia and Bridgehead. In the early 1990s, a campaign began where villagers were asked questions about how much money was allotted to villages by the government for development, and how much was spent on other purposes. This people’s campaign was for the Right to Information, and public hearings were held to investigate the misappropriation of village funds.
Other women’s development programs developed, with direct action to improve wages, legal rights, and access to family planning. While changes are slow, there has been some progress, for example, in the attitude of local men – -particularly in Rajput, where women are forced into purdah, obligating them to cover their faces and stay inside. Initially hostile to the formation of women’s groups, communities are gradually realizing the women were trying to improve the lives of their families.
To date, 100,000 people in 110 villages spread over 500 square miles now have access to safe water, education, health, and employment. This has been one of the more well-known, successful holistic rural development agencies which has attracted attention from around the country and outside India. There are now 20 Barefoot College field centers (each serving 9 to 35 villages) found in 13 of India’s 26 states. It has 20% financial self-sufficiency, and receives the remainder of its expenses through sponsorships from various UN agencies (UNESCO, UNDP) as well as various departments and agencies of the Indian government.