Human Energy

What is EMANA?,

A non-profit collaborative project focused on facilitating sustainable development in vulnerable communities through science-based projects.

Who are we?

EMANA was started in 2011 by Dr. Daniel Teodoro (PhD Geographical Sciences), who is from El Salvador. However, the EMANA network has spanned since then to participants from Brazil, USA, Netherlands, Spain, Canada.

Area of focus

Our work is focused on El Salvador. Our pilot projects are located in the coastal community of Tasajera island, La Paz.

A view of Tasajera bay-side

How do we work?

The EMANA approach involves two classes of projects:

(1) knowledge-creation:
Before any action can be taken, an assessment of the state of the environmental and social system in a vulnerable community. We acknowledge that sustainable development is the sum of complex social and environmental processes, and therefore we create projects with the goal of gaining a high understanding of the problems communities face.

Knowledge-creation is about using systematic methodologies to ensure a high standard of knowledge is produced. Examples include the analysis of (de-)forestation or natural environment through spatial analysis (e.g., aerial drone photography or ecological field data).

We also employ social network analysis (SNA) methodologies to study social cohesion and participation in the communities’ common governance.

(2) Action-oriented:
In collaboration with local stakeholders, an action is designed with the goal of facilitating sustainable development to address a local need or priority.

Examples of this type of project include a summer school project (1.5 months), which provided classes to community members over a curriculum designed collaboratively with community members. Another example is the construction of aquaponic farming systems to alleviate financial loss due to the decline in fisheries.

Action-oriented projects can also be about supporting the expansion of the EMANA network. The focus can be on youth engagement with the goal of setting up new partnerships and collaborations in support of EMANA.

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