Our team

20 years of consulting experience

2012 saw the 20th anniversary of ECO's business operations. With the years, the company's focus has evolved from essentially forest- and rural development-oriented advice to a rather governance-centered perspective. Policy reform (decentralization, democratization, civil society empowerment) today constitutes a major share of ECO's activities.

ECO was founded in 1992, the year of the Rio World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD), as ECO Gesellschaft für sozialökologische Programmberatung GbR. Conceived in the spirit of WSSD paradigms, yet based on the managing directors' 20 years' experience in bilateral cooperation, ECO made a headstart as contractor of German official development assistance.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH – formerly GTZ –, as one of the implementing agencies for the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development's development assistance, long remained the company's prime commissioning body, later seconded by KfW Entwicklungsbank, AfDB, the World Bank and non-governmentals.

Founded by experts in temperate/tropical forestry and in social sciences, ECO sought new ways to "combine human and natural resources for sustainable development", in the area of natural resources management, namely forestry and silviculture. Solutions for forestry-related challenges were integrated and proved fruitful in rural development, food security and obvioulsy, poverty reduction programmes.

Intersecting services in capacity building and public relations were continually extended and partly cast into branches of their own (cf. ECO Nature Edition, ECO Expo). With ECOG, ECO established its own Agadir-based office in the Maghreb. ECO Education was founded in 2005, to cover services for the public education sector.

ECO co-founder Cornelia Sepp (left), working for the former GTZ-GATE in 1984.

Think-tank for innovative concepts: head office Oberaula.

Download our anniversary brochure
"20 Jahre ECO" (German only, 5.3 MB)

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