We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!”
Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)
Kenyan Environmentalist and Nobel Laureate
Wangari Maathai. Courtesy of the Green Belt Movement
Wangari Maathai is best known for founding the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977. The initiative empowered rural women by getting them engaged in management and protection of forests. Over the past three decades, the Green Belt Movement has planted tens of millions of trees across Kenya and trained thousands of women in agroforestry, bee-keeping, and other sustainable livelihoods. For her efforts, in 2004 Maathai became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The award further boosted her status as one of the most prominent voices in the increasingly global movement to involve local communities in the management and conservation of forests.
Read Entire Article...Courtesy of www.mongabay.com
September 26, 2011
The Cracking the Nut Conference in DC last week was excellent! The aim was to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading rural and agricultural development and finance leaders by uniting them in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage and large scale change. The conference is named "Cracking the Nut," as rural and agricultural finance have long been tough nuts to crack.
GreenMicrofinance was invited to join others during the Financing Climate Smart Agriculture Panel
Facilitator: Mark Wenner (Inter-American Development Bank)
Panelists: Ademola Braimoh (World Bank), Elizabeth Israel (Green Microfinance),
Chandula Abeywickrama (Hatton National Bank, Sri Lanka)
Panel Introduction (Mark Wenner)
Opening Remarks (Ademola Braimoh)
Panel Discussion (Mark, Chandula, Ademola, Elizabeth)
Ademola Braimah, Senior Natural Resource Management Specialist at the World Bank, shared in his presentation that Climate Smart Agriculture Offers Triple Win!
The CSA transition requires
- Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) addresses the challenges of food security, and climate mitigation and adaptation together, rather than in isolation.
- Transformations in the management of soil, water and genetic resources to ensure higher productivity.
- Maximizing synergies and minimizing trade-offs between productivity and emissions per unit of agricultural product.
The Future of Global Food Security
Climate change has pronounced effects in agriculture, such as shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns, and prevalence of pests and diseases. Developing countries that get by with minimal productivity and limited technology are in danger of enduring lower and erratic production, aggravating both the farmers’ livelihood and the population’s food supply.
Conservation agriculture is the core of climate-smart agriculture for both mitigation and adaptation. (Photo credit: Creative Commons)
In celebration of the launch of UNEP's Green Economy Report: This short animated film highlights the role forests can play in national development, a green economy and climate change. The film also reviews the impact of forest on business as usual and on transformative solutions. Narrated by David Attenborough.
2010 Haiti...today moving towards Ecological Sustainability!
Roy Morrison is Southern New Hampshire UniversityDirector of the Office of Sustainability. He recently completed work including, Seven Postulates for An Ecological Civilization - published by Center for Ecozoic Studies Monthly Musings / February 28, 2011 - not on-line)
Roy talks on how Ecological Sustainability, Peace, and Social Justice are inextricably connected. Some of his key points support GreenMicrofinance's mission.
* An ecological democracy pursues sustainability in all aspects of life.
* We must build the road as we travel towards an ecological civilization and those who would realize and maintain it, must pursue sustainability as their ongoing goal and guide.
* An ecological civilization is characterized by the ongoing pursuit of sustainability in the economic, ecological, and social realms. Success in all three realms is completely interdependent. We cannot succeed in one without succeeding in the others.
* Economic growth must mean ecological improvement.
* We have the technological, economic, political and philosophical means for an ecological turn. Our challenge is to decide to employ them for ecological ends.
* A fundamental marker of progress toward an ecological civilization will be measured by a progressive annual decrease in global carbon emissions, and an annual increase in global economic output that leads to ecological improvement.
* A global sustainable order requires technical assistance and transfer of resources and capital from rich to poor to make possible a sustainable global convergence.
* Without justice and fairness and sustainability for all, there ultimately will be sustainability and prosperity for no one.
Power to the People
Energy in the Developing World
Sept. 2 2010 THE ECONOMIST
Technology and development: A growing number of initiatives are promoting bottom-up ways to deliver energy to the world’s poor .
Around 1.5 billion people, or more than a fifth of the world’s population, have no access to electricity, and a billion more have only an unreliable and intermittent supply. Of the people without electricity, 85% live in rural areas or on the fringes of cities. Extending energy grids into these areas is expensive: the United Nations estimates that an average of $35 billion-40 billion a year needs to be invested until 2030 so everyone on the planet can cook, heat and light their premises, and have energy for productive uses such as schooling. On current trends, however, the number of “energy poor” people will barely budge, and 16% of the world’s population will still have no electricity by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency....The developing world has an opportunity to leapfrog the centralised model, just as it leapfrogged fixed-line telecoms and went straight to mobile phones.
Our friends at GVEP, the Global Village Energy Partnership, have published an extensive series of papers, edited by Allesandra Moscadelli, that explore why adoption of Improved Cookstoves, with so many benefits - lower fuel use = lower cost, less smoke inhalation, lower emissions, lessened deforestation - have been slow to catch on.
To read the whole paper, you'll need to sign on to their site, or click here.
Posted by: Betsy Teutsch
Tagged in: Untagged
Jared Diamond in the New York Times neatly summarized the challenges we are up against, in working to alleviate poverty without increasing planetary trashing....
However, the real problem isn’t people themselves, but the resources that people consume and the waste that they produce. Per-person average consumption rates and waste production rates, now 32 times higher in rich countries than in poor ones, are rising steeply around the world, as developing countries emulate industrialized nations’ lifestyles.
Posted by: Elizabeth Israel
Tagged in: Technology
, Environmental Sustainability
, Climate Change
, Carbon Offsets
La Mosquitia, one of the last remaining tropical forest areas left in Central America, is the most impoverished region in Honduras. Local communities, including the indigenous Miskito (or Mosquitia) people, have struggled to keep alive their distinctive cultural heritage while dealing with the threats of environmental and economic uncertainty.
Through a carbon-neutral biofuel initiative, the MOPAWI (from Mosquitia Pawisa) seek to generate equitable social development through sustainable microenterprise utilizing palm oil that is used for a variety of purposes. This approach will provide financial, social, and environmental returns in order to:
- Increase local employment while decreasing out-migration;
- Lower the cost of production and with lower agricultural labor;
- Reduce waste and increase product yield; and,
- Decrease emissions and deforestation.
“The beauty of this enterprise,” says David Hircock, Senior Advisor for Estée Lauder, “is the multidimensional, entrepreneurial approach. Many elements of this approach can bring much-needed cash into the economy and also negate the need for cash. For example, the indigenous community may not need to purchase diesel. Additionally, the enterprise incorporates important elements affecting local security issues, such as food, water, land and economics. Perhaps most importantly, this enterprise could show that the Mosquitia people are integral to the sustainable development of the area and local economy of Puerto Lempira, whereas at the moment they are so often marginalized. Now they can have a much-needed voice.”
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