How to create an off-grid organic permaculture farm in a semi-arid region of rural Africa with focus on sustainability, equality, community and independency? Get the answer with the 5-minute video tour in Kenya where Selina Nkoile will show you around the 2.5 acre off-grid homestead Bomanoma.
The construction of Bomanoma began in December 2019. Now, it’s a flourishing place running 100% on solar energy and collecting enough rainwater to maintain a diverse collection of crops and other plants with diverse functions, for example natural tissue paper and perfume. Everything is farmed on the principals of organic permaculture. As stated on Bomanoma’s website, it’s a place “Where Traditional Nomadic Culture Meets Modern Regenerative Agriculture and Ingenuity” www.bomanoma.com
Enjoy the video trip through a traditional and authentic Maasai homestead embedded in community spirit and surrounded by a sustainable rich and varied garden. The place is open as a learning demonstration site for everyone: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEBelPUM8tA
By James Bollen
COP 26 brought global nations together with the aim of slowing down climate change by mid-century, but is the 1.5 still alive, or is it on life support?
David Attenborough spoke confidently and passionately from the podium at COP 26 in Glasgow. He made many strong and insightful remarks, but he left us with a clear intention for when the pageantry was over - will the measure of the concentration of carbon in our atmosphere rise or fall after the summit? The answer is uncertain, but it’s clear that industries can do more to help.
COP 26 Agreements
After two weeks of presentations and discussions, the curtain finally closed on the UN’s annual climate change summit in Glasgow. So what was the outcome? According to some analysts, activists, and commentators, COP 26 didn’t do nearly enough, but it did agree on some things.
According to COP 26 president, Alok Sharma, the summit succeeded in affirming the Paris Agreement’s aim to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C by mid-century. Successes included talks on limiting coal usage for the first time and rules to govern cross-border carbon credits.
COP 26 Failures
Despite agreements made in the Glasgow Climate Pact, the summit didn’t go far enough according to some analysts. Alok Sharma called for “phasing out” of coal power by mid-century - at 46% coal is the biggest contributor to anthropogenic climate change, but calls failed.
Instead, negotiators agreed to “phase-down” coal usage, but developed nations like India and China will continue to use it in the 2040s. There were also failures with regards to climate justice - the adaptation fund received support, but the funding levels remain woefully inadequate.
Action is Needed
Promises, promises, promises. Over one hundred nations promised to cut their methane output by 30% by 2030, and 130 nations possessing 90% of global forests promised to reverse deforestation. To find out what your business can actively do, visit Net-Zero at Surefoot-effect.
The central problem with COP 26 was not necessarily the sentiment, although some say there was more greenwashing than activism on the part of governments; the problem was (and still is) accountability - will nations act on the commitments they have failed to keep at previous COPs?
At present, there is no legal framework for accountability on climate change, which might change when the water starts to rise, but for now, the pledges are based solely on goodwill and cultural pressure. It seems nations are beginning to wake up, but there’s much work to be done.
Some commentators point to the lack of young people and women in future conversations, for instance. Still, there is room for optimism. As climate activist Greta Thunberg said “... the real work continues outside these halls. And, we will never give up, ever.” A popular sentiment.
The Surefoot Effect
It’s no longer possible to ignore the effects of climate change, and your business has a role to play in turning the tide. It’s time to start learning about Net-Zero and building responsibility into your enterprise. If you’re interested in making your business more planet-friendly, visit the Surefoot-Effect and take part in climate change training, mentoring, courses and workshops.
James Bollen is a digital writer and content creator. He writes articles and blogs in a wide range of niches including business and technology but has a particular interest in conscious living practices, nature appreciation, and creative pursuits. He lives in Glasgow with his partner and sibling cats, Hansel and Gretel.
By Gazelle Buchholtz
In Eswatini, the Southern African country formerly known as Swaziland until 2018, a new movement is taking form to engage young people in a broad range of climate change actions. In a country where flights and overconsumption aren’t options for most people, worldwide climate advice needs to be replaced with initiatives rooted in local reality. Even the Eswatini average carbon footprint is low, there are still actions to take to mitigate climate change effects. Local understanding and education, improvement of infrastructure and engagement of the young people which make up a large part of the country’s population, can support Eswatini towards a sustainable future. As places and people are globally interlinked, we get valuable insight into the state of the world when listening to voices from Eswatini.
Supporting the youth in taking action
At Surefoot we have talked with Dane Armstrong and Tamika Du-Pont from Eswatini, who are on the steering committee of a youth led climate change network called Hlumisa (which translates ‘to make grow’ or ‘to sprout’). They are also engaged in the Eswatini Climate Coalition which offers a platform for engaging in climate change news and projects around climate justice. This is one of a series where we are speaking with people from organisations around the world, to get first-hand insight into climate change and environmentally friendly actions.
Dane, who is an artist who also works in climate adaptation, policy and food systems, explains the need to engage young people in climate change actions, “There is a gap between the governmental goals and citizens participation. With our platform we share news and information, reach out to schools, create workshops, organise marches, and use the creative arts to raise awareness around climate change.” Like other places on the planet, the Covid-pandemic has put many activities on hold. Since there has been a shift to online activities, inequality has become more visible. Internet connections are expensive for many people, and once connected the internet is not always reliable. Their work with high school students aged 15 - 30 years old, including a festival and the pilot of a climate platform, was postponed due to the pandemic, but the activities are again going forward as they look to rebuild and forge ahead.
Time for change
With a background in environmental science and concern of the social aspects of the environment, Tamika points out the importance of forming a community where different skills come into play, whether it’s about saving energy or creating art.
“A small wave of climate change awareness is here, but many more need to know about the consequences and initiatives to build resilience. It should be followed up with governmental actions and rebuilding of the infrastructure. There is a call for optimisation of the national transportation system within the small sized country. We need for example cycle lanes, and a more reliable public transportation system to allow people to participate in greener and more sustainable means of living,” explains Tamika.
Recycling is a simple example of a weak spot in the infrastructure. Dane mentions the lack of information and access to recycling (which does exist as an option), even to people who have the means and desire to participate.
There are further steps to take when encouraging change on a personal level. Reducing meat towards a more plant-based diet is a challenge due to cultural habits, and there is not much information in circulation about the environmental benefits. Also, embracing agroecological food systems, promoting organic gardens and buying locally produced food and other products would help mitigate the climate change effect. “People should be exposed and encouraged to adopt these possibilities,” states Tamika.
The storm to initiate change
Heavy rain, extreme storms, heat waves, drought and high temperature in October, which are normally experienced in December, are some of the potential climate change effects already being felt in Eswatini. This is on the back of the extreme drought that was felt in the region between 2015/2016, which thrust climate change into everyone's minds due to the huge personal effect this had on everyone’s lives. Roads, agriculture and livestock are constantly at risk or affected. “Last weekend almost everyone in my neighbourhood was on their roof fixing holes after a heavy rain and hailstorm,” informs Tamika.
In a time where it’s difficult to predict what will happen in the wake of climate change, uncertainty has become a weighty actor.
“People can see that climate change is happening, but often it has been forgotten on the other side of the storm. But now, the bubble starts to burst,” says Dane and explains about these early days of awareness and action. Discussions, debates and aiming for shared solutions between citizens and the city councils are wanted.
When climate change impacts strike, people are often left alone to deal with the effects, for example repairing their houses. If support appears in a sudden climate change disaster, most often it is short-term oriented, like the provision of food supplies. This is important, but there is a demand for a shift in political attitude towards climate change challenges. Empowering agencies already established in the local areas would strengthen the forces already there to meet emergency situations. Furthermore, viewing solutions to climate change impacts not as an expense but as an investment in long-term sustainable solutions would support the future of the country and its people. If such initiatives become part of supporting Africa as a whole, this will make the continent stronger. And again, on an even bigger scale, if we at a global level are concerned about what is happening to various places on the planet, we will all learn more about climate change and what it takes to deal with it. Dane mentions Madagascar as a place with hardly any attention from the global society. The fourth largest island in the world, with animals and plants found nowhere else on the planet, is currently facing a devastating dry season which has left people in starvation. The UN predicts it might turn into the world’s first climate change famine.
Sharing is caring
It might be a clichéd saying, but nevertheless sharing is caring. And shared communities are also what the young people want to be engaged in, when asking Tamika and Dane what the youth in Eswatini prefer among their offered activities. Platforms for sharing are essential for young people worldwide, and Eswatini is no exception - it is fundamental for change. Space to share knowledge, skills, experience, creative work and ideas. A place which invites young people to think and to be listened to, to be able to deal with challenges in their part of the world, and to be a part of the global community.
By Lewis McLean
As part of our project Sustainability, Heritage, Health (SHH), I have had the pleasure of investigating, planning and piloting our three planned walks in Scotland. Each walk showcases a different aspect of this beautiful country. This description of the routes is a step towards populating the app we are developing with our partners. Enjoy the tour.
Walking through a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The first walk I was lucky enough to experience was through the capital, Edinburgh, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site in its entirety. Starting on the far side of Duddingston Loch, I re-entered the city overlooking a quiet nature reserve in the shadow of the imposing Arthur’s Seat hill. The natural and green slowly gave way to the urban, though was never truly absent. Crossing through the Meadows, a park brimming with the vibrancy of Edinburgh’s youth, into the historic Old Town highlighted the duality of the city. It has often been referred to as two cities built on top of each other, which one can see as they walk towards the Royal Mile over the sides of the many bridges over the streets below. Here is where the tourists congregate; street performers fill the approach to the mighty castle and the sound of bagpipes is ever in the air. Around every corner the rich history of Edinburgh burgeons, and there is far too much to take in on a single visit. In the view of the castle, I began to exit the centre of the city, looking up at the majestic facade with the sun on my face and the fading sound of bagpipes behind me.
After narrowly avoiding Edinburgh’s inevitable shopping district, I found myself going down a tiny path next to a grand bridge, not knowing the hidden oasis that awaited me below. By the side of a tiny river, an 800 year old milling village, with modern additions and restorations, sits inconspicuously and easily missed. As a resident of Edinburgh, this was my favourite surprise while planning the route. The walk carries us down the Water of Leith, past galleries and striking memorials. It is truly a treasure in the midst of the city it cuts through. Finally, I exit the city proper and walk briefly through a residential area towards the walk’s terminus on Corstorphine Hill. At its summit, a single stone tower sits amidst the trees, and on the descent, I was greeted by the stunning view of the Forth Bridges, illuminated as if by a complicit sun.
On the trail of the industrial revolution, Roman occupation and engineering wonder
Moving slightly out from the urban centre, the next route took me through some unlikely places over two days. Some people may say that starting a walk in Cumbernauld industrial estate is a bad idea. I don’t. Central Scotland is an area with a long history of industrialisation, deindustrialisation and disparity. Starting in an “ugly” urban area, I take a path weaving through Scotland’s industrial history along the very canals that propelled it. I see power stations that are rapidly approaching redundancy alongside the distant wind turbines that will replace them. I see the remains of long past Roman attempts at quelling the wild, ever-changing landscape. And I see what the Scottish people have built while preserving the incredible natural beauty just beyond our doorsteps.
The Roman wall and hill fort of Rough Castle were impressive given what remains - just earth having been moved for purposes long abandoned. Seeing them and taking in the weight of their history is, I’m sure, something that everyone will react to differently. Shortly after, the contrast of millennia is exemplified by the incredible Falkirk Wheel. “A lift for canal boats” is one way to describe this engineering and artistic marvel, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. The canals themselves were truly welcoming, with boatmen travelling along them for work or just a lovely day out, all willing to greet walkers warmly. It felt like a secret route; central Scotland is the most populated and industrial area of the country, and yet you could hardly tell such have the canals been forgotten by all but an eclectic few. The Avon Aqueduct marked the end of my time by the canalside and my lingering memory of it is one of fear. The aqueduct is really, really high. I’d like to tell you more about it, I’m sure it’s beautiful and an impressive feat of architecture, but mostly I just remember how high it is, 35 metres! Luckily for my acrophobic self, the rest of the walk bore me gently through the woods to Linlithgow, its rich history and many pubs.
A breeze of coastline stories
The third route abandons the urban side of Scotland almost entirely. Only a short bus ride from Edinburgh, the coast of Fife presents some of the most beautiful walking I have ever done. It presented a bit more of an escape for three days through historic fishing villages, each with their own local stories and personalities. The local history is told through countless information boards, and the efforts to conserve the coastal wildlife is espoused on signs throughout. Local farms put up honesty boxes to sell their products, which always make me far happier than they possibly should. There are a number of golf courses on the route which one must navigate, but one can hardly blame them for setting up here; the views out to sea are absolutely staggering. Distant tiny islands boast their own stories and beckon curiosity, just as the views up and down the coastline itself draw you further along with the promise of further beauty. More than the other routes, this one is peaceful. A quiet meal with a harbour view is a memory that I will cherish, especially because I was lucky enough to share it with someone special.
Be sure not to miss out information about the SHH routes app by subscribing to our Newsletter: https://www.surefoot-effect.com/contact.html
In September, we held two sessions of our workshop 'Creativity Builds Resilience'. These are part of the adult education project Breakthrough for Resilience: People, Places and Communities. The sessions were designed by our Greek partner, the 'Greek Society for Social Psychology and Psychriatry', which together with organisations in Italy and Sweden make up the consortium. 'Creativity Builds Resilience' showcases tools which use the creative arts to help build individual resilience such as 'name your feelings', the drawing of mandala and street art as a resilience tool, 'dealing with criticism' or listening to baroque music. After the workshop, comments included: "Balance of sharing, explanations, and practice was excellent", and "Thank you for cultivating a safe, trusted space in such a short time. I’m so thankful also that you were able to make this accessible in the way you have."
Please contact us if you are interested in these workshops for your organisation.
Street art by Tom Bob. In the workshop we looked into how street art can be liberating and bring resilience.
The project is co funded by the Erasmus+ programme.
By Gazelle Buchholtz
One of the primary goals for Crops For the Future Research Centre[i] (CFFRC) is to secure a greater role for underutilised crops in global agriculture, especially in developing regions of the world. CFFRC's function includes global campaigning as well as the collection and distribution of information on underutilised crops for food and non-food applications. The organisation has developed an online tool called CropBASE, a data-to-decision solution that focuses on agricultural diversification. This is free for farmers, researchers and everyone with an interest in sustainable agriculture.
The changing political scene in Malaysia over the last few years has caused instability in the organisation’s work. Established in 2014, CFFRC closed its doors in May 2020 after the Government of Malaysia’s agreed-upon period of funding support came to an end. The closure has resulted in the move of CFFRC to the UK, now known as CFFUK where it continues to work for a worldwide varied supply of food sources to benefit both people and the planet.
Biodiversity incorporated in agriculture
At Surefoot we have talked with PhD student Gomathy Sethuraman at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. The online conversation is one of a series where we speak with people from organisations around the world, to get first-hand insight into climate change and environmentally friendly actions.
Gomathy Sethuraman has worked for about 15 years in various laboratory settings and joined the Research Division at CFFRC in 2015 as the Technical Support Manager. Her main tasks were to provide technical support in equipment setup and usage, sample analysis and data collection, including report writing related to crop studies & nutrition profiling. “Despite there being approximately 30,000 known plant species documented for human use, less than 20 species provide the world’s food and only four major crops namely wheat, corn, rice and soybean account for the majority of the world’s food production. There are at least 7000 plant species identified as food sources that remain underutilised or lesser-known; these crops are very rich in vitamins and nutrients. Whilst bringing new flavours to the meals, they also have the potential to improve both food and nutrition security. As knowledge is scarce on these underutilised crops it presents a challenge to incorporate these lesser-known crops into the agriculture sector,” says Gomathy.
Together with colleagues she has published a few papers on some of these underutilised crops found in Malaysia. One such crop is sacha inchi[ii] which is native to the Amazon rainforest but can now be found in other parts of the world including Malaysia. Its high levels of fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) and easily digestible protein are not common in other vegetable oil. The team is pleased to find out that there are farmers around Malaysia who have started working on this crop. Hopefully, this will lead to further collating of information and dissemination to a wider audience with the hope that more farmers will explore the underutilised crop that has valuable traits not only to improve diversity in agriculture but also to mitigate climate change and reduce the use of pesticide and fertiliser that contributes to the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Positive effects of more local food
“The Malaysian government’s goal of being carbon neutral in 2050, I believe is a difficult target to achieve as a large portion of the country’s food is being imported from all over the world despite it being an agricultural country. More varied and locally produced food would help to decrease carbon emissions and the negative climate effect,” says Gomathy and she elaborates on climate change in Malaysia. Monsoon is a typical recurring annual event, but now it causes more flooding than usual. Water levels can at times reach the heights of house roofs. Likewise, extreme heat is a more frequent phenomenon. The average temperature rise of 1 - 2°C doesn’t seem much on the skin of our body, but plants experience it differently. The flowering of some plants is affected by the temperature change, which directly affects the yield production. With a number of changes of government in Malaysia over the past several years, Gomathy calls out for stability for the support of environmentally friendly initiatives which aim to ease the impacts of climate change, regardless of changes in the political agenda.
Creating value out of challenges
One positive ‘side-effect’ of moving Crops For the Future to the UK, is that now the organisation has established new partnerships with other countries and has gained international recognition. Gomathy underlines the persistent effort of the CEO at Crops For the Future, Sayed Nader Azam-Ali. His book, ‘The Ninth Revolution, Transforming Food Systems For Good’ was released earlier this year, and the organisation continues to promote the Global Action Plan for Agricultural Diversification (GAPAD) through its participation in the AIRCA consortium and work with a range of partners. CFFUK is also looking into expanding its approach globally and currently working towards establishing in South Africa with hosting by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg and a preliminary exploration underway in Australia with the goal to create regional centres with complementary expertise that can contribute to a variety of food system research projects throughout the world.
On the question of how to support underutilised crop production, Gomathy points out knowledge sharing as an important initiative. Knowledge is an important tool for any form of advancement, and it should start in the family. Some of these crops were grown by our ancestors and they are lost in the transition of time. Gomathy teaches her daughters of seven and twelve years old who take part in growing edible plants like long beans, tomatoes, okra and some leafy vegetables in their home in Selangor. She iterates, whenever we buy food, we ask questions like, “Where is this food produced, is it coming from a local farm or has it taken a flight to come to our shelves, has there been the use of pesticides, how much has it been processed, and what kind of packaging material is used? Could there be an option for locally fresh, less processed food, with a minimum wrapping be available as a substitute?”
When Gomathy participated in Carbon Conversations conducted by Surefoot in 2009, she was surprised about the carbon footprint of food transported by plane, “It is not enough to go for vegetables and fruits, the footprint of transport is a significant factor to take into consideration when assessing the impact of our food. Educational programmes available to all would be a great help for people to find out how to choose climate-friendly food sources.” Gomathy also highlights that it does not help the situation by pointing fingers and judging people for their eating habits, especially those who consume meat or highly processed food products. Instead, we can inspire and share the knowledge towards a varied food option that is good for us and the planet since there are more than 7000 crops documented for food sources.
For more information:
[i] Gregory, P. J.; Mayes, S.; Hui, C. H.; Jahanshiri, E.; Julkifle, A.; Kuppusamy, G.; Kuan, H. W.; Lin, T. X.; Massawe, F.; Suhairi, T. A. S. T. M.; Azam-Ali, S. N. Crops For the Future (CFF): An Overview of Research Efforts in the Adoption of Underutilised Species. Planta 2019, 250 (3), 979–988. Overview of CFFRC, Malaysia
[ii] Sethuraman, G.; Nizar, N. M. M.; Muhamad, F. N.; Gregory, P. J.; Jahanshiri, E.; Azam-Ali, S. Nutrition Composition of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia Volubikis L.). International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) 2020, 7 (9), 271–277.
Join us to experience and learn how to use a selection of Resilience of Place tools the 22nd and 29th of November.
The workshops are part of our series of Erasmus+ funded resilience workshops, following on from our 'Creativity Builds Resilience' workshops where one participant told us:
"The workshop was very helpful and inspiring. I've never experienced an online workshop in this moving way before. Connecting and exchanging with others in the breakout rooms and getting to apply the techniques together and to try them out instantly was very rewarding."
In the two connected workshops, participants will learn about resilience tools for communities:
- Landscape reading
- Conservation & visualisation
We promise fun and relaxing sessions to support resilience for you and your community.
You can sign up for these free sessions here. Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested and let us know if this is something we can run for a group or organisation.
Our next team task is to create an app for all to access details of the routes in the project Sustainability, Heritage, Health. Together with our three partners, we have now finished trialling the three routes in each partner country which make up the 'Sustainable Walks Programme.' The programme aims to create routes for people to learn about local heritage as well as initiatives to build sustainability.
At Surefoot we have designed a one-day route within the city of Edinburgh, a 2-day route from Lenzie near Glasgow to Linlithgow, and a 3-day route alongside the coast of Fife with the option to finish in St. Andrews. The 1-day Edinburgh route stops at places such as the Patrick Geddes Museum that commemorates the life of the Scottish town planner and environmentalist, the local green cooperative 'The New Leaf', and the UNESCO-designated Dean Village at the outskirts of the city.
Partners in Spain, Lithuania and Greece have designed routes along the St. James Way as it crosses the northern city of Santander, a section of the Lithuanian Baltic coast, and a route along the coast of Athens that ends at Sounio where there is an iconic temple dedicated to Poseidon.
Happy walking until next update.
By Gazelle Buchholtz
From engaging people in nature conservation and creating crafts from plastic waste to inviting visitors to take part in the daily lives of private homes, Eco Hub Africa in Western Uganda strives to empower people and places. With increasing flooding impacting daily life and health of humans and nature, local understanding and knowledge sharing on a global scale are required to create a sustainable life.
Ripple effects of climate change
At Surefoot we talk with people from organisations around the world, to get firsthand insight into climate change and environmentally friendly actions. An online conversation with Goodman Bwambale and William Bwambale, who are Environmental Management leaders at the organisation Eco Hub Africa in Kasese, Western Uganda, illustrates the ripple effects of climate change.
The Kasese district is surrounded by several national parks, among these are Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. The snowcapped Rwenzori mountains, known as mountains of the moon, includes the Margherita Peak which with more than 5100 meter is the highest summit of the Ruwenzori Range in East Africa.
Environmental impacts in Kasese carve deep traces in both natural and residential areas. Citizens, residences, hospital and national parks are affected by increased flooding. The river Nyamwamba in the Kilembe subcounty Kasese district floods every year, but the amount of water is increasing, and flooding is now happening outside the typical season. In 2016 there were 25,445 people effected by flooding, in 2020 the number was 120,000 people.[i] The Kilembe Mines hospital, which since 1951 has been a ‘health sanctuary’ for most communities in western Uganda, was destroyed by flooding in May 2020. It’s still not recovered from the effects of the catastrophe.
The same day of our conversation, William followed up by email to say that the river Nyamwamba had just burst its banks causing devastating flood in the lowland of Kilembe Valley and parts of Kasese municipality. The Rwenzori mountains is a catchment area of major rivers as Nyamwamba, Mubuku, Lhubiriha and Thako. These rivers have been flooding since 2013 causing loss of life, loss of property and displacement of people in the Kasese district and impacts on the natural environment and ecosystem.
“When flooding causes the riverbanks to burst, waste is being transported from the residential areas in the valley into natural habitats, where for example toxic substances pollute Lake George and Lake Edward in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. This includes killing the fish,” Goodman explains.
Nurturing the sprouts
Goodman points out that whereas burning fossil fuel is the primary source of carbon emissions many places on the earth, a great part of the emissions in Africa is caused due to households’ dependency on woodburning as an energy source. Another environmental problem is plastic waste which is to be found everywhere.
The core work of the Eco Hub Africa is activities providing skills to especially children and to mothers with no formal education. Nature conservation, creating crafts of plastic waste, and taking part in training for the tourism industry are central areas. William and Goodman, both with a background in the tourism industry, organise free hosting of travelers and volunteers to provide an opportunity to exchange experience with the local people in private homes.
At the Eco Hub Africa, birthdays are celebrated by inviting people to join tree planting and to make crafts of plastic waste. When working with children, Goodman and William witness the development of care and engagement in the natural world which nurtures the future conservationists. However, the persistent, ongoing engagement by many is a crucial factor when you try to make positive ripple effects with sustainable outcome.
To grow long-term solutions in web of communities
“One thing is to plant seedlings, another is to nurture the growth of the trees,” states Goodman.
During our conversation, it’s pointed out that environmentally friendly projects should be founded in holistic perspectives, long-term planning and knowledge of the local area. More people are needed aboard as natural conservationists, to have supportive hands to take responsibility for plants as well for sharing knowledge. It’s not enough to initiate projects, they also need to be adjusted to local areas and supported in the implementation phase until they are up running.
As much as global cooperation is important in a worldwide climate crisis, it is essential to know the ground you stand on, no matter where you are in the world. Goodman and William aim to reach out to the broader community, to obtain knowledge sharing across borders and global coordination. “We need joined efforts,” they say when they remind me of the recent flood in New York. As basement apartments were filled with water in no time, at least 14 people were killed in the flooding in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.[ii] As William ends in his updating email, “Climate change does not affect only Africa, it affects the whole World.”
Contact William Bwambale if you would like to know more about Eco Hub Africa: firstname.lastname@example.org, WhatsApp +256789434763.
[i] Source: https://www.infonile.org/en/2021/05/kasese-battles-the-aftermath-of-destructive-floods/
[ii] Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/02/new-york-flooding-state-of-emergency-ny-city-flash-flood-nyc-hurricane-ida-remnants
The Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland’s (ERCS) vision is of a Scotland where every person’s right to live in a healthy environment is fully realised. Individuals and communities can get support to use their rights to protect the environment, tackle climate change, improve local biodiversity and make greenspaces healthier and wilder. The aim is to provide help to challenge environmental injustices and advance our human right to a healthy environment. Shivali Fifield, associate of The Surefoot Effect and Chief Officer for the ERCS, explains: “We offer free advice on environmental law, which includes law relating to land-use planning, climate change, pollution control, environmental health, conservation, and any other field, for example transport and energy, to the extent that it impacts on the natural environment in Scotland.”
If you need advice, get in contact by the online form www.ercs.scot/get-advice. This could be on a specific issue, for example a worrying planning application or loss of greenspace in your neighbourhood, or a more general question such as your rights to environmental information. To find out more about ERCS’s work on policy and law reform, check out www.ercs.scot and @ERCScot on twitter.
Here’s a collection of some of our articles which has been in our newsletters or published elsewhere.