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Join Education Cannot Wait’s #222MillionDreams Campaign

UNSDN - 22. Juni 2022 - 19:55

“Around the world, 222 million children are having their education cruelly interrupted. We need governments, businesses, foundations & individuals to support the vital work of Education Cannot Wait. Help us place education within reach of every child, everywhere. Help us keep 222 million dreams alive.” ~ UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), released a shocking new report today that indicates the number of crisis-impacted school-aged children requiring educational support has grown from an estimated 75 million in 2016 to 222 million today.

Of the 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents in need of urgent education support, the study indicates that as many as 78.2 million are out of school, and close to 120 million are in school, but not achieving minimum proficiency in math or reading. In fact, just one in ten crisis-impacted children attending primary or secondary education are actually achieving these proficiency standards.  

The analysis indicates that 84% of the out-of-school crisis-impacted children are living in areas with protracted crises. The vast majority of these are in countries specifically targeted through ECW’s ground-breaking multi-year investments, including AfghanistanDemocratic Republic of the CongoEthiopiaMaliNigeriaPakistanSomaliaSouth SudanSudan and Yemen. The war in Ukraine is pushing even more children out of school, with recent estimates indicating the conflict has impacted 5.7 million school-aged children.

These alarming new figures are released against the backdrop of a recent ECW study showing that the response to education in emergencies and protracted crises remains chronically underfunded, and that the funding gap appears to have gotten even worse since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To respond to this pressing global education crisis, ECW and strategic partners launched the #222MillionDreams resource mobilization campaign in Geneva today. The campaign calls on donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations and high-net-worth individuals to urgently mobilize more resources to scale up ECW’s investments, which are already delivering quality education to over 5 million children across more than 40 crisis-affected countries.

The campaign rallies together donors and other strategic partners in the lead up to the Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference ­- co-hosted by ECW and Switzerland, and co-convened by Germany, Niger, Norway, and South Sudan – taking place 16-17 February 2023 in Geneva.

“The financial resources to ensure that every child and young person can receive a quality education exist in the world. Now, we need to take responsible action for the 222 million children and youth in emergencies and protracted crises. Governments, private sector and foundations can and must unlock these resources. Only then can we empower them to reach their potentials and realize their dreams,” said The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.

“This is a global call to action: we speak of the 222 million dreams representing each of the 222 million children and adolescents sustaining the extreme hardship of emergencies and protracted crises. Their dreams are profoundly driven by their experience of wars and forced displacement. This is our moment to empower them to turn their dreams into reality. While the world struggles with the devastating impacts of armed conflicts, COVID-19 and climate change, 222 million children and adolescents live through these horrific experiences. They dream to become their full potential rather than a victim. Do not let them down. It is our duty to empower them through quality education and to help make their dreams come true,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

“In times of crisis, children experience uncertainty with regard to their future and are faced with a total disruption of their routines. Going to school provides children with protection, a sense of normalcy and hope and is a means to provide longer-term perspectives. We know that after school disruption and closures, many children will not continue their education. Switzerland is committed to contribute to reducing the risk of lost generations through its support to education in emergencies. We are thus partnering with Education Cannot Wait and look forward to co-hosting the High-Level Financing Conference in Geneva,” said Patricia Danzi, Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Global leaders have committed to “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG4). The new estimates indicate that COVID-19 and other factors have derailed two decades of education gains. According to UN reports, basic school infrastructure is lacking in many Least Developed Countries. Only 54% of schools have access to safe drinking water, 33% have reliable electricity and 40% have handwashing facilities.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is convening the “Transforming Education Summit” in September 2022. The Summit seeks to “mobilize political ambition, action, solutions and solidarity to transform education: to take stock of efforts to recover pandemic-related learning losses; to reimagine education systems for the world of today and tomorrow; and to revitalize national and global efforts to achieve SDG4.”

On the heels of the Summit, the Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference is the opportunity for leaders to turn commitments into action, by making substantive funding contributions to ECW that will help turn dreams into reality for the children left furthest behind in crises.    

Read UN Secretary-General António Guterres Statement.

For more information, please visit: https://www.educationcannotwait.org/

Source: Education Cannot Wait © 2022

Kategorien: english

2022 United Nations Public Service Day Virtual Celebration

UNSDN - 22. Juni 2022 - 19:38

To celebrate the 2022 United Nations Public Service Day, a virtual event will be held on the theme of “Building back better from COVID-19: Enhancing innovative partnerships to meet the Sustainable Development Goals”. Taking its lead from the 2022 theme of the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF), the main body for reviewing implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2022 UN Public Service Day commemoration will focus on the role of public institutions and public servants in building back better from COVID-19 as they work to meet the 2030 deadline for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. It will bring together key stakeholders, public servants and United Nations officials.

The virtual event will be held on the 22 June, 9:00 – 10:30 AM (EDT). You can follow it live at UN WebTV. More information is available here.

Kategorien: english

Joining forces for solidarity and equal opportunities throughout life

UNSDN - 22. Juni 2022 - 19:31

The UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing 2022 took place in Rome, Italy, from 16 to 17 June 2022.

The Conference completed the fourth review and appraisal cycle (2018-2022) and marked the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and its Regional Implementation Strategy (MIPAA/RIS).

The theme of the Conference was “Joining forces for solidarity and equal opportunities throughout life”. Conference panels addressed this theme through the lens of:

1) Promoting active and healthy ageing throughout life
2) Ensuring access to long-term care and support for carers and families
3) Mainstreaming ageing to advance a society for all ages

The Ministerial Conference on Ageing was organized by UNECE in cooperation with the UNECE Standing Working Group on Ageing and the Government of Italy.

To learn more, please visit: https://mipaa20rome.it/

Source: UNECE

Kategorien: english

How to Create Value Added Sustainably

SNRD Africa - 22. Juni 2022 - 19:11

Consider climate-friendly investment options

The post How to Create Value Added Sustainably appeared first on SNRD Africa.

Kategorien: english

Crisis Resilience Starts on the Ground

SNRD Africa - 22. Juni 2022 - 13:33

Biochar in Benin, lime in Ethiopia and vermiculture in Kenya

The post Crisis Resilience Starts on the Ground appeared first on SNRD Africa.

Kategorien: english

Communication Can Create New Mental Images

SCP-Centre - 22. Juni 2022 - 10:54

Ellen has over twenty years of experience in international communication and marketing. At the CSCP, she is using this experience to support a better understanding and action for biodiversity in businesses. Understanding how everything is connected leads to the right actions. She uses storytelling to make complex content tangible and understandable.

How did you come to join the CSCP?

For more than two decades, my professional activities focused on marketing, communication and public relations in the event and trade fair industry. From the sidelines and with my educational background in physical geography, I have watched with great curiosity the evolution of sustainability from niche to limelight, including in the business world. In particular, the intersection between businesses and biodiversity always triggered my interest. The CSCP effectively brings together people from business, politics, nature conservation and society to focus on biodiversity and link it to other issues such as the Circular Economy and food. This excites me and so I jumped at the opportunity!

How can businesses benefit from a commitment to biodiversity?

I know how difficult it is not to lose sight of sustainability in everyday business. Through the CSCP’s many years of experience in working holistically with stakeholders and also through the project UBi – Unternehmen Biologische Vielfalt, a federal programme for biodiversity in business, I look forward to help fill existing gaps. For many people, biodiversity is still an abstract concept that literally needs to be brought to life. Sometimes, it is no different for business actors but there are many ways for businesses to integrate biodiversity into their (sustainability) strategy, for example by integrating criteria in their supply chain and greening their company’s premises.

What’s your key goal when it comes to advancing the sustainability agenda?

We live in a time of change: I want to use communication to help us stop talking about the “what” and start implementing the “how”. There is a lot at stake for all of us, and we can only do it together. I see communication as the way to get people involved.

For further questions, please contact Ellen Land.

 

 

The post Communication Can Create New Mental Images appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Our PSLifestyle Project Holds First Living Labs in Wuppertal and 7 Other European Pilot Cities

SCP-Centre - 22. Juni 2022 - 10:23

More plant-based food, cycling rather than driving, less air travel – the standard approaches for more sustainable everyday behaviours are familiar to many of us. But which actions really help to reduce our individual environmental footprint and how can we further align those to our diverse lifestyles. Moreover, how can we reconcile the pursuit of greater personal well-being with that of the planet?

As part of the PSLifestyle Living Labs, citizens of 8 European countries (Portugal, Finland, Estonia, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Greece and Turkey) have taken the first supportive steps to develop the PSLifestyle digital tool – a consumption-based carbon footprint calculator that helps us understand our ecological footprint, create a personal action plan to reduce it, and realise our ambitions to live well within ecological limits.

The CSCP is responsible for coordinating the labs throughout the 8 countries, while running those in Wuppertal, Germany.

For the participants (a group of local citizens), the journey kicked off with an introduction to the concept of sustainable lifestyles and its application to their daily lives. The focus areas of the project, housing, mobility, food and general consumption, helped to make the concept more tangible. In addition, the participants exchanged views on their role as individuals vis-à-vis other stakeholders in order to drive the share of sustainable lifestyles.

Availability of and accessibility to more sustainable options, their slightly more expensive nature compared to the unsustainable counterparts and/or preference to consume certain products because of sensory appeals (such as taste of food products) are some of challenges to adopting more sustainable consumption patterns, according to lab participants.

“A good balance between individual lifestyle behaviour changes and incentives from key actors to initiate and/or maintain such changes is seen as the perfect combination towards ensuring that everyone does their part in the quest towards more sustainable lifestyles”, noted one of the lab participants.

The participants had the opportunity to test the digital PSLifestyle tool and work with it directly. After an initial calculation of their personal carbon footprint, they reflected on their experiences with the tool, the results, and exchanged views on the lifestyle test questions and how they can be further improved to adapt them to their local realities.

“It was fun to complete the test and helpful to see which areas had the greatest impact”, noted participants, while others added: “Reaching the 1,5-degree target seems urgent, however, it requires substantial lifestyle changes. This is worrisome!”.

The output of these first two meetings in all cities across Europe will now be used to further improve the PSLifestyle digital tool.

Are you located in any of these countries and would like to be part of co-designing the tool? At least four more lab meetings in each of these countries are upcoming between September 2022 and March 2023. In these meetings you will have the opportunity to co-design solutions and everyday actions that hold potential for making our lifestyles more sustainable as well as discuss pathways that could accelerate their wider roll out and make the visions of good life within planetary boundaries a reality! Join us by registering here!

The PSLifestyle Living Labs are part of the EU funded project PSLifestyle – “Co-creating a positive and sustainable lifestyle tool with and for European citizens”.  The CSCP is responsible for coordinating the labs throughout the 8 countries, while running one in Wuppertal, Germany. There are 16 European partners in total delivering the project.

For further questions, please contact Arlind Xhelili.

The post Our PSLifestyle Project Holds First Living Labs in Wuppertal and 7 Other European Pilot Cities appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

How Can Companies Integrate Biodiversity in Their Strategy in Challenging Times?

SCP-Centre - 22. Juni 2022 - 10:03

How can companies successfully integrate biodiversity in their strategies, especially in times of change? This was the leading question at our first Dialogue Forum of the project UBi: Business & Biodiversity (Unternehmen Biologische Vielfalt) with around 200 participants from fields such as businesses and their associations, nature conservation, science, and politics.

During the Dialogue Forum, which was held in June 2022, stakeholders committed to advocating and collaborating for a stronger focus on biodiversity in businesses.

Businesses and other relevant actors agreed that more criteria and methods are needed in order to make the value of biodiversity visible, also in monetary terms. The UBi project will therefore offer a platform to raise awareness on the social and environmental importance of biodiversity and how that relates to businesses. Most importantly, the project aims to highlight the vital role of biodiversity for long-term successful businesses development and explore opportunities for companies when it comes to integrating biodiversity into their strategic planning. The project will focus around the following key areas:

Integrating biodiversity into daily business

The opportunities are great, not least because consumers, employees, and investors are increasingly demanding more commitment to biodiversity. The topic is coming into focus in corporate sustainability strategies, with pioneering companies already making biodiversity protection an integral part of their strategic planning. At the UBi Dialogue Forum, companies like Rewe, Symrise and Triodos presented their approaches.

Supply chain, investment or ecosystem performance

Company representatives from across industries (food, retail, commodity, transport, tourism, finance) discussed how to monetise measures when it comes to biodiversity protection in businesses. On the policy side, the European Union is increasingly taking biodiversity into account in regulatory frameworks. On the other hand, investors are becoming more aware that loss of biodiversity comes with significant costs.

Speak one language

A central part of the UBi project will be to find ways to simplify access to biodiversity measures so that more companies are enabled to step up. By building know-how and trust, the project aims to offer a platform to network, collaborate, and synergise.

Activities for engagement

The main starting points for companies can be: support for local nature conservation, plant areas with native plants, create links between ecosystems, change supply chains to biodiversity criteria. In UBi they have the opportunity to learn from the network about key possibilities.

The UBi project is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. Both are supported by the DLR as a project partner. The project runs until 2026.

For further questions, please contact Ellen Land.

The post How Can Companies Integrate Biodiversity in Their Strategy in Challenging Times? appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Catchment, streams and sewers: Strengthening flood resilience in Bonn

GDI Briefing - 22. Juni 2022 - 8:37

The City of Bonn has experienced flooding on several occasions in the past. However, in the last two decades, it has seen increased precipitation leading to floods. The City had initiated several flood management measures in response. Those measures played a significant role in minimizing the impact of the heavy rainfall seen in July 2021. With this report, the Bonn Water Network (BWN) documents the successful efforts of the City of Bonn administration and the catchment authorities in responding to the floods. The report is also part of BWN’s effort to strengthen cross-learning, co-produce knowledge and build a true partnership with the City of Bonn. The report documents the authorities’ adaptive response and the challenges encountered by both civil society and the respective authorities in taking resilient action. It draws on secondary documents and online resources, which are supplemented with interviews with city authorities and experts. The report was presented to the city authorities with a request for their feedback, which subsequently flowed into its finalisation.
The report highlights the steps taken by the authorities towards flood mitigation, flood preparedness and flood response. Those measures are described at three levels – catchment, streams and sewers – as looked at from a social, technical and legislative perspective. To gain an insight into how these initiatives converge, the report uses the example of flood risk management at the level of local streams. Given the various institutions involved in the City’s flood management activities, it identifies the challenges faced by three key actors in implementing flood management measures. The report concludes with an outlook that shows a way forward by highlighting the need to strengthen the hybrid infrastructure approach in order to secure a sustainable strategy. It identifies opportunities for use in strengthening risk management and mitigation in respect of pluvial flooding, promoting hybrid governance and utilizing both science-policy dialogue and digitalization in strengthening flood risk management in Bonn.

Kategorien: english

Re-approaching Africa’s economic integration agenda

Brookings - 22. Juni 2022 - 6:30

By Aloysius Uche Ordu, Julius Kiiza

Julius Kiiza, professor of political economy of development at Uganda’s Makerere University, discusses Africa’s regional integration efforts as well as the integral role of women and technology in the success of the endeavor.

Foresight Africa podcast is part of the Brookings Podcast Network. Subscribe and listen on AppleSpotify, and wherever you listen to podcasts. Send feedback email to podcasts@brookings.edu, and follow and tweet at @policypodcasts on Twitter.

      
Kategorien: english

Climate change: threat or potential opportunity for social contracts in the MENA region?

GDI Briefing - 22. Juni 2022 - 0:20

Climate change, natural resource degradation and lack of inclusiveness challenge existing social contracts in the Middle East and North Africa. This think piece looks at how environmental factors influence governments’ scope of action to deliver on their duties of protection, provision and participation within current social contracts and proposes an alternative solution that can work for both people and planet.

Kategorien: english

Climate change: threat or potential opportunity for social contracts in the MENA region?

GDI Briefing - 22. Juni 2022 - 0:20

Climate change, natural resource degradation and lack of inclusiveness challenge existing social contracts in the Middle East and North Africa. This think piece looks at how environmental factors influence governments’ scope of action to deliver on their duties of protection, provision and participation within current social contracts and proposes an alternative solution that can work for both people and planet.

Kategorien: english

Used clothing collection in Germany

D+C - 21. Juni 2022 - 16:14
The quantity collected by clothing drives has risen significantly since the mid-1990s as consumption habits have changed

That amount vastly exceeds the demand for social purposes within the country, which is why a significant share is exported. The quantity collected has risen by more than 25 % since the mid-1990s.

The increase is primarily attributable to changes in consumption habits: since new textiles are being sold at lower and lower prices, more textiles are being purchased overall. Furthermore, clothing is being discarded more and more quickly because fashions are changing faster.

Many people bring their surplus textiles directly to clothing stores and secondhand shops. These shops give well-preserved items to those in need at no cost or sell them at affordable prices. However, the overwhelming majority of consumers throw their used clothing into containers or donate it during street and door-to-door clothing drives. The items collected are processed by charitable or non-profit organisations, as well as by other actors such as municipalities or commercial collectors. Additionally, some textile manufacturers and merchants have established their own take-back systems for used clothing.

The collected clothing is sorted by hand. According to data collected by the umbrella organisation FairWertung, on average, only about 55 % of what is generated during a clothing drive is suitable for secondhand use (see graphic). Two to four percent is made up of particularly high-quality textiles, so-called “cream” goods. Sorting facilities sell them to secondhand shops in Germany and other western European countries. Textiles that are categorised as quality I, II and III go to Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

In total, almost half of a clothing drive consists of low-quality textiles that are no longer suitable for secondhand use. Absorbent textiles can be used as cleaning rags by industry. Another 17 to 19 % of the collected goods can be recycled to manufacture other materials, like roofing fabric or coverings for the automotive industry.

Thomas Ahlmann is the director of the umbrella organisation FairWertung, a nationwide network of charitable associations that collect used clothing.
info@fairwertung.de

Kategorien: english

Prosperity From Climate-Smart Agribusiness With and for Africa

SNRD Africa - 21. Juni 2022 - 15:41

Conclusions of an international online conference that focused on converting opportunities into action

The post Prosperity From Climate-Smart Agribusiness With and for Africa appeared first on SNRD Africa.

Kategorien: english

How women African entrepreneurs can overcome the “beauty pageant problem”

OECD - 21. Juni 2022 - 15:04

In the beauty pageant problem, the pageant judges believe that their job is not to vote for the most attractive contestant, but rather the contestant they think the other judges will find attractive. When the pageant is done, everyone agrees that the winner is not really the most attractive contestant, but rather the most similar to the contestants who have won before. (...) Many, although not all, mainstream start-up investors approach investing like judges in the beauty pageant problem. Even when they see inherent potential in great, underrepresented founders, they discount that potential because they don’t think the other judges will see it. They believe that the biases of the past will control outcomes in the future.

The post How women African entrepreneurs can overcome the “beauty pageant problem” appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

Innocent suffering in the Sahel region

D+C - 21. Juni 2022 - 14:11
Climate change is making food insecurity worse in Niger

Niger is exposed to extreme burdens of global warming. Temperatures are rising 1.5 times faster here than on average at the global level. Niger contributes less than 0.1 % to the world’s carbon emissions, but that does not shield it from weather-related disasters such as drought and increasingly erratic rainfall. The Sahara desert is slowly expanding south. Currently, about 4.4 million people in Niger – about one fifth of the population – are suffering food insecurity. That is twice more than last year.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made matters worse because food and fuel prices are rising fast. It also matters that Niger’s population growth rate is one of the world’s highest. The agricultural sector in Niger must become more efficient to keep pace with increased demand for food. However, due to rising instability, Niger finds itself producing less food, not more.

Subsistence agriculture

The underlying problem, however, is that global heating is making the largely informal subsistence agriculture most people in Niger depend on gradually unviable. That applies to pastoralism as well as to traditional farming. Not quite 90 % of the people live in rural areas and rely on rain-fed pastures and crops.

Resource conflicts are escalating. Access to potable water and arable land is becoming increasingly scarce. At the same time, demand is growing. Conflicts over natural resources are exacerbated by climate change and fast demographic growth. Local tensions can trigger intercommunal conflicts. This feeds into armed conflicts and population displacement, as well as less access to arable land, disruption of farming cycles and potentially reduced productivity of future cycles. The effects of one bad season easily outlast the season itself, prompting prolonged food insecurity, which can be amplified by further climate shocks. The situation is similar in other places – including, for example, the Horn of Africa (see Christoph Schneider Yattara on www.dandc.eu).

In the past 50 years, the surface of Lake Chad, which connects Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, has shrunk by 90 %. The surrounding areas are haunted by violence. Observers now speak of the Lake Chad Basin conflict. Niger alone has 313,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and another 234,000 refugees have come to the country. Feeding all of these people puts extra pressure on Niger’s polity, economy and infrastructure.

Scientists expect that, by 2030, Niger’s temperatures will increase by another 1 °C, and by 2050, they may even rise by 3 °C. Access to natural resources will thus become yet more difficult, further propelling conflict dynamics.

Scaling up assistance

This summer, food insecurity is expected to affect almost 41 million west Africans, and 4.4 million of them – more than ten percent – are in Niger. Unless additional resources are made available, massive displacement looks likely. International humanitarian agencies such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) are scaling up assistance. However, high-income countries must step in too.

Public safety nets in Niger hardly exist (see Stefan Beierl on www.dandc.eu). The Government of Niger and the international community have so far mobilised resources to assist only 3.3 million people, leaving over 1 million without support. Without the allocation of significant additional resources to the response, this food insecurity could easily lead to massive displacement in the very near future.

Poor village communities must depend on their own resources. Long-term investments in health and women’s empowerment are needed. A recent study prepared by the IRC showed that related measures could drastically reduce malnutrition and undernourishment. Even simple things like telling expectant mothers how to breastfeed make a difference, as the IRC is for instance doing so in the Tillabéri region with support of the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie.

Much more needs to happen, however. It is important to diversify the economy and build climate-resilient infrastructure, preparing communities to confront the impacts of climate change. This includes investing in productive infrastructure to reduce dependence on rain-fed agriculture and promoting sustainable crop, livestock and land management.

On its own, Niger has neither the capacities nor the funding to escape the vicious cycle of worsening resource conflicts and food insecurity. Nations with huge carbon footprints must fulfil the responsibilities they have to those with tiny ones in the Sahel region. The European Green Deal points in the right directions – and implementation must now follow fast.

Paolo Cernuschi is Country Director for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Niger.
IRCDeutschland@rescue.org

Kategorien: english

Cleaning up Mexico’s water bodies

D+C - 21. Juni 2022 - 13:50
A NGO hopes to raise awareness for pollution with clean-ups of plastic waste from coastal areas and water bodies across Mexico

In a country of over 128 million people, the pressure on the environment is immense. There is increasing discharge of plastics into water bodies, sewerage runoff, as well as mega infrastructure projects coming up near protected areas and reserves. Climate change is already impacting food security and endangering aquatic life.

Civil society and environmental activists are rallying communities and other actors in Mexico to do something about the increasing pollution. “MY World Mexico” is a hybrid initiative that combines social mobilisation and advocacy. It has launched a campaign called “Revitalise Oceans”.

Change is needed

The campaign kicked off on World Oceans Day 2022 and involves conducting clean-up of plastic waste and other pollutants from coastal areas, riversides and other water bodies across the country. “Beach clean-ups are a useful tool to raise awareness and achieve a reduction in the consumption of single-use plastics, but that is only the tip of the iceberg,” says Melania Lopez, a marine biologist and environmental activist. In her eyes, a change is really needed from those who generate these products to those who oversee waste management.

Erika Montes de Oca, an environmental consultant from Mexico City, who organised a clean-up in a natural reserve in northern Mexico, says: “The sites of final disposal of solid urban waste do not comply with the environmental standards of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to be considered as sanitary landfills. How can we ask the citizens and companies to carry out an adequate disposal of their waste?”

The clean-up in San José del Cabo had 105 volunteers, among them were labour union members, municipality departments, local civil-society organisations, hotels and a public high school. Montes de Oca argues that more initiatives and actions at all levels remain urgent to address the problem.

Health impacts

Gema Yuridia, a geologist and engineer from the south-central region of Mexico, is leading a clean-up of the Moctezuma River, an important hydrological system that flows through four states and into the Gulf of Mexico. The river is polluted by sewage discharged from Mexico City, State of Mexico and Hidalgo. Moreover, the disruption to the river flow has resulted in flooding especially during periods of excessive rainfall. Residents around it face a potential risk to their health and being cut off from access to basic services.

Since March, MY World Mexico has mobilised volunteers across 10 different states. They have conducted two workshops in which the volunteers are taught about pollution and how they can help counter it. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has joined MY World Mexico to conduct this sensitisation. The organisation hopes that the clean-ups will boost further action and funding for environmental programmes.

Pamela Cruz is the Special Projects Coordinator at Comunalia, a network of community foundations in Mexico and Strategic Advisor at MY World Mexico.
pamela.cruzm@gmail.com

 

Kategorien: english

Trade in secondhand clothes: the benefits outweigh the costs

D+C - 21. Juni 2022 - 11:54
The export of secondhand clothing has been criticised, but it has advantages, particularly for low-income people

Used textiles have long been traded on the global market. The volume of discarded clothing from industrialised countries is growing, as is the demand for secondhand textiles, particularly in countries of the global south. Purchasers of secondhand clothing are primarily low-income people. However, fashion-conscious buyers also appreciate the selection and quality that is available on the secondhand market.

Several years ago, FairWertung conducted a dialogue programme in several African countries, with a focus on Tanzania and Cameroon, that demonstrated that disadvantaged people benefit from secondhand clothing. The umbrella organisation FairWertung is a nationwide consortium of charitable associations that collect used textiles. Over the course of the programme, when people were asked in interviews what they thought about secondhand clothing, they repeatedly answered that “it’s good for the poor people”.

Additionally, there are also younger shoppers in particular who want to introduce variety into their wardrobes without buying something new. Fashion considerations and brands are also playing an increasing role in consumers’ decisions.

One of the largest objections to the export of used clothing from industrialised countries to Africa is that the practice harms Africa’s domestic textile industry. However, it is incorrect to assume that prior to the commercial import of used clothing, there was a domestic clothing industry and an affordable, broad range of textiles available in most African countries.

Historical disruption

Until the early 1980s, locally produced clothing could in fact be found in at least some African countries, thanks to state subsidies. Many governments supported the entire textile production chain and also closed off domestic markets from all imports. This system was disrupted in the mid-1980s, however: as part of debt restructuring programmes carried out under the direction of the International Monetary Fund, many states had to do away with all subsidies and give up import restrictions. Local industries were therefore exposed to competition from the global market. At the same time, uncertain business conditions, like a lack of spare parts and frequent power outages, stood in the way of a functioning, steady production.

During these crisis years, very little clothing was available for purchase in many areas. Mitumba – the standard East-African term for secondhand clothing – provided a remedy and also helped improve the supply of textiles to rural areas. In subsequent years, the remaining textile and clothing operations largely specialised in niche markets and are enjoying increasing success.

Nowadays, both secondhand textiles as well as new products can be found on African markets. Most of the new clothing is produced in Asia, however. It is sometimes sold for lower prices than secondhand clothes. Nevertheless, many people still buy used clothing because it is often of higher quality than the Chinese textiles. The latter quickly show wear after hand washing and have a high proportion of synthetic fibres.

While there are clothing factories in some African countries, the vast majority do not create products for local people, but rather for markets in the US and Europe. Often the sewers who work in the factories dress themselves on the secondhand market.

The assumption that, without the import of secondhand clothing, many places would have a competitive local clothing industry and, at the same time, a selection of clothes that are affordable for all, is largely unrealistic under the current circumstances. Instead, the people’s limited purchasing power determines the selection and Asian production the market for new goods. The secondhand trade meets this demand and also generates income for many thousands of people.

Ecological impacts

In recent months, images of discarded textiles in landfills in Africa have shined a spotlight on the ecological dimension of the trade in secondhand clothes. From an environmental standpoint, secondhand clothing is fundamentally advantageous: longer wear conserves the raw materials and chemicals used in the production of new clothes. However, it is also true that most African countries lack a functioning waste disposal system, meaning that textiles that have reached the end of their service life often end up in open or wild landfills (for the worldwide waste problem see Aviva Freudmann on www.dandc.eu).

Textile collections in western industrialised countries receive both well-preserved clothing as well as a significant amount of recycling content and waste (see box below). In order to minimise the impact on the environment, only those textiles should be exported from the EU that are wearable and for which there is a demand. Recycling content and waste, on the other hand, should be salvaged, whenever possible, in the place where they are generated. If such content is indeed exported to states outside the EU, companies should be able to fully document that it will be treated and salvaged into something of equal or greater value.

In this situation, it is essential that the declaration of goods made during export is correct. FairWertung therefore works with selected partners who voluntarily submit to an audit procedure. Regular audits are also conducted to make sure that the correct declaration has been made. In this way, ­FairWertung’s charitable collectors ensure that clothing donations are handled responsibly during the rest of the recycling process. Consumers who want to support charitable collections in a targeted way can look for the FairWertung symbol when disposing of old clothing.

The medium and long-term goal must be to implement a true circular economy. That means first and foremost that companies must produce textiles in such a way that, at the end of their service life, they can serve as raw materials for new products. We in Europe already possess the expertise and the necessary capital to create a more sustainable textile industry; above all, however, we bear the primary responsibility.

Link
Donation sites of organisations that have been certified by FairWertung:
https://www.altkleiderspenden.de

Thomas Ahlmann is the director of the umbrella organisation FairWertung, a nationwide network of charitable associations that collect used clothing.
info@fairwertung.de

Kategorien: english

Displaced women in Yemen: success through henna art

GIZ Germany - 21. Juni 2022 - 10:33
: Mon, 20 Jun 2022 HH:mm:ss
It's World Refugee Day. In Yemen, war has displaced many people in their own country. The path to building a new life starts with a secure income.
Kategorien: english

“Behaviour Change Is the Single Most Important Driver of Sustainability!”

SCP-Centre - 21. Juni 2022 - 10:21

After more than 10 years of experience in consulting and client relationship management, Nadine Pörschke has joined the CSCP as a Project Manager. Read why she thinks changing behaviours can be the most important lever in driving the sustainability agenda forward!

Now you are part of the CSCP – what’s the story behind it?

It had been clear to me for a long time that I wanted to behave sustainably, but my behaviour did not match my intentions. So, I started to drastically change my perspective, both personally and professionally. I started to think about what kind of engagement is needed from different actors to enable change on an individual level, but also on a larger scale. Above all, I wanted to learn more about multi-stakeholder engagement and its potential to change behaviours for sustainability. These are all CSCP keywords, and this is why I am here.

What are you looking forward to creating at the CSCP?

I am most excited about inspiring and supporting a meaningful engagement of businesses on sustainability topics. They have an enormous power to set agendas, influence trends, and change behaviours. As part of the CSCP, I am looking forward to enhancing our collaborations with businesses across industries toward win-win solutions that benefit the economy, the environment, and society.

We live in very dynamic times. How can we ensure that sustainability is kept high on the agenda?

A sustainable, circular economy with a strong focus on social aspects is needed in order to overcome current ecological and social challenges. In my opinion, changing business models and consumer behaviours will be key not only to keep sustainability on the agenda but actually drive the agenda forward and ensure a safe future for all.

Do you have a sustainability dream project?

I do! I would like to see sustainability as an obligatory subject in school, taught in conjunction with subjects like politics, biology, chemistry or geography. I strongly believe that early socialisation with the idea of sustainability is the key to raising generations that care about the planet and people.

To wrap it up, what are the main ingredients for a sustainable life in your view?

Empathy, peace, sufficiency.

For further questions, please contact Nadine Pörschke.

 

The post “Behaviour Change Is the Single Most Important Driver of Sustainability!” appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

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