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What’s new this February?

26. Februar 2018 - 17:19
Kategorien: Hamburg

Food is Fundamental: Farm Okukuna launched

23. Februar 2018 - 11:21
Ground-breaking at a Pioneering Project in Goreangab

Windhoek, 22 February 2018. In the far north-west of Windhoek, on the boarder of the informal settlements of Goreangab, a visionary new project was born yesterday. Farm Okukuna wants to improve food and nutrition security in the capital’s northern settlements.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, City of Windhoek Councillor Ananias Niizimba pointed out that “Farm Okukuna will be the centre for a number of programmes, including growing food, marketing it, supporting small enterprises and entrepreneurship and – also very important – improving nutrition”. The City of Windhoek has provided the erf, is putting up fencing and will organise basic services such as security, electricity, semi-pure and fresh water.

Councillor Niizimba stressed that “Farm Okukuna would not be possible without the partners who bring in expertise and funding”. The Namibia Future Farming Trust (NFF) has already successfully established 11 aquaponics sites in Windhoek and is the proud winner of the Namibian 2017 Sustainable Development Awards. At Okukuna Farm, NFF will be setting up hydro-/aquaponics, with initial funding from the Finnish Embassy. Community members will be trained and encouraged to use traditional methods for preserving leafy greens (steaming and drying) to produce ekaka or ombindi.

Suvi Valkonen of the Fund for Local Co-operation of the Embassy of Finland called for more stakeholders to come on board: “Here we have land, work and know-how. Let’s make this project profitable and beneficial for the communities”.

Permaculture will be a further focus at Farm Okukuna. The Eloolo Permaculture Initiative has proved that this method is very suitable for growing food in Windhoek’s testing climate. At Farm Okukuna they will develop, with volunteers, systems that work on a small or medium scale and can be easily adopted and enhanced by local communities on the farm and in the informal settlements, such as tree-grass-animal systems and home-yard systems. The Permaculture designers and trainers are funded through the Liselotte Stiftung, a foundation from Hamburg, Germany.

Farm Okukuna is also envisioned to be the nucleus for further developing Windhoek’s food system to be more sustainable, inclusive, safe and diverse and to provide healthy and affordable food to all. The World Future Council and the City of Windhoek have been engaging for a number of years on such programmes. Ina Neuberger Wilkie of the World Future Council, who is a member of the executive committee of Farm Okukuna, pointed out the significance of the project. A recent study of the African Food Security Urban Network in co-operation with UNAM found that food insecurity in Windhoek’s informal settlements has increased from 89% to 92% over the past 9 years. “People need to be able to eat enough, healthy and diverse food. People, who do not eat well, cannot learn well and will not work well. Food is fundamental”, she stressed.



Ina Neuberger Wilkie
Senior Project Manager, World Future Council
Phone: +264 (0) 81 244 39 81

The post Food is Fundamental: Farm Okukuna launched appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Kasese commits to go for 100% Renewable Energies

22. Februar 2018 - 14:56
Kasese (Uganda) commits to go for 100% Renewable Energies

Kasese district in Ugana commits to 200% Renewable Energy by 2020. Already today, the local people are distributors of the energy. We interviewed the Mayor of Kasese, Kabbyanga BK. Godfrey, during the Climate Conference in Bonn.

Kasese: from unsustainable exploitation to empowerment

Between latitudes 0° 12’S and 0° 26N; longitudes 29° 42’E and 30° 18’E lies Kasese. This district in Uganda commits to run on 100% Renewable Energies exclusively from 2020 onwards.

The area is stressed by unsustainable forest management due to the fact that mostly wood is used as an energy source. Deterioration of the environment and poor health conditions are a direct result of the unsustainable practices.
To fight these developments, the Mayor of Kasese, Godfrey Baluku Kime has set out the goal to depend on renewable energies 100% by latest 2020. With a wide range of renewable energies such as biomass, solar, geothermal and Mini- hydroelectric technologies the transition will be made possible.

The prices of oil in the area have skyrocketed. Furthermore, the great efforts that Kasese is committing to are a role model for other areas to follow suit and it will soon be visible how the transition to 100% renewable energies is possible.

Additionally, the transition to 100% renewable energies will decrease the uncontrolled use of charcoal, firewood and kerosene which are the main energy sources thus far. A distinct plan of implementation is layed out in the Renewable Energy Startegy, which runs from 2013- 2020.

Kasese District is located in the south west of the Republic of Uganda

FURTHER READING 100% renewable energy and poverty reduction in Tanzania

Our Climate & Energy Team is working on a 100% Renewable Energy (RE) solution for Tanzania. The goal of the project is to develop a coherent strategy on how to implement 100% RE as part of Tanzania’s Sustainable Low Carbon Development and Poverty Reduction Goals.

Link to Project Page

Policy Roadmap for 100% RE and Poverty Eradication in Tanzania

This report suggests concrete political measures and outlines necessary governmental action to operationalize Tanzania’s 100%RE and poverty eradication target.

Full Report

The post Kasese commits to go for 100% Renewable Energies appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

How to mobilise the masses

15. Februar 2018 - 16:26

by Ina Neuberger Wilkie


Travelling through Tigray, northern Ethiopia is a mind blowing experience for anyone with an eye for land management. Hill after hill after hill is terraced. Stones are piled up in long benches to stop water flowing off. All of this back breaking work has been done by local communities over the past 30 years. People are claiming they moved more stones than it took to build the pyramids.

Tigray’s Mass Mobilization Campaigns are considered a rather “unique collective action strategy”. People are expected to contribute at least 20 days per year of voluntary labour towards building public infrastructure or managing of watersheds. The work is not paid. Nevertheless, this voluntary work has been provided for the past three decades by 30 to 40 per cent of the population. Even more astonishing is that in many regions there are actually two campaigns of voluntary work per year – 20 days of soil and water works in February and 20 days of plantation in August.

What does it take to motivate such participation?

A shared experience of threat, hope and struggle

Tigray’s highlands are densely populated and in the past people have caused severe land degradation. Smallholder farmers strived to increase food production by using unsuitable techniques and expanding cultivation to marginal land. Grazing and harvesting wood for household fuel contributed to the destruction of vegetation on steep slopes. Soil fertility was depleted, resulting in a decline in agricultural productivity. Land resources were pushed to their limits and when this fragile balance was disrupted, catastrophes such as the 1984 famine occurred. Estimates are that the famine affected eight million people, leaving one million dead.

This Post is part of our “African Champions” series – we present policy solutions for Africa, made in Africa.

Find out more

This event was disruptive, convincing a majority of the surviving people that only if they fundamentally changed the way they lived would there be a chance of survival on the land.

A heavy burden: land degradation threatens livelihoods of millions of people.

The famine triggered the start of the downfall of the Derg, the military government that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987. The struggle against the Derg led to a strong organization of the people of Tigray. Already in times of conflict and uprising, the opposition movements promoted sustainable land management. The struggle in Tigray was intertwined with the hope for building livelihoods and with a vision of a land that can provide if restored and managed sustainably.

This strong link between a disruptive event, natural resource management as a vision in the struggle and a government which grows out of this movement is probably unique to Tigray. However, experience of natural or other disasters is often the trigger for opposition and liberation struggles. The lesson from Tigray would be that developing a vision and a plan for natural resource management should not come after the struggle, but with it.

Civic participation in government policy on land management, or even mass mobilisation as in the case of Tigray, grows strongest out of a shared experience of threat, combined with a shared vision, backed by a shared struggle. As it is, this insight is not really suitable for advocacy. It would suggest waiting for a disaster. How else could a shared vision of restoring land be created, a vision that is strong enough to motivate people to go out and do the work?

Tangible benefits are crucial

A challenge of restoration or re-forestation programmes is the time horizon. It can take a few years before you see benefits, harvest more, and make extra profit.  Therefore it is a challenge to build trust for new techniques, in new people – and, as we are talking policy, build trust in the government.

Basically, there is no other way than to get started. People will see the benefits of their own work.

Managed watersheds will ultimately do what their name implies. Shed water.

Today, farmers in Tigray will tell you that working on the hills once or twice a year for 20 days has become part of the culture. It is what you do. The back breaking work together must be a struggle in itself, must be creating a shared culture.

Often underestimated: the implementation framework

Labour input does not have to be entirely “voluntary” in the sense that it doesn’t get paid at all. In Tigray, mass mobilisation was supported by a range of internationally funded programmes, including the FAO “Managing Environmental Resources to Enable Transition” (MERET) project, the multi-donor funded Productive Safety Net Programme, and the Sustainable Land Management Programme. Employment generation schemes are one mechanism of these programmes; local people receive cash or food for their work.  Such programmes have for example financed the construction of micro-dams and other water harvesting activities such as trenches, terraces, and stone benches.

In the Hagereselam community in the dry south east of Tigray a massive gully has been rehabilitated. A 12 metre deep canyon used to divide the land. Farmers were struggling to reach their fields; animals broke their legs and necks and died on the steep slopes.

In over 30 years of manual labour, the locals restored land on a large scale.

The land is being healed. Today, a bright green scar criss-crosses through the fields. Rehabilitation started in 2011 and, as you do with watershed management, work started at the top. Hillside terraces were constructed for youth groups to plant draught resistant high value crops. 5 metre deep gabions were sunk into the gully and anchored into its sides. Two rainy seasons after gabion construction, planting started. Plants like Sambuca, a bamboo, and Sesbania sesban, a river hemp, hold the soil and provide biomass.

The healing of the Hagereselam gully is the result of interplay of 3 actors – the government, the community, and a donor funded programme. 6 years of free voluntary labour went into the restoration of this gully, plus work funded through the safety net programme, plus work funded through donor programme incentives.

“We have to work through the system,” explains Berhane Hailu of Helvetas, the Swiss development organisation which initiated and conducted the project. Government regulations focus donor programmes on natural resource management. Government also provides criteria for the selection of intervention areas: Where is urgent intervention needed, is the community willing to contribute?

Projects start with the involvement of government experts at district (Woreda) level, then with the community. Out of discussion comes planning. The government provides technical work norms and regulations. At the end of the process a project agreement is signed which determines what will be done and who will contribute.

The Tigray model shows that government can lead and facilitate the land management process. It can create a favourable environment for significant investments from donors and programmes and still be in control. What is needed is an intervention framework that facilitates rather than inhibits – rules, standards, work norms for community involvement. This “technical stuff” makes up an implementation framework which is crucial, but often underestimated. Of course, you also need to set the direction through policy. Again, Tigray is a good example.

Can we do more than “just sustain”? Desertification puts millions of people at risk of being displaced. But there is hope: 2 billion hectares of degraded land could be restored world wide.

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Policy with a clear direction

The development strategy of the Ethiopian Government is called “Agricultural Development-Led Industrialization”, short ADLI. Professor Mitiku Haile, founder of the University of Mekelle explains that “ADLI is a strategy in which agriculture and industry are brought into a single framework of development. The development of agriculture is viewed as an important vehicle for industrialization by providing raw material, a market base, surplus labour and capital accumulation”.

Agriculture is seen as the county’s growth engine. So far, the smallholder farmer is at the core of this strategy. Micro- and small-scale enterprises are encouraged, market access is promoted, credit services developed and training for farmers undertaken.

Working with what we have: land and labour

The focus of ADLI is not the same in all states. Tigray has added “conservation-based” to its Agricultural Development-Led Industrialization. It is the objective of Tigray’s ADLI to intertwine environment, people, and economy. To reach this objective, the government has taken a very pragmatic stance. As Kiflum Abadi, Director National Resource Management (NRM) of the government of Tigray puts it: “There are three factors in development: capital, land, labour. We work with what we have: land and labour.”

Kiflum Abadi’s Directorate is at State level. It works on the design of interventions, on implementation, management of protected areas and runs a seed centre. The state of Tigray is divided in 34 districts and every one of these Woredas has a Director and a number of teams working on NRM. Politically the lowest level of administration is a Kebele. A Kebele covers between 500 and 900 households (ca 6,000 to 10,000 people) and is governed by a committee elected by the local community. Every Kebele in Tigray has a NRM expert who works and lives with the local community.

The Tigray Bureau of Agriculture also deploys extension officers who have been trained in agriculture and livestock management respectively.  Every Kebele therefore has a team of at least three dedicated extension officers. They connect with local people, offer advice, train farmers and bring in up-to-date knowledge. Studies show that the role of development agents is pivotal in implementing programs.

During communal work, they support the group leaders in organizing people and tasks. Two to three weeks before the intervention period, communities discuss which areas will be worked on, what projects will be implemented and who will do it. People form development groups for discussion and decision making which involve 30 households and they organize in working groups. During the intervention period, the groups work on their assigned tasks; activities are assessed daily and improvements undertaken if necessary. At the end of the intervention, in a series of meetings, the work is evaluated and lessons learned discussed.

Devolution of power to district level

The Tigray model thus has a strong outreach component with knowledge and information travelling both from the centre to the village and back. Currently measures are underway to create centres of creation within these pathways. The objective is to make the Woredas the centre of socio-economic development. This also includes budget responsibility. The program covers smallholder agriculture, the private sector, and the public sector, including the judiciary.  Training of farmers, supporting micro-financing institutions, and strengthening public and private sector organizations involved in the development of agriculture will be the main activities concerning smallholder agriculture.

Leadership of a small group of people

A technical implementation framework, a policy with a clear direction and a lively outreach system make up the backbone of the Tigray model. However, travelling through Tigray one cannot help but notice another, softer success factor. The leading people in community, civil society, government, academics are all connected through a web of knowledge and trust. What strikes is the permeability of the system with people moving positions across science, politics, civil society and donor organisations.

Impressive is also the knowledge available – you will have a hard time finding someone in a leadership position in Tigray who does not at least have a PHD in sustainable land management. This group of people interacts on official platforms, such as OFARD, a committee that brings together government with international donors and local NGOs. But they also know and trust each other and communicate. The Minister is only a phone call away from the scientist. “What you need is diversity and friction”, says Hailu Araya, thereby probably explaining the core of good group leadership and the crucial  “soft” success factor of the Tigray model.


Ina Neuberger Wilkie
Senior Project Manager


Read up on all this and other policies in our full brochure, which is also available in French.

The post How to mobilise the masses appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Urban Solutions: the WFC at the WUF in Kuala Lumpur

14. Februar 2018 - 12:05
OBOR Cities Share Experience on Regenerative Urban Development at WUF 9

8th February 2018, at the 9th World Urban Forum in Kulua Lumpur Malaysia, the World Future Council in cooperation with the Energy Foundation organized a network event to facilitate cities from One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR) countries to exchange experience on regenerative city – regeneration of energy, resource, urban ecosystem and urban space in urban development.

The OBOR countries occupy 40% of the world area, gathering about 70% of the world population and over 55% of them living in cities. According to UN statistics, by 2050, more than 3.39 billion people of OBOR countries will be living in cities, with 350 million people moving to cities every year. With such rapid urbanization, low carbon, sustainable, regenerative city development in OBOR countries has great influence on the implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda, said Dr. Bruno Dercon, Senior Human Settlement Officer of the UN Habitat at the opening of the event.

Boping Chen (right), China Director of the World Future Council, at the event

The OBOR country cities share many common challenges in their urbanization process, such as urban sprawling, natural resource exhaust, ecosystem degradation, climate change mitigation and adaption, air pollution and water pollution. A good urban planning can help cities to tackle these challenges at an early stage and avoid lock-in effect, and the experience sharing as well as cooperation between OBOR countries can not only help cities to learn from each other, to work together but also to avoid some challenges that the emerging economies already experienced.

Dr. Zhigao Wang from the Energy Foundation, presented a guideline on green smart city planning which was a summary of their eight-year experience working with China on sustainable urban planning and called for cities to adopt TOD oriented planning, limit urban boundary, promote mixed use of urban space so as to conserve energy and resource.

As many OBOR cities face the challenge of climate resilience, Changde City, a project partner of the WFC, presented their experience of “sponge city” – unseal urban surface for storm water management by improving urban green blue infrastructure to absorb rain water, filter rain water and recycle rain water.

Zoe Zhou, Communication and Operations Officer of World Future Council China Program, speaking at the event

Representatives from Beijing, Kunming and Wuhan city of China, Citynet, a city network of Asia Pacific cities, the Asian Pacific Office of the United Cities and Local Government and UN Habitat joined the panel discussion, highlighting not only the sharing and learning between OBOR cities but also the spatial, financial and material flow that closely connects the OBOR cities and require cities to work together for regenerative urban development.

The post Urban Solutions: the WFC at the WUF in Kuala Lumpur appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Clearing the Air in India with the fresh breeze of biomass technology

6. Februar 2018 - 13:05

Every year India struggles with natural conditions of drifting dust from the desert Thar[1] which are aggravated by human impact[2] and lead to environmentally, socially and economically costly air pollution. With the enabling policy framework, a proven technology could be part of a feasible scheme tackling all anthropogenic drivers at once – and ideally lead to a reduction of air pollution by up to 90%. 

Starting a few months ago, India’s North has made headlines when air pollution reached an air quality index (AQI) of 1,001[3] – exceeding safe levels by a multitude of ten. In the national Capital Region of Delhi alone 45 million people[4] have been affected, causing a spike in complaints of respiratory problems and an emergency state, declared by the Indian Medical Association.[5]

Even though the news around the topic subsided, the officially monitored AQI which are even higher in the proximity of roads[6] within major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, continue to range around hazardous levels[7]. Inhalation of this air is comparable to smoking several packs of cigarettes a day[8] [9] and serious respiratory effects in the general population can be expected while even putting susceptible groups at risk of premature death[10].

Figure 1: Haze over North India in late 2017. (Source: NASA, 2017)

The death toll of air pollution in India was the highest of all countries around the world with 2,5 million in 2015.[11] A global UNICEF study found recently, that over 90% of children are breathing polluted air not matching WHO guidelines and 17 million infants are exposed to levels six times the approved norms.[12] Furthermore, household air pollution was recently discovered to be insalubrious even before birth, reducing birth weight, pregnancy duration and doubling perinatal mortality[13]. This effect is owed to the burning of traditional fuels which exposes mostly women to pulmonary and vision hazards of indoor air pollution.[14]

A study conducted by the World Bank concluded: The negative health impact of outdoor air pollution alone costs India 3% of its GDP[15] which translates to an equivalent loss of roughly 35 billion Euros every year. Research found a direct impact of the atmospheric pollution on agriculture with wheat yields of 2010 being on average up to 36% lower than usual all over India due to reduced intensity of sunlight and toxic ozone reaching the plants.[16] Additionally, increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere[17] contribute to the greenhouse effect leading to more extreme and destructive weather events.

Two main causes for a myriad of manmade emission sources

In agricultural areas such as Punjab, the breadbasket of India, which singlehandedly produces 20% of India’s wheat and 10% of its rice[18], smoke blankets rise seasonally for several weeks despite a governmental ban when leftover straw stubble from mechanical harvesting is burned openly in the fields to clean the soil for new seeding [19] (see fig. 2).

Large-scale crop burning in India in 2017. (Source: Propakistani, 2016)

Then, metropolitan areas are covered by the drifting haze of crop burning in addition to the smoke of millions of wood cook stoves in and outside of the urban areas as well as countless emitters of sulfates, nitrates and black carbon such as automobiles, coal-fired power plants, incinerators, smelters or brick kilns.[20]

A comparison of several studies of Delhi shows the difficulty of solving the problem due to the relatively equal share of the main human-made sources of urban air pollution: Open burning of garbage and other diffused emitters contribute on average about a quarter, domestic or biomass burning as well as dust ranges around 15% while both traffic and industry (including coal power plants) are responsible for approximately one third.[21] [22]

However, understanding the reasons of air pollution, the interconnectedness of land and city and the amplification of fog and aerosol hazes[23] permits a vision for a future of clear skies and fresh breath. The main detrimental causes showed to be unsolvable if tackled one by one which is demonstrated by governmental emergency measures falling short every year.

Multiplying the negative causes turns into a feasible opportunity

The usually unused agricultural leftover biomass like paddy straw suddenly becomes an additional source of income for farmers as it already begins to prove itself as a viable source for power generation in rural India, offering employment for thousands of people. The calorific value per kilogram of coal and paddy straw are comparable while it burns cleanly in boilers with an efficiency as high as 99%. Combustion technology is commercialized and alone in the state of Punjab 332.5 MW of agro-waste based power projects are planned.[24]

These power plants can sell their power due to the “New & Renewable Sources of Energy Policy” and generate income under a Clean Development Mechanism while suppling millions of kWh to the grid for years. [25] Even individual households value the significant financial benefit of a carbon credit scheme which earns them up to 500 Rupees per month in a pilot project and convinces them to maintain the use of improved cook stoves.[26]

There are numerous reasons aside from health benefits for extending the understanding of sustainable cooking beyond improved cook stoves[27]. A new one is provided by a recent study, that noted villagers truly wish for cooking like in the cities – preferably with LPG which is out of reach for many due to its higher costs compared to wood.[28]  The so-called producer gas of low-cost straw-based power plants is an ideal replacement of a cleanly burning fuel, reducing indoor air pollution significantly in poor or disconnected rural and urban households alike.

Moreover, the processing of biomass and organic waste opens the opportunity of bio-oil production which can be handled exactly like a petroleum-based product to power suited diesel generators and fuel traffic in the cities.[29] This not only reduces transport emissions greatly but adds value to the commonly high share of organic waste (~30%) in Indian cities[30], attracting the informal sector in waste collection and reducing open garbage burning.

If now the government would take a leap forward by providing legislative support for this scheme in a holistic framework and additionally phase out coal power plants, manmade air pollution could ideally be reduced by roughly up to 90% through counteracting the aforementioned emission sources. In addition to environmental and social health improvements, the positive economic impact would be substantial: An IRENA study estimated a total benefit of 59 to 224 billion USD in savings following a restructuring of the power sector.[31] India’s INDC target of 40% renewable energy in 2030 is a promising step into the right direction.[32]


– written by Lisa Harseim –



The post Clearing the Air in India with the fresh breeze of biomass technology appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

January News of the WFC

30. Januar 2018 - 10:27
Dear Friends & Supporters, A happy and prosperous new year to all our subscribers! It was a great start to the year for us, as we could welcome a new member of the Management Board: Johanna Dillig joined the WFC as Head of Operations.

The post January News of the WFC appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Policymakers gather to share child rights best practice on protection and participation in Zanzibar

10. Januar 2018 - 11:56

From the 28 – 30 November the World Future Council (WFC) hosted an international child rights conference in Zanzibar to explore the positive impacts of Zanzibar’s Children’s Act and share success stories on child protection, child friendly justice and participation from around the world. Representatives of ministries and policymakers from 12 countries, mainly from Africa and Asia, alongside experts on children’s rights and representatives from civil society drew up the Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights, committing themselves to taking strong action to eradicate all forms of violence against girls and boys. The assembly greatly benefited from the expertise and passion of two WFC Councillors Dr. Gertrude Ibengwé Mongella, former President of the Pan-African Parliament and Dr. Auma Obama, Chair and Founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation.

Zanzibar Declaration

Delegates from across Africa and Asia attended the conference

Across three days, over 100 participants took part in a varied schedule of workshops, presentations and field visits looking at how to translate child rights laws on paper into national and local programmes that actually improve the experience of children and young people on the ground and effectively tackle child abuse, neglect and exploitation. Detailed country commitments on how each jurisdiction will take forward their own child rights and protection plans were drawn up.

Delegated also had the opportunity to see for themselves how Zanzibar – a semi-autonomous island region of Tanzania – has made some decisive moves to deliver real progress on justice and protection throughout its child protection system.

Conference participants visiting one of Zanzibar’s child protection facilities

This was well illustrated by a series of site visits the international legislators made to Zanzibar’s new or improved child rights institutions. The system clearly benefits from strong coordination from the National Child Protection Unit (NCPU) which helps to implement the national strategy across governmental sectors (social welfare, health, education, justice, etc.), and involves civil society, international agencies, families and children. Other key visits included the new child-friendly Children’s Court where murals adorn the walls, staff dress in civilian clothes and closed circuit video links mean young people can give evidence in a non-threatening environment. Also showcased were Zanzibar’s One Stop Centres, which comprise a 3-room unit of plain clothed police officers, medical personnel and counsellors who provide health, legal and psychosocial services to survivors of violence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, reducing the trauma of victims of abuse to a minimum while streamlining the collection of evidence and the provision of care.

During the conference, the delegates exchanged implementation ideas and best practices

Of course, there is much still to do in Zanzibar to fully operationalise its child protection laws and national action plans and ensure that the rights of children are truly safeguarded but the innovations and progress made were impressive, particularly given Zanzibar’s limited resources. As the conference closed the signatories of Zanzibar Declaration agreed to strengthen formal and informal child protection systems at all levels with a particular focus on prevention programmes and committed to targeting the training of the social workforce, enhancing coordination at all levels and increasing budgets to ensure the safety of children.

Our task now is to apply the lessons we have all learnt and work with this vibrant network of legislators to help spread elements of child rights best practice and policy to national and local child protection systems across Africa, Asia and beyond.


The conference was convened with the support of Janina Özen-Otto, JUA Foundation and Michael Otto Foundation.

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Kategorien: Hamburg

When good laws change lives

4. Januar 2018 - 12:39
Securing Child Rights in Zanzibar

Some of the loudest applause at our recent international gathering of child rights policy-makers in Zanzibar came after the representative from Indonesia took to the floor to list his key priorities for progress on child rights law: “implementation, implementation and implementation!” he boomed to a receptive audience. That this struck a chord with the assembled delegates is testament to the long history of good laws on paper and poor on-the-ground enactment that still plagues child rights policies around the world. It was to tackle this problem that over 100 participants from 15 countries were gathered by the World Future Council in Zanzibar last month, eager to learn and share best practice. We came to see for ourselves how this semi-autonomous island region of Tanzania had made some decisive moves to deliver real progress in how children experience justice and protection.

School girls in Zanzibar City

This was well illustrated by a series of field trips our visiting international legislators made to Zanzibar’s new or improved child rights institutions. One of the striking things you immediately notice is the child-friendly atmosphere that has been created throughout the system. At the new Children’s Court murals adorn the walls, staff dress in civilian clothes and closed circuit video links mean young people can give evidence in a non-threatening environment. The new One Stop Centres, which comprise a 3-room unit of plain clothed police officers, medical personnel and counsellors who provide health, legal and psychosocial services to survivors of violence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, reduce the trauma of victims of abuse to a minimum while streamlining the collection of evidence and the provision of care.

Conselling room in Zanzibar, specially designed for children who became victims of violence

Another clear feature of the system is coordination. The National Child Protection Unit (NCPU), is the coordinating agency responsible for the implementation of the national strategy. A small team coordinates responses across governmental sectors (social welfare, health, education, justice, etc.), and involves civil society, international agencies, families and children to ensure that child justice and protection is being delivered effectively. Similarly a new Child Rights Centre serves as a hub for civil society organisations working in the field of child rights, identifying gaps in training and filling them. From here the ‘Baba Bora’ (“good father”) campaign is run to engage fathers, men and boys in changing attitudes and behaviours toward women and children, promote gender equality and transform traditional beliefs and norms in order to promote non-violence. The campaign has got the islanders talking with local exhibitions on children’s views on positive parenting, public debates and even a popular R&B song promoting the message.


Of course, there is much still to do in Zanzibar to fully operationalise its child rights laws and action plans and ensure that the rights of children are truly safeguarded. But for many of us who have seen the system first-hand, the innovations and progress made were impressive, particularly given Zanzibar’s limited resources. If anything, it is the system-wide approach that can serve as a model for others. So why has similar progress been so slow in some other parts of the region?


“Because children don’t vote often the political class ignores them altogether”

Part of the answer is certainly the cost. Across the African continent, children represent close 50% of the population, but this does not translate into them becoming a priority in national planning and resourcing decisions. In fact as Dr. Nkatha Murungi from the African Child Policy Forum noted “Because children don’t vote often the political class ignores them altogether”. When there is funding and resourcing available, too much is dependent on external development partners.

Young people deserve a chance. Zanzibar has a number of places to go for young people if they have become victims of violence and abuse, or if they want to escape from violent environments.

Child protection services in the context of Africa require long term and sustainable investment in the social welfare workforce and developing an effective system and this doesn’t come cheap. The Zanzibar national plan of action will cost $4m annually over the next four years. But it’s clear that adequate budgeting is a crucial instrument for advancing the survival, protection and development of children, particularly in the case in Africa where there are huge unmet needs for access to basic services.

It’s also clear that there can be no better way of spending resources, no matter how scarce, than on our youngest citizens. After all investing in children is investing in the success of our collective future. Whether nations and societies grow and prosper will depend to a large extent on the health, education, protection and the ideas and innovations of the coming generations. We have a huge opportunity to make progress on child rights through the global sustainable development goals (SDGs) whether on poverty (Goal 1), hunger (Goal 2), health (Goal 3), education (Goal 4), gender equality (Goal 5), climate change (Goal 13) or violence against children (Goal 16.2). There’s also no time to lose; 1 year is 6% of a childhood. Any delay in protecting their interests is a lost opportunity. Let’s get to it!



This article by Jakob von Uexull was originally posted on his HuffPost blog

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Implementing a “climate bailout”: How to convert fossil fuel stranded assets into renewable energy investments

2. Januar 2018 - 17:32


To comply with the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris, a significant fraction of fossil resources cannot be used for energy production. The loss of value of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal will cause considerable uncertainty and instability on the financial markets. Also, the unavoidable transformation of energy companies towards renewable energy generation will be even harder when they are weakened by the accelerated depreciation of their fossil fuel assets.

Therefore, a new financial instrument is required to enable energy companies to convert their de facto “stranded” fossil fuel reserves into renewable energy (RE) assets. Since assets already threatened by “stranding” can only be sold in the private financial markets at a minimum residual value, private actors can be excluded as feasible buyers.

Passing on the losses to taxpayers would be neither politically nor financially realistic. The only institutions that have the economic potential to implement a “climate bailout” are Central Banks, just as they have done in the banking crisis since 2008.

Full Report

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December News of the WFC

19. Dezember 2017 - 14:20
Dear Friends & Supporters, We had a busy month of December, with a high-level conference on securing children's rights in Zanzibar, with some 100 participants from across Africa and Asia. With the Zanzibar Declaration, the signatories have made a strong commitment to securing and implementing the rights of the children. Find out more about it in this newsletter! As this year is coming to an end, we would like to thank you for your support and your interest in our work in 2017! We wish you a most enjoyable festive season, and a happy and peaceful 2018!

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Champions: African Solutions

5. Dezember 2017 - 10:39

Coming soon

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12 countries sign Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights

1. Dezember 2017 - 11:47
The signatories from across Africa and Asia commit to end violence against children, strengthen child rights and advocate to increase budgets for children


Zanzibar, 1 December 2017: At the International Child Rights Conference in Zanzibar on sharing best practice and policy on child protection, justice and participation, convened by the World Future Council (WFC), representatives and policymakers from Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zanzibar and experts on children’s rights and representatives from civil society signed the Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights. In addition, there were detailed country commitments on how each jurisdiction will take forward their own child rights and protection plans. The declaration was facilitated by Dr. Amb. Gertrude Ibengwé Mongella, WFC Honorary Councillor and former President of the Pan-African Parliament.

The signatories from 12 countries have committed to taking strong action to eradicate all forms of violence against children, through raising awareness and sensitization on violence against girls and boys, harmful practices (e.g. child marriage) and corporal punishment in all settings.

In the Declaration, the signatory countries agreed to strengthen formal and informal child protection systems at all levels with a particular focus on prevention programmes (including the increased involvement of fathers and male caregivers, which was seen as a key theme that needs strengthening in all countries). In addition, the signatories committed to targeting the training of the social workforce, enhancing coordination at all levels and increasing budgets to ensure the safety of children.

They agreed to facilitate effective implementation of local and national programmes, policies and National Plans of Action on child protection and participation, as part of national strategies to effectively tackle child abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The signatories thereby acknowledge the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end all forms of violence against girls and boys by 2030 (especially SDG 5 and 16), and to promote participation of children.

Dr. Auma Obama, Chair of the World Future Council’s ‘Rights of the Children’ commission, and Chair and Founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, also attended the conference. She said:

“Violence against girls and boys harms children and their futures. It therefore also harms their families and society at large. This conference and its declaration are a great step forward towards a child-friendly and a future-just world. Legislators now urgently need to work in their countries to apply best practices for child protection, justice and participation.”

The conference was convened with the support of Janina Özen-Otto, JUA Foundation and Michael Otto Foundation.

You can view the Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights here.

Participants from across Africa and Asia joined the International Conference on Child Justice, Protection and Participation

Media Contact

World Future Council
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Phone: +49 (0) 4030 70 914-19
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