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How can we build Peace?

19. September 2018 - 16:28
We asked our expert policy staff on the occasion of World Peace Day 2018

Building peace is a very complex endeavour: Social injustice, economic inequalities, climate change, lack of opportunities, resource scarcity, depletion of natural habitat, hunger and poverty, and violation of human rights can cause social unrest or even violent conflict. All these factors are interdependent and intertwined. Is building peace a futile mission? No, because proven solutions and successful approaches already exist. On this year’s UN World Peace Day, we asked our dedicated policy staff what can be done to achieve and sustain peace:

 

 

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Press Release: Kehkashan Basu to speak at UN High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament

12. September 2018 - 12:07
18 year old environmental activist Kehkashan Basu selected to speak at September 26 United Nations High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament She calls for disarmament for sustainable development

Hamburg/New York, 12 September 2018  18 year old environmental activist and youth leader Kehkashan Basu was selected by the President of the UN General Assembly to address the September 26 United Nations High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament as one of the two representatives of global civil society. She is Youth Ambassador of the World Future Council and was last week named as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence for 2018. Ms Basu says: ‘The United Nations and its member countries should focus more on disarmament for sustainable development’

Kehkashan Basu
Kehkashan, Youth Ambassador of the World Future Council, is the founder of the GREEN HOPE FOUNDATION, which seeks to provide a networking platform to children and youth, to take action for a more sustainable future.
Picture (c) Kehkashan Basu

 

 

 

The nuclear arms race, in particular, should be halted and the $100 billion global nuclear weapons budget be redirected towards ending poverty, reversing climate change, protecting the oceans, building a sustainable economy and providing basic education and health care for all of humanity,’ says Ms Basu who was also the winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize. ‘Instead, the nuclear armed States are squandering resources and keeping their nuclear weapons poised to strike. One mistake would cause a humanitarian disaster, robbing children and youth of their health and future, and maybe even ending civilization as we know it.’

The High Level Meeting on September 26 will involve Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and UN ambassadors presenting either their hopes and aspirations for nuclear disarmament, or their excuses for keeping the nuclear arms race going. It falls on the anniversary of the incident in 1983 when a nuclear war was almost fought by accident.
On that day, an incoming United States ballistic missile attack against Moscow was ‘detected’ by Soviet satellites relaying information to the nuclear early warning center Serpukhov-15. With only 15 minutes between detection and impact, standard procedure was to confirm the incoming attack to the President of the Soviet Union (at the time it was Yuri Andropov) who would initiate an immediate ‘retaliatory’ attack before Moscow was hit.

Stanislav Petrov, duty officer at Serpukhov-15, defied protocol and reported a ‘false alarm’. His action, which is chronicled in the award winning movie The Man Who Saved the World, prevented a potential nuclear calamity the like of which we have never experienced and hope never to see.

‘The lesson of the 1983 incident, and the 15-20 other times we have nearly had a nuclear exchange, is that nuclear deterrence could fail – and that failure would mean game over,’ says Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council. ‘As such, the nuclear armed States have to replace nuclear deterrence with better ways to achieve security, just as the overwhelming majority of other countries have already done.’

In 2013 the UN General Assembly decided to hold a series of annual High Level Meetings every year on September 26 at which governments could express their views and proposals, followed by a UN High Level Conference in May 2018 to take action on effective measures for nuclear disarmament. However, the High Level Conference in May was postponed and now might be cancelled altogether.

‘High Level Conferences and Summits on global issues are vital to build the public attention, media coverage and political traction to make progress,’ says Alyn Ware, Chair of the World Future Council Disarmament Commission.  ‘The United Nations must not cave in to the pressure from the nuclear armed States to drop the High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament.’

‘Regardless of what the governments do at the UN, civil society will step up its action for nuclear disarmament,’ says Ms Basu. ‘The most powerful lobby for the nuclear arms race is the nuclear weapons industry. From Oct 24-30, in locations around New York, we will count out the $1 trillion nuclear weapons budget for the next 10 years and demonstrate how this money can be reallocated from the nuclear weapons industry into the Sustainable Development Goals and other areas of human and environmental need. This includes direct cuts to nuclear weapons budgets, and divestment from the industry, and is part of the global campaign Move the Nuclear Weapons Money.’

Jakob von Uexkull (left)
Founder of the World Future Council (2007) and the Right Livelihood Award (1980), often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’.

Alyn Ware (right)
Chair of the World Future Council Disarmament Commission, Founder and global coordinator of the network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Annual Report 2017

10. September 2018 - 13:01

Annual Report 2017

Our new Annual Report is out now! Let’s take a tour through the diverse and numerous solutions we identified and promoted during 2017. This Annual Report looks back at our impact in 2017 and shows, yet again, our supporters’ strong commitment.

The post Annual Report 2017 appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Annual Report 2017

10. September 2018 - 12:43

Excerpt

The world we live in is changing fast, and, it seems, not necessarily for the good. Every day we are confronted with negative news and shocking headlines. But this problem-orientated approach towards today’s challenges is paralysing and unproductive. Because of that, it is important to talk about solutions.

Let’s take a tour through the diverse and numerous solutions we identified and promoted during 2017! This Annual Report looks back at our impact in 2017 and shows, yet again, our supporters’ strong commitment: collectively we can be proud of what we achieved in climate protection, advancing 100% Renewable Energy, combating land degradation, protecting children from violence, fostering a sustainable economy, and promoting peace and disarmament.

Annual Report 2017

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Kategorien: Hamburg

What is the Future Policy Award 2018 and why is it so important?

4. September 2018 - 11:25
Would you like to know more about the Future Policy Award 2018? Here are some fundamentals:

Every year, the World Future Council honours the policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations with the Future Policy Award, the “Oscar on best policies”. If that sounds complicated, let us explain to you what it actually means – it’s pretty simple and important: We look at the greatest challenges of humankind and search the world for the best solutions in order to spread them.

A quick Q&A session will help you understand. We also interviewed Poppe Braam, founder of DO-IT (Dutch Organic International Trade) why they support the Future Policy Award this year.

First of all, what’s the Future Policy Award?

The Future Policy Award is the first award that celebrates policies rather than people on an international level. It raises global awareness for exemplary policies and speeds up policy action. Each year, the Councillors of the World Future Council identifies one topic on which policy progress is particularly urgent.

What is the focus this year? 

This year’s Future Policy Award is focusing on policies scaling up agroecology. Policies that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods of small-scale food producers, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement climate-resilient agricultural practices.

Who are the main organisations you partner with this year?

In 2018, the World Future Council partners with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International. We received fundamental support of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group, Egypt.

Why does, for instance, DO-IT support Future Policy Award? And why does this Dutch company think scaling up agroecology is so important?

We asked Poppe Braam, who founded DO-IT, an organic food trading company from the Netherlands and he said: “In many countries DO-IT supports farmer transition to certified organic agriculture. Many of them are smallholder farmers, who urgently need more support. This makes local and national policy by governments as well as action by NGOs and agricultural institutes a vital part of this transition. Chemical farming (i.e. today’s conventional agriculture using chemical pesticides and fertilizers) and agroecology are natural opponents. Chemical farming does not only harm nature, but it also harms our health and climate. Moreover, the business of organic farmers is threatened due to levels of pesticide and GMO contamination by wind or water. It is therefore critical to scale up agroecology and policymakers should now step up their efforts.”

What can I do to support agroecology?

Buy organic and agroecological local or regional produce and support thereby family farmers in your region! Just like every raindrop counts towards a river, so does every choice you make in what you consume.

Does the World Future Council need support?

Yes! Now that the Future Policy Award identified and highlighted policy solutions from around world, we need to make them known to policy-makers around the world. We need funding for publishing in-depth policy reports, campaigning events, etc. Every donation will help!

The post What is the Future Policy Award 2018 and why is it so important? appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Global Forum for Food and Agriculture: our event in Berlin

4. September 2018 - 10:27

COMING SOON

January 17-18 2019 in Berlin: We will be organising an event on “Outstanding Policies and Practices Scaling up Agroecology: Digital Opportunities and Challenges For Food Security, Livelihoods, Environment & Climate Mitigation.”

More Information forthcoming

 

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Presenting Smart Sustainable Pioneering Models on Smart Cities in China

28. August 2018 - 11:09
Fourth China Smart City International Expo on August 21 in China’s innovation capital Shenzhen

The Banquet Dinner Reception – Best Practice Release was successfully organised during the Fourth China Smart City International Expo on August 21 in China’s innovation capital Shenzhen.

In cooperation with the China Center for Urban Development (CCUD) under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the World Future Council organised the Banquet Dinner Reception – Best Practice Release in the evening of August 21. During the Banquet, the Smart Sustainable Pioneering Models project was co-launched by the World Future Council and CCUD, with international and national best practices of smart sustainable cities introduced as well. Prof Herbert Girardet, the honorary councillor of the World Future Council gave the keynote speech, followed by international smart city experience sharing presented by Ms. Beate Weber-Schuerholz, the former load mayor of Heidelberg, Germany; Mr. Niall O’Connor, center director of Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden; Mr. Peter Sailer, project director of Sino German Urbanisation Partnership of GIZ, Germany; and Ms. Aisa Tobing, Deputy Secretary General of CityNet, Indonesia.

There are over 1,000 smart city pilots ready for or under construction worldwide, and China is home to about 500 of them, covering big and small cities. Three groups of cities have been listed as national pilot projects so far, and the country aims to nurture 100 new smart cities from 2016 to 2020 to lead the country’s urban planning and development. With such high development speed, the Smart Sustainable Pioneering Models project presents best practices from around the globe for Chinese cities to improve their strategy, design, operations and maintenance in developing smart urban areas, along with technology and infrastructure, to ensure residents’ needs can be met efficiently and in a timely manner.

About 300 guests attended the Banquet Dinner Reception – Best Practice Release by invitation, and over 120,000 audiences in total attending the Fourth China Smart City International Expo. The whole event is organised by CCUD and lasts for 2 days, with main forums on August 21 and 16 parallel sub forums on August 22.

The post Presenting Smart Sustainable Pioneering Models on Smart Cities in China appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Updates in July

23. August 2018 - 17:29

The post Updates in July appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

What’s new in August

23. August 2018 - 17:26

The post What’s new in August appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Chinese Delegation visited Maryland to learn about Environmental Education

14. August 2018 - 10:38

Silver Winner of FPA 2015, Maryland, inspires education experts from China

Environmental Education has been a priority in the Chinese education system. But unfortunately, there was no significant increase in the students’ engagement for environmental protection so far. China is therefore interested in learning from successful models in other countries.

We organised a conference in Maryland in 2016, and presented their award-winning Environmental Literacy Standards. During the conference, we looked into the success factors of the legislation which aims to educate students to become environmentally and sustainability aware citizens.

A Chinese delegation has also been present back in 2016. Inspired by the conference, they now visited Maryland again and met with officials at  Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). They discussed various topics and  questions, for instance regarding the curriculum framework and the relationship between government environmental agencies and school systems. How to provide more suitable materials and publicity channels for environmental education? How to improve the teaching staff’s environmental education level? And how to raise national awareness of environmental protection and establish public awareness of environmental supervision?

The delegation would like to conduct exchanges of experience in environmental education legislation in Maryland, particularly its experience in formulating environmental education standards, as well as successful cases of environmental improvement through education.

The World Future Council facilitated the meeting will follow up on this topic with the Chinese delegation.

The post Chinese Delegation visited Maryland to learn about Environmental Education appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Zero Poverty – a vision in action for the future of Oxford County

8. August 2018 - 10:59

The pioneer community strives ahead with integrated sustainable policies

In Oxford County poverty eradication is high up on the agenda. To tackle this, the County has designed and implemented a comprehensive plan which is designed to assess inequalities across the community and suggest measures to lead as many people out of poverty as possible. This strategic poverty reduction plan identifies different types of pillars of action. Similar to the County’s efforts to achieve 100% Renewable Energy and eliminate waste, this plan has also been created, using a so-called Building Blocks approach.

The building blocks approach is a detailed set of guidelines to support and design policies. It was initially written to guide communities to implement plans to achieve 100% Renewable Energy. Due to their flexible structure and comprehensive approach, the building blocks and their sub-categories can easily be formed and used for policies other than those related to energy issues. Oxford County has demonstrated this by using the approach to design their Zero Poverty and Zero Waste plans. For an insight into the general building blocks structure and components, please click here.

The Zero Poverty Plan is part of Oxford County’s overall sustainability plan, which places environmental considerations together with the community’s wellbeing at the heart of decision-making. For each part of the plan, a baseline is set out for comparison and to measure progress along the way to implementation. According to Peter Crockett, Chief Administrative Officer of Oxford County, monitoring is essential to make sure that the plan is on track with the circumstances and needs.

Mr. Crockett’s role is to orchestrate the process, amending it when necessary. During our interview with him, he shares a nuanced view on poverty: “Poverty does not always just mean not having a job; rather, it could mean that there is a lack in transportation or finances for transportation to get to the desired job.  These various aspects of ‘poverty’ – all these small instances – also have to be accounted for. The different faces of poverty have to be recognised and the roots, not the symptoms, of poverty should be addressed.”

Oxford County’s Zero Waste Plan runs in tandem with the Zero Poverty plan. The plan lays out a concise strategy of waste reduction and prevention and it evaluates a range of technologies before full-scale implementation.
It also promotes ongoing engagement of the community to inspire and support methods of waste management initiated by industry and consumers, including:

  • The General Motors plant has prohibited disposable packaging. When parts are shipped for the production process, the packaging material is reused or shipped back.
  • Stores in Oxford County have decided to ban plastic bags. Along with the local ‘Business Improvement Association’ there are only re-usable paper bags for a small price to be sold.
  • Consumers are reducing waste by bringing their own bag, but also by actively engaging in community groups. One group has helped reduce the waste of a 3- day folk festival from a full 40m3 dumpster to one garbage bag. They made the vendors give up from using any plastic packaging.
  • In a local market, food that used to be thrown away is now redistributed to people in need. In this instance, the reduction in waste comes from not labelling edible food as waste and rather using it to help the community. Unnecessary costs for dumpster clearance is also saved.

A bi-annual garage-style exchange in a community centre is organized to have goods circulate instead of deeming them waste when they are still useful.

Photo by Niels Steeman on Unsplash.

In the Zero Poverty Plan, impact-oriented measures are laid out in detail. The integration of people plays a major role, with the plan noting that eradicating poverty is an effort by the entire community.

The framework is nicely introduced in this video, which also notes that community and economic activities have limits within the environment. During the process, different surveys yielded data on levels of health, mental health, accessibility, and access to food. This data was subsequently analyzed to understand the specific needs of the people.  Affordable housing and social housing options were assessed thoroughly to provide for a good living environment. To understand the context and the issue that they try to tackle better the county has assessed the concentration of people with low income and checked the presence of other factors that reveal the level of poverty. These statistics and indicators are crucial when developing an action plan and to account for the challenges.

“It is not easy, but it is possible.”

– Peter Crockett, Chief Administrative Officer of Oxford County

With the successful progress in both the 100% Renewable Energy and the Zero Waste strategy the Zero Poverty plan is the next big step in securing a sustainable future for Oxford County and its inhabitants. These efforts are only possible with a strong team and the cooperation of everyone.

– written by Teresa Geidel –

The post Zero Poverty – a vision in action for the future of Oxford County appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Community Energy: A possible solution for the power issues in Rio de Janeiro’s neglected areas

30. Juli 2018 - 11:55

Communities in Rio de Janeiro

Rocinha. Source: The Guardian (2013), “Favelas of Rio de Janeiro – in pictures”. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/gallery/2013/nov/04/favelas-rio-de-janeiro-in-pictures

The most neglected areas in the city of Rio de Janeiro, commonly known as “favelas”, are irregular units that started to develop, usually onto hillsides, during a civil war in the final years of the nineteenth century. As it continued to grow over the years, it was embracing former slaves, immigrants coming from other parts of the country searching for jobs, and any other person that couldn´t afford to buy or rent a house in the city. The consequence is an area inhabited by the poorest class, with an un-existing urban plan, houses and buildings with bad infrastructure, difficult access and precarious public services. This reality created a separation between those inhabitants, commonly known as “people from the hills”, and the inhabitants from the rest of the town, known as “people from the asphalt”. Nowadays, there are around 762 of those communities in Rio with more than 1.4 million people residing in them (approximately 25% of Rio´s population) but, unfortunately, many of them are still neglected by the city.[1] The consequence of the weak presence of the state is that these areas work in a different system, with different rules, where inhabitants had to work in a self-sufficient manner. They had to learn how to protect and help themselves and thus developed a sense of a society that functions as a family[2]. With the goal of handling the daily challenges, and also as a way of having an internal political structure, they created their resident´s association, where a resident is elected by the inhabitants to be an active voice inside and outside the slums. They are responsible for organising forums, creating their land ownership titles, solve issues related to infrastructure, such as sanitation, medical care, energy, transportation and, especially, to establish a connection of those inhabitants with the city hall, bringing all the issues of their region[3].

Instead of what many may imagine, these areas in Brazil are responsible for generating 78,3 billion Reais (approximately 20 billion euros) per year. This is a direct consequence of the fact that residents had to learn how to be entrepreneurs in order to provide for their needs. Approximately 44% of inhabitants want to have their own business and 62% of them want to do it inside the community[4]. It has become part of their culture to fight for their interests and to show their value to the community, and to the rest of the city. Moreover, since the term favela became a derogatory way of talking about these neglected areas, especially the term favelado – a person that lives in the favela –, they requested to be recognised as a Community, a definition that fits perfectly with the way that they developed and behave.

Energy issues

The problems regarding infrastructure in the favelas are enormous. They have precarious sewage systems, transportation, water, and especially, electricity infrastructure. Energy consumption is increasing due to the rise of technology and evolution of electronic devices, and the expectation is that the demand for electricity is going to continue to grow even more. Light is the company that is responsible for producing and distributing energy in the entire city of Rio de Janeiro but, unfortunately, the service that is provided is not equal for every area of the town.

These circumstances developed a “culture of non-payment” in slums, where dwellers get their energy directly from the overhead cables, creating a system where their home will have electricity without the inhabitant having to pay for it[5]. Even though it seems like they are only taking advantage of the situation, there are many disadvantages to this system. Without a meter, residents cannot have an energy bill, and don’t have a proof of residency that is acknowledged by the city hall, which means they are unable to open bank accounts and receive mail. Moreover, they are vulnerable to electrocution and fire, due to overloads in the transformer. The key to the problem is not only that some residents cannot afford to pay for electricity, but that electric energy is part of a basic need of any resident of a big city, and they should be receiving a better quality service. In addition to these problems, ANEEL– Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency – has set a goal in which electric power companies have to reduce their commercial losses[6] of electricity annually[7], and now the inhabitants live in constant fear of getting a fine from the energy company.

Community Energy

Insolar and the community energy in Santa Marta slum. Source: Insolar (2018), “Histórias Inspiradoras”. Available: http://insolar.eco.br/

The main idea of community energy is that local members have full participation in the process of managing and generating their own power through renewable energy[8]. Considering that this is already in line with the modus operandi in Rio´s informal settlements, the implementation of this concept would come as a natural solution that will help dwellers to pay a reasonable price for electricity, lose the dependency on big electric companies, and have a quality service. The approach to this investment will be different in each community, since is important to consider the size, structure, political involvement, background and the need of every area in order to choose the right system[9].

In the Santa Marta community, the social organisation Insolar implemented such a community energy concept over a period of two years. Dedicated to promoting democratic access to energy through the installation of photovoltaic systems, it works closely with a variety of stakeholders, also providing awareness of the technology and environmental education. With the objective of having the inhabitants as the protagonist, they also invest in the local workforce to improve empowerment of the residents, teaching them how to install PV panels, getting them involved as much as possible, and having as a consequence an increased spirit of collaboration. They have fitted more than 150 PV panels to the roofs of many buildings in Santa Marta, which represents more than harnessing power from the sun – it is also shaping positive future of clean energy and generating a spirit of collaboration among inhabitants[10].

Barriers

Even though the sun shines for 2.000 hours a year in Brazil, only 0.2% of the country’s energy comes from solar power[11]. The current Brazilian legislation shows the lack of incentives for renewable energy and especially for solar home systems[12]. Residential and commercial customers are allowed to net-metering, a system that gives the possibility to use energy at any time of the day and in any climatic condition. Those connections will work through the Energy Compensation System, where all the power that is produced in excess becomes an “energy credit” for the customer, measured in kWh, and can be used to complement the months where the production is lower than the amount of energy that is consumed. However, this energy credit is only valid for 60 months, and after that this extra production is “given” to the company, according to normative resolution 482/2012 created by ANEEL[13]. Another critical issue is the minimum fee, or cost of availability, that is always charged even if the production is higher than the consumption, which is problematic for those dwellers that cannot afford to pay for the electrical bill. The necessary amount to invest in this new technology is also a big issue since is still very expensive and is considered to be profitable only after 4 or 5 years of use[14].

Promoting community energy in Rio

This investment is part of a long-term energy plan with several socio-economic benefits. Projects for community energy should prioritise and encourage local investors, especially to explore the vast possibility of income and finances that can be provided by it. However, the communities should also have in mind that any stakeholder is essential for its development. Implementing targets, creating regulations and facilitating equal market access is a good strategy to attract stakeholders and increase participation of the local inhabitants. Forming partnerships with a dealership, in order to get loans, could also increase the possibility to implement such a project. Moreover, it is vital to learn how to work with the government, considering that it can create special incentives, specifically for slums, in order to promote more significant investments in community energy[16].

– written by Mariana Cascardo –

 

Ressources

[1]Vox (2016), “Inside Rio´s favelas, the city´s neglected neighborhoods”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3BRTlHFpBU [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[2] RevoluSolar Institucional (2016), “RevoluSolar – A solar Revolution in Babilônia”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSTk-3oCAn8 [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[3] Brown University Library (2012), “Favelas in Rio de janeiro, Past and Present”. Available: https://library.brown.edu/create/fivecenturiesofchange/chapters/chapter-9/favelas-in-rio-de-janeiro-past-and-present/ [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[4] GloboNews (2018), “Mundo S/A: Negócios movimentam R$ 78,3 bilhoes em favelas”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XmxrQURr3Q [Accessed 07 June 2018] (in Portuguese)

[5] The Guardian (2014), “Providing electricity to Rio de Janeiro´s favela”. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/providing-electricity-rio-de-janeiro-favelas [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[6] Commercial losses, also known as technical losses, is associated with the energy that is not billed, that is lost in the grid during the distribution process, measurement with errors or consumed by units without metering equipment.

[7] “Aneel define nível de perda por furtos e frauds no cálculo de tarifa”. http://www.brasil.gov.br/editoria/infraestrutura/2011/11/aneel-define-nivel-de-perda-por-furtos-e-fraudes-no-calculo-de-tarifa [Accessed 07 June 2018] (in Portuguese)

[8]REN21 (2017), “Renewables 2017 – Global status report“. Available: http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/17-8399_GSR_2017_Full_Report_0621_Opt.pdf [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[9] REN21 (2017), “Renewables 2017 – Global status report“. Available: http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/17-8399_GSR_2017_Full_Report_0621_Opt.pdf [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[10] Climate Reality (2017), “24 hours of Reality 2017: Democracy in Solar Action (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=252&v=oZG738Ou6hI [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[11] BBC NEWS (2017), “How solar power is charging lives in the Santa Marta favela in Rio”. Available: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-39485808/how-solar-power-is-changing-lives-in-the-santa-marta-favela-in-rio [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[12] The Guardian (2016), “From the favelas: the rise of rooftop solar projects in Brazil”. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/may/24/favelas-solar-energy-projects-brazil [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[13] ANEEL (2012), “Resolução Normativa nº 482”. Available: http://www2.aneel.gov.br/cedoc/ren2012482.pdf   [Accessed 07 June 2018] (in Portuguese)

[14] RevoluSolar Institucional (2016), “RevoluSolar – A solar Revolution in Babilônia”. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSTk-3oCAn8 [Accessed 07 June 2018]

[15]IRENA COALITION FOR ACTION (2018). ”Community Energy: Broadening the Ownership of Renewables”. Available: http://irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Articles/2018/Jan/Coalition-for-Action_Community-Energy_2018.pdf?la=en&hash=CAD4BB4B39A381CC6F712D3A45E56E68CDD63BCD&hash=CAD4BB4B39A381CC6F712D3A45E56E68CDD63BCD [Accessed 07 June 2018]

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Kategorien: Hamburg

World Top Experts On Agroecology Form Jury of Future Policy Award 2018

24. Juli 2018 - 13:42

Hamburg/Bonn/Rome, 25th July 2018: Today the World Future Council, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International have announced the names of experts forming the jury of the Future Policy Award 2018. The Award will be celebrating the world’s best policies scaling up agroecology.

Jury members come from all continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Three members are also recipients of the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, says: “The World Future Council is very honoured and grateful that these world top experts on agroecology have agreed to serve on the jury of our Future Policy Award. We look forward to their selection of the world’s best policies for agroecology.”

The jury will be deciding upon the winning policies of the Future Policy Awards 2018 – the best on Earth scaling up agroecology. A shortlist of the winning policies will be published in early September, whilst the winners will be announced and celebrated in October 2018 at the UN FAO Headquarters in Rome.

Renowned representatives of international organisations, academia, civil society and farmers organisations, foundations, and the private sector have agreed to serve on the jury. Among them are the following experts (in alphabetic order):

Helmy Abouleish

CEO, Sekem Group; President, Demeter International; UNFCCC NAP Champion; Ambassador, IFOAM – Organics International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; and Councillor, World Future Council, Egypt.

Prof. Dr. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger

Senior Director, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL); Affiliated Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; and Founding Councillor, World Future Council, UK/Canada.

 

Prof. Dr. Olivier De Schutter

Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food); Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; former UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food; Université de Louvain, Belgium.

images source

Dr. Hans Martin Dreyer

Director, Plant Production and Protection Division, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

images source

Prof. Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

Chairperson of the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology of the FAO; Professor Adjunto, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Brasília; and former Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

images source

Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren

World Board Member, IFOAM – Organics International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; President, Millennium Institute; and President and Founder, Biovision Foundation, Switzerland.

images source

Ruth Richardson

Executive Director, Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA), Canada.

Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva

Director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology; Founder, Navdanya International; Right Livelihood Award Recipient; and Founding Councillor, World Future Council, India.

Eva Torremocha

Responsible for the Sustainable Food Programme Spain, Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation; and Researcher, University Pablo de Olavide, Spain.

images source

To learn more about this year’s Future Policy Award, click here or follow #FuturePolicyAward on social media.

Picture Credits

Prof. Dr. Olivier De Schutter: image by Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Hans Martin Dreyer: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti via Flickr

Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren: © Peter Luethi

Eva Torremocha: image via IFOAM Website

 

 

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Press Release: World Future Council commends fossil fuel and nuclear weapons divestment policies in Göttingen

18. Juli 2018 - 11:15
Another step towards future justice

Hamburg/ Göttingen (Germany) 18th July 2018 – The University of Göttingen (Germany) announced yesterday that they will end all investments in fossil fuel and nuclear energy industries. The move follows an appeal from students of the university organised by Fossil Free Göttingen, and a similar announcement by the City of Göttingen in May last year.

‘We commend the University of Göttingen for taking this important step to divest from fossil fuels and help protect the climate for current and future generations,’ said Alyn Ware, Disarmament Programme Director for the World Future Council.

‘The growing threat to our future posed by climate change has stimulated students to take action,’ says Luisa Neubauer, Communications Officer for Fossil Free Göttingen. ‘The fossil fuel industry has been blocking change to sustainable energy for their own financial interests. We must therefore make it in their financial interests to change. Divestment can help achieve this.‘

‘In line with our motto “IN PUBLICA COMMODA – FOR THE GOOD OF ALL”, we not only bear responsibility for the findings of science, but also for how these findings can influence and guide society,’ said President of the University Ulrike Beisiegel. ‘For this reason, we also take on social responsibility for our investments and select them not only according to economic considerations, but also, in particular, using socially, ethically and ecologically sound criteria.’

The decision by the University impacts its investment portfolio of €190 million. Following the decision, the University Stiftung (investment foundation) will not invest in coal, gas or oil companies, nor companies involved in nuclear energy. 

However, unlike the City of Göttingen which decided to also exclude nuclear weapons and conventional weapons from its investment policy, the University of Göttingen decided not to exclude these industries.

Nuclear weapons divestment is part of Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, a global campaign initiated in 2016 by the World Future Council and others to cut nuclear weapons budgets, end investments in nuclear weapons and shift these budgets and investments into social, economic and environmentally beneficial enterprises.

‘We had hoped that they would also include nuclear weapons divestment in their recent decision. However, the nuclear weapons divestment campaign is still young, and perhaps the University will follow the example of Göttingen City once they have had experience of implementing their policy with positive result.’, says Alyn Ware, who is also the Global Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Prize’).

‘Nuclear weapons also pose an existential threat to humanity and absorb billions of dollars that are sorely needed for better purposes, such as investment in renewable energy,’ says Ms Neubauer. ‘In times of increasing tension between nuclear-armed countries, a demonstration of financial restraint can help governments step back from the nuclear brink.’

‘The Göttingen City action to divest from fossil fuels and weapons producers is a wonderful follow-up to the example of the Göttingen Eighteen, the group of Nobel laureates and other scientists from Göttingen who in the late 1950s argued against the deployment of nuclear weapons in Germany,’ says Dr Ute Finckh-Krämer, PNND Council Member and an adviser to the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign. ‘The action complements similar divestment actions at State and Federal level. Berlin City, for example, has taken action to exclude investments from city funds in fossil fuel, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and the conventional weapons industry.’

 

Media contact

For interviews and all other media enquiries, please contact

Alyn Ware
Programme Director Peace & Disarmament
Tel: +420 773 638 867,

Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager, World Future Council
Tel: +49 40 307 09 14 19
miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

 

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Press Release: Nuclear weapons in Germany inflame conflict between NATO and Russia

13. Juli 2018 - 12:57

Hamburg, Büchel (Germany) 13th July 2018 – Peace and disarmament activists from the World Future Council, Büchel is Everywhere, Nukewatch, Abolition 2000 Youth Network, and other organisations gathering at the Büchel airforce base in Germany this weekend, claim that the U.S. nuclear weapons deployed at the base and at other NATO countries inflame the conflict between NATO and Russia, provoke nuclear counter measures and increase the risk of a nuclear exchange by miscalculation or accident. The weekend protest is part of an international peace action camp at Büchel which started on July 10 just before the recent NATO Summit and finishes two days after the July 16 Helsinki Summit of Presidents Trump and Putin. It includes delegates from a number of countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States.

A principle target of the protest is the controversial practice of placing US nuclear weapons known as B61s in other countries, and US plans to replace the current bombs with new ones. Under a program called “nuclear sharing” Germany, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, and The Netherlands still deploy a total of 150 Cold War-era US gravity H-bombs. The governments admit to nuclear sharing agreements, but will not confirm the numbers or locations of nuclear weapons on their territories. Critics point out that all five countries are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which explicitly prohibits nuclear weapons from being transferred to or accepted from others.
An overwhelming majority of the German public objects to US/NATO plans to replace the B61s deployed across Europe (including the 20 at Büchel Air Base) with new Hydrogen bombs called the B61-12,’ said Marion Küpker (Germany), a disarmament campaigner with the organization Büchel Is Everywhere. ‘Each of these bombs is more than 10 times as powerful as the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our united resistance will stop the new, illegal nuclear bombs nobody needs.’

‘The world wants nuclear weapons abolished,’ said Bonnie Urfer (United States), former co-director of Nukewatch. ‘To waste billions of dollars replacing them with new ones is outrageous considering the millions now in poverty or in need disaster relief, emergency shelter, and safe drinking water.’

Nuclear weapons threaten current and future generations,’ said Marzhan Nurzhan (Kazakhstan), Convener of the Abolition 2000 Youth Network. ‘We continue to experienced the catastrophic impact of nuclear weapons in our country decades ago, so we know that any use of nuclear weapons in a war would create a humanitarian disaster that would continue for hundreds and thousands of years.’

Presidents Trump and Putin are about to meet in Helsinki to discuss how to reduce the tensions and military provocations between the two countries,’ said Alyn Ware (New Zealand/Czech Republic), Council Member of the World Future Council speaking from Buchel. ‘The nuclear threat is the highest since the end of the Cold War. The two Presidents should use this opportunity to take their nuclear forces off high alert, commit to never initiating a nuclear war, renew the New START treaty and supplement the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty by removing all tactical weapons from forward deployment, i.e. the US nuclear weapons in Europe and Russian tactical weapons deployed near their western borders.’

On July 11, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation and Cooperation in Europe approved the Berlin Declaration which endorses the call for nuclear-armed States to adopt policies never to initiate a nuclear war (‘no-first-use’ policies) and to adopt other disarmament and confidence-building measures. The declaration also calls on OSCE governments to affirm and achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

As the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly includes the legislatures of Russia and the United States, as well as of all NATO countries, the Berlin Declaration could be very influential in the run-up to the Trump-Putin Summit and beyond the summit,’ says Mr Ware who also serves as the Global Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.  ‘The Berlin Declaration joins other parliamentary and civil society calls for Dialogue, détente and disarmament, indicating the breadth of support for the Buchel action this weekend.’

Note: The World Future Council 3DnukeMissile will be on display at the gate of the Büchel airbase on July 14.

Contacts for comments  or photos of the action and 3DNukeMissileAlyn Ware +420 773 638 867, Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck +49 (0) 176 5062 8377, Marzhan Nurzhan +420 770 649 750 or Marion Küpker +49 (0) 172 771 32 66

 

 

 

Media contact

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact

Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager, World Future Council
Tel: +49 40 307 09 14 19
miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

The World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) works to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil societies, academia, the arts and the business world. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organisation under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information on the Future Policy Award, visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/future-policy-award

For press enquiries, please contact Miriam Petersen, miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org, +49 40 307 09 14 19.

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Scaling up Agroecology: our Call for Nominations triggered unprecedented response

12. Juli 2018 - 17:13

The world’s biggest contest on agroecology has been kicked off this year and the feedback in the first rounds stunned us: 20,000 experts from all over the world were contacted to nominate the most exemplary policies for our Future Policy Award. We received 51 policies from 25 countries from all continents that advance sustainable agriculture and food systems. Here is a quick overview of the process so far.

This year’s Future Policy Award is focusing on policies scaling up agroecology: Policies that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods of small-scale food producers, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement climate-resilient agricultural practices.

The path to finding the most exemplary policies is quite elaborate and involves a number of steps: First of all, a Call for Nominations is spread to experts on the topic. Secondly, nominations are being researched and collected: Thirdly, an evaluation team screens, discusses and evaluates all nominated policies.

Our Call for Nominations was circulated by UN FAO, the World Future Council and IFOAM to a total of over 20,000 experts from intergovernmental organisations, non-profit organisations, academic and research institutions, government agencies, development banks and other notable organisations active in this field. This year, we were blown away by the incredible feedback we received from agroecology and agriculture policy experts worldwide: In total, the team received 51 policies from 25 countries and from all continents. These were six nominated policies from Africa, twelve from Asia, nine from Europe, twenty from Latin America, one from North America, and three are international ones.

From certain countries we received more than one nomination: Six from Brazil, four from Cuba, five from India, three from Italy and two from Argentina, Bolivia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Philippines, Spain and Venezuela. The policies we have received come from all governance levels, i.e. from city to state, national, continental and even international level. They reflect a wide range of law-making and policy approaches, addressing different aspects of the topic of agroecology, from supporting organic and agroecological production to comprehensive food policies tackling production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management.

This year, our research team was composed of 13 people coming from 9 different countries, speaking more than 6 different languages fluently. We engaged with more than 100 experts to receive their views and discuss with them the impact of the policies nominated for the Award. Overall, the evaluation team screened and discussed 51 policies, evaluating 21 of them fully.

The next steps

At the end of July, our international jury of experts discusses which of the evaluated policies best receive the Awards. Our jury this year will be composed of 9 eminent experts including representatives from organising partners – FAO, World Future Council, IFOAM – as well as CISDL, Demeter International, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, IPES-Food, Navdanya International, Millenium Institute/Biovision Foundation and the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation. Among them will be 4 women and 5 men coming from 5 different continents. They will be making important choices and decide upon 1 policy winning Gold and 2 for Silver, 3 receiving Honourable Mentions and last but not least 1 Vision Award.

Last but not least, the winners are being celebrated!

On the occasion of World Food Week in October 2018, the Award Ceremony will be held at FAO Headquarters celebrating the best policies on Earth that scale up agroecology. We are looking much forward to this festivity and to honour exemplary political will!

To learn more about the Future Policy Award click here.

 The Future Policy Award 2018 is organised by the World Future Council, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International, with the support of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group, Egypt.

 

CONTACT

Ingrid Heindorf

Policy Officer of FPA 2018

ingrid.heindorf@worldfuturecouncil.org

DOWNLOAD SECTION

 

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Young people fight for sustainability

11. Juli 2018 - 14:46
Students from Hamburg’s Julius-Leber-School (second level school) research living sustainably and support the work on “Rights of Children” at the World Future Council.

This is one of the times when we ask ourselves: who is helping whom? Are we helping the children and adolescents, or are they helping us?

The collaboration with the Julius-Leber-School in Hamburg began with an Erasmus+ project, called sustain.me, which was attended by the head of our Rights of Children department Samia Kassid in the early summer of last year. As part of sustain.me, second-level students from Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain came together to work together on the project on sustainability. The students have been dealing with the topic, sustainability, for two school years and have taken a close look at areas such as nutrition, waste, consumption, fast fashion and clothing, tourism and sustainable living. The Hamburg students were experts on fast fashion and clothing. The event in Hamburg gave us, at the World Future Council, an exciting opportunity to share many insights into children’s rights with the students. We explained what children’s rights are and where and how they are being ignored, such as child labor in the clothing industry.

The students hand over the donations for the World Future Council to Samia Kassid.

A year later we received a message from the teacher Marion Walsh: The students had collected donations for us during the school year and she asked if it were possible for them to visit us. Of course we agreed and they came to the Hamburg Foundation Office. Along came the students, Aysenur, Begüm and Sanja, we were extremely impressed by their dedication to the cause.

The three young women could not let go of the topic: “We must leave a healthy planet for future generations,” says the 18-year-old Begüm and everyone has the opportunity to contribute to this! Since then, the students have given presentations to children from various levels, like 6th grade, on the topic of children’s rights and sustainability. They have talked to them about plastic in the oceans, violations of human rights in the value chains of the textile industry and how everyone can reduce their ecological footprint in everyday life, for example, through waste prevention or conscious shopping. They have also used the books and information distributed by the World Future Council to support their research. Amongst many lessons (students-teaching-students) they have held workshops with the students where they learned to make their own organic creams and scrubs thus demonstrating that these feel-good homemade products and gifts are not only more sustainable, but also more personal. All of this in English, of course. They question their own consumer behaviour and for them it is clear: It does not have to be meat every day and you can do without buying the clothes from the cheap chains.

At the annual school’s Christmas “open door day” and during school breaks, Aysenur, Begüm and Sanja set up a donation box for the World Future Council. Last week at our Hamburg office, the heavy box was handed over and we were delighted by the generous donation! Begüm even volunteered to give an interview in which she talked about her activities. We were thrilled with the dedication and enthusiasm of these young women and this not only contributed to an all-round good mood, but we also received a lot of input and inspiration for our work.

Begüm is one of the students from the Julius-Leber-School in Hamburg, who has passed on her knowledge on children’s rights, environmental protection and sustainability to younger students.

We would like to thank the pupils of the Julius-Leber-Schule for their commitment to present and future generations, when it comes to sustainability, and for their support for the World Future Council. A special thanks go to Aysenur, Begüm and Sanja as well as Marion Walsh. We plan to keep in touch with each other and look forward to collaborating again in the future.

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Kategorien: Hamburg

HLPF side-event: Achieving Agenda 2030 through 100% Renewable Energy – Examples from Tanzania and Bangladesh

5. Juli 2018 - 16:28
The World Future Council and Bread for the World are hereby cordially inviting you to their side-event on the margins of the High-level Political Forum 2018 in New York, on 17 July, at 3.30 pm in the Church Center of the UN.

3.30 – 5.00 pm; 17 July 2018
Church Center of the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza, NY 10017, USA

The event describes the vital relationship between renewable energy (RE) and sustainable development. In particular, it demonstrates how supporting the transition to 100% RE is a driver for sustainable development that  leaves no one behind. Hereby, it unveils how transitioning to 100% RE contributes to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The event convenes civil society organizations, policy makers, development agencies and community leaders involved in sustainable development especially in countries in the Global South. Learnings from Tanzania and Bangladesh will be presented to catalyze replication in other countries.

Achieving a transformation of the energy sector to stipulate pathways and scenarios for SDG7 is a necessary pre-condition for the achievement of the Agenda 2030 in full and the highly urgent implementation of other international commitments such as the Paris Agreement. Therefore, this event seeks to highlight the interlinkages between SDG 7 and the other 16 SDGs and how a strategic transformation towards 100%RE contributes to achieving all of them. How do these interlinkages manifest itself in different national contexts and how can we replicate learnings and findings? What is the role of the national government and how can 100%RE benefit domestic socio-economic development? What lessons can be learned from the German “Energiewende”?

Draft Agenda

Facilitator: Rob van Riet, World Future Council

TimeItemSpeaker3.30 – 3.40IntroductionJohannes Grün, Bread for the World3.40 – 4.00100%RE and the national dimension of Agenda 2030Sixbert Mwanga, Director, CAN Tanzania; Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, Coastal Development Partnership 4.00 – 4.35Roundtable DiscussionEmillian Nyanda, Deputy Commissioner Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy, Government of Tanzania; Dr. Bettina Hoffmann (Member of German Bundestag, B90/Grüne); Jahangir Masum, Executive Director, CDP; Sixbert Mwanga, Director CAN Tanzania 4.35 – 4.55Q&A4.55 – 5.00Concluding RemarksRob van Riet, World Future Council

 

Join the conversation!

Are you attending the event? Join the conversation, and tweet using the Hashtags #HLPF2018 #go100RE #SDG7

Follow us on Twitter @Good_Policies 

Need pictures to make your tweets more catchy? You can use the memes below.

 

Contact

Anna Skowron

Project Manager Climate & Energy

anna.skowron@worldfuturecouncil.org

Project Page

 

 

 

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Kategorien: Hamburg

What’s new in June

4. Juli 2018 - 12:15

The post What’s new in June appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

Financing 100% Renewable Energy for all in Tanzania

3. Juli 2018 - 12:21

Abstract

Tanzania is endowed with abundant, high quality renewable resources which could play a significant role in meeting the country’s energy demand and propel living standards to the level of industrialized countries by 2050. This means however, that an average annual investment of US$9 billion is needed, to reach the 100% RE. In order to provide 100% Renewable Energy which is affordable for all, additional financial means are necessary.  A new model focusing on an agreement between MDBs and Central Banks from the industrialized world outlines how to unlock this necessary investment to implement 100%RE for all by 2050.

Report

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Kategorien: Hamburg

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