Archive for the ‘#makesyouthink’ Category

The US President Barack Obama. Photo: Yahoo News

The US President Barack Obama. Photo: Yahoo News

I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change, but if you’ve got creative approaches, market-based approaches, tell me about them. […] We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago, and that the future…in part, is going to depend on our willingness to deal with something that we may not be able to see or smell the way you could when the Chicago River was on fire, or at least could have caught on fire, but is in some ways more serious, more fundamental.”

said the US President Barack Obama, last week, at the Democratic fundraiser, in Chicago, in the United States.


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As I’m sure you would know it’s not the easiest to grow your own food in some climates due to lack of rain or not enough sunlight but that wasn’t the situation for the McClung family

In 2007, the McClungs decided they wanted to change how they lived. “Our goal sounded simple,” McClung wrote on his blog, “to live as self-sufficient as possible by January 2012.” They achieved that and then some. They began to build what they soon would call “The Garden Pool.”

By doing this they save money on food every week and it’s more environmental friendly. It took them only two days to set up and cost around $1,5000 and the Garden Pool has an an aquaponic farming system using a tilapia pond, which uses 80 percent less water than traditional farming and the resulting vegetables and herbs get grown in reusable clay pellets, which require no tilling.

This idea has spread very quickly around the world with thousands of families looking to cut their costs on food every week and become more self-sufficient. In 2012, The Garden Pool became an official nonprofit, tasked with teaching people the ways of sustainable backyard agriculture.

“The Garden Pool has evolved from an empty swimming pool into a movement,” McClure says. Their main objective will continue to be about feeding the family self-sufficiently, but what started off as a simple idea has now grown well beyond its original scope. This is an inspiring story of choosing to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

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The Awá Indigenous Tribe from the Amazon rainforest is considered one of the most endangered groups in the world, according to Survival International (survivalinternational.org). The tribe caught the world’s attention last year after actor Colin Firth added his recognisable voice to a campaign by Survival International, to help preserve both the tribe and their indigenous culture & traditions.

After numerous generations thriving in areas almost entirely isolated from the outside world, and our own ‘Westernised Society’, they have found a way to live a contented hunter-gatherer lifestyle in harmony with their natural surroundings. Although, now this existence is being threatened by external influences, driven by aggressive and extensive land use change.

The triple threat of logging companies, livestock breeders or ranchers and settlers has taken its toll; and according to the video published by Deutsche Welle in August 2012, which you can see below, they have lost approximately 30% of their state and federal protected land, and may even face extinction, as a result of this cultural encroachment and the use of intimidating pistoleros.

Professor Wolfgang Kapfhammer, an expert in South American Indigenous Cultures, from Marburg University in Germany explains that “ecologically, contrary to popular belief, the Amazon contains relatively little food, which is often sparsely located across large areas. This means that the nomadic Awá tribe require large areas in which to survive.” Due to outside influences, the tribe’s ability to continue this traditional way of life is increasingly under threat.

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Jadav Payeng Walking through the Forest he Created. Source: paperblog.com

Jadav Payeng Walking through the Forest he created.
Source: paperblog.com

Do you think you could grow your own forest? It sounds impossible right? But Jadav “Molai” Payeng, a 47-year-old man from India, devoted his life to forestry and planted his own 1,360-acre forest over 30 years.

It all started way back in 1979 when he was only 16. Jadav found a location nearby that was covered in dead reptiles along the coast, due to too much sunlight and inadequate shelter to protect them.

“I wept over the dead snakes and I wanted to do something about it so I got in contact with the forest department to ask could I grow trees there. The replies I got, said nothing will grow there. They suggested that I try to grow bamboo, so I did; although it was very tough having to do it on my own, eventually I did it.”

It took some time for Jadav to do what he did and it didn’t take long for the animals to benefit from his hard work, Jadav even transplanted ants to his burgeoning ecosystem to bolster its natural harmony. As a result of his years of dedication, this forest and ecosystem now serves as a safe haven for numerous birds, deer, rhinos, tigers and elephants — species increasingly at risk from habitat loss.

Jadav Payeng now, after some much-deserved R&R, is pledging to devote the rest of his life to planting another forest all by himself.

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The environment is the primary source of the humans needs. Mother Nature provides us with goods and services that play a key role in the development of our society.

The earth’s stock of resources and its natural regulating mechanisms are what we call Natural Capital Assets.

This priceless legacy must be sustainably used in order to guarantee that it will be available for us and for the future generations. In fact, there is a direct survival link between humans and nature.

This video is an encouragement for us to rethink our systems and concepts of growth and give value to these Natural Capital Assets freely given to us.

How much is nature worth to you?

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Forestry as a key element to global development. Source: UN

Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, at the UN Forum on Forest, in Istanbul. Source: UN

“Forests play a critical role in global sustainable development. They abate climate change, protect biodiversity, conserve watersheds and land fertility, and preserve livelihoods of forest-dependent people. But let’s be clear. The challenges to maintain this precious gift of nature, and to manage it sustainably, are many, and serious. Moreover, the services provided by forests are still taken for granted, not fully valued or captured by markets.”

                            Stated Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, at the opening session of the UN Forum on Forest, this week, in Istanbul.

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Do you know what Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is?

It is the principle that indigenous peoples and communities have the right to give or withhold their consent to activities that may affect them and their territory.

A REDD+ project must respect the indigenous peoples and the traditional communities not only for the protection of theirs rights but also for the assurance that they understand and agree with all aspects of projects affecting them.

This video, produced by Live & Learn Environmental Education, shows the importance of FPIC and presents REDD+ as a potential tool to conserve the forests and the environment.

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