February 17, 2017
Hello SCI Activists,
Check out this week's news and ideas. Starting with preventing local tensions by planting trees in Ethiopia, through accessible off-the-grid energy supply, to more culinary issues like the advantages of growing beans in a warming world and some vegan food for thought on quitting meat and animal products.
Are you already planning your workcamp? Remember about the inspirations that you can find in the Climate for Peace Workcamp Guidelines. Also, the first Climate for Peace camps are already available in the Online Placement System! (look under “Topic” -> “Special Topics”)
One million trees in Ethiopia
Almost 300,000 people, mostly women and children, have found shelter in Ethiopia since the beginning of the conflict in South Sudan in December 2013. They mostly depend on wood as source of energy, so the area is experiencing increased deforestation. Cutting the forests forests leads to tensions with local communities and disruption of the ecosystem, as trees stabilize the climate, regulate water flows and provide shelter to numerous animal species, according to the FAO.
This is why one million fast growing trees will be planted nearby the refugee camps. On top of that local craftsmen are learning to build fuel efficient clay ovens, to slow down deforestation altogether. “U.N. to plant 1 million trees to fight deforestation near Ethiopia refugee camps” | Thomson Reuters Foundation
What solar panels and mobile phones have in common
Pay-as-you-go sources of electricity sound like the way-to-go, especially in distant, rural areas, far away from the main grid. Companies developing similar systems are becoming more and more popular especially in various countries accross Africa and Asia.
Lumos, which is described in this article, works with the biggest mobile operator in Nigeria to use their infrastructure for promotion of the system, distribution of appliances, customer support over the phone and mobile payment, which eventually leads to ownership of the solar panel! “Solar Power Taking Hold in Nigeria, One Mobile Phone at a Time” | Inside Climate News.
Beans are amazing… really!
If you're planning to start a community garden this season, consider planting beans. They are hardy and nutritious plants. And you might find the story of this bean and cassava seed bank in Colombia interesting. The seeds which they store already helped farmers in post-war Rwanda and other African countries. “Climate-Resistant Beans Could Save Millions” | Inter Press Service
Also, “Costa Rican researchers develop new climate change-resistant beans” (The Tico Times) and they seem to be working really great.
Vegan food for thought
If you are not vegetarian yet, you might get suspicious when somebody starts to praise a meat-free diet. Or maybe you keep eating meat, because you’re not sure why and how to change? But if you did ditch meat from your menu already, you might be thinking about going vegan… Just a little bit? Someday, somewhere?
Whatever point you’re at and whatever your opinion of either of those diets, they can have great advantages for health and environment (although even the healthiest sounding diet needs to be well designed and balanced!). Even if you don’t plan to change the way you eat, read this blog post, which provides some cool insights from Leo Babauta’s journey to veganism. He has a non-preachy approach, which you will hopefully enjoy. “A Loving Guide to Going Vegan” | Zen Habits
And if it sounds at least a little bit interesting, learn about “How to set up a vegan workshop” from the “Climate for Peace: Inspirations” brochure (page 12).