Acting on World Environment Day

   Society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy

John Sawhill (former CEO of the Nature Conservancy)

On World Environment Day, Felipe Gaitan-Mejia, our Environmental Strategist says: “This image is from a cattle farm in which I intervened as an Environmental Consultant in Colombia. By using these local legume tree species (here from two to five years old) I was able to provide new areas for local species to thrive, fodder for cattle during long periods of drought, and better pastures due to less exposure to direct sunlight and nitrogen fixation through their root systems. The result of this very low-cost project was increased revenue, a healthier environment, and a very happy customer!”

Since the beginning, humanity has exploited the environment for societal gain often with notorious negative consequences. Just to name a few:

  • deforestation leading to desertification and climate change;
  • excessive use of pollutants leading to the contamination of our precious drinking water;
  • wrongful waste disposal resulting in the deterioration of land and oceanic ecosystems, and habitat loss.

It is time for us to give something in return and help our own environment to heal.

But how can this be done? It is not about quitting extraction of resources, apart from this being an impossible task if we are to maintain the type of civilisation we are accustomed to. We rely on nature for our survival.

It is all about how and what we use: sun and air rather than oil, sustainably managed forests rather than clearcutting the Amazon, and so forth.

WHAT IS BEING DONE?

The REDD+ is a country-level collaborative programme aimed to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus the application of sustainable forest management to support conservation and increase forest carbon stocks.

Not all projects are large-scale. Actions promoted by the Ecology Action Centre in Canada and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations have been acting towards securing the sustainability of small-scale fisheries. These projects work through the value chain from fishermen and intermediaries to restaurants and customers to ensure that the process is environmentally conscious, as well as equitable and socially inclusive; REDD+ has received criticism for imbalances in the three pillars of sustainable development.

Many of these projects occur as a response to common issues, though it is the synergy and the creativity between the participants in the solution that often results in innovative sustainable actions. For this reason, it is imperative that all impacted communities are represented in the development of the methodology to address the problem at hand.

Some good examples are presented in this document from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, including a project to provide localised energy generation in remote areas of Peru. 

Here’s how we at Catalicity take a simple approach to seek solutions for environmental and social issues:

  1. Guided by your values identify the issue you wish to address.
  2. Seek the strengths you have that can help you make a difference. You may need to dig deep.
  3. Have the courage to be creative, innovative, and make a long-lasting effort that results in a positive impact.
  4. Through the combination of your values, strengths and courage, you will have all the tools you need to take action.

 

Talk to us about how we can help you define your values and strengths to find your courage to take action. Find out more on our website.

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