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24/03/2014

Livelihoods' partner investor SAP greens its cloud!

1024px-SAP_2011_logo.svg.pngSAP, the German multinational software company, today announced that it will power all its data centers and facilities globally with 100 percent renewable electricity starting in 2014.

The shift will help minimize the company's carbon footprint as it moves to a cloud business model, and will help eliminate carbon emissions caused by its customers' systems by moving them into a green cloud.

The move is a result of SAP's commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from operations to levels of the year 2000 by 2020. Not only is the company actively mitigating the environmental impact of cloud computing, but it is also active in implementing new measures to reduce its carbon footprint such as building the first LEED-certified building in all of Brazil in 2013.

"Committing to 100 percent renewable electricity in our data centers and facilities is a natural consequence of our business model shift into the cloud," said Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer, SAP. "It's a beautiful example of how SAP puts sustainability at the core of its value creation."

SAP is a proud partner of the Livelihoods Fund, which it joined in 2013.

To read more, click here: http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140324-900343.html

20/03/2014

UN Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity to visit Guatemala

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Mr. Braulio de Souza Dias (United Nations Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity) is going on an official visit to Guatemala tomorrow March 21st. He was invited by the Protected Areas Council of Guatemala (www.conap.gob.gt) to reinforce the efforts and projects that Guatemala is implementing on behalf of the UN biodiversity protocols. But his agenda won't consist only of meeting government officials--- our local NGO partner Fundaeco will be presenting him our project!

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The Livelihoods project in Guatemala is being implemented by our local NGO partner Fundaeco (www.fundaeco.org.gt). It aims to protect the unique nature reserve of the mountain Cerro San Gil- considered the most beautiful biodiversity treasure on the Carribean coast. The government of Guatemala is partnering with Livelihoods and Fundaeco to carry out what will constitute the largest community reforestation project ever undertaken in the country: the replantation of 5 million trees over 4000 hectares. Since the start of this project in 2013, 250 plants and trees of various species (citrus, cardamon, mahogany, etc.) have already been restored over 300 hectares. The project will sequester 2 million tonnes of CO2.

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12/03/2014

Mangroves save coastal communities in the Sundarbans, India

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The Sundarbans are an archipelago of 102 islands located in the State of West Bengal in eastern India in the Ganges Delta, stretching into southern Bangladesh. They form the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world. Like many mangrove areas, these coastal forests provide vital protection for millions of people from climate change impacts, cyclones, tidal surges, and coastal erosion.  

Livelihoods, in collaboration with Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), is empowering local villagers to replant mangroves to protect their agricultural lands and homes from the damage of tidal waves. Mangroves are known to be among the most effective natural barriers against flooding. The 16 million mangroves already planted over 5 500 hectares are reinforcing the existing 3,500 km of embankments and dams built by the local communities along the 54 inhabited Sundarban islands.

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Additionally, the newly restored mangrove ecosystems will act as a nursery and feeding ground for fish, molluscs and crustaceans, which will bring additional economic and nutritional value to the communities that are impacted by this project. Mangrove forests, when healthy, are the basis of a complex marine food chain.

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Lastly, the empowerment of the local women is a direct benefit of this project. NEWS is training them in establishing and maintaining a mangrove nursery, from planting the mangrove trees to managing them in the field. This socially-valuable programme will impart knowledge and skills to the women, elevating their statuses in the communities and instilling them with a sense of pride that they are part of a project that has a significant impact in decreasing poverty, food insecurity and forced migration due to climate change impacts.

To find out more about how mangroves help buffer against nature's harsh elements, particularly in relation to the communities of the Sundarbans, read the case study jointly prepared with our partner The Ramsar Convention here: Livelihoods Projet in Focus NEWS.pdf

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05/03/2014

Quelles sont les causes de la désertification? Comment la stopper?

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Selon l’article 1 de la Convention des Nations Unies sur la lutte contre la désertification (1994), la désertification désigne « la dégradation des terres dans les zones arides, semi-arides et sub-humides sèches par suite de divers facteurs, parmi lesquels les variations climatiques et les activités humaines ».

La désertification a des conséquences désastreuses pour les écosystèmes (perte de biodiversité, dégradation de la fertilité des sols) ainsi que pour les populations parmi les plus pauvres au monde (dégradation des conditions de vie, famine, exode) car elle désigne la destruction du potentiel biologique des terres et de leur capacité à soutenir et à nourrir les populations locales.

40% de la superficie de la planète et au moins 2 milliards de personnes sont concernés par la désertification, soit un tiers de l'humanité.

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Heureusement les solutions existent pour lutter contre la désertification.

Car la perte de végétation est la principale cause de la désertification (les plantes jouent un rôle clé dans l’enrichissement du sol et la capacité de rétention en eau), la reforestation est parmi les meilleures solutions pour stopper l’assèchement des sols. Pour cette raison, le travail d’éducation environnementale pour les populations locales sur les dangers de la déforestation est important.

Des ONG, des social business et des fonds carbone comme Livelihoods peuvent jouer un rôle clé dans ce domaine.

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Pour découvrir les projets de reforestation et les programmes d’accès à l’énergie en milieu rural soutenus par Livelihoods, lisez cet article écrit par Danone Down to Earth: http://downtoearth.danone.com/2014/03/04/how-do-we-revers...

Photo © Remi Benali/Corbis & Nicolas Gauduchon

05/03/2014

What is desertification and what solutions can we offer to stop it?

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"Desertification" - the process of fertile land transforming into desert- is an alarming consequence of climate change that threatens biodiversity, natural resources and the livelihoods of populations that inhabit drylands. It is caused by a variety of factors including the loss of vegetation, drought, deforestation and the overuse of intensive non-sustainable agricultural practices.

Desertification concerns millions of people. Drylands occupy some 40–41% of Earth’s surface area and are home to more than 2 billion people. It has been estimated that some 10–20% of drylands are already degraded. Yet the upside to all this is that desertification is a reversible process.

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So what are some viable solutions to restore these degraded parched lands?

Because vegetation loss is the primary cause of desertification, as plants play a major part in retaining water and enriching the soil, reforestation programs are among the most effective solutions. There is a lot of educational work to be done with local populations on the dangers of deforestation and how to curb it. Environmental organisations, social businesses and environmental funds like Livelihoods can often provide concrete solutions to deforestation.

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Read the full article here at Danone Down to Earth to discover how Livelihoods' reforestation and rural energy projects are combatting deforestation: http://downtoearth.danone.com/2014/03/04/how-do-we-revers...

Photo © JF Hellio & Nicolas Gauduchon

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