Press Release – Environment And Climate Change Emergency: Turning Words Into Action

As a result of widespread protests, the British Parliament has decided to reduce carbon emissions to zero.

 

Hamburg/London, 3 May 2019. While today the young activists of Fridays for Future will be protesting again in over 72 countries in 725 cities, the World Future Council welcomes the historic decision of the British House of Parliament to declare a formal environment and climate change emergency.

This decision, taken earlier this week, was a direct response to the vigorous and widely reported campaign by the school climate strikers of Fridays for Future and groups such as Extinction Rebellion. Following the vote in London, a similar one in the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff and a declaration from the First Minister of Scotland. Hundreds of Councils across the UK have joined the announcement. Other cities like Vancouver, Oakland, Los Angeles, Basel, and Constance have also declared the climate emergency.

“The UK, the pioneer of the coal-based industrial revolution, is now the first country to formally concede the reality of a climate (and earth) emergency,” says Prof. Herbert Girardet, Co-Founder of the World Future Council. “The current envisioning of a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 it is to be greatly welcomed. While it may cost up to 2% of Britain’s GDP to reach this target, it is now clearly understood that not acting would be far more expensive. Britain may now take the lead in initiating a green industrial revolution, delivering a cleaner and healthier society while bolstering the UK economy and creating jobs.”

The World Future Council welcomes these developments. As the “voice of future generations”, the foundation has worked with legislators and political decision makers for over a decade to improve policy frameworks across the world. It is therefore committed to supporting legislators in turning these words into action and will strongly encourage other countries and cities to follow Britain’s lead.

Vandana Shiva, Councilor of the World Future Council and Founder of Navdanya, India: “The declaration of an environment and climate change emergency means that we must address root causes and start the transition. Half of all greenhouse gases emissions come from fossil fuel-based industrial agriculture. Biodiversity and agroecology have the potential to entirely stop man-made mass extinction and reducing excess carbon and nitrogen from the atmosphere.”

The World Future Council has identified key policy solutions that already proved successful and can support other legislators in responding to the climate emergency.

More information can be found on www.worldfuturecouncil.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Nico Scagliarini
Assistant Media & Communications
World Future Council
nico.scagliarini@worldfuturecouncil.org
+49 (0) 40 3070914-19

About 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. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organization under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

April News

Press Release: Disarmament and divestment conference in Basel

Reversing the financial interests in fossil fuels and the nuclear arms race

Basel, April 11, 2019 – The recent Fridays for Future protests demonstrate a global dissatisfaction with the continuing failure of governments and industry to protect the climate. And the setting of the Doomsday Clock hands to 2 minutes to midnight in January this year indicates a continuing high risk of a nuclear conflict. However, ‘devastating climate change and the risk of a nuclear war will not be prevented unless the international community tackles the economic and political influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear weapons industries’, according to participants of Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, an international conference being held in Basel, Switzerland on April 12-13, 2019.

Companies manufacturing nuclear weapons and producing fossil fuels are making billions – if not trillions – of dollars fostering a nuclear arms race and destroying the climate,’ says Dr Keith Suter (Australia), Economics Futurist and member of the Club of Rome. ‘They have vested financial interests in producing more and more nuclear weapons and in preventing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and they exert intense political power on decision makers to protect these interests. We must shift the economic incentives from destroying the planet to instead support peace and the environment.’ 

The conference – which will include legislators (mayors, city councillors and parliamentarians), financial managers, civil society representatives and experts in disarmament and climate change – will focus on socially responsible investment (SRI) as a powerful tool to shift this economic and political power. SRI includes ending investments in nuclear weapons and fossil fuels (divestment) and re-investing in sustainability (impact investment).

Most of us are currently supporting fossil fuels and nuclear weapons through investments made in these industries on our behalf by our governments, cities, universities, religious organisations, banks or pension funds,’ says Professor (em) Andreas Nidecker MD, President of the Basel Peace Office which is organising the conference. ‘We can each make a difference by calling on them to end these investments.’
Through divestment, we can put pressure on the industries to change,’ says Dr Ute Finckh-Krämer, Council Member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and former Deputy-Chair of the German Parliament Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control. Such action highlights the immorality (and stupidity) of making vast profits on the destruction of the planet. It also gives support to legislators who are trying to adopt and implement policies for nuclear disarmament and climate protection.’

‘Impact investment is the other side of the Socially Responsible Investment coin,’ says Professor Laurent Goetschel, Executive Director of swisspeace. ‘By focusing investments on economic enterprises which support sustainable development, investors can benefit from stable returns as well as the satisfaction that their investment funds are being used for the improvement of human lives and the environment. It’s a win-win for all and should be a guiding principle, at least for all public investment funds.’

The conference is part of the move the nuclear weapons money campaign which is gaining traction around the world. ‘Already a number of sovereign wealth (national government) funds, pension funds, city and state funds, banks, universities and religious organisations have decided to end their investments in the nuclear weapons and/or fossil fuel industries,’ says Mr Thies Kätow, researcher for the World Future Council, one of the co-sponsors of the conference. ‘As a portion of the trillions of dollars of global investment money, the amount divested to date is only moderate,’ says Mr Kätow. ‘However, as the nuclear weapons and fossil fuel divestment campaigns grow, their political impact could be as powerful as the divestment campaign against South Africa in the late 20th Century, which was a critical factor in moving the South African government to end apartheid in 1994.”

CONTACTS

English: Alyn Ware, alyn@pnnd.org. Phone +41 788 912 156.
German: Andreas Nidecker, 
anidecker@bluewin.ch. Phone +41 765 573 712

 

Press release: Empowering Youth

Nominations now open for the Future Policy Award for exemplary policies that promote and support young people’s empowerment

Global contest announced by the World Future Council, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), with the support of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Youth Policy Labs

Hamburg/New York, 5th April 2019 – On the eve of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum and the 140th IPU Assembly, the World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Youth Policy Labs, have kicked off a global call for nominations to identify and honour the world’s most successful policies enabling youth empowerment.

Every year, the most visionary policies tackling humankind’s most pressing challenges are celebrated through the Future Policy Award (FPA), the only global award that recognises policies for the benefit of present and future generations. The World Future Council has awarded this annual prize since 2010 in partnership with UN agencies and the IPU. Recognising that youth empowerment is critical to achieve the Agenda 2030 and address key sustainable development and justice challenges, the Future Policy Award 2019 will put the spotlight on policies that empower young people through decent and sustainable jobs as well as civic and political participation for sustainable development and peace.

Youth empowerment: key to achieving a fairer, more just and sustainable future

Today, there are 1.8 billion young people – the largest generation the world has ever seen. The majority of them live in the so-called developing world. They are almost three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. Yet young people embody the potential of a society and play a crucial role as key architects of the future of their families, communities and countries. Young people are on the frontlines of political and social change and have the power to renew cultures as well as maintain important traditions. With the multiple global challenges we face – climate change, unsustainable food systems, dramatic loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, growing inequalities, conflicts and much more – it is absolutely critical that youth empowerment is promoted and supported through inclusive, effective, inspiring and innovative laws and policies that promote their rights and speed up common action. It is also vital that youth voices are heard and that they meaningfully participate in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of such laws and policies for example, through parliaments, civil society organizations, and other formal and informal means.

The award will highlight proven policies that effectively promote and scale up local, national and international youth empowerment solutions. We seek policies that advance the economic empowerment of young women and men in decent and sustainable jobs, for instance, youth skills development programmes that pave the way for youth to build the green economy we need. It also encompasses youth entrepreneurship or programmes targeting particularly marginalized groups including women. We also seek inspiring policy and legislative frameworks that enable much more civic engagement and political participation of youth. This includes, for instance, policies that promote enhanced youth representation in politics and decision-making, and enable the integration of youth at all levels of governance.

Representatives of international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations, parliaments, government agencies, and others have until the 26th April to nominate exemplary policies through the online form (available in English, at http://bit.do/eNoZb) or with a word version of the form (available on request, in English, French and Spanish, at: fpa@worldfuturecouncil.org). Winners will be selected by a high-level jury of experts and announced in October 2019 at an award ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia, during the 141st IPU Assembly. For further information, please visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2019-empowering-youth/.

Youth at a crossroads

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator and Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group says: “Youth are powerful agents of change, driving important conversations and actions today on critical issues like climate change, peace building, and social entrepreneurship. In recognition of this role, UNDP supports initiatives globally that recognize, promote, and support youth leadership, expanding civic space for youth and encouraging youth-led innovation.”

“At a time when world youth population is bigger than ever before, only 2.2 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide are under 30 years of age. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the youth political deficit. Representation is a source of strength. Laws and policies that empower youth and better include them in decision making results in better outcomes for people of all ages and future generations. This Future Policy Award is a timely opportunity to share and celebrate laws and policies that have proved successful. I call on you all to nominate your experiences not only for a chance to win the Award itself, but to inspire further action around the globe,” underlines Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU.  

“This year’s Future Policy Award will celebrate proven solutions that make youth empowerment a reality. The World Future Council is determined to work with its partners in order to identify and share the best policies for advancing decent and sustainable jobs and civic and political participation in the interest of sustainable development and peace. It is critical that we learn from policies that are already making an impact,’’ says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.

“In the world there are 1.8 billion young people, the largest generation ever. Most of them live in developing countries where they tend to make up a large proportion of the population. This reason should be enough to understand the crucial importance of effective youth policies to promote young people’s meaningful political and civic engagement, as well as their economic empowerment and access to decent and green jobs,” says Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

The winners of the 2019 Future Policy Award will be celebrated at a high-level award ceremony at IPU’s 141st General Assembly in Belgrade (Serbia) in October 2019. The Award Ceremony typically brings together more than 200 decision-makers, including heads of state, ministers, permanent representatives, parliamentarians, youth, heads of international organisations and leading civil society organisations from across the world.

Follow the 2019 Future Policy Award on Twitter with #FuturePolicyAward and #FPA2019

CONVENING PARTNERS

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of law and policy making. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, the arts, civil society, academia and business. Together they form a voice for the rights of future generations. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and identifies and promotes effective legislative and policy solutions among decision makers. www.worldfuturecouncil.org

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world’s organisation of parliaments. It was founded in 1889 as the first multilateral political organisation, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, IPU comprises 178 national parliaments and 12 associate members. It empowers youth by supporting parliaments to better provide access to youth to political decision-making, and include a youth perspective in legislation and policies. We build capacities of young MPs and provide platforms for them to coordinate actions at the global, regional and national levels. We also monitor youth representation in parliaments and issue policy and legislative guidance to boost it. https://www.ipu.org/

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP recognizes, supports and promotes the role of young women and men as agents of change and has implemented its first-ever UNDP Youth Global Programme since 2016. https://www.undp.org

SUPPORTING PARTNERS

UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth serves as a global advocate for addressing the needs and rights of young people, as well as for bringing the United Nations closer to them. The Envoy’s Office is part of the United Nations Secretariat and supports multi-stakeholder partnerships related to the United Nations system-wide action plan on youth and to youth volunteer initiatives. The office also promotes the empowerment and foster the leadership of youth at the national, regional, and global levels, including through exploring and encourages mechanisms for young people’s participation in the work of the United Nations and in political and economic processes with a special focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable youth. The UN Envoy on Youth works on realizing the Youth2030: The United Nations Strategy on youth. https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. www.ilo.org

Youth Policy Labs

Youth Policy Labs is the leading global think-tank specifically focusing on youth and is hosted by the Berlin-based NGO Demokratie & Dialog e.V. We operate at the junction of research and journalism, producing high-quality and well-researched knowledge with the aim of improving public policies that affect the lives of young people. We champion the development of youth policies, promote young people as researchers, facilitate international discussion on youth policies, and advocate for stronger coherence within the United Nations and donor agencies on youth rights, policies and programmes. Our team is made up of youth policy experts, youth researchers, and young journalists. Our publications are published under Youth Policy Press, a global publishing house on youth issues. http://www.youthpolicy.org/

With special thanks to the Michael Otto Foundation and the Jua Foundation.

MEDIA CONTACT

World Future Council

Samia Kassid, Senior Project Manager, The Rights of Children and Youth

Phone: +49 (0)40 307 09 14 18

samia.kassid@worldfuturecouncil.org; media@worldfuturecouncil.org

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Thomas Fitzsimons, Director of Communications

Phone: +41 (0)79 854 31 53

tf@ipu.org

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Sangita Khadka

Tel.: +1 212 906 5043

Sangita.khadka@undp.org

 

World Future Council endorses “Fridays for Future” movement: The voices of children and youth most impacted by climate change must be heard

Press Release

 

Hamburg, 14th March 2019. On the eve of the biggest global “Fridays for Future” youth strike for climate, the World Future Council offers its strong support to the dedicated young people holding leaders accountable for their climate commitments. If we are to meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris agreement bold action needs to happen now.

 

“Greta Thunberg, the Swedish student who initiated the strikes, once said that we adults claim to love our children above all else and we are stealing their future in front of their very eyes! I couldn’t have said it better”, says Prof. Herbert Girardet, Co-founder of the World Future. “Never before have had adults risked the future, even survival, of their children so frivolously. Future generations, in the short and long term, need our support more than ever. We cannot ignore either the climate crisis or the voices of those who will be most impacted by it.”

 

“As the ‘Voice of Future Generations’, the World Future Council has been highlighting sustainable solutions in order to keep our planet healthy and ensure a fairer and more just society for present and future generations. Children and young adults have a right to be heard and to be involved in decisions affecting their future, which is exactly what is happening in the ‘Friday for Future’ movement. The climate strikes are a sign of civil engagement, not skipping school. We now have to prove that child rights are more than empty promises”, declares Vandana Shiva, Founding member of the World Future Council and physician from India.

 

The World Future Council foundation advocates for climate protection, 100 percent renewable energy, ending fossil fuel and nuclear powered energy sources and supporting climate resilient and sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, it campaigns for greater inclusion of environmental and sustainable practice across our education systems. A new handbook on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) shows how a more holistic, progressive, hands-on education can play a central role in empowering learners of all ages to positively respond to local and global challenges and act in a more peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable manner. This approach is already helping people develop the skills, values and attitudes necessary to create more resilient societies and transition towards the skilled, green, low-carbon economies of the future.

 

“It’s already past the time we need to act! All the key facts concerning climate change are on the table and international political decisions have been made. Now we have to take action in the name of present and future generations,” urges Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.

MEDIA CONTACT
Nico Scagliarini
Assistant Media & Communications
World Future Council
nico.scagliarini@worldfuturecouncil.org
+49 (0) 40 3070914-19

 

About 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. 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 visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

International Women’s Day: Celebrating achievements of women for a healthy planet

Press Release


Hamburg, 8 March 2019 – Today’s International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Women world-wide have already changed the world for good, and play a vital role in the transformation to a fairer, just and more sustainable world. The World Future Council is working to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren, and in the light of the global climate crisis especially highlights the accomplishments of their female environmentalists for a living planet.

The World Future Council includes female Councillors and Honorary Councillors on all continents who already have made a significant contribution to the protection of our planet working in a wide variety of working areas: Among them are Jane Goodall, primatologist and UN Messenger for Peace, Maude Barlow and Vandana Shiva, environmentalists and recipients of the Alternative Nobel Prize, Thais Corral, Co-Founder Women’s Environment and Development Organisation, Julia Marton-Lefèvre and Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, representatives of diverse environmental initiatives, Wanjira Mathai, active in the Green Belt Movement, Jan McAlpine, former Director of the UN Forum on Forests, Gertrude Mongella and Hafsat Abiola-Costello, both strongly engaging for women in Africa, Frances Moore Lappé, committed to food, agriculture and democracy policy, Auma Obama, known for her commitment for the rights of children and youth, Anna Oposa, strongly engaging for marine life, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Pauline Tangiora, who advocate for the rights of indigenous people. For a list of all Councillors see here.

Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council said:

‘On International Women’s Day I congratulate all women environmentalists for their achievements for a healthy planet. I applaud their tireless efforts to pass on a living planet to future generations. I invite all citizens to draw inspiration from women environmental leaders around the planet who take strong stands for climate protection and biodiversity conservation as innovators for change. In light of the skills of women and continued gender inequalities, we need to speed up providing women equal access to education, land, water and participation in leadership at all levels to achieve a healthy planet.‘

CVs of all Members of the World Future Council can be found here.

MEDIA CONTACT
Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager
World Future Council
miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org
+49 (0) 40 3070914-19

About 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. 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 visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

World Future Council releases new handbook: exemplary education practices show how children and youth can shape a sustainable future

The publication demonstrates how educational approaches are helping learners develop the skills to create more resilient, skilled, low-carbon societies.

Hamburg, 26th February 2019 – The World Future Council (WFC) has just released a pioneering new policy handbook, compiling the most exemplary policies and practices to advance Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). After working with 16 Environment and Education Ministries, the Rights of Children and Youth Commission of the WFC has gathered together evidence that shows ESD can play a central role in empowering learners of all ages to positively respond to the pressing global challenges facing us, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and inequality.

Given the huge challenges the world faces, it is clear that we need to teach, learn and live in a fundamentally different manner. The evidence shows Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is already helping to realise this transition. The new policy handbook explores some of the central features of policy, process and practice in some of the pioneering countries embracing these educational approaches. It examines some of the major trends and opportunities in introducing this more holistic, progressive, transformational education.

Education for Sustainable Development embraces hands-on and outdoor learning pedagogies counteracting the trends of indoor living and lack of contact with the natural world that has been shown to have real costs for the health and wellbeing of our children. It creates the conditions for an environmentally literate generation of problem solvers.

“As the growing school strike movements across Europe show, we need young learners with the knowledge, values and conviction to act in a just, inclusive manner and make sustainable development a reality”, says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.

Dr. Auma Obama, Chair of the WFC Child Rights Commission and Founder and Director of the ‘Sauti Kuu Foundation’, says “Education systems need to be reformed to allow our young people to leave school motivated, creative and able to be self-reliant – mentally, socially and financially. As this comprehensive policy handbook shows Education for Sustainable Development encourages this transformation, empowering learners with the key skills, knowledge and self-belief to grow into their best selves. There is no time to lose!”

Jane Goodall, Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council and UN Messenger of Peace, says “Empowering young people to care for the world they inherit is the responsibility of every generation. Education for Sustainable Development is a powerful tool that gives young people, their peers and communities the knowledge and confidence to act on their beliefs, be part of something bigger and make a real difference.”

This handbook offers insights from around the world on how sustainable education can be implemented successfully in policy, in the curriculum and at the level of schools, universities and other places of learning, to build a better future for all. Countries like Scotland are making an explicit link between ESD and the skills needed to prepare young people for a sustainable economy based on renewable energy and more sustainable consumption and production patterns. Similarly Costa Rica’s policy to decarbonise its economy by 2021 specifically identifies ESD as part of a wider programme for public awareness raising, education and cultural change.

Ultimately, ESD asks us assume active roles in creating a world we’d be proud to pass on to our grandchildren.

The handbook was supported by the Michael Otto Foundation, Janina Özen-Otto/Jua- Foundation and Ismail Özen.

>> Download Policy Handbook

Media Contact:

Miriam Petersen, Media & Communications Manager

miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org | T: +49 40 307 09 14 19

 

Expert Contact:

Samia Kassid, Senior Project Manager – Rights of Children and Youth

samia.kassid@worldfuturecouncil.org

 

Alistair Whity, Senior Policy Officer – Rights of Children and Youth

alistair.whitby@worldfuturecouncil.org

About 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. 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.

Germany could burn more coal despite capacity reduction

Press release: New lead for the „Voice of Future Generations“

Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council, resigns as Chair of the Management Board. Supervisory Board appoints successors.

Project topics for 2019 work will be climate protection, child and youth empowerment, agroecology and peace and disarmament.

Hamburg, 7th February 2019 –  The Supervisory Board of the World Future Council Foundation announced the resignation of Jakob von Uexkull as Chair of the Management Board for health reasons. Von Uexkull founded the World Future Council in 2007 in Hamburg. As he resigns, the Vice Chair of the Management Board Alexandra Wandel (45) as well as Johanna Dillig (35), Head of Operations, were appointed Executive Members of the Management Board. Wandel now acts as spokesperson and Executive Director of the foundation, and Dillig as Director of Operations as well as Vice Chair of the Management Board.

The World Future Council (WFC) identifies and spreads the best and most sustainable policy solutions worldwide in order to pass on a healthy planet and just societies to our children. The new board announced that core topics of their work in 2019 will be climate protection and renewable energy, child and youth empowerment, agroecology  as well as peace and disarmament. One of the highlights will be the Future Policy Award, which will focus on improving the lives of youth this year.

Alexandra Wandel states: “1.8 billion young people on our planet are confronted with numerous challenges: access to jobs and quality education, climate change, destruction of their environment and digitalisation. This is why the World Future Council will dedicate its Future Policy Award on youth empowerment, researching and awarding policies that create decent and sustainable jobs, and engaging youth for meaningful societal purposes.”

The new Management Board is supported by strong advocates, amongst them Honorary Councillor Prof. Dr. Michael Otto (entrepreneur, Germany)  as well as the following Expert Commission Chairs from the Council:  Dipal Barua (Founder and Chairman of the Bright Green Energy Foundation, Bangladesh) for Climate and Energy , Helmy Abouleish (CEO, Sekem, Egypt) and Vandana Shiva (Founder, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology  India ) for Agroecology, Dr. Auma Obama (Founder and Director, Sauti Kuu Foundation, Kenya ) for the Rights of Children and Youth and Alyn Ware, Founder and Global Coordinator of the Network Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), New Zealand/Czech Republic ) for Peace and Disarmament. Abouleish, Barua,  Shiva and Ware are also recipients of the Right Livelihood Award (also known as Alternative Nobel Prize).

MEDIA CONTACT

Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager
World Future Council
miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org
+49 (0) 40 3070914-19

Press Release: Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 Announced

The recognition highlights outstanding practices advancing the transition towards agroecology from the global South. Out of 77 nominations from 44 countries, 15 receive recognitions, including practices from across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

 

Berlin, 17 January 2019 – 15 outstanding projects, programmes, social enterprises and non-governmental organisations from the Global South promoting sustainable food systems are  receiving the first recognition Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019, beating 77 nominations from 44 countries. The recognition is organised by the World Future Council (WFC), in collaboration with the start-up Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS).

 

On the basis of a World Future Council evaluation report, an international panel of renowned experts decided upon the following 15 best practices to be recognised in Berlin on Friday 18 January, 2019 at the occasion of the International Green Week and the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019:

 

Africa: Regeneration Through Connecting Seeds with Culture and Nature in Africa 

This NGO project works in 11 African countries to revive traditional agroecological farming systems, promoting seed and food sovereignty and regenerating livelihoods. Currently it has 4,640 farmers working on reviving seeds and has revived 470 varieties of seeds.

 

Benin: Premium Hortus

Premium Hortus specialises in the e-commerce of agroecological products, organic production and producer support. So far, the African Greentech company has trained 400 small farmers and provided access for more than 700 urban households to healthy food. Waste is also limited and recycled.

 

Benin: Using water hyacinth compost to produce healthy food and protect the environment 

This NGO project turns the highly invasive plant species water hyacinth into an economic opportunity, by training smallholders in compost-making and providing them with market access. A 20% reduction of water hyacinth was achieved. Furthermore, smallholders are connected to market opportunities to enhance their income.

 

Brazil: Community organic waste management and urban agriculture – “Revolution of the buckets” (2008)

This community project collects domestic organic waste for use in urban agriculture in socially-troubled areas of Florianópolis, Brazil. This waste management system has already treated 1,200 tons of organic waste and contributed to the production of nutritious food of participating families, benefitting over 1,600 people.

 

Cameroon: Participatory Domestication of Indigenous Trees for the Delivery of Multifunctional Agriculture by Agroforestry 

The research project enables farmers to implement agro-forestry techniques and to diversify livelihoods, learned at inclusive Rural Resource Centres (RRC). In Cameroon, it opened with communities 10 RRCs, hosting 150 nurseries and serving over 10,000 households, planting 1.6 million trees.

 

China: Shared Harvest and Rural Regeneration 

This social enterprise promotes a community-owned socio-economic mode of agriculture. The Shared Harvest farm weekly delivers fresh organic and locally produced food to 800 consumer members in Beijing, guaranteeing each 200 kilograms of food. It is the foundation of China’s Community Supported Agriculture movement.

 

Cuba: Generation and adoption of Agroecological Pest Management (APM) system in the Cuban Agriculture 

The research programme increases the capacity for self-regulation of pests. From 2003-2008, 30,780 farmers were trained and diffused APM to others. This has led to reduced costs of pesticides and pests in 75% of Cuban agrarian production, and an increase of biodiversity and climate resilience.

 

Egypt: SEKEM Initiative 

Today SEKEM is a leading social business worldwide. It reclaimed about 684 hectares of desert land, of which 100% is operated by biodynamic agriculture methods. More than 70% of SEKEM’s reclaimed land produces food and raw materials for the local market. Its products respect highest possible ethical, ecological and social standards.

 

Global: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)

First developed in Niger, FMNR – a low-cost, quick, farmer-managed technique that restores woody vegetation on deforested and degraded land – is now implemented in at least 24 countries. In Niger, FMNR spread to 5,000,000 hectares, reviving more than 200 million trees. Its founder Tony Rinaudo recently gained the Right Livelihood Award 2018.

 

India: Promoting organic farming and marketing among small peasants in an ecologically fragile region (Timbaktu Collective)

This grassroots organisation improves the livelihoods of marginalised smallholders through organic farming and producer-owned enterprises. Now 8,700 acres are under agro-ecological farming practices and many of the 2,080 farmer families they work with, are shareholders of the established cooperative.

 

Kenya: Drylands Natural Resource Center (DNRC)

The Drylands Natural Resource Center (DNRC) works with over 600 smallholder farmers, in order to restore their land through agricultural and agroforestry best practices. Thanks to DNRC over 100,000 tree seedlings of over 30 different local species are planted each year, with a survival rate of 80%.

 

Mozambique: Inclusive investment for agroecology

Based on individual and collective investment, risk sharing and consultation and negotiation, this practice facilitates a transition to boost agroecology, strengthens local institutions for self-determination, facilitates higher level of aggregation and diversifies production and markets. By 2018, 180 smallholders have been trained in agroecology.

 

Nepal: Cultivating Green Prosperity in High Himalayan Communities through Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs)

This NGO project trains highland farmers in growing medicinal and aromatic plants, offering them a profitable alternative to traditional wild harvesting. Now, 18,000 farmers are trained in over 100 Nepali villages and over 2,500 hectares of degrade land are covered with 13 different MAP species.

 

 

Philippines: Building Resilient Farming Communities and Sustainable Economies in the poorest provinces of the Philippines through Agroecology 

The practice improves rural development by focusing on organic production, social entrepreneurship and marketing hubs. It has trained 3,048 smallholders on climate-resilient agriculture and initiated 22 farmer’s organizations now engaging in social entrepreneurship.

 

Zimbabwe: Africa Centre for Holistic Management 

Working directly with local farmers in Zimbabwe, the ACHM disseminates holistic management planned grazing. This has multiple proven benefits for soil regeneration and for farmers’ revenues. The Centre has trained 100 facilitators so far and reached 15,000 communal farmers in 16 Zimbabwean communities.

 

 

On the occasion of the International Green Week and the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019, recognised practices will be presented at the event: “Scaling up Agroecology! For Forward-looking Decision-making in Policy and Practice”, on 18th January 2019, 15:30 – 17:30h at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Schumannstr. 8, 10117 Berlin, along with a panel discussion including representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

 

Statements from the World Future Council, TAGS and IFAD

To address hunger, social inequality, climate change, and biodiversity loss, a transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems is inevitable. This recognition showcases smart solutions that really work for the local people and empower those on whom food security of the Global South relies on: small-scale food producers. The Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 create immediate and real impact and if executed at scale, they can help to considerably transform our food systems,” says Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald, Supervisory Board Chairman of the World Future Council.

 

“Innovation happens when people who are facing challenges dare to think outside the box. The practices distinguished as Outstanding Practice in Agroecology 2019 show in an impressive way how holistic and innovative approaches can turn agriculture into a key element to fight not only food scarcity but also poverty, climate change and loss of biodiversity. It’s time to give a stage to these exemplary approaches and think about ways to scale their impact.” say Valerie von Koerber and Samuel Wagner, directors of the start-up Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS).

 

These 15 Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 are exemplary in that they empower small-scale food producers, nurture sustainable food systems and promote resilient agricultural practices. I proudly served on the jury of this recognition and call all decision-makers to learn from these unique initiatives”, says Shantanu Mathur, Lead Adviser, Global Engagement and Multilateral Relations Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

 

 

More information about the practices can be found here:

https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/opa-2019/

 

Media Contact:
Miriam Petersen

Media & Communications Manager, World Future Council

 miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

 +49 40 307 09 14 19

 

About 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. 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 visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

 

About TAGS

TAGS is an initiative aiming at using the Bosch company’s technological strength to contribute to major global challenges. It turned out very soon that our focus will be on the empowerment of smallholder farmers. We were given the chance to explore the possibilities as a start-up within the Bosch organization. The Start-up is called TAGS – Technology for Agroecology in the Global South.

Learning from the Outstanding Practices in Agroecology TAGS aims at finding a way how Bosch’s expertise in technology and/or large scale production can help to scale those practices in order to empower as many farmers as possible.