11.15am - 12.15pm
Affordable Green Energy for Poor Communities
Varhad Capital Pvt Ltd (Green Banking Initiative)
Climate change affects poor communities in the first place because they represent the biggest percentage of population all around the world. The Green Energy initiative combines green banking with green products. Prasad Dahapute, President and CEO of the initiative in India, explained the situation. In the west of the country, a lot of farmers have committed suicide due to indirect consequences of climate change. Green products are too expensive for poor populations, and a major part of them does not have have access to energy. Lands around India will disappear, as one consequence of climate change.
The major objective of this initiative is to enable 2.4 billion poor persons around the world to get access to energy by 2025. Green Banking has already emerged as USD 300 billion, but there is still a lot of problems encountered during implementation of the initiative: access to energy, access to finance and access to green products; those three aspects are often not affordable to poor people. The Green Banking Initiative had presented some solutions for the problems afforded, such as earth abundant chemistry (zinc and iron) for Energy Storage. The Sustainable Development Goals focuses on “Affordable and clear energy”, which helps in the program implementations. Finally, the access to finance has been improved, as the global population used to have no access to formal finance.
The Green Banking Initiative presents the three effective solutions:
Thematic areas: Finance, Technology
Language of the event: English
Contact: Prasad Dahapute
12.30 - 2pm
Lessons from the Canadian Arctic on Adapting to Climate Change
Inuit Circumpolar Council, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, University of Sunshine Coast
The event started with the intervention of Dr. James Ford, working in the Department of Geography in McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and coming to share lessons from Canadian Arctic on Adapting to Climate Change. Dr. James started by an outline of the Arctic, which is a huge area about the size of India, with 53 communities. Their size varies from couple of hundreds to thousands of people. These regions are quite remote, and accessible only by boat and air; the weather conditions are so harsh that, during some winters, the temperature reaches -30 degrees Celsius. Years from now, the ice used to form around November and breaks up around June or July. But lately, this norm has known numerous irregularities. Over the last 30 years, there is a record of 1.9 degrees Celsius, which is three times the warming recorded globally. There’s a 38% reduction in minimum ice, and in 2016, the area had the second lowest ice extent on record. This shows how much the Arctic ice is very changing, with dramatic numbers as the best witness. The health of wildlife is decreasing and the animals’ migration cycle is getting more and more irregular. Natual hazards are more frequent and extreme. According to IPCC 2014, the Arctic will see the most rapid and extreme warming in the century.
Thus, there are various adaptation options that are offered, such as building coastal protections, raising awareness into the dangers of climate change, improving housing and food systems and using shore protection (Tuktuyaktuk experience).
Many activities are organized to stress on the importance of traditional knowledge and cultural values to benefit from elders’ experiences, such as workshops to bring together elders and youth to talk and exchange respectively their experiences and knowledge, and the issues they are all facing when it comes to climate change. However, many challenges remain, to be faced by communities:
For Mr. James, his and citizens’ mission is to promote a new vision to protect the environment, a vision that not only puts the indigenous communities as a frame, but as a vivid color in the picture, with the engagement of the national government of Canada as well as worldwide partners. He described the harsh conditions of the population of the Arctic. “We are no longer merely hearing about the change in our climate. We are seeing it. We are feeling it. We are living it”.
The warming of the Arctic can already be sensed. Compared to 20 years ago, the snow should now be very rigid; yet the people of the Arctic cannot even build a snow house with the ice being so slack. Adding to that, the snow storms are multiplying noticeably, and many people are lost while going away to hunt; since the only access to the areas in such extreme conditions is by air, it is very hard to look for the lost hunters.
The next speaker was Michelle Maillet. She started by focusing on the richness of the indigenous culture in terms of knowledge directed to adaptation to climate change. The Paris agreement was the first real tangible guarantee that the indigenous rights and culture recognition will be taken into consideration. The preamble in the Paris agreement acknowledges the rights of indigenous peoples as communities; its article 7, paragraph 4, deals with the recognition of the traditional knowledge of adaptation to climate change that indigenous peoples hold. There is definitely potential with this agreement to embody more the engagement of indigenous communities into the decisions that are being made and it really opens the door for a wide platform of knowledge sharing where worldwide nations can benefit from the experience of these communities.
Thematic areas: Traditional Knowledge, Adaptation, Policy, Partnerships
Contact: James Ford
2.15 - 3.15pm
Organic Value Chains with Moroccan Communities
High Atlas Foundation
The conference began with the introductory statement by Hajj Zaarour, one of the biggest activists of the High Atlas Foundation initiative, presided over by Yosef Ben Meir, who works to establish sustainable development projects identified and managed by the local communities by partnering with the State, the private sector and the civil society. The Foundation uses a participatory approach guided by the community beneficiaries at each step of the development process, from prioritization of objectives to implementation, and at the evaluation of the projects. This approach is founded on the facilitation of community planning meetings where the beneficiaries collectively determine the projects which they chose to undertake and elaborate plans of action. This participatory approach is an integral part of the national vision of the region for sustainable human development. The High Atlas Foundation has actively developed projects in Morocco since 2003, by drawing on the experience acquired by their founders at the Peace Corps. It is a non-profit Moroccan association. Since 2011 it has been granted special consultative status by The United Nations Economic and Social Council and recruits experts in Morrocco. Finally, it is supported by Moroccan and international volunteers. The first example of these projects comes from the Asni region, a village situated 30km from Marrakech. "Walnut" is a cooperative which encourages bio-agriculture of almonds and nuts, a first of its kind, covering 13 villages of the region where different types of nuts are already grown. The experience acquired by the farmers has greatly eased the implementation of the project: few people used inorganic compost and chemicals in this region. The idea was to return to the organic ancestral method. To encourage this initiate, we conceived a special festival for the exhibition of the best products of the year in agriculture, craftsmanship, and Amazigh ancestral music .
The following speaker, Hanna, spoke about her experience in the Rachidia project. Situated in the Daraa-Tafilalt region, this province is known for its dunes, its mountains, its oases and the desert covering the majority of its surface area. The general climate encourages will plants, a great number of which represent a remedy to the illnesses of these villagers. Hanna and her colleagues focused their efforts on one of these plants: the cactus. Known not only for its dietary use, but also for its medical, veterinary and agricultural uses, the cactus requires little maintenance and is very simple to cultivate, opening great opportunities for the youth of the region. Those who grow it to extract its essential oils all work towards finalizing a product ultimately designed for export.
Thematic areas: Traditional Knowledge, Mitigation, Adaptation, Partnerships
Language of the event: Arabic
Contact: Fatima Laaribi
3.30 - 6.30pm
Les techniques ancestrales oasiennes pour la gestion des ressources naturelles
Association Oasis Ferkla pour Environnement et Patrimoine
The Oasis Ferkla Environment and Heritage Association (Association Oasis Ferkla pour Environnement et Patrimoine (AOFEP)) mobilized a number of individuals representing the local communities to discuss their knowhow and life skills: farmers (fellahs), nomads (Amekassa), women (Tioutmines). The audience appreciated and applauded their accounts of their way of life, their knowledge and their life skills. Over centuries the women and men of the oasis learned on the job how to manage and use the natural resources of their environment, largely through the passing on of knowledge from generation to generation.
Lahcen Kabiri, Higher Education Teacher of Environmental Geoscience, highlighted the successive obstacles which oasis dwellers have had to overcome: "This environment is being degraded by both man and nature: anarchic urbanisation, over-exploitation and waste of water resources, conflicts over the use of natural resources, climate change threats, extension of farming areas beyond the palm groves, great poverty and unemployment, loss of oasis knowhow and life skills, and lack of basic infrastructure and services”.
Mr Kabiri described ingenious methods of dealing with the situation, for instance, the decision to grow fruit trees requiring little water since the region suffers from frequent droughts. Date palms are particularly suited to those climatic conditions and can survive water shortage for four years if local knowhow is applied. Moreover, hygiene is extremely important in an environment as dangerous as the desert, and the prime actors are the highly creative “Tioutmines”, the women of the oasis. Their expertise began with the cultivation of henna, and the discovery of its hygienic, medical and aesthetic properties. The plant is well suited to the climate in such regions. Having grown it for many years, the women then began to extracts oils from the plant, and their knowhow was passed on from generation to generation. Irrigation is provided using an ingenious system called a “Khatarate” devised in the oasis. It is a mining-type facility designed to catch groundwater and extract it. A Khatarate is a set of vertical wells feeding a gently sloping drainage channel which carries the water to cisterns. Another important point relates to craftwork: for the people of the oasis, water is sacred because of its scarcity, and that is reflected in oasis culture, particularly in the craftwork. Craftsmen have developed utensils made of raw materials designed to meet climate change effects; one example is the traditional refrigerator (“khabya”), a simple and innovative system requiring no electrical power.
The panel meeting ended with a recital of Berber poems.
Speaker(s): Lahcen Kabiri
Moderator: Ahmed Jaakou
Thematic areas: Connaissance et savoir-faire traditionnel, Adaptation, Technologie, Pratique des Gestions, Politique Publique
Languages of the event: Arabic, French, Tamazight
Contact: KABIRI Lahcen