Leaves 16(7) July 2014


Newsletter of the
Volume 16, Number 7 --- 15 July 2014



Website: iefworld.org
Article submission: newsletter@iefworld.org Deadline next issue 13 August 2014
Secretariat Email: ief@iefworld.org General Secretary Emily Firth
Postal address: 12B Chemin de Maisonneuve, CH-1219 Chatelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

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From the Editor, Request for information for upcoming newsletters

This newsletter is an opportunity for IEF members to share their experiences, activities, and initiatives that are taking place at the community level on environment, climate change and sustainability. All members are welcome to contribute information about related activities, upcoming conferences, news from like-minded organizations, recommended websites, book reviews, etc. Please send information to newsletter@iefworld.org.

Please share the Leaves newsletter and IEF membership information with family, friends and associates, and encourage interested persons to consider becoming a member of the IEF.


IEF General Assembly

The International Environment Forum will hold its 18th Annual General Assembly in Toronto, Canada, on 9 August 2014 at 17:30 in the Quebec Room of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The General Assembly will immediately follow the afternoon IEF breakout session at the Association for Baha'i Studies - North America Conference taking place from 7 to 10 August. This will be an opportunity for IEF members to consult on the progress of IEF as described in the Annual Report 2013-2014, to elect the IEF Governing Board for the next year, and to consult on future activities. All IEF members who have maintained an up-to-date email address with IEF will receive shortly by email an election call with instructions for voting, list of eligible members, Directory of Members, Agenda, and the Annual Report. Those who are unable to attend the General Assembly can vote electronically and send in their comments and suggestions by email for consideration by the General Assembly. The Annual Report will be included in the August Leaves newsletter and posted on the web site along with the report of the General Assembly.


Update on the 18th IEF Conference Programme

As mentioned in the previous item, the 18th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum will be a partnership with the 2014 Association for Baha'i Studies - North America Conference on 7-10 August at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto, Canada. On Friday morning 8 August, Peter Adriance and Arthur Dahl will facilitate a Subject Area Consultation on "Environmental Studies" to encourage the creation of specialized gatherings throughout the year.

On Saturday morning 9 August, the IEF is contributing a speaker to the Plenary Panel on the challenges presented to the natural sciences by emerging social and environmental concerns. Arthur Dahl will be speaking on the natural sciences and society.

The IEF breakout session will be in the Quebec Room on Saturday afternoon. From 2:45 to 3:45, IEF President Arthur Dahl will speak on "Addressing sustainability challenges: a framework for material and spiritual transformation". From 4:00 to 5:30, there will be a panel on "Contributing to sustainability discourse and action" which will discuss examples of this process at the international, national and local levels in the fields of environment and sustainability. Dr. Arthur Dahl will review the ways Baha'i principles are introduced into United Nations dialogues and conferences. Peter Adriance will present the approach to sustainable development issues and climate change in the American Baha'i community. Christine Muller will use the example of the Wilmette Institute course on Climate Change to show how a deeper understanding of the scientific and spiritual dimensions of the issue stimulates changes in individual behavior and activities at the community level. The panel should inspire professionals in other fields to organize, encourage and accompany each other as they work to find solutions to the challenges they face in the light of Baha'i teachings. The IEF General Assembly will follow immediately at 5:30 in the same room (see above).

While it does not seem possible to provide an electronic version of the conference in real time this year, the presentations and summary reports of the sessions will be posted as rapidly as possible on the IEF web site.

For more details see https://iefworld.org/conf18. Registration is through the ABS on their web site at http://www.bahai-studies.ca.


IEF Questionnaire

The IEF Governing Board is preparing a questionnaire for members and friends of IEF to determine how it can serve its membership better, and how members would like to contribute to the activities of IEF. The questionnaire will be made available soon on the IEF web site, and also distributed to members and associates by email.


The Role of 'Nature' in the Politics of the Environment

Report on the meeting of the Triglav Circle, Montézillon, Switzerland, 14-15 June 2014


The Triglav Circle promotes an approach to international relations and public policy grounded in moral and spiritual values that are to be expressed in ethical norms and behavior. To this end it aspires to enrich the discourse on global problems with cultural, philosophical, and spiritual perspectives. Its recent focus has been on the relationship of man and nature, and it met near Neuchatel, Switzerland, on 14-15 June 2014 to discuss "The Role of 'Nature' in the Politics of the Environment".

The opening discussion paper by Philippe Roch, former Director of Environment (equivalent to Minister of the Environment) in the Swiss Federal Government, noted that there was no place for nature in the political dialogue today. In our reductionist approach, we have forgotten nature since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. He used a tree as an example of the five dimensions of nature:
• Ecological, the role of the tree in protecting the earth and biodiversity;
• Economic: the tree providing wood and energy;
• Emotional: the beauty, strength, and music of the tree;
• Philosophical: the symbol of unity, as in a family tree;
• Spiritual: the cosmic dimension, a place to worship, links to the world.

Today we have an empty culture with only superficial values, which cannot easily be reversed, but must be replaced by a new civilization. To nourish this new culture we need to:
1. Think nature, and a philosophy of nature (citing St. Francis of Assisi, J.J. Rousseau, the Trancendentalists, Aldo Leopold, Arne Naess)
2. Explain how nature works, since most people today do not have contact with nature
3. Experience nature, perhaps by bringing nature into the city
4. Change our lifestyles, living closer to nature, with a simpler life.

We need to accumulate small experiences that will help us to rebuild after the collapse of our civilization, as the monks rebuilt after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

Barbara Baudot, a professor of political science in America and Secretary of the Triglav Circle, cited the pertinent reflections on nature of thinkers in previous centuries such as John Stuart Mill, James Madison, and Ando Shoeki in Japan.

Dirck Stryker, active in development and business in the U.S., discussed the bottom of the pyramid, with the planet suffering from the tragedy of the commons and the time-bomb that is growing inequality. The universe is increasing its web of interdependence as it increases in interdependency towards self-fulfillment, but this needs to be balanced with small-scale efforts and local, decentralized decision-making.

Jean-Michel Collette, a consultant on social and economic development from France, traced the rise of attention to nature and environmental thinking in international organizations since World War II, with the creation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1948 and the first UN conference on conservation and utilization of resources at Lake Success in 1949. International cooperation can help to increase and distribute information, prepare joint actions wherever feasible, and undertake evaluation and implementation. These mechanisms performed well in the beginning, but since the Rio Earth Summit, the difficulty in finding a consensus has pushed action down to the lowest common denominator.

Arthur Dahl, President of the International Environment Forum, described four steps in our evolving relationship with nature:
1) In primitive times, nature is dominant and man sees no separation with nature;
2) Nature is to be conquered and the planet provides an endless supply of natural resources;
3) We live in a largely man-made environment; nature is increasingly scarce and needs to be conserved;
4) The loss of nature is imminent as humans cause the sixth mass extinction.

To reconnect with nature, we need to combine three sources of knowledge about nature corresponding to the three human realities:
- Our physical reality where we can experience nature directly;
- Our intellectual reality where we accumulate scientific knowledge about nature; and
- Our spiritual reality where all religious traditions teach respect for nature and see contact with nature as a path to spiritual development.

He gave examples of indigenous cultures where there was no separation between man and nature and concluded that we should draw on all three realities to close our circle with nature. [For a more complete development of these themes, see his paper "Healing our Relationship with Nature" at https://iefworld.org/ddahl14c

Oliver Smith, who works on interfaith issues for WWF-UK and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, pointed out that, despite all the efforts of non-governmental organizations and the international community, we are still losing the war to save nature. The UN system is broken, so how do we reengage with society in decision-making to achieve change? Too much of the effort has been scientific and aimed at the head, but people are engaged through the heart, by art, culture, beauty and values. This is a values problem, and ARC has been asked by the UN to work on values in UN processes. We need to plant seeds about values, but it will take a generation to make a change.

Edouard Dommen, an economist with many years service in the UN, and a Quaker active in the values debate, referred to the interconnectedness of all ecosystems with man as an integral part. Recent efforts in some Latin American countries give rights to Mother Earth and call for harmony with nature. Different languages and cultures define this in different ways. The Bible sees naming as an act of possession, so that humanity is superior and the master of nature, but the integrity of creation requires a loving relationship with the larger world. The principle of subsidiarity is important, as people know their local environment. There are increasing efforts to maintain cultural diversity and to prevent expropriation of traditional knowledge.

Jaques Baudot, founder of the Triglav Circle and Secretary-General of the 1995 UN Social Summit in Copenhagen, noted that intergovernmental organizations are indispensable to defend the environment, as only states can impose on their citizens, and the main problems are global. Why has the UN failed to address this serious problem? The UN has not been considered the legitimate place to discuss the economy, and linking environment and development has marginalize the environment as well. There is also a diplomatic culture of the defense of state interests, with a short-term perspective and a culture of compromise that is not adapted to the environmental crisis. Diplomats cannot innovate, and avoid values as they complicate the debate. There needs to be an environmental organization with enforcement powers, and a wider training of diplomats on environmental issues. Ultimately we need a change in the spirit of the times and the dominant philosophy. Even at the UN and among diplomats, many know that a new direction is necessary.

There was a rich discussion around each of these themes, and a determination to carry the reflection forward in the future.

More photos of the meeting and of a visit to an adjacent biodynamic farm are at http://yabaha.net/dahl/travel/t2014/travel2014.html#Montezillan.


Healing Our Relationship with Nature

A second meeting put humanity's relationship with nature in a different perspective. The 10th International Peace Seminar in Walenstadt, Switzerland, on 2-6 July looked at "What Heals? On Personality and Relationship" from the perspective of psychotherapy. There were presentations by a number of distinguished psychotherapists, as well as perspectives on justice, music, and a presentation by Arthur Dahl on "Healing Our Relationship with Nature" based on his paper on the IEF web site at https://iefworld.org/ddahl14c.

Prof. Farhad Sobhani, a doctor of psychology with psychotherapeutic training who taught for 36 years at the Free University of Berlin, lectured on "Man as a Being with an Eternal Soul - On the Meaning of Spirituality". Professor Vladimir Smekel, emeritus Professor of Psychology at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, gave a presentation on "Wounds of the Soul and the Healing Power of Friendship". Dr. Assad Ghaemmaghami followed with an explanation of "The Contribution of the Psychology of the Capacity to Know and to Love to Education and Psychotherapy". Arthur Dahl then discussed "Healing Our Relationship with Nature" showing the importance of the psychological and spiritual dimensions in a healthy relationship with the natural world. Prof. Dr. Ulrike Ehlert, full professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Zurich, spoke on "What Heals from the Psychobiological Viewpoint?”. Dr. Pearl La Marca-Ghaemmaghami of the University of Zurich explained the importance of "Psychotherapy during Pregnancy", and lawyer and law student Payam and Paya Ghaemmaghami provided a broad perspective on "The Far-reaching Healing Power of Justice". Dr. Assad Ghaemmaghami followed again with presentations on "The Contribution of Couple and Marriage Therapy" and "On Message, Personality Development, and Relationship in Psychotherapy". In the closing session, pianist and composer Peter Held and his wife Petra, discussed and illustrated "The Significance of Music". All the presentations demonstrated the importance of a spiritual perspective in creating a deeper understanding of human psychology and in making psychotherapy more effective. Pictures of the meeting are available at http://yabaha.net/dahl/travel/t2014/Walenstadt/Walenstadt.html.


The Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
Through Genuine and Durable Partnerships

UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, Apia, Samoa, 1-4 September 2014


The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Faleata Sports Complex in Apia, Independent State of Samoa, to be preceded by Pre-Conference Activities related to the conference from 28 to 30 August 2014, also in Apia, Samoa. The Faleata Sports Complex is situated about 10 kilometers from the center of Apia It is comprised of the following six buildings: 1) Upolu Plenary Hall 2) Savaii Partnerships Hall 3) Nu’utele Accrediation Centre 4) Manono Media Centre (including space for side events) 5) Namu’a Food Court 6) Apolima Secretariat.

The SIDS Conference will include six multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogues, held in parallel with the plenary meetings (Monday 1 September 2014, PM to Thursday 4 Sep 2014, AM), and are expected to provide, inter alia, an opportunity for:
a. Recognizing successful partnerships and initiatives
b. Launching innovative and concrete partnerships and initiatives
c. Interactive and focused discussions

The outcomes of the multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues will be reported to the closing plenary meeting of the Conference and included in the final report of the Conference.


The multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues will be clustered by the following priority areas:
• Sustainable Economic Development
• Climate change & Disaster Risk management
• Social development in SIDS, Health and NCDs, youth and women
• Sustainable energy
• Oceans, Seas and Biodiversity
• Water and Sanitation, Food Security and Waste Management


Vanuatu Climate Change Coral Gardening Day a Great Success at Nguna-Pele

SPC - Secretariat of the Pacific Community


9 July 2014 - Over 40 men, women, boys and girls attended a Vanuatu Climate Change Coral Gardening Day organised by the Nguna-Pele Marine and Land Protected Area Network at Worasiviu Village on Pele Island. The objective was to kick off a coral reef climate adaptation project that focuses on coral gardening for tourism. After months of preparation and planning, four specially-built coral beds were put into the water and maneuvered into place by scuba divers, and the first pieces of coral reef were ‘planted’.

The Climate Change Coral Gardening Day started off with an overview history of the coral planting project presented by Tasaruru Whitely of the Nguna-Pele Marine and Land Protected Area Network.

He remarked, ‘For so many years we have been doing climate change adaptation around our homes and in our gardens, but today we are going to get under the water and start sweating and working there too!’

Coral gardening, also known as mariculture, is undertaken by collecting small pieces of broken coral reef and re-attaching them to a solid surface. The pieces grow into full size coral colonies after many years, and in this way a reef can be ‘gardened’ or ‘planted’ in places where it has been destroyed by cyclones, crown of thorns starfish or other climate change-linked hazards.

The community of Worasiviu on Pele is interested in planting coral as a new activity for the tourists who now regularly visit its bungalows. Community leader Willie Kenneth explained that ‘tourists will be able to snorkel with us to find the coral pieces and fasten them on the underwater gardening beds. In exchange for a financial sponsorship for the community, they will have a little piece of living coral reef here in Vanuatu for them to remember forever.’ Many countries around the world are now practicing coral planting for tourists, and like the Nguna-Pele MLPA Network, many are using the proceeds to do climate change adaptation and marine management work.

Pele’s Climate Change Coral Gardening Day was a great success thanks to collaboration by the Government of Vanuatu’s Department of Tourism, the Nguna-Pele Network communities, the SPC-GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region Programme and Oceanswatch, who contributed divers and gear for the activity. It was great to see the participation of Nguna-Pele girls, many of whom snorkeled for hours to collect fragments of coral for the new garden. At the end of the day, everyone was happy with the final result of the new coral beds with over 40 coral colonies planted. The coral beds are in around 6 meters of water, enough to keep them safe from cyclone swells, but shallow enough for tourists to interact with and enjoy. ‘It is a great achievement for Nguna-Pele and for climate adaptation in Vanuatu,’ said village leader Carlos Tangarasi.

For more information on the coral gardening adaptation programme contact SPC-GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region at VanuatuClimateChange@gmail.com or visit the online portal of the National Advisory Board on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction.

The techniques of coral gardening have been pioneered, refined over many years, and taught around the world by IEF member Austin Bowden-Kirby now living in Fiji.


Fish drying method changes lives in Burundi

FAO http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/238308/icode/

9 July 2014, Rome – An FAO project to equip small fishing communities with the tools and know-how to dry fish on simple raised racks instead of on the sand has changed lives along the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi.

Women had always dried catches of small sardine-like silver lake fish called ndagala on the ground, where they were easy pickings for animals and vulnerable to being trampled and contaminated. During the rainy season, many fish would be washed away or start to rot. “If the fishes got spoiled and began to smell awfully it was impossible to sell them at market,” said Gabriel Butoyi, president of Rumonge fishing port.

In total, around 15 percent of the catch was lost or spoiled during the drying process. Working with Burundi’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO first set up a tiny project in the village of Mvugo ten years ago, constructing just 48 cheap wire-mesh racks suspended a metre above the ground, offering training and distributing leaflets on how to build the racks. Driers quickly saw the benefits, with racks reducing drying time from three days to just eight hours, meaning producers can dry multiple batches of fish in the same day. The fish are out of reach of animals, and racks can also be covered when it rains, preventing spoilage.

“Our fishes are of a good quality without small gravel or stones and they are dried in hygienic conditions,” said rack owner Domitien Ndabaneze. “With our products, customers are no longer concerned with eating sandy fish.”

Explosion of racks

Word spread fast among fishing communities, and the use of racks exploded along the shores of the lake. The area dedicated to fish drying near the village of Mvugo has increased from one acre in 2004 to five acres today, and the number of driers at all official fishing sites along the shores of Lake Tanganyika has increased from 500 to over 2,000. The quantity of fish lost or wasted due to inadequate drying practices has more than halved, and as the quality of the dried fish has improved, prices have more than doubled, from 4,000 Burundian francs ($2.5/kg) in 2004 to 9,000 ($6/kg) in 2013.

“I am able to look after my child because of the business I do trading fish,” said Pelousi Ndayisaba, a former rebel fighter who turned to fish drying. “It is the only activity that provides me with a living.” The rack drying technique also reduces daily drudgery for the driers, as women no longer have to bend down to spread and turn fish on the ground.

Small-scale operations have sprung up providing the material for, and building, the racks, also helping to improve the livelihoods of fishing communities and the local economy. The longer shelf life of rack-dried fish means that the high-protein ndagala can be transported not only to inland but also transborder and regional markets, contributing to the nutrition of communities who live far from sources of fresh fish. Yet at the same time, the increase in supply has not put greater pressure on the lake’s resources, as the amount of fish being taken from the lake has remained relatively stable.

“The extraordinary thing is how this one very small project has created a snowball effect along the shores of the lake,” said FAO Fishery Industry Officer Yvette Diei-Ouadi. “It’s extremely rare now to see people drying fish on the ground – if driers can’t afford wire-mesh racks they will improvise with wood and fishing net. Even fishing communities in neighbouring countries have taken up the rack-drying technique.”

The way forward

The new way of drying fish has brought other changes. Whereas in 2004, about 80 percent of driers were women, now men keen to join in the lucrative enterprise comprise 30-40 percent. “The government has made huge efforts to ensure driers have access to land to set up racks, but it is also important to help women driers specifically through microcredit schemes so that they are not edged out as competition increases,” Diei-Ouadi said.

While the racks have made a huge difference in preventing fish being spoiled and lost, rain and cloudy days can still result in some post-harvest losses. Among possible solutions to the problem is the use of solar-powered driers and a fish drier and smoker known as the FAO-Thiaroye processing technique (FTT), which is already being rolled out in several African countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Togo.

Another way of using fish that cannot be dried would be to introduce alternative value-added products made from fresh fish, such as fish sausages. Some 60 percent of Burundians currently do not receive enough protein, and means of improving nutrition in Africa and elsewhere will be under discussion at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) organized by FAO and the World Health Organization in November 2014 in Rome.

FAO is meanwhile continuing to promote and strengthen the use of drying racks in other countries including Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, where the success of the technique has resulted in dried fish being exported and sold in Zimbabwe, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Ethics Expo in Mantua, Italy

An interesting new initiative was the first Ethics Expo in Mantua, Italy, on 19-22 June 2014. Different locations throughout the city hosted meetings, debates, course and conferences appealing to all ages and interests, with topics like "Leonardo da Vinci: individual and business ethics", "Ethics and Creativity", "Ethics and the Environment", "Ethics and Sport", and reports on various social and health projects. Arthur Dahl of IEF gave the closing lecture on "Ethics for a Sustainable Economy". The initiative allowed different associations and groups interested in increasing ethical awareness in their community to combine their efforts and to reflect on how to make their community a better place.


Singapore's Faith Communities Environmental Handbook


June 25, 2014
In nature good things rarely happen overnight. Anyone who plants a seed today knows that it’s only the beginning of something that will - hopefully - bear fruit much later. When ARC helped Singapore’s environmental groups and religious communities organise the country’s first ever Faith & Nature workshop back in 2001 it was clear that many seeds were planted. As a pioneering attempt to bring the country’s rich and diverse ethnic and religious mix together in the common cause of environmental protection the event was a great success. But would it bear fruit? Immediately after the conference Singaporean Muslim environmentalist Farheen Mukri worked with the Faith and Nature Committee to produce a conference report summarising the event's themes. That report was the basic draft for Faith and Nature and, as with all things dynamic, it was destined to evolve.

Fast forward to 2012 and Farheen Mukri sought the support of Project M.E - Muslims and the Environment, a new initiative set up by Sofiah Jamil in 2009. Working together over 18 months Farheen and Sofia turned the original document into a comprehensive and accessible eco-guidebook and, with the financial support of Young AMP (the Youth Wing of the Association of Muslim Professionals), they have finally been able to produce Faith and Nature.

Faith and Nature

This comprehensive eco-Guide is an attractively designed booklet intended to be a manual for individuals and faith organisations wanting to “implement change progressively.” Within its 64 pages Faith and Nature manages to include the theological arguments for conservation from eight major religious traditions as well as a set of really practical environmental checklists on everything from energy usage and animal care to community engagement and promoting social responsibility. They've even left a few pages for the reader to write their own notes at the back!

It's very satisfying to finally see the fruits of an idea first discussed at that 2001 workshop and it’s all thanks to Farheen’s amazing persistence that the eco-Guide has eventually come to be published.

Having been specially produced for Singapore there are no plans to distribute Faith and Nature outside the country, however you can download a pdf copy from the Faith and Nature eco-Guide page and appreciate the fruits of Farheen and Sofia’s labours for yourself.

“The universe is a living entity and all life is interconnected and interdependent. While the call to protect our environment is inherent in all faiths, it may be challenging for faith communities to carry out these environmental principles. This Eco-Guide aims to encourage people across various faiths to put these principles into action.” From the cover of Faith and Nature


Ecology and Religion

By John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker Island Press, 2014

(For a 20% discount, use the code 4ECOREL)
280 pages | figures, references, appendixes | 5.5 x 8.75

July 2014 - From the Psalms in the Bible to the sacred rivers in Hinduism, the natural world has been integral to the world’s religions. John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker contend that today’s growing environmental challenges make the relationship ever more vital.

This primer explores the history of religious traditions and the environment, illustrating how religious teachings and practices both promoted and at times subverted sustainability. Subsequent chapters examine the emergence of religious ecology, as views of nature changed in religious traditions and the ecological sciences. Yet the authors argue that religion and ecology are not the province of institutions or disciplines alone. They describe four fundamental aspects of religious life: orienting, grounding, nurturing, and transforming. Readers then see how these phenomena are experienced in a Native American religion, Orthodox Christianity, Confucianism, and Hinduism.

Ultimately, Grim and Tucker argue that the engagement of religious communities is necessary if humanity is to sustain itself and the planet. Students of environmental ethics, theology and ecology, world religions, and environmental studies will receive a solid grounding in the burgeoning field of religious ecology.


State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures

Download PDF chapters at no charge or order Kindle & PDF versions $12.00

• “This is the definitive guide to culture and sustainability.... If you’re involved in transforming our world for the better, it is essential reading —Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity Without Growth

• "State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures is breaking new ground. We are paying a high price for ignoring the issues of consumption and consumerism for so long. What a wonderful book this is to guide us into the years ahead." —Gus Speth, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

• "Worldwatch has taken on an ambitious agenda in this volume. No generation in history has achieved a cultural transformation as sweeping as the one called for here.... it is hard not to be impressed with the book’s boldness " —Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank

• "If we continue to think of ourselves mostly as consumers, it’s going to be very hard to bring our environmental troubles under control. But it’s also going to be very hard to live the rounded and joyful lives that could be ours. This is a subversive volume in all the best ways!" —Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

• "This year’s State of the World report is a cultural mindbomb exploding with devastating force. I hope it wakes a few people up." —Kalle Lasn, editor of Adbusters magazine


PERL Media Competition 2014

New ways of living responsibly! What can we do differently?


PERL invites you to create Videos, Photographs and Magazine/Press Articles related to the competition theme
“New ways of living responsibly! … What can we do differently?”

The three competition categories are:
1. SHOOT – Videos: 60 seconds maximum, no talk/dialogue permitted
2. WRITE – Magazine/Press Articles: Maximum 1200 words written in English as a Word document
3. SNAP – Photos: Digital JPEG format, 10 megabytes or smaller, at least 1600 pixels and/or with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi’s

The competition is open to students (Post-Primary to University) worldwide.
Competition entries accepted from 1 September 2014 and closes midnight 10 January 2015 (Central European Time).


Sustainability Projects Combat Waste, Pollution at Brazil World Cup
Brazilian Government Joins UNEP in Projects Ranging from
Supporting Sustainable Tourism to Fostering Organic Agriculture


Rio de Janeiro, 10 July 2014 - Municipalities across Brazil have implemented a number of sustainability projects during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ranging from the environmental certification of stadiums to the compensation of direct emissions of greenhouse gases generated by the event.

Other activities mandated by Brazil's Operational Plan for Environment and Sustainability included programmes fostering sustainable tourism, organic food production and family farming, as well as promoting the social inclusion of "waste pickers". These activities combine environmental sustainability, social inclusion and income generation with a high public visibility.

"UNEP has been connecting sports and environment for more than 20 years. We bring an environmental approach to big sports events, and the Green Passport has done its part during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The campaign offered qualified information to help consumers and producers to make a sustainable choice, fostering the demand for more sustainable products and services. But the World Cup was just a start. Brazil can become a model for new patterns in sustainable consumption and production", said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The projects were coordinated by the Ministries of Environment, Sport, Tourism, Social Development and Fight against Hunger, and Agricultural Development, and were supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with states and host cities.

"We are concluding the 2014 FIFA World Cup taking sustainability to another level, with the certification of stadiums, mitigation of GHG emissions, and stimulating sustainable tourism and organic agriculture. All methodologies applied will certainly be used on the next big sports events. We leave the World Cup with a great legacy for environment", said Izabella Teixeira, Brazil's Environment Minister.

Follow link above to continue reading about:

• Waste management and recycling
• Certification and sustainable management of arenas
• Organic and sustainable agriculture
• Compensation and mitigation of emissions
• Green Passport campaign

Updated 15 July 2014