The role of animals as a sustainable solution in humanitarian and development programmes

World Animal Protection and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are today jointly hosting a special disaster risk reduction event exploring the role animals play in food security, livelihoods, poverty alleviation and resilience building, within communities and across nations. The opening session will be led by Ms. Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction and will be hosted at IFRC headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

Wish I could have attended; looking forward to the webcast promised to be made available after the event (on both World Animal Protection and IFRC websites). Another occasion to reflect on learning that in the run up to the tsunami, certain animals in the areas to be affected ‘knew’ something was up and already moved to higher areas.

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Launch of Green Communities Network in the W-Midlands

Good news: Sustainability West Midlands is launching a Green Communities Network for Green Community Groups based in the West Midlands region.  The network will aim to share good practice, discuss key topics such as funding, energy and resilience, encourage other community groups to get involved in sustainability and help to lever in support to develop their activities.

This launch event will include good practice case studies of green community actions that have already taken place, along with an opportunity to network and shape future content of the Green Communities Network.  The Community Energy Coalition (CEC) are pleased to be launching this Network in conjunction with Community Energy Fortnight and hope that this will help to catalyse and encourage action in our local areas.

Slavery and our fossil fuel addiction

tree1Today is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. You might think, well, laudable, but what’s that doing being mentioned in an environmental blog? Well, (un)fortunately, much more than you might think. I found Jean-Francois Mouhot‘s work on this very enlightening, see e.g. an article on the parallels of slave trade and fossil fuels he wrote for the Guardian. He states that “both [slavery and fossil fuels] perform roughly the same functions in society (doing the hard and dirty work that no one wants to do), both were considered for a long time to be acceptable by the majority and both came to be increasingly challenged as the harm they caused became more visible.”

To have something positive come out of today’s Day, I suggest (re-)reading this article on ‘Slavery and Climate Change: Lessons to be Learned’ and reflecting on what our role is in this: we can get upset about the general issues, but to what extent are we not ourselves part of it by ‘voting’ for this system on a daily basis through the way we spend our money, where we invest our savings and pension etc (like the poster ‘you are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic‘)