Without a doubt the last year has brought conversations about climate change to the forefront of our lives. The knock on effects of Covid-19 have revealed the harm we have caused to the environment and in turn to rural communities, whose experience has largely been overlooked throughout the pandemic.
With so many countries promising to "Bounce Back Greener", putting environmental measures at the heart of their post pandemic recovery practices, 2021 will prove to be a very significant year one way or the other. So... what on Earth is next?
Naturally, we like to focus on the silver-linings of Covid: reduced carbon emissions; the return of wildlife to urban areas; the clearing of rivers and lakes to name a few, and why not? Global emissions falling by 7% last year due to lockdown has certainly shown us what can be done through international cooperation…BUT we can't ignore that the outcome of the pandemic and reductions in harmful human activity could be short lived. The International Energy Agency recently predicted that the planet's recovery will cost us the highest increase in carbon emissions since 2010, as post-Covid economic growth takes centre stage.
A glimmer of hope
However, it's not all doom and gloom! With the US rejoining the Paris Agreement in February and the next Conference of Parties (COP26) set to take place in November, there is now a glimmer of hope that the world's largest powers are committed to implementing sustainable development strategies. Grassroots NGO's go further by putting these strategies into action on the ground. Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, 'Action for Climate Empowerment', aims to "empower all members of society to engage in climate action, through education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation on these issues." (earthday.org) This goal shows that in order for the environment to recover, we have to look to NGO's and the leaders of communities and remain engaged and responsive to what is needed. It is crucial that we work to improve the lives of rural communities across the globe that are disproportionately affected by changes to the environment. Surely we can all agree that through helping the condition of the earth we inhabit, health, livelihoods and opportunities can only increase.
So, how can you make an impact on Earth Day 2021?
This year, people are taking action to combat climate change in a variety of different ways. Maybe you're involved in the Youth Climate Summit 2021 or the Great Global Clean Up, but there is another way you or your company can act that creates long lasting change; Sustainable Volunteering. At CDV Global, our mission centres on putting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into action, through expanding the skills of small development organisations that work in remote rural areas in India and Nepal. One crucial point of focus for CDV Global is working with our NGO's to build upon their technological capacity by installing new hardware. From enabling internet access to providing professional training on new software, our partner NGO's can expand upon their years of expertise and broaden their impact as they grow.
By linking professionals in the tech field with our partner NGO's and enabling them to request training that is tailored and relevant, you and the NGO are able to impact the communities they work within in an effective and positive way. You could be contributing to a number of SDG's which collectively aid positive local growth and global environmental change.
NGO's in the fight against climate change
The Society Development Centre (SODEC) in Nepal is a fantastic example of the dedicated sustainable environmental work that our NGO's carry out. SODEC support the empowerment of rural communities in sectors such as health, forest management, environmental, human rights, and peace and harmony. They facilitate a sustainable food and nutrition programme with farmers in Khandbari, using organic nutrients from farmers' fish ponds to help vegetable growth. On top of this, they have supported over 300 landholding families to create commercial organic tea farming, whilst also supporting a Multi Stakeholder Forestry Programme, which by managing forest resources improves the livelihoods of rural communities in the area.
Vikasana Institute of Rural and Urban Development in India work in Natural Resource Development and Management. Here, they work to enhance 'on-farm' productivity for farmers in rural communities through a number of avenues; from watershed development, soil fertility and organic farming. They also seek to maintain traditional methods of farming and crop management while supporting on-farm enterprise.
Get involved this Earth Day to make a lasting impact
Your company can benefit from our social impact initiatives while supporting NGO's that are dedicated to environmental and social development. Our bespoke programme, Project Devlink, allows you or your company to positively contribute to this work through remote volunteering. To find out more about how you can help, visit cdvglobal.com or contact us here.