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All news about Climate Change activities in Italy.

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All news about Climate Change activities in Poland.

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All news about Climate Change activities in Malta.

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All news about Climate Change activities in Germany.

Lunedì, 14 Marzo 2016 02:00

Video on Water Scarcity

Kopin, in collaboration with the Malta Water Association and Koperattiva Rurali Manikata, produced a short video on water scarcity in the framework of the ClimATE Change project.

Malta is currently experiencing one of its driest winters, with less than half the average yearly rainfall. Climate change is known to exacerbate drought, making adaptation a crucial requirement. 

This video looks into potential solutions to this life threatening problem.

Watch the video (in Maltese with English subtitles) here.

Lunedì, 14 Marzo 2016 02:00

Climate Change Awareness Day

On Valentine's Day, Kopin organised a CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS DAY in cooperation with the Local Council of Attard, a small municipality in Malta. The event took place in the beautiful, old Parish Square in the centre of Attard and was quite lively, as several masses took place on that day and a good number of people passed by with their families.

The objective of the event was to inform the public on climate change, environmental protection and local production. A variety of Maltese organisations, projects and companies were present to raise awareness on topics such as water scarcity, agriculture and local produce, environmental protection and fair trade.

Entertaining activities, films, debates and games ensured that both adults and children enjoyed exploring the many different ways in which we can all contribute to mitigating climate change and adapting to its consequences. While the kids got face paintings, took funny pictures at a photo stand, made crafts out of recyclable materials or played an educational board game related to saving energy, adults enjoyed wine tasting, got information on climate change or attended a screening of short films, presented by director Tim Lewis of Handcrafted Films. There were also talks by experts on climate change who focused on the Maltese context and the problems and challenges that Malta is confronted with already, such as severe water scarcity.

Instead of producing more waste as usually is the case on Valentine’s Day, great emphasis was placed on avoiding waste production during the event. Even the cups for the wine tasting and those used for giving out soup were biodegradable and were disposed of in compost bins.  

While the local ska band KazinSka entertained the crowd with sweeping music and the guests enjoyed some freshly made pumpkin soup, one could really get the impression that the loving vibes of this  Valentine‘s Day had turned into some positive ideas and inspiration as to how we can do our best to protect the Earth. 

- Text by Johanna Wiest

As a last major ClimATE Change activity in Poland, Polish Green Network organized in January and February 2016 the Film Festival "Climate Change - Community - Future".

The festival took a form of traveling film screenings presented over two days in 3 Polish Cities: Warsaw (28-29th January), Rzeszów (17-18th February) and Wrocław (24-25th February). All screening were free of charge and were held in cinema halls. The festival coincided with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Polish Green Network as well as with the launch of our newly published book "Climate-Friendly Food", which was distributed among the festival participants.

In each city the film festival was organized in cooperation with local Polish Green Network member or partner organizations. In Warsaw it was Institute of Global Responsibility (partner), in Rzeszów Association "Ekoskop" (member) and in Wrocław Foundation for Sustainable Development/Fundacja EkoRozwoju (member). Additionally, our festival was prepared in cooperation with Terra di Tutti Film Festival in Italy which provided several films.

Altogether we screened 9 documentary films and most of them were presented in Poland for the first time. The films showed the consequences of climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources for the environment and the life of communities in different parts of the world. Two biggest hits of the festival were first Polish screenings of the documentary "This Changes Everything", based on the Naomi Klein's newest book about climate change, and the presentation of the film "Inhabit" about various permacultural initiatives undertaken by people in the US. Other presented films were: "Waiting for the t(rain)", "When Elephants Dance, the Grass Gets Beaten", "Indigenous People: Our Fight!", "Amazonia 2.0", "Unearthed", "Hamou Béya, Sand Fishers", "Moving Forest".

In all festival cities each day of screenings was concluded with a discussion with invited experts. In each city one discussion focused on modern activism, especially in the context of climate movement, and the second one on permaculture as a way of addressing problems related to climate change and environmental protection.

The festival was very successful and in each city was attended by a few hundred people.

Lunedì, 22 Febbraio 2016 02:00

Book Climate-Friendly Food

In order to reach even wider audience in Poland with the message of the ClimATE Change project, Polish Green Network published a book titled "Climate-Friendly Food".

The book was written by the invited expert, Marcin Gerwin, PhD, who specializes in sustainable development and participatory processes. He majored in political sciences and is a co-founder of the Sopot Development Initiative (Sopocka Inicjatywa Rozwojowa). He is also a columnist and the author of the book "Food and Democracy: Introduction to Food Sovereignty" which was published by Polish Green Network in 2011.

Our new book, "Climate-Friendly Food (And Other Solutions to Protect Climate)", deals with various aspects of climate change mitigation and climate protection. It presents such solutions to climate problems as renewable energy sources which lower emissions, organic agriculture which allows to store more carbon dioxide in soils, sustainable economy which is people- and environment-friendly, but most of all efficient democracy which allows to build a more climate-friendly system. The book shows that by implementing these solutions we can protect climate and natural resources, and at the same time build stronger ties in our communities and lead better lives.

The book, published in Polish language, is distributed free of charge both in the printed form (limited number) and in different electronic formats directly from Polish Green Network and during various public events. The electronic versions of the publication are available to download from the Polish website of the ClimATE Change project. The official launch of the book was organized during our traveling Film Festival "Climate Change - Community - Future".

Our book is divided into 3 main sections: I. Climate, II. Food and Agriculture, III. Society. The first one presents the main causes and consequences of climate change and tries to answer the question what we can do to protect climate. The chapters in the second section describe the role of farmers in protecting climate and environment as well as the benefits of organic food. They also try to answer the question whether organic agriculture could feed the world and show how permaculture can help farmers in addressing the impacts of climate change. The last section deals with the main problems of the current capitalist model which is based on the idea of economic growth without limits. It also presents the benefits of deliberative democracy, the ways of applying permaculture principles to living in cities as well as the issues related to the access to land. The book contains also the appendix explaining the basics of permaculture.

The book has been met with a big interest from the potential readers and we have already received a lot of positive feedback regarding its content.

Giovedì, 04 Febbraio 2016 02:00

Webinars Food - Climate - Cooperation

As a part of the ClimATE Change project activities in Poland, Polish Green Network organized a series of free and open webinars titled "Food - Climate - Cooperation".

The webinars were directed at everyone interested in learning more about the problems caused by the currently dominating model of food production and consumption as well as the possible ways for farmers, consumers and citizens to create a food system which is more climate-, environment- and people-friendly.

The event consisted of 6 online lectures in Polish which were held between 14th December 2015 and 20th January 2016. They were given by some of the leading Polish experts and practitioners and covered the topics of climate change, permaculture, renewable energy in agriculture, cooperation between farmers and consumers, system changes needed to protect climate. Each lecture was followed by an online discussion during which participants could ask questions to our experts.

The topics of each webinar were as follows:

1. Climate change – where are we and which way are we heading?

2. Permaculture – basics and practical application in the context of climate change

3. Renewable energy in the rural areas – benefits and future

4. Food coops and other cooperatives are changing the world

5. Community supported agriculture – what is it and how can you get involved?

6. What can we do to protect climate? What kind of system do we need?

The webinars were organized in partnership with with Akademia Bosej Stopy and Kooperatywa Dobrze. Additionally, Polish web portal about climate change, ChronmyKlimat.pl, was our media partner.

Altogether a few hundred people took part in all webinars. In order to reach additional audience with the content of the lectures, each webinar was recorded and made available online to watch for free after the end of the whole event.

Within the framework of the ClimATE Change project Polish Green Network is organizing the Film Festival "Climate Change - Community - Future". It will visit three Polish cities: Warsaw (28-29.01.2016), Rzeszów (17-18.02.2016) and Wrocław (24-25.02.2016). In each city the Festival will consist of the screenings of awarded documentary films on the consequences of climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources for the environment and the life of communities in different parts of the world. The screenings of each day of the Festival http://lauralaghi.it/comprare-viagra-online.html will be followed by a discussion with the invited guests. Participation in the Festival is free of charge.

The event is organized in cooperation with Terra di Tutti Film Festival.

Climate change is increasingly becoming a serious threat to the global food security. Since agriculture and food production are especially prone to the consequences of the changing climatic conditions and growingly unpredictable weather, the state of soils should be an essential part of the debate on combating climate change.

Healthy soils can play an important role in climate change mitigation through storing carbon, the so-called carbon sequestration, as well as by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. However, when soils are managed poorly or cultivated using unsustainable agricultural practices, carbon stored in soil can be exceedingly released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), which together with other greenhouse gases can have negative impact on climate.

In the last 50 years greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries have almost doubled. It is estimated that without more decided actions aimed at reducing these emissions they could increase until 2050 by another 30%.

The state of our soils and their impact on climate is greatly influenced by the continuous intensification of agricultural production. The steady conversion of grasslands and forestlands to croplands and pastures has been causing the release of the significant amounts of soil carbon worldwide. It is estimated that land-use changes and drainage of soils for cultivation are responsible for up to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Thanks to appropriate management, soil can, however, significantly help in dealing with the problems related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. By restoring degraded soils and implementing sustainable agricultural practices, such as crop rotation, zero tillage cultivation, organic farming, agroforestry and others, we have a possibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, increase natural carbon sequestration and build resilience of agriculture and food systems to climate change.

You can learn more about the importance of soils in dealing with climate change from the infographic presented below (click to enlarge):

Infographic

Source: FAO

Shortly before the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 21 in Paris, Kopin organized a film festival focusing on climate change and related issues. Klimafilm has been organized in collaboration with Triq Cinemoon Festival and took place in Valletta between the 26th and the 28th of November in Valletta.

On each of the three evenings films, short movies and documentaries on climate change and related matters were screened followed by debates with film-makers and experts.

For the launch of the festival on 26th of November the audience was able to choose through voting a feature film on Facebook from a selection of three different documentaries. On Friday 27th of November Dr. Ahmed Bugre, Director of the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants was leading the discussion following the film Climate Refugees (2010).

Not forgetting the importance of young generations, there was also an animated film for children in the afternoon of Saturday 28th. In the evening the two documentaries Indigenous Peoples: Our Fight (2015) and When Elephants Dance the Grass Gets Beaten (2014) were presented. The screening was followed by a video presentation from the producer of the former, Tim Lewis, and a discussion with the director of the second, cultural anthropologist Jan van den Berg.

The choice to hold the film festival right before the COP 21 was driven by the fact that climate change will have a strong impact, particularly on small state island like Malta and should be paid a lot more attention to than is the case up until now. Jan Van Den Berg, cultural anthropologist and film director, who contributed his documentary When Elephants Dance the Grass Gets Beaten (2014) evolving around the topic of climate change and land grabbing, pointed out to the importance of the topic regarding food security. He said: Small scale farmers are essential for the food security. Floods, drought, lack of support and illegal land grabbing make it difficult for them to survive.

 

The event was organized in the framework of ClimATE Change project and was co-financed by the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change and the Dutch Embassy It was endorsed by the V18 Foundation, an initiative evolving around Valletta´s Journey to being European Capital of Culture 2018. 

Cutting down food waste by consumers could save between 120 and 300 billion dollars per year by 2030 and help in combating climate change. This is the main conclusion of the report by British organization WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme) and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Achieving this, however, would require actions from consumers who should reduce their food waste by 20-50%.

Up to one third of all food produced globally winds up as waste. It is estimated that the value of all food wasted by consumers every year is worth more than 400 billion dollars. According to the the research carried out by WRAP, this cost could increase in the next 10 years to 600 billion dollars due to growing of the global middle class.

The report, titled "Strategies to achieve economic and environmental gains by reducing food waste", points out how reducing the amount of food which is wasted at different stages of the supply chain - in agriculture, transport, storage and consumption - could help combat climate change and improve economic performance.

"Food waste is a global issue and tackling it is a priority. This report emphasizes the benefits that can be obtained for businesses, consumers and the environment. The difficulty is often in knowing where to start and how to make the biggest economic and environmental savings", said Dr Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP.

An important role will have to be played by consumers, especially in the rich countries as the majority of food waste there takes place at home. The authors of the report highlight how relatively uncomplicated practical changes, such as lowering the average temperatures of refrigerators or designing better packaging, can significantly help in preventing food spoilage. It is estimated that in the global South countries better refrigeration equipment could lower the food waste by approximately 25%.

Cutting down food waste can also contribute substantially to combating climate change. The available data suggest that food waste is responsible for up to 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world, or 3,3 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent per year. According to the WRAP estimates, food waste reduction could help by 2030 to lower global emissions by at least 0,2 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent, and likely even by as much as 1 billion CO2 equivalent per year - more than the annual emissions of Germany.

When there is less food waste, the possibility to feed the growing populations from the same amount of land becomes more likely. "Reducing food waste is good for the economy and good for the climate", said Helen Mountford, from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. "Less food waste means greater efficiency, more productivity, and direct savings for consumers. It also means more food available to feed the estimated 805 million that go to bed hungry each day", she added.

The report makes it clear that one of the advantages of reducing food waste can be lowering of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The authors hope that these findings will serve as a call for action directed at policy-makers around the world.

The full report is available here (click to download PDF).

Source: WRAP

Photo credit: USDA (Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Knowledge of agricultural genetic resources needs to grow faster because of their critical importance in feeding the world in the context of climate change. This is one of the key conclusions of the recent publication of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The book, titled "Coping with Climate Change: The Roles of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture", points out the urgent need for much more decisive efforts aimed at studying, preserving and utilizing the biological diversity as a way to cope with the climate change consequences for the global food production.

"Time is not on our side", the authors of the publication warn. "In the coming decades, millions of people whose livelihoods and food security depend on farming, aquaculture, fishing, forestry and livestock keeping are likely to face unprecedented climatic conditions." These people are going to need crop plants and farm animals which are able to give enough food in the situation of the changing and increasingly unpredictable climate.

"In a warmer world with harsher, more variable weather, plants and animals raised for food will need to have the biological capacity to adapt more quickly than ever before", said FAO Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo. "Preventing further losses of agricultural genetic resources and diverting more attention to studying them and their potential will boost humankind's ability to adapt to climate change", she added.

The document underlines the necessity to broaden our knowledge of genetic resources in agriculture and food production as well as their characteristics such as resistance to drought or disease. A great number of plant crop varieties and livestock breeds adapted to local conditions - as well as trees, fish, insects and micro-organisms - are still poorly documented and may be lost before their potential roles in climate change adaptation are recognized. Often undervalued and still very much understudied are especially millions of micro-organisms living in the soil. Research shows that they play a vital role in, among other thing, protecting plants from pests, drought, cold and salinity.

"We need to strengthen the role of genetic resources and help farmers, fishers and foresters cope with climate change", stated Linda Collette, lead editor of the book and Secretary of FAO's Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Among the essential actions advocated by the FAO's publication are: expanding conservation programmes for domesticated species, their wild relatives and other genetic resources important for food and agriculture as well as implementing policies that promote their sustainable use; avoiding practices that destroy biodiversity or undermine the health of ecosystems (e.g. the use of pesticides that impact pollinators); creating and maintaining gene banks; intensifying and expanding the exchange and sharing of agricultural genetic resources.

One of the FAO's propositions for countries is the adoption of guidelines for the recognition of the critical role of biodiversity in assuring food security and the integration of genetic resources into climate change adaptation plans. The draft of the guidelines contains a range of recommendations aimed at helping countries implement strategies and policies regarding the study, preservation and use of genetic resources in order to better adapt to the consequences of the advancing climate change.

FAO's publication on the role of genetic resources in coping with climate change is available here (click to download).

Source: UN

Photo credit: F. de la Cruz / Bioversity International (Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)