Embrace Earth Day with a fresh perspective as we explore three inspiring climate solutions that promote sustainability, waste reduction, and worldwide action. These innovative approaches are transforming lives and fostering a greener future for our planet, while empowering communities and improving livelihoods across the globe.
Though climate change news reports may sometimes seem dismal, there is still reason to hope for a better future for our planet and its people. Here are three reasons why we’re feeling positive this Earth Day.
1. Technology is Improving How we Solve Climate Change
The right technology, deployed the right way, can be one of the world’s most powerful weapons against challenges like poverty and climate change. However, many technology projects in the developing world fail because of a focus on technology first and a lack of understanding of local markets and user needs.
But applying expertise grounded in local knowledge and understanding of the needs of people in developing countries, TechnoServe is seeing encouraging progress in applying digital solutions to improving both environmental sustainability and the livelihoods of people with low incomes.
In Benin, TechnoServe is now helping community-based trainers use a digital reference library to learn critical information on cashew agronomy. Cashew production in Benin has grown tenfold in the past two decades, and the crop has major potential to reduce poverty through greater farming and processing techniques. Benin’s government has an ambitious goal of tripling cashew production by 2027, which would boost its economy and thousands of livelihoods.
But expanding cashew production requires more extension workers — agricultural experts who teach farmers how to improve their crops. TechnoServe developed a digital reference library for these trainers that includes specific instructions and photos on practices such as fertilization, pruning, and disease management — critical techniques to improve yields and thereby grow the country’s overall production and farmers’ incomes.
RELATED BLOG POST: Digital Solutions Help Cashew Farmers and Trainers in Benin
2. Innovative Solutions for Reducing Waste
The world is currently grappling with serious waste management challenges. With the global population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, people will generate far more waste than can be managed unless sustainable waste management plans are implemented. According to the World Economic Forum, greenhouse gas emissions from the solid waste management sector are expected to increase from over a billion tons in 2016 to 2 billion tons per year by 2050. In low-income countries, rapid growth and industrialization have resulted in an exponential increase in waste production.
One of the main obstacles to effective waste management, however, is simply a lack of awareness of how to properly handle it. TechnoServe works with farmers, processors, and communities to develop solutions that amplify economic benefits for farmers and small businesses while maintaining or improving environmental standards in the areas where they work.
Since 2015, TechnoServe has helped small shop (or “duka”) owners in Kenya to improve their business skills; relationships with lenders, suppliers and customers; and coordination between other shops. These shops provide critical supplies to local communities and are an engine of local economic growth. But like many small businesses around the world, they are part of a system that is often unsustainable. Subpar waste collection systems and illegal dumping lead to serious environmental challenges. And the World Bank projects that by 2025, 2.2 billion tonnes of solid waste will have been produced worldwide.
The waste management module helped these entrepreneurs to improve their ability to manage waste in an environmentally sustainable way. The module covers four areas of best waste management practices:
- Reducing the amount of waste generated and reusing waste
- Separating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste by using different litter bins
- Responsibly storing waste to prevent its accumulation
- Disposing waste responsibly and avoiding negative practices such as burning waste
RELATED BLOG POST: Reducing Exposure to Environmental Risk: Waste Management in Kenya
3. Global Action on Climate Change
Smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs in the developing world are among those most affected by climate change — yet they are often the least equipped to protect against it. Without resources to combat threats like volatile weather patterns, worsening natural disasters, and crop and livestock diseases, these small-scale producers face lower incomes and higher risks as they struggle to earn a good living.
TechnoServe is among many non-profits, businesses, and other groups around the world who are stepping up to meet this challenge. Our Regenerate 30 initiative aims to achieve the following impact by 2030:
- 30 million people with increased resilience
- 30% average income increase for farms and businesses
- 30 million tons of CO2e mitigated or sequestered
- 30 million acres of land under sustainable management or improved conservation
- $300 million in private sector investment
In order to combat climate change and its repercussions, we will need a concerted effort from everyone. Please join us as we work to create a sustainable future and a better world.
In conclusion, this Earth Day, let’s celebrate the positive strides being made in combating climate change and creating a sustainable future. With technology advancements, innovative waste management solutions, and global collaborative efforts, we are witnessing a brighter future for our planet and the people who call it home. Together, we can continue to make a meaningful impact on environmental sustainability and improve livelihoods around the world.
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