ONE in eight people went hungry in 2012, or 870m, according to a study by the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (defined as a diet of fewer than 1,800 calories a day). Children are especially affected as hunger harms physical and cognitive development. The Global Hunger Index, devised by the International Food Policy Research Institute, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, tracks the progress in combating hunger and undernourishment, which includes the quality as well as the quantity of a diet. The index covers 120 developing countries that account for 84% of the world’s population. It is composed of three equally weighted measures: the percentage of people that are undernourished; the under-five population that are underweight; and the under-five mortality rate. While the overall world index has decreased by 34% since 1990, some 19 countries—with a total population of 1.6 billion—are classified as having "alarming" or "extremely alarming" levels of hunger. Most are in Africa and Asia, where natural disasters and climate change make places there particularly vulnerable to food scarcity.
For the past three years, Paignton Zoo in Devon has been growing food for its animals using a Verticrop greenhouse, one of the world’s first working examples of a vertical farm a radical new approach to agriculture that many believe could address one of humanity’s most pressing problems: feeding our rapidly growing population.
Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh is swelling in both population and capital, creating a new impetus for a metro system to solve its transit woes.
The Snohetta design aims to create an oasis at the center of a large public plaza. A large canopy would shade the public space as well as admit light to the underground station. Downward ramps allow for a gentle entry to the system. Palm trees will be aligned with an adjacent mosque, and thus Mecca, while limestone will extend to the site’s edges, signaling the openness and availability of the space to the public. Irrigation channels will both keep the trees alive, as well as provide some evaporative cooling to the space, making it a true urban oasis.
The architects write: “Our proposal for the Downtown Metro provides not only a beacon for a new urban awareness in the city but also a public space, an arena for all the citizens of Riyadh, a citizen space promoting public ownership and a new era of Social Sustainability and civic urban pride.”
Parks, squares, street corners, libraries, schools—these are the important social places in many cities. They are the public spaces where we relax and meet friends; in short, the places that we all share. But there is another kind of shared space that often goes unappreciated as a community hub in today’s convenience-oriented cities: the public markets where we buy our food.
While markets were historically important threads of a city’s social fabric, sanitation concerns and a cultural obsession with convenience led to their demise in many western cities in the 1950s. The “super” markets that replaced these vital public spaces were some of the first of what we now know as big box stores, and today, many millions of people around the world rely on these fluorescent, air conditioned megastores.
But in some cities, even in the developed world, traditional public markets still reign supreme!
European Union countries should step up their conservation efforts and fully implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 to prevent species from going extinct, according to a recent analysis of the European Red List coordinated by IUCN.
Discover the story of Omprakash Mor and Anand Mor. Through EcoFarms and Organic Farming they were able to help 15000 of farmers to go out from poverty.
We have all witnessed an injustice, an issue, a problem or something that was not working as it was supposed to do. Not everybody will do something about it. But then again there is a certain breed of individuals, who look at these problems as opportunities create social impact and economic wealth. The world calls them social entrepreneurs. Omprakash Mor, a farmer, who couldn’t stand the injustice against other farmers in the agriculture sector decided to do something about it and started his own social enterprise in 1995. The possibility of getting fairly paid for the worth of their yields was extremely low, getting paid in time was very difficult leading to plenty of farmers living below the poverty line.
Omprakash stood up to this.
In early 90s, he realised that after years of using chemicals in his farm, productivity had become stagnant. He was trying to identify what was going wrong and in the process he got to know about Mr. Fukuoka’s farming (the father of organic agriculture) and he tried to know as much as possible about it. Unfortunately, there were not many means to get further information about organic farming, so he decided to go for a trial and error method. After working for two tiresome years, he started to see some amazing results and in that moment alongwith with 80 other farmers he decided to found EcoFarms, to share his knowledge and experience to help other farmers. The first buyer was a person from Germany who helped him to get organic certified and set up the company.
Organic farming was new to India and people did not have much knowledge about it which made the market for Ecofarms’ product very small. They did not just have to sell their products but had to educate people and create a whole new market. They explained to consumers how their crops were grown and what was the main difference from others; this brought incredible results increasing awareness of organic products in the market and consequently, increasing their sales.
Soon, his son Anand Mor, an engineer with an MBA in Finance, decided to join Ecofarms after being inspired by the impact achieved by his father. “That’s a decision that I don’t regret at all: have a job that give the feeling to help people is the best thing that can happen to you. Such small things can make the difference for them,” says Mor on his decision to quit a financial institution after nine years and joining Ecofarms as MD. That’s a very important decision, since working for your own father brings a lot of responsibility and pressure, but he didn’t feel so “I have always thought that I could have been an added value for the company. My father was a farmer, while I have a completely different background”.
One of the first decision that he took, was to make organic food, not an elite product, but something that everyone could afford. “We worked a lot in order to have the less expensive organic food in the market. Mainly we did it cutting as much as possible the production cost having as many activity as possible in the village. We cut also all the intermediate in order to have an efficient short distribution chain and we consider every farms as a micro enterprise, but we are still working to improve this aspect”.
Ecofarms has had a huge impact in the past 18 years: they helped 15000 families of farmer in 75 villages to get out from poverty, procure fair prices and securing their payment. “We want to increase the impact that we are having by expanding our reach in different regions. Most probably a big role in that will be played by companies that are investing in the social sector through their CSR activities,” adds Mor.
Their remarkable activities changed the life of a lot of people and there is a secret behind this magic formula, “Impact based activities are long term activities, it’s impossible to see their result in the short term. Every social entrepreneur should have a lot of empathy and patience: if you are very clear with that, nothing will stop you”.
What’s your workplace like? Though the buildings and spaces we work in can vary considerably, chances are you aren’t working in an environmentally-friendly creative cluster made from discarded houseboats.
New research suggests LEED-ND projects can dramatically cut down on driving rates.
Confirming previous analysis, newly published research indicates that real estate development located, designed and built to the standards of LEED for Neighborhood Development will have dramatically lower rates of driving than average development in the same metropolitan region.
In particular, estimated vehicle miles per person trip for 12 LEED-ND projects that were studied in depth ranged from 24 to 60 percent of their respective regional averages.
The most urban and centrally located of the projects tended to achieve the highest shares of walking and transit use, and the lowest private vehicle trip lengths.
The GrowHaus: A Community and Food Revolution The Mountain -Ear The GrowHaus functions as a Hydroponic and Aquaponic farm that focuses majorly on food production, food education, and food distribution as a means of fostering community and culture...
Big data zal een belangrijke impact hebben op het personeelsbeleid van de bedrijven. Dat zegt Peter Cappelli, directeur van het Center for Human Resources aan de University of Pennsylvania. De meeste bedrijven hebben bij...
John Lasschuit ®™'s insight:
Dit kan ook heel negatief uitpakken! Big Brother is wachting you, everywhere en alles wat je doet kan tegen je gebruikt worden!
Changing the world, one great idea at a time. Share your innovative idea to make our world a better place and compete for an exclusive spot at the Summit in the Jungle for a chance to see your idea put into action.
In 2050, the UN Population Division says that, after 80% of the population of America has been moved into the Agenda 21 mega-cities, there will be a need to construct vertical farms in order to feed the urbanized residents.
Yale researchers assert that in America “78 percent of the population already lives in urban or suburban areas, urban land cover is expected to double by 2030” and with infrastructure investments, current urbanization rates are unsustainable.
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