Biodiversity is the ecosystem that has shaped the environment which allowed for human life to exist millions of years ago. Preserving this ecosystem is thus key issue to our survival, failing that, then this would pose a serious threat to human existence, as heralded by the extinction of a number of other living species.

Photo: UNDP

In Greek mythology, Flora and Fauna were goddesses who represented many aspects of ancient life. While Flora, goddess of spring, would be used as a symbol of youth and fertility, Fauna was mainly described as a strong female figure who could foresee the future. According to the elders, Fauna’s songs resonated the fate of humankind.

Which fate would Fauna be singing today? Come every spring, may we still see any future for youth and fertility? Living in a world where technology allows for men to conquer space in search for other viable ecosystems, deforestation and loss of biodiversity are still huge sources of concern on earth. SDG 15 is a call for the protection of life on land: not just animals but everything around us – trees, fungi, mountains, land and native populations.

According to UNDP, progress in preserving and sustainably using Earth’s terrestrial species and ecosystems is uneven. The good news is that more forests are being protected and many countries are putting policies and certifications in place to safeguard their ecosystems. But the effort made by governments and NGOs is not enough. Many key biodiversity areas are still under threat as they are not protected. Even when they are, the lack of inspection, added to corruption, make preservation more difficult. Land productivity has been declining since 1998, especially in South America and Africa, which aggravates desertification, security issues and land conflicts. The UN estimates that more than 1 billion people are currently endangered due to these problems.

The international community is committed to support and conserve biodiversity, either by signing agreements or by donating bilateral funds to biodiversity projects. Apart from that, NGOs are tirelessly working to raise awareness of the urgent ‘life on land’ cause.

Horyou is proud to host organizations such as ANDA, the first and largest animal news agency in Latin America. Based in Brazil, with more than 1.5 visitors a month, ANDA is an active voice on animal rights and shares news about scientific tests on animals and poaching, as well as the appalling conditions in farms, among other critical topics. They are trying hard to enforce SDG 15. Are you willing to do the same?

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps protect life on land in your region or anywhere in the world. You can also show your support by participating in #HoryouLightChallenge! Be the change, be Horyou!

aaa est une fondation née dans le secteur privé qui a pour objectif de construire des alliances entre les générations. Nouveau membre de notre plate-forme, aaa est le résultat de la frutueuse implication des entreprises dans le social good. Nous lui souhaitons la bienvenue et sommes heureux de parler avec sa conceptrice et présidente, Muriel Favarger Ripert, pour nous éclairer sur son histoire et ses projets.

Photo: Fondation aaa

– Racontez-nous un peu l’histoire de la fondation.

Sur la proposition de M. René Fell (Président du Groupe Abissa et de l’Association Vigiswiss), naît la structure de la Fondation aaa en octobre 2015. René, en entrepreneur averti, éclairé et visionnaire a validé avec confiance le concept et le développement itératif de notre écosystème. Il est du reste co-fondateur et vice-président au Conseil de fondation. aaa est à ce jour le 1er et seul écosystème intergénérationnel qui a été créé et développé au sein d’une PME en Suisse. Il a pour vocation d’inspirer, de connecter et de rassembler des professionnels de tous horizons, des porteurs de projets, des influenceurs et décideurs tout en valorisant des valeurs chères à l’entreprenariat et l’intraprenariat en Suisse romande. L’un des objectifs est d’y partager les savoirs-faires, connaissances & pratiques sur le terrain entre professionnels au niveau régional, national, voire international. Notre plateforme propose notamment des rencontres de qualité lors de nos activités. La communauté aaa a réuni plus de 7000 personnes rencontrées de visu depuis 2011, le plus souvent en bilatérales, petits groupes et aussi lors de plus grands events ou espaces. Rien qu’en 2016 et 2017, 165 espaces privés et publics ont été conçus, organisés et promus par la Fondation aaa avec environ 3000 invités inscrits.

– Êtes-vous engagés dans la réalisation des Objectifs de Dévéloppement Durable de l’ONU ? Lesquels ?

Oui, notamment nous travaillons sur les objectifs 4, 8, 9, 10, 16 et 17.

– Quelles sont vos priorités pour 2018 ? Avez-vous des projets que vous cherchez à mettre en place dans un avenir proche ?

Dès 2016-2017, j’ai imaginé un nouveau modèle pour consolider le mouvement aaa avec 7 piliers stratégiques :

1) Une gouvernance collective, participative dans un esprit de coopération fondée sur les commissions, task-forces, chambres, chapters, cercles & forums, qui donneront naissance eux-mêmes à de nouveaux écosystèmes, organiques, agiles.

2) Economie, business, gouvernements et relations internationales : CRM vivant et mises en relation, notamment via nos événements.

3) L’écolentreprise : initiatives comme Eclosion & Reengineering House en alliance avec Campus Genève dès 2018 & une méthode personnalisée pour accompagner l’individu avec son/ses projets ; stages, emploi, transposition des compétences, boostbraintorming intergénérationnel, etc – soit en mode peer-2-peer ou collectif.

4) 10 modes de financements dont 3 que je considère comme disruptifs

5) Une plateforme communication et multimédia : TV, presse, radio et numérique

6) Un Forum solidaire et philanthropique qui valorise les projets sociaux, humanitaires

7) «Ecosystems Design» pour diverses tailles (SME, Multinationals, etc), les Nations & les Communautés, délivré par Muriel via @ma Table & Co, sa société

– Quelles sont vos sources d’inspiration ?

Notre CEO, René Fell, mes parents et la vie collective que nous expérimentons dans le cadre de notre Ecosystème intergénérationnel.

– La fondation aaa est un nouveau membre de notre communauté. Partagez vos espoirs et vos plans avec Horyou !

Je souhaite structurer avec Horyou à terme un consortium (en numérique et en présentiel) pour les projets durables à impact social, créatifs et solidaires !

The Sustainable Development Goal 14 is often overlooked. What many people forget, indeed, is the fact that we live in an ecosystem. The glass of water we drink, the rains and moist that help farmers produce our food, the climate that surrounds us, and even the air that we breathe, it’s all ultimately connected and regulated by the oceans.

Photo: UNDP

The SDG 14 aims to preserve life under water in order to guarantee life above water – seas and oceans are being constantly threatened by climate change, overfishing and pollution; and we face their consequences on a daily basis. The acidification of oceans, apart from causing the extinction of creatures like corals and shelled molluscs, also affects all the food chain, including fishes and seafood that in many countries are the main sources of protein.

According to UNDP, 16% of the 63 large marine ecosystems are at high risk. This is due to eutrophication, a name given by an excessive amount of nutrients in water and dense plant growth, which causes the death of marine species. The most vulnerable areas are the Gulf of Mexico, Western Europe, Southern and Eastern Asia.

The solution lies in government policies and commitments, as marine protected areas must be created and well-managed, with strategies to combat overfishing and incentive small-scale and sustainable fisheries. But we can do more! Many projects are engaged with the protection of the oceans and sea life and we, as consumers, have the power to influence companies and people to respect and protect life under water.

On the Horyou platform, organizations like Maradentro, based in Brazil, take a scientific approach to raise awareness about the risks that marine life is facing. Our community is always highlighting the issue in our blog and through discussions on our platform. You can also be part of this conversation!

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps protect life below water in your region or anywhere in the world. You can also show your support by participating in #HoryouLightChallenge! Be the change, be Horyou!

SDG#6 is an inspiration for Water Energy and Sanitation for Development (WESDE), an active member of our Horyou community. With the aim to fill the gap left by civil society organizations in terms of Health and Environment Education and Integrated Water Resources Management in Cameroon, WESDE faces security, infrastructure and funding challenges to bring development to urban and rural populations in the far North region of the country. Interview with Marie Louise Kongne, WESDE National Coordinator.

WESDE team acting in Cameroon

What are WESDE’s main goals?

While improving significantly the sanitation, hygiene and housing conditions of disadvantaged populations, we aim to reduce the percentage of the population that does not have sustainable access to a drinking water supply. We also want to train and educate people to sustainable management of water resources and the protection of the environment, trying to reverse the current trend of loss of environmental resources. In order to do so, we seek to cooperate with national and international organizations, develop and maintain partnership, exchange and learning relationships. Last but not least, one of our objectives is to accompany the community in the fight against HIV / AIDS in order to stop its spread and reverse the current trend.

Tell us about your main achievements in 2017 and your plans for 2018

In 2017, we helped to raise awareness on education and training of 125 community health workers to work closely with families in 9 health areas on 12 main themes. In total, more than 43,000 households were visited. We also had an active participation in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) coordination meetings of the far North region under the co-lead of UNICEF and the far North Regional Delegation of Water and Energy and, as a Partner of Global Water Partnership (GWP) Central Africa, we contributed to the WASH resilience project in the Mayo Tsanaga sub-basin. In 2018, we aim to implement the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach in 150 villages of 3 pilot health areas as part of the support of the government to improve sanitation conditions in rural areas.

What main challenges do you face in your work?

We have no appropriate vehicles, as we need 4X4 vehicles to reach many areas. The self-financing mechanism is still very weak and there is not a long-term program, which could be at least 3-year renewable. Also, we develop our activities in a context of high insecurity (by Boko Haram)

Your work is closely connected with the SDG#6. In your point of view, how important is it to have a global agenda for water and sanitation?

In comparison with Drinking Water Supply, sanitation has often fallen behind government and donor concerns; however, this situation is moving in the right direction as sectorial strategies are increasingly putting sanitation at the top of the agenda. Recent studies have shown the importance of sanitation for improving health, promoting social development and protecting the environment. It has also been shown that Sanitation interventions are particularly effective in terms of cost reduction if we judge the increase in productivity that they induce and the decrease in the diseases and deaths that they allow. With this in mind, in the framework of the International Year of Sanitation (AIA) by the United Nations in 2008, the African continent, with the support of the African Ministerial Council for Water and Sanitation (AWCOW) organized the AfricaSan conference in Durban in 2008. This regional conference culminated in the ambitious eThekwini ministerial statement, stressing the importance of leadership in sanitation and recommending that 0.5% of GDP must be spent on sanitation.

Below the water, there is another planet we seldom think about. As I am writing this, it is established that the water world counts more than 228,000 species, while experts estimate that between 500,000 and 2 million more sea organisms are still unknown. They form an ecosystem that is integrated into ours – many other living creatures depend on marine life, and that includes us, humans.

Desierto Liquido was screened in CCCB in Barcelona

In many countries, fish and seafood are the main sources of protein. Yet the vigor of the fish industry is currently under serious threat. From Fiji to Mauritania, the fishing industry has indeed become a precarious if unfair trade with fishermen experiencing increasingly harder working conditions as they must face competition from monster multinational fishing boats, and take account of the overexploitation of fish stocks.

The issue of marine life preservation and the struggle of small fishermen in Africa and Europe to make ends meet was shown last Tuesday in «Desierto Liquido» (Liquid Desert), a documentary that was screened at the Contemporary Culture Center of Barcelona. Directors Alba Azaola and Daniel Carrasco, both former Greenpeace activists, who, on site, were able to see first-hand the current state of the marine life, offered a clear picture of overfishing, poverty and lack of opportunities that the fishermen in developing countries are faced with and that are causing social unrest, forced immigration and ultimately deaths, not to mention conflicts between small communities and big multinationals.

With this documentary, the directors objective is to spread the word about the situation in the seas. «It is an under covered topic that most people don’t want to think about», said Daniel Carrasco. Having already won 4 prizes in as many movie festivals, they would like their documentary to be screened in as many theatres as possible, and plan to turn it into an educational project. «We have had support from teachers and we are trying to get a partnership with governments. From this documentary we are developing related projects like Blue Hope Tuna (a film about the Bluefin tuna)», he added.

After the screening, a panel which included the directors, as well as Lydia Chaparro, an activist and marine biologist, Gustavo Duch, coordinator of the magazine Soberania Alimentaria and Daouda Dieye, a Senegalese national whose fishing family has been heavily impacted by overfishing. Daouda’s speech indeed added a human touch to the issue – all men in his family are fishermen and face the crisis on a daily basis. «The spend weeks at sea, risking their lives and competing with big fishing boats that operate illegally, while the authorities overlook the situation», he stated. “Many migrants from African origin”, he said, “are actually eco-refugees, fleeing poverty that is caused by the lack of opportunities”.

«Liquid desert» makes a call to fish consumers to be more conscious when choosing what to eat. In some countries, regulations require origin guarantee stamps and seals that show where the fishes come from, and the fishing method used. «There are hundreds of fish types in the sea, but people still buy the same ten or twelve types, which aggravates the problem of endangered species», said Lydia Chaparro. «The power of change is in our hands», she added.

The trailer can be seen here (in Spanish)

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good that connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. In this article, Horyou highlights the challenges of the SDG 14 – Life Below Water.

L’Association “AMIS pous la promotion de la Justice” est une organisation que défend les intêrets des populations les plus vulnérables au Cameroun. Nous sommes heureux d’exposer le profil de cette nouvelle organization sur notre plate-forme Horyou en diffusant l’entretien que nous avons eu avec son coordonnateur national, Mang Abena Guy Joseph.

Projet Circulaire et Assainissement

1. Racontez-nous en quelques mots “AMIS pour la promotion de la Justice” et ses actions.

Notre plan d’action consiste à œuvrer pour l’appropriation et la connaissance par chaque citoyen de ses droits et devoirs afin de limiter les injustices sociales liées à l’ignorance de ces droits. Nos projets principaux sont fréquemment liés aux droits humains, notamment aux droits des femmes. Je citerai, notamment, la vulgarisation de la procédure du jugement d’hérédité, le moto taximan citoyen, le projet eau potable dans cinq villages du Cameroun, la vulgarisation de la procédure d’établissement des actes d’état civil aux associations de femmes rurales, le projet de création d’un centre de santé à Monti au Cameroun, le projet de construction d’une école maternelle et primaire bilingue à Afanoyoa, le projet femmes actives protectrices de l’environnement (F.A.P.E) et enfin le projet d’impliquer les villes africaines dans le développement durable (Projet I.V.A.D.D).

2. Quels sont les défis auxquels vous êtes confrontés en travaillant avec la promotion de la justice et du dialogue interreligieux dans une société aussi diverse que la société camerounaise ?

Le Cameroun compte selon les dernières estimations 47 associations religieuses légalement autorisées. La question de la criminalité basée sur un fondement religieux est le problème majeur auquel sont confrontés tous les Etats de la planète. Elle est l’une des principales causes d’instabilité et de pertes en vies humaines. Au Cameroun, d’importants problèmes liés à l’intolérance religieuse peuvent survenir à tout moment, surtout si rien n’est fait à temps pour les éviter. En oeuvrant en faveur du dialogue interreligieux nous voulons prévenir les conflits, promouvoir le vivre ensemble dans la différence. Nous cherchons ainsi à cultiver la paix durable (ODD 16).

Plaidoyer pour une eau saine en zone rurale

3. Vous pensez donc que les citoyens ne sont pas bien informés sur leurs droits. Comment améliorer cette situation ?

Les citoyens camerounais ne sont pas bien informés sur leurs droits. Toutes les universités camerounaises n’ont pas de faculté de droit d’où l’ignorance par les étudiants eux-mêmes de leurs droits. Ainsi, une enquête menée en mars 2015 par l’association pour la défense des droits des étudiants du Cameroun montre que 70% des étudiants ignorent leurs droits. L’amélioration de cette situation passe inévitablement par un soutien constant aux organisations de la société civile qui promeuvent le droit. Avec le travail de vulgarisation que mène l’association “Amis pour la promotion de la Justice”, le vendeur ambulant, le boutiquier du quartier, la paysanne, le moto taximan ou le couturier, sortent de l’ignorance et revêtent les habits de citoyen. Car la clé de tout développement est la citoyenneté.

4. Êtes-vous engagés pour les Objectifs de Développement Durable de l’ONU ? Lesquels ?

Nos projets concourent à la réalisation des Objectifs de Développement Durable 1, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 15 et 16.

5. Quelles sont vos priorités pour 2018 ?

Trouver des partenaires techniques et financiers qui nous soutiennent pour la mise en œuvre de nos projets.

6. “Amis pour la promotion de la Justice” est un nouveau membre de notre communauté. Partagez avec nous vos espoirs et vos plans concernant la communauté Horyou !

L’association “Amis pour la promotion de la justice” espère bénéficier du soutien et de la grande expérience des membres de la communauté Horyou pour grandir d’avantage et réaliser ses projets. En outre nous sommes disposés à être le poumon d’Horyou au Cameroun.

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