Horyou community is pleased to share an account of its major actions and events in 2017 while it is bracing for more in 2018!

Opening ceremony SIGEF 2017

The clock is ticking and it’s only a few hours before New Year’s Eve and our community is full of joy and excitement, both for the things it has fulfilled during the year that has just elapsed than for the ones it has got in store for 2018. We’ve lived so many things together, we’ve grown and learned from each other, we’ve made new friends and became stronger while welcoming new members and organizations! So, now is the time to remember and the time to look ahead!

Our ever-growing community is our first reason to rejoice! We have now broken the glass ceiling of 250,000 users and 1,500 organizations and attained a full global presence. Horyou is growing stronger in Asia, with a more effective presence in Japan, Philippines, Singapore and India. Yonathan Parienti, Horyou founder and CEO, has spent several months travelling through the region to share our community’s message of social good and to officially launch Spotlight, our global digital social currency for economic inclusion. This was achieved during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, in India to highlight the fact that «Horyou values were more than welcome and that Spotlight can make a difference for many projects, organizations and change makers, in Asia and all over the world», as he put it.

Horyou at the GES!

It is in that context of expanding our community and extending our activities in Asia that SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, was organized by Horyou in Astana, Kazakhstan, during the EXPO 2017. A landmark really! Through its several panels, SIGEF fostered the debate on some of the most crucial subjects of interest of our time, including smart cities, future energy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Horyou also led an international and diverse delegation through EXPO 2017, focusing on the importance of clean and efficient energy globally.

And on the 18th of December, Horyou has launched the #HoryouLightChallenge, which aims to call everyone to join efforts in view of a swift and effective implementation of the SDGs. The concept of the challenge is to use social media to spread positivity, as well as social good actions and projects, and create a buzz around the many ways we can act to help the SDGs come true. The challenge is still on; click here to know more about it and have a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to SIGEF 2018 in Singapore next September.

Join the #HoryouLightChallenge!


Looking ahead, there is a lot more to come, all of which will be shared with you in the next few weeks. But one thing that you should be already saving the date is SIGEF 2018 will be held in Singapore, one of the most innovative and fast-growing cities in the world. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year!

This year’s Responsible Business Forum (RBF), Asia’s largest gathering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) held in Singapore this week, a city that next fall will also host SIGEF 2018. Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, the social network for social good and organizer of SIGEF, was invited to be part of an exclusive group of 600 delegates to attend the event.

Responsible Business Forum (RBF), Asia’s largest gathering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was held in Singapore this week

«Our participation in the Responsible Business Forum in Singapore is a sign that we are following the right path. Both Horyou and SIGEF are typically in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which makes us very welcome there», says Parienti. SIGEF 2018 will be held on September 11th, during the chairmanship of the ASEAN Summit.

RBF will hold SDG workshops for all participants, as well as share commitments, report on progress and define a framework for measuring performance and impact of each goal through case studies and panels. The Forum approach is to provide integrated solutions to accelerate action. Businesses, governments, UN agencies, NGOs, investors and international experts will be presenting their success stories, as innovation and financing of SDG will be high on the agenda this year.

The event will comprise seven channels of debates, namely agriculture, food & nutrition; consumption, climate change, inclusive growth, cities and urbanization, and circular economy. Discussions will include green financing opportunities, cleantech and data philanthropy, while companies will showcase initiatives that prove they keep thinking ‘out of the box’, such as AkzoNobel, a coatings industry bringing solutions to smart cities and clean oceans, or MasterCard that is acting on gender equality and inclusion.

The business sector’s cooperation with other actors of the SDG ecosystem will be stressed by many speakers. «We have to translate the SDG into a language that the business community can understand», warns Meng Liu, head of Asia and Oceania Networks with the United Nations Global Compact. «In order to support their implementation, the business sector must go beyond CSR», adds Haoliang Xu, regional Director for UNDP in Asia Pacific.

According to the UNDP, business opportunities that align with SDG are valued at 12 trillion US dollars globally. «There is so much to be done. Horyou, with SIGEF and Spotlight, is a tireless supporter of SDG as it offers channels of communication and funding for many organizations and projects that help to achieve the goals», reminds Parienti.

The city of Katowice, in Poland, was chosen by the UNFCCC as a venue for the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference, the “COP 24”.

Katowice, Poland
Katowice, Poland

It will be the third time the country hosts a UN Climate Change conference – the two previous ones were held in 2008 (COP 14 in Poznań) and in 2013 (COP 19 in Warsaw).

Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “I would to like to thank the Government of Poland for agreeing to host COP 24 as part of the Eastern European Group and look forward to working with Minister Jan Szysko and his team to make the conference a success on all fronts.”

“2018 will be another important year for international climate diplomacy as nations move forward to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement – indeed 2018 is when governments are expected to reach some key milestones,” she said.

“These range from finalizing the guidelines for fully operationalizing the agreement to taking stock of how countries are doing collectively in terms of being on track to realize Paris’s aims and ambitions over the coming years and decades,” added Ms. Espinosa.

Ms. Espinosa was shown a research centre in Toruń where the Government of Poland is scientifically monitoring how forests absorb carbon. Forest protection is a key part of efforts to address climate change. Ms. Espinosa said she looked forward to joining with the people of Poland to realize a successful conference that pushes forward the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

As the next Conference of the Parties COP23, to be held on 6-17 November, in Bonn, Germany, is being prepared, a group of 79 states and the EU made a call to action and announced more funds to the Pacific Region, heavily affected by climate change and the rising level of oceans.

The UN Climate Conference is part of the preparation events for the COP23
The UN Climate Conference is part of the preparation events for the COP23

The EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States made the call at a UN climate change conference, ahead of the upcoming G7 and G20 leaders’ summits and the next annual UN climate negotiations COP23.

Together, the European Union and the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) developing countries make up more than half of the signatories of the Paris Agreement on climate change. They urged all partners to keep up the momentum created in 2015.

As an example of commitment and increased cooperation, the EU has announced an allocation of 800 million euros, up to 2020, to support the Pacific Region. Around half of this amount would be directed exclusively to climate action. The EU will also provide another 3 million euros to support Fiji’s COP23 Presidency.

In the last few months, the EU has taken the lead on Climate Action among the G7 states, given the change of presidency in the US and the uncertainty about the commitment of one of the biggest greenhouse gases emitters globally.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Today more than ever, Europe stands by its long-term partners most vulnerable to climate change. We, developed and developing countries together, will defend the Paris Agreement. We are all in, and our joint commitment to this agreement today is as in Paris: irreversible and non-negotiable.”

The UN climate conference took place from 8-18 May to prepare the ground for the next Conference of the Parties COP23, to be held on 6-17 November 2017, in Bonn.

Engagée sur les thèmes de la préservation des forets et de l’accès à l’eau potable aux populations des pays africains, la ministre de l’Économie forestière, du Développement durable et de l’Environnement de la République du Congo, Rosalie Matondo, était une invitée très spéciale du SIGEF à Marrakesh, lors de la COP22. Paneliste au premier jour du Forum, elle nous a parlé sur les projets du gouvernement congolais pour l’environnement et sur l’importance de la COP22 pour mettre les accords sur le changement climatique en action.

La ministre Rosalie Matondo a parlé au publique du SIGEF
La ministre Rosalie Matondo a parlé au publique du SIGEF

Pouvez-vous nous expliquer sur vos projets de préservation des forêts au Congo et son impact social?

Les forêts, comme nous le savons, régulent les équilibres climatiques mondiaux. Étant conscients de cela, nous avons lancé un grand programme national de reforestation et de reboisement d’un million de plantations. Nous avons une grande superficie de forêts naturelles au Congo et nous sommes conscients que nous devons les préserver. D’un autre coté, le bois est encore utilisé comme source d’énergie extraite des forêts naturelles dans beaucoup de nos pays. C’est pourquoi le gouvernement de la République du Congo a lancé ce programme de reforestation et reboisement, afin que les populations non seulement continuent à utiliser le bois comme source d’énergie, le bois issu des plantations, mais également à pouvoir faire un grand projet de séquestration du carbone.

Le deuxième projet c’est “L’eau pour tous”. Le gouvernement congolais a lancé un programme d’installation de 4 mille forages dans les villages où l’eau de source pose encore un problème. Cela permet l’approvisionnement de l’eau potable mais également d’alléger la pénibilité des femmes qui dans les villages sont obligées de faire des kilomètres pour aller puiser le l’eau.

Durant la COP22, le gouvernement Congolais a lancé un fond de préservation des forêts. De quoi s’agit-il?

C’est le fond bleu pour le Bassin du Congo, toujours pour cet accès à l’eau mais également pour les systèmes de production modernes de l’agriculture, donc des systèmes d’irrigation. La COP22 pour nous c’est une opportunité de financement et de transfert de technologie. Nous savons que les gouvernements peuvent participer au financement de nos projets. Notre attente ici c’est que, déjà, tous ensemble, nous travaillions sur le transfert de technologies et tous ensemble, nous réfléchissions sur la mobilisation et le financement.

La ministre de l’Économie forestière, du Développement durable et de l'Environnement de la République du Congo
La ministre de l’Économie forestière, du Développement durable et de l’Environnement de la République du Congo

Quelles sont les axes de développement de la République du Congo pour la COP22?

Nous avons les acquis de la COP de Paris, parce que nous partons de là. Dans la COP de Paris, les pays du Bassin du Congo avaient donné leur position, et nous, la République du Congo, avons appuyé cette position des pays d’Afrique, des pays du Bassin du Congo et également des 77 pays plus la Chine. Pour nous, toutes les décisions prise lors de la COP21 de Paris sont incontestables, maintenant nous devons aller vers l’opérationnalisation ; c’est pourquoi je remercie son altesse royale qui a mis l’accent sur l’action ici sur la COP22. Nous devons aller vers l’action. Je crois que toutes nos populations sont fatiguées des promesses qui n’apportent pas de solutions. La COP21 à Paris a démontré que nous avons tous pris conscience de la gravité de la situation et même les pays qui n’ont pas signé le Protocol de Kyoto ont signé l’Accord de Paris. Nous avons vu avec quelle rapidité l’Accord est entré en vigueur et c’est un espoir pour la planète toute entière. Nous voulons nous accrocher à cette espoir et trouver des solutions et mettre en action.

De quelle manière le changement climatique a affecté le Bassin du Congo et quelles sont les mesures pour réduire cet impact?

Le Bassin du Congo est la zone où la déforestation est la moins importante. Nous n’avons que 0,05% de déforestation. Mais nous n’en sommes pas contents. Nous savons que ce poumon là, comme le poumon de l’Amazonie, peut aider la planète. C’est pourquoi la République du Congo, après les années 2000, a opté dans sa législation pour une gestion durable des forêts, avec un aménagement forestier, avec la certification forestière, avec le programme national de reforestation et reboisement ; au total, 13% de son territoire est ainsi protégé. Tous ces efforts convergent vers la contribution à la préservation de cet écosystème. Et nous allons vers un fond bleu pour le bassin du Congo qui va aider à la gestion des plans d’eau mais aussi à l’approvisionnement des populations.

Écrit par Vivian Soares

Em pronunciamento na COP 22, em Marrakesh, Ministro do Meio Ambiente Sarney Filho anuncia que o País sediará o Fórum Mundial da Água em 2018

Ministro do Meio Ambiente, Sarney Filho, durante as negociações da COP22
Ministro do Meio Ambiente, Sarney Filho, durante as negociações da COP22

Brasília será a sede do Fórum Mundial da Água em 2018. Com o tema “Compartilhando Água”, o evento discutirá a relações entre crises hídricas e mudanças climáticas, conforme anunciou o ministro Sarney Filho durante a COP22 em Marrakesh. Com uma série de crises hídricas recentes em seu histórico, o país tem uma posição-chave na conservação dos mananciais, tanto por sua importância geográfica quanto por seu papel de líder regional.

“Nossos cursos d’água e rios estão altamente comprometidos, não só na região Nordeste, mas no Sudeste também”, alertou o ministro. Apesar de as crises estarem evidentemente relacionadas às mudanças climáticas, ele ressaltou que as bacias menos protegidas de vegetação foram mais afetadas. O desmatamento de matas ciliares em bacias como a do Rio São Francisco, por exemplo, é um exemplo da necessidade de agir com rapidez – hoje, 10km de água salgada estão entrando pelo leito do rio em sua foz e há apenas 2% de reservas.

O Fórum Mundial da Água, segundo Sarney Filho, será uma oportunidade de discutir temas como integração de recursos hídricos à gestão pública, participação das comunidades locais e políticas de disponibilidade de água. “Precisamos priorizar iniciativas sustentáveis e resilientes em projetos de infraestrutura. A água engloba, direta ou indiretamente, todos os objetivos de desenvolvimento sustentável”, afirmou.

O diretor presidente da Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA), Vicente Abreu, afirma que o processo de escassez hídrica de diversas regiões do país trouxe grandes aprendizados. “Muita coisa evoluiu nos últimos 20 anos em gestão de recursos hídricos. Mas há uma grande fragilidade do Brasil diante de eventos externos, tanto em águas superficiais quando nos aquíferos”, alerta. A crise hídrica, segundo ele, é uma ameaça constante, mesmo em um país em que se convencionou dizer ter uma grande disponibilidade do recurso.

“Em 2014, o Sistema Cantareira, em São Paulo, chegou a inacreditáveis 25% negativos”, relembra. O curioso neste caso, diz Abreu, é que muitos interpretaram o evento como uma seca isolada. Outro exemplo mais recente é o da cidade de Rio Branco, no Acre, que enfrentou em 2016 a maior cheia e a maior seca dos últimos 30 anos. “Precisamos preparar um modelo de gestão, construir reservatórios e mudar os padrões de consumo”, diz.

Estiagens vêm afetando diversas bacias brasileiras
Estiagens vêm afetando diversas bacias brasileiras

Alguns setores, como o de agricultura, já estão se adaptando às novas demandas, reduzindo o uso de água e trabalhando com mais eficiência. É nas cidades, porém, onde se encontram os desafios mais preocupantes – as perdas ultrapassam os 50% e o consumo é elevado, chegando a 320 litros por habitante por dia. O número considerado adequado é de 80 a 120 litros. “Precisamos repensar o consumo e considerar alternativas que foram rejeitadas no passado como redução de perdas, reuso urbano de água e dessalinização”, afirma.

A boa notícia é que o quadro pode ser revertido com políticas públicas e mudanças culturais, que já estão em curso. “Crimes ambientais como o de Mariana trouxe a atenção para a bacia do Rio Doce. A qualidade da água tornou-se uma das preocupações principais das pessoas”. A expectativa é que o Fórum Mundial da Água se torne uma das conferências mais importantes, em que os temas da água e das mudanças climáticas sejam definitivamente conectados. “A água deve fazer parte de nossa agenda política relevante para garantirmos segurança hídrica sustentável para todos os usos no nosso País”, disse o diretor presidente da ANA.

Escrito por Vívian Soares

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