Stories tagged: livelihoods

Businesses come together to address carbon capture and storage

A unique carbon-offset fund serving rural communities was launched last week by a first group of investors, including DanoneSchneider ElectricCrédit Agricole and Caisse des Dépôts.

Livelihoods is a carbon investment fund that helps poor rural communities by generating financial resources for projects with high social and environmental value.

The project is based on a scheme that Danone has been developing for the past three years. Since 2008, Danone has been developing new approaches to carbon offsets in Africa and Asia, supporting large-scale pilot projects that restore biodiversity, capture carbon and fight poverty.

In one pilot project, the Danone Fund for Nature purchased trucks and helped a local NGO employ the inhabitants of 450 coastal villages to collect and plant mangrove seeds and care for the trees in the long term. This project will capture 900,000 tonnes of carbon over the next 20 years.

Myriam Cohen-Welgryn, Danone’s General Manager Nature, says:

Danone’s food business is closely linked to nature’s cycles. Protecting natural springs and producing milk in sustainable conditions have been key concerns of our business units for years. Livelihoods is a new step forward, with carbon offset projects that associate restoration of natural resources and food security — two concerns at the heart of Danone’s corporate mission.

Now, following the success in Africa and Asia, Danone has invited other business to create the Livelihoods fund. The first to join Danone are Schneider Electric, Crédit Agricole and Caisse des Dépôts. Livelihoods will invest in three main programs: restoration and preservation of natural ecosystems, agroforestry and soil restoration, and rural energy projects that prevent deforestation.

In addition to this new carbon investment fund, a Livelihoods Network has been created by 80 representatives of NGOs, companies and high-level experts from Africa, Asia, Latin America. The Livelihoods Network is a forum where experts can exchange views and pool knowledge on a wide range of issues affecting livelihoods.

a forum where NGOs and experts can exchange views and pool knowledge on a wide
range of issues affecting Livelihoods

Guardian Katine Project Shows Value of Partnerships

CASSAVAThree years of reporting on AMREF’s development work in Katine, Uganda has come to a close, as the Guardian concludes the findings of its experiment in NGO and media transparency.

In 2007, the Guardian chose the village of Katine as the focus of tracking where donor funds went to in development projects. Every action of AMREF’s, the African health organisation, encompassing health, education, water & sanitation, governance, agriculture and livelihoods, was followed by journalists, who reported back on the Katine site.  Funds were donated by Guardian readers, which were then matched by up to £1 million by Barclays.

As an example of a partnership between public and private sectors and civil society and media, the project has been a huge success. At an event concluding the project this week, Director General of AMREF, Dr. Teguest Guerma, said that Katine is “not only about holistic approaches to development, it is also about partnership” and that AMREF have learned that they can do development with the private sector and the media.

For Barclays, this project has spurred them on to scale up their efforts, and they are now involved in 11 other development projects around the world, totaling at £10 million in funds.

For the village, AMREF have helped set up 68 farmer groups, comprising 1842 members, of which 1248 are women. Over 200 acres of drought-resistant high yielding cassava has been introduced to farmers, amongst other successes.

Alison Evans, Director of the Overseas Development Institute, who spoke on the panel, commented that a significant trend was emerging, that of seeing the words ‘Africa’ and ‘success’ in the same sentence.

Yet whilst Katine has offered positive results, Evans noted that this was not a model to be scaled up, rather a model from which lessons could be taken.  She noted that not all institutions are developmental. Whilst the focus is on the local, she said there was a danger of replicating other institutions, national ones, needlessly. She pointed out that the national and regional institutions are able to take the general, to the local.

Another key message from the talk was that development is a process with ups and downs, and consequently results are not a single event, but also a process. Governments trying to get quick results to prove success can be dangerous, leading development organisations to seek quick wins in order to meet demands set upon them. Instead, the panelist urged, sustainable development should be prioritised.

Photo Credit: Guardian