The #FreetowntheTreetown campaign, plus Panama passes “Rights Of Nature” law. CO2 sequestration monitoring with AI, and the International Transformation Resilience Coalition.
#Freetownthetreetown Campaign, Panama Passes “Rights Of Nature” Law, CO2 Sequestration Monitoring with AI, Int’l Transformation Resilience Coalition
THE #FREETOWNTHETREETOWN CAMPAIGN
Freetown, Sierra Leone lost about 12% of its total tree canopy between 2011 and 2018. Much of the loss was from deforestation due to population expansion and rapid urbanization. During the COVID -19 pandemic, the Freetown City Council came up with a plan to increase the city’s vegetation cover by 50% by 2022. It also moved to work toward an 80% tree-survival rate.
The City Council called it the #FreetowntheTreeTown campaign. The Freetown City Council partnered with Greenstand to create and distribute an app called TreeTracker. Greenstand is a nonprofit that develops open-source technology to manage environmental goods and services.
Together with 10 commercial tree nurseries and 10 community-based organizations, the project has created more than 550 short-term jobs, especially for marginalized, vulnerable, and underemployed women and youth. In the initial, 2020-21 phase, planters successfully planted and tracked 250,000 trees during the rainy season, focusing on higher slope areas where communities are susceptible to landslide risks.
An additional 50,000 mangrove trees will be planted to restore damaged coastal wetlands and to cap off an incredibility successful inaugural phase. The project has also sold its first 5,000 tree “impact tokens,” and the revenue will provide financing to plant and grow an additional 5,000 trees during the next phase.
Why does the freetown campaign matter to us? the #FreetowntheTreeTown campaign is a great example of public officials working as in the best sense of the phrase “public servants” to improve the lives of their citizens. Additionally, their campaign created more than 550 short-term jobs especially for women and youth.
CARBON SEQUESTRATION MONITORING THROUGH AI
CEO Jacques Amselem founded Tel Aviv based company, Albo, to contribute to solving what he sees as the biggest problem in the world: reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change. For Amselem, the driving motivation behind Albos is that not enough CO2 is being removed from the atmosphere, nor fast enough.
“We want anyone on Earth with a sizable piece of land to be connected to our platform, and calculate how much CO2 is being removed. Those people can earn money for helping protect the environment,” said Ariella Charny, Albo’s CMO.
Albo brings a unique approach in the effort to fight climate change: LiDAR and AI. LiDAR is a remote sensing method that uses eye-safe laser beams to create a 3D representation of a surveyed environment. And well, AI is Artificial Intelligence – you all know that, right?
While satellites use LiDAR to scan the area, AI analyzes the data and conducts statistical predictions for the next several years. The technology known as Software as a Service (SaaS) combines satellite images and atmospheric images to identify CO2 that has been removed from the atmosphere by, say, a forest. SaaS can also see sequestered carbon in the land and ocean. Essentially, the platform oversees all carbon fluctuations from space.
SaaS then calculates how much carbon is removed and produced at any given moment and reports how it is stored, whether in a natural ecosystem or in farmland areas. The platform can also prove whether a forest in a vulnerable area is being preserved, and then sell carbon credits from the project to help protect that area.
Why does Albo matter to us? The company combines technology and finance to preserve as much of nature as possible.
PANAMA PASSES “RIGHTS OF NATURE” LAW
Last month, Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo signed into law a rights of nature bill that upholds nature’s right to exist, persist and regenerate. Panama, a hub of biodiversity with about 63% forest cover, is one of the 25 most megadiverse countries globally. The reason for this legislation is to legally protect against environmental destruction, specifically deforestation, increasing in Panama over the last few decades.
Juan Diego Vásquez Gutiérrez who sponsored the law is Panama’s youngest congressman at 25 years old. The law states that nature is “a unique, indivisible and self-regulating community of living beings, elements and ecosystems interrelated to each other that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.”
The legislation includes six paragraphs of rights extended to nature influenced by indigenous populations, including:
- ‘Right to exist, persist and regenerate its life cycles’
- ‘Right to the diversity of the life of the beings, elements and ecosystems that compose it’
- ‘Right to the preservation of the functionality of the water cycles, of its existence in the quantity and quality necessary to sustain life systems’
- ‘Right to the preservation of the quality and composition of the air for the support of life systems and their protection against pollution’
- ‘Right to timely and effective restoration of life systems affected by human activities directly or indirectly’
- ‘Right to exist free of contamination from any of its components, as well as toxic and radioactive waste generated by human activities’
Panama’s law will go into effect one year after it is published, hopefully in 2023. Why does Panama’s Rights of Nature Law matter to us? Panama becomes the second country in Central and South America, following Ecuador, to guarantee Nature’s right to exist through an act of law. One huge step for a small country, and one even bigger step for humankind.
THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSFORMATIONAL RESILIENCE COALITION
I recently read an article by Mashable senior features writer Rebecca Ruiz called, “Climate Change Anxiety: How to Stop Spiraling and Make a Difference.” In it, she interviewed psychologist Bob Doppelt on the subject of creating mental/psychological resiliency around climate change. Doppelt has the unique distinction of being trained in both psychology and environmental science.
He’s also project coordinator for the International Transformation Resilience Coalition, a project of The Resource Innovation Group. The RIG is a non-profit focused on creating “innovative solutions to the complex social-ecological challenges of our time.”
The mission of the Resilience Coalition is to promote and support comprehensive preventative initiatives to proactively build psychological and psycho-spiritual resilience for climate change. Doppelt practices, well what his practice is. You see he’s a resident of western Oregon, where last year’s Heat Dome caused both wildfires and loss of human life. Oregon experienced a once-every-thousand-years extreme heat wave.
According to Doppelt, events like those create parallel crises, the physical stress of living through such unprecedented conditions, and the psychological stress, dread and grief from dealing with living through such unprecedented conditions.
In fact, Bob wrote the book on transformational resilience – literally. He’s the author of a book called Transformational Resilience. Why does Bob Doppelt and his work matter to us? According to him, “Failure to proactively build human capacity to deal constructively with the harmful mental health and psychological impacts of climate disruption will seriously impair the safety and health of individuals and families.”
Says Doppelt, “”Building community coalitions…is really the most powerful thing we can do right now to help ourselves and also help the environment.”