UN’s Faith for Earth project, plus the Dutch green incubator, Launchpad. Project Green Hands, and the Great Basin Institute.
UN’s Faith for Earth Project, Launchpad Green Incubator, Project Green Hands, the Great Basin Institute
PROJECT GREEN HANDS
This is a fascinating program I discovered while researching another story. It’s called Project GreenHands (PGH) is a grassroots ecological initiative established by Isha Foundation, which aims to take corrective measures to increase the green cover, restore soil health and manage natural resources appropriately.
PGH is involved in an array of rural and urban greening campaigns across South India. And while it’s in South India, it’s a program that is probably replicable in many communities throughout the US and Canada.
Like always, the best programs start with education. Project Green Hands starts at the most fundamental level. It starts with building environmental knowledge in the child participants. The goal is to create the next generation of ecologically citizens who will be more aware of the role trees play in everybody’s life.
What’s striking about Isha Foundation’s PGH program is the emphasis on both practicality and spirituality. As the Indian Mystic, Sadhguru, of the Isha Foundation says, “Trees keep our lives going, just like the outer part of our lungs. You cannot ignore your body if you want to live, and in no way is the planet different from this. What you call ‘my body’ is just a piece of this planet. And the very essence of the spiritual process is about just this.”
THE GREAT BASIN INSTITUTE
The Great Basin Institute is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and conservation throughout the West. It was founded in 1998 at the University of Nevada, GBI advances applied research to support science-based adaptive management of public lands.
The Institute is dedicated to the promotion of science through field studies programs, conservation practices, and public outreach. The Great Basin Institute works with a wide range of existing programs to achieve its aims—places like the Nevada Conservation Corps, AmericCorps and the International Conservation Volunteer Exchange, among others.
Moreover, if you’re a fan of conservation and seek a career in it, GBI is a great start. The Great Basin Institute promotes environmental research, education and service through agency partnerships, such as those with the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service.
So why does the Great Basin Institute matter to us? What I like about the GBI is it’s managed to tag and monitor 66 endangered California Condors.
DEEPER DIVE: GBI
FAITH FOR EARTH INITIATIVE
According to the United Nations, SPIRITUAL values for more than 80% of people living on earth have been driving individual behaviors. In many countries, spiritual beliefs and religions are main drivers for cultural values, social inclusion, political engagement, and economic prosperity.
Following a series of initiatives and conventions organized in partnership with faith-based organizations, UNEP launched the Faith for Earth Initiative in November 2017. The mission of the initiative is, “To encourage, empower and engage with faith-based organizations as partners, at all levels, toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfilling the 2030 Agenda.”
Why does this matter to us? Well, all religions agree that nature is an act of divinity and should be treated as such…Therefore Spiritual leaders at all levels are critical to the success of the global solidarity for an ethical, moral and spiritual commitment to protect the environment and God’s creation.
These leaders can become observers, make public commitments, share the story of their commitments and the challenges and joys of keeping them, and invite others to join them. In addition, they can display their sustainable behaviors, serving as role models for their followers and the public.
The Faith for Earth Initiative Strategy is based on three overarching and interlinked goals:
- Inspire and empower faith-based leaders and organizations for a sustainable impact
- Engage faith leaders and their institutions to tackle mutually prioritized issues
- Greening faith-based assets and investments
To find out more, surf on over to www.theclimate.org/episodes and check out the links at the bottom of this story.
I stumbled across a fantastic green idea generator/business incubator based out of the Netherlands. It’s called ClimateLaunchPad. According to their website, it’s the world’s largest green business ideas competition. Its mission is to unlock the world’s clean tech potential in terms of combating climate change.
The competition creates a stage for those ideas. ClimateLaunchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC, a European knowledge community working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. The idea behind ClimateLaunchPad is simple. Through its global business and government partnerships, it offers training, coaching, and support to cleantech innovators who are great inventors but not great marketers, public speakers or entrepreneurs.
ClimateLaunchPad was founded by Frans Nauta in 2014 with 11 participating countries. In 2021, that number has grown to over 50. I love their slogan: “Fixing climate change, one start-up at a time.”