Celebrating Earth Day 2016: Trees for Earth

April 20, 2016

On April 22, Earth Day, The Hunger Project will join the rest of the world to celebrate the environment and mobilize the global community to foster a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change and protect the Earth for future generations. The theme of this year’s Earth Day, “Trees for the Earth,” sets the goal of planting 7.8 billion trees over the next five years.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, and comes on the heels of the historic COP21 Summit in Paris last year, in which more than 190 countries came together to achieve an historic, legally binding agreement to combat climate change. We also witnessed the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with Goal 13 setting specific targets to address climate change, pollution, deforestation and clean water by the year 2030.

Join us in taking a stand to stop the damage being done to our planet and creating a healthier environment for future living. Protecting and restoring our natural environment is fundamental to ending hunger and poverty. People living in hunger and poverty, particularly in rural areas, are the most vulnerable to environmental degradation – whether from devastating weather patterns, soil erosion or water pollution. When people live in healthier environments, they have improved health outcomes. The Hunger Project works to raise awareness and build rural communities’ capacity to adapt to climate change, promote sustainable farming practices and more.

What We Do:

Raise awareness of and build the capacity to adapt to climate change. The Hunger Project holds workshops to build our partners’ capacity to exercise leadership, take steps to increase their resilience and formulate strategies to mitigate climate change risks. At the regional and international levels, we also advocate for the conservation of natural resources, the mitigation of the harmful effects of extractive industries, and the recovery and promotion of traditional knowledge and technology that is highly adaptable to changing climate conditions. The Hunger Project-Mexico’s regional coordinator Margarita Ruiz Lopez, and our Peruvian partner Tarcila Rivera Zea, founder of Chirapaq, joined world leaders in discussing climate change in Paris at the COP21 Summit.

Increase the use of renewable energy. The Hunger Project-Senegal’s Coki Epicenter’s Rural Bank, for example, partnered with the National Agency of Eco-Villages (ANEV) and the Japanese International Cooperation on a program that promotes the use of biodigesters that convert waste into renewable energy. Biodigesters help reduce methane emissions and prevent it from being released into the atmosphere. In addition, in Mexico, a rainwater harvesting system—built and managed by our partners—collects water and does not require energy to operate.

Promote sustainable farming practices. At our epicenters in Africa, The Hunger Project’s partners create community farms, where villagers learn composting, intercropping and other methods, like drip irrigation, to improve crop yields, restore soil fertility and make the best use of scarce resources. In Uganda, Kiboga Epicenter has implemented Farmer Field Schools where partners can learn about agriculture in a way that enables them adapt to the harsh realities of climate change.

Increase access to sustainable agriculture technology. The Hunger Project provides training and credit, mobilizing people to adopt sustainable agricultural technology and practices, and encourages communities to demand agricultural extension services from their government.

Promote the use of clean air through “green stoves.” The Hunger Project launched a “clean stoves” or “green stoves” project in four communities in the Mazateca region of Mexico following an earlier pilot project with non-profit partner Water for Humans. Traditional stoves in the villages where we work in Mexico fill houses with smoke that the whole family breathes in, creating poor health conditions from poor air quality. They also consume a lot of wood. These clean stoves are designed to remove smoke from the house, and use less wood. The communities were involved in the process of fundraising, planning and construction.  Water for Humans trained local volunteer “promoters” on how to build and fix the clean stoves, keeping expertise and knowledge in the region.

Facilitate reforestation and tree planting campaigns. Throughout our program countries, trained Hunger Project partners establish tree nurseries, which reforest their communities, control soil erosion, and create entrepreneurial village businesses, supplying families with fruit trees that not only capture carbon, but also provide nutrition and income. In Bangladesh for example, trained leaders, called “animators,” and volunteer students lead community reforestation efforts by mobilizing mass-action tree-planting campaigns.

Ensure access to clean water. Water project boards, made up of community leaders, are trained by experts to monitor, maintain and repair water systems. Community partners are trained to use and repair water pumps and generators, and a core group of local leaders lead workshops on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) throughout the community to expand grassroots knowledge and promote water safety practices. In Mozambique, our partners in Chokwe Epicenter were able to provide access to clean water in their community, where women would previously have to walk 1.5 miles every day to find clean drinking water.

This Earth Day, The Hunger Project stands with billions of others around the world to celebrate the earth and advocate for a protected, valued and sustainable environment for the future.

What You Can do:

Invest now in The Hunger Project to build resilient, environmentally friendly communities
Share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about Earth Day
Plant a tree! Support our partnership with WeForest in Ethiopia: 1 tree = $1.

Learn more about our work:

Using renewable energy in Senegal

Increasing resilience in the face of climate change in Uganda

Promoting the use of clean air through “green stoves” in Mexico

Facilitating reforestation and implementing tree planting campaigns in Bangladesh

Preserving biodiversity by constructing “BioFarms” in Ethiopia