Earth Day 2019: Protect Our Species

April 18, 2019

On April 22, The Hunger Project will join the global community to celebrate Earth Day. We are issuing a world-wide call to action to address the effects of climate change, foster a sustainable and healthy environment and protect our planet for future generations.

This year, the theme is “Protect Our Species”— elevating and spreading knowledge about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.

Today the global extinction rate is the highest it has been since the fall of the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. This rapid extinction of species is the direct result of human activity. The negative impact humankind has had on the planet is undeniable, resulting in climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, and ocean pollution. If we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy.

The Hunger Project empowers communities to make environmentally conscious choices at the local level. The vast majority of people in rural communities rely heavily on agriculture, with their well-being closely tied to the natural environment. Communities working with The Hunger Project are extremely vulnerable to extreme weather events, often the result of environmental devastation created by climate change. To this end, the Hunger Project is working both with local communities and partner organizations to leverage influence regionally and at the highest levels of government to promote sustainable farming practices, awareness of climate change and the facilitation of reforestation and tree planting campaigns.

This Earth Day, join us in taking a stand for the Earth and say no to harmful environmental practices that damage our planet.

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 storm readiness and formulate strategies to mitigate climate change risks. At the regional and international levels, we advocate for the conservation of natural resources, the mitigation of the harmful effects of extractive oil industries, and the recovery and promotion of traditional knowledge and technology that are highly adaptable to changing climate conditions. Our leadership is demonstrated by our frequent participation in international events on climate change, including our participation at the COP21 that led to the historic adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
  • Increase the use of renewable energy. In Senegal, Coki Epicenter’s rural bank has 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 by preventing their release into the atmosphere.
  • Promote sustainable farming practices. At our epicenters in Africa, Hunger Project partners create community farms, where villagers learn composting, intercropping and drip irrigation to improve crop yields, restore soil fertility and make the best use of scarce resources.
  • 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 has launched a clean stoves (or “green stoves”) project in four communities in the Mazateca region of Mexico with non-profit partner Water for Humans. The clean stoves are designed to remove smoke from the house by using 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.
  • Reforestation efforts. Throughout our program countries, trained Hunger Project partners establish tree nurseries to reforest their communities, control soil erosion, and create entrepreneurial village businesses. The nurseries supply families with fruit trees that not only capture carbon, but also provide nutrition and income.
  • Tree-planting campaigns. Across our epicenters in Benin, Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda, The Hunger Project advocates for the use of the “miracle” Moringa tree, a drought-tolerant tree with leaves that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. With our community partners, we have distributed thousands of seedlings and trained communities to cultivate the trees for both additional nutrition and supplemental income. In 2017, we launched a new initiative with Belgian non-profit WeForest that has led to the planting of three million new trees in northwestern Ethiopia. This is a collaborative, community-led forest restoration and land rehabilitation program that involves staff members, local farmers and government officials for the benefit of the entire district.

What You Can Do: