Juventude Ecologica Angolana (JEA)
Juventude Ecologica Angolana (JEA) is an environmental NGO founded in 1991 by a group of young Angolan activists. Despite the difficult conditions brought about by decades of war and limited resources, these young people have shown a great deal of enthusiasm and personal commitment, thus helping JEA become a leading environmental force in the country.
JEA, whose aim is to promote environmental education and awareness among young people is active, not only in the Capital Luanda, but also in numerous provinces. Some of JEA's achievements include: the Environmental Olympics, which promotes environmental education in high schools, involves some 2000 youth in 40 schools in Luanda and 500 youth in 10 schools in Huila Province; the production of environmental radio programmes in Luanda initiated, edited and presented by JEA, including one on National Radio and five in other provinces; the distribution of environmental information; and the promotion of environmental awareness through regular columns in newspapers, such as Journal of Angola, Actual, Humbi-Humbi and JEA's own newspaper Little Green.
JEA works closely with the Government of Angola and primarily the Ministry of Fisheries and Environment. JEA assists in the implementation of national environmental awareness and education campaigns. JEA has initiated the creation of an association comprising all Angolan environmental NGOs in an effort to enhance collaboration and communication between associations, which share a mutual cause.
JEA is a member of the CEC Commission of IUCN and the Environmental Education Association of South Africa, and works within the framework of the Southern Africa Development Community for environmental education and capacity-building.
Eco-Walk Children of Baguio City
Eco-Walk Children of Baguio City in the Philippines, established in 1992, is a series of children-oriented hikes to Busol - Baguio's main and endangered watershed. The children have turned this precious water source into a laboratory and playground for experimental learning. They have succeeded in increasing the area's forest cover and its water production.
Their visits deter tree poaching, bird hunting, fires and encroachment on natural habitats. Their example has spurred adults in the community to volunteer their time to protect the environment and has helped raise environmental awareness. Their success has also resulted in eco-walks being integrated into the curriculum of the elementary school system's grade five and six and in greater media focus on environmental issues. The teaching modules have been integrated into all the subjects to prepare children for their actual hikes and exploration of the forest, and to give them an opportunity to discuss what they have learned during their walks.
Several indigenous communities in the Cordillera Highlands, the watershed cradle of Northern Luzon, have adopted the programme to help revive their own traditional forest management systems. Eco-Walk has been replicated in other local government units (LGUs), which are drawn to the programme by its simplicity.
Eco-Walk is used by the Asian Institute of Management as a model environmental and governance case study and by the Swedish Government's 1999, 2000 and 2001 international watershed management course, which is held every January. It has also been used by the International Institute on Rural Restoration as a case study in watershed management. The Canadian International Development Agency supported and documented it in 1998 as one of six action research programmes on effective local governance in Southeast Asia, and senior Philippine environment officials plan to adopt it nationwide.
Tabigat Ecological Union
Tabigat Ecological Union, founded in 1991, is one of the first environmental NGOs in Kazakhstan. Its goal is to create ecological standards for industry, introduce advanced, non-polluting technology in the industrial sector and promote sustainable development in the region.
The first problem addressed by Tabigat is the threat of flooding by wastewaters from the Almaty City storage facility of Lake Sor-Bulak, which may affect 50,000 citizens in Balchshsky and Kurtinsky. In 1999, the Almaty Department of Ecology and Tabigat conducted a feasibility study of Sor-Bulak, which today serves as a model for other regions.
Another problem addressed by Tabigat was solid waste disposal. The authorities were to build an incinerator in the city, which would have an adverse effect on the air quality of Almaty. Tabigat opposed the construction of the incinerator and proposed alternatives for collecting and recycling the wastes, e.g. sorting the trash and redistributing it to different national industries.
Tabigat won support for establishing a resource center, which would collect and create a database for housing superintendents and apartment managers that allows interested organizations such as municipal offices and homeowners to access information on environmental issues.
In an effort to fight against desertification, Tabigat has encouraged the people of Kazakhstan to celebrate the traditional holiday of Nauryz with every Kazakhstani planting a tree. In 1998, Tabigat and the National Park "Ile-Alatau" opened a honeymoon park near the mountain of Medeo where newlyweds plant trees. In 1999, based on initiatives by Tabigat, more than 4,500 people planted 10,000 trees on 20 hectares surrounding the Vesnovka River.
In 1997, at the initiative of Tabigat, the Ministry of Ecology agreed to provide 500,000 tenge (national currency) for a feasibility study for the creation of Cherinsky, a national park between the Cherin, Chilik and Ily Rivers and the Togougir Mountains. The park will have restrictions and penalties for negligent tourists, poachers and other undesirable visitors. The plan calls for the development of ecotourism.
About 70% of emissions in Almaty come from transport. Due to the increase in vehicles and the pollution they cause, Tabigat organized a bicycle movement, which includes the development of bicycle lanes in the City and research into the flow of traffic on major city arteries.
Municipal Government of Shenzhen
Shenzhen City, established in 1980 as China's first economic special zone, has successfully followed the concept of developing the economy without damaging the environment. The municipal government followed an integrated planning approach, which involves strict laws. To date, 38 local environmental laws have been passed.
In 1982, regional environmental impact assessment and planning research on the overall development of the City was conducted and it was decided that construction in Shenzhen would be in the form of clusters. 76% of non-civil land in the City was earmarked for ecological purposes and 135 parks were created, thus increasing green coverage in the urban center by 45%.
The social and economic development strategy was undertaken in a scientific way. Great efforts were made to develop advanced science and technology-led industry characterized by quality, efficiency and resource protection. In the last five years, the City has vetoed 3,619 projects, which failed to meet environmental requirements. Shenzhen is the first city in China to achieve standard industrial discharge.
The energy and water consumption for 10,000 Yuan of industrial output is 0.7 tons and 73 tons of standard coal respectively. Cleaner energy accounts for 90% of the total energy. Today, the percentage of environmentally good days is 98.4%. The potable water has met national quality standards. The annual investment for environment has been 2 billion Yuans and increased to 3.8 billion in 2001. The City has set up eight wastewater treatment plants and China's first sanitary waste landfill plants, which meet international standards. In addition, two power plants for waste incineration and one hazardous waste safety landfill plant have been built. The City is now promoting housewaste separation and classification and has set up 69 green schools and kindergartens and one ecological demonstration township. More than 80 enterprises have received ISO14000 accreditation. In the last 21 years, the annual GDP has increased by 30.3% and the per capita GDP is now number one in China. It has succeeded in achieving rapid economic development while maintaining a favourable environmental cycle.
Chenzhen received the title National Model City for Environmental Protection and was honored as the International Garden City in 2000 by the International Association of Gardens and Recreational Facilities. Shenzhen serves as a model for successful sustainable development for developing and newly developed countries.
Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio
The achievements of Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio (FEPP) have been both significant and numerous.
They include: reforestation of 3,000 hectares of tropical and high Andean woodland with native species (1996-2000); design and implementation of 418 sustainable management plans in humid tropical woodlands (1998-2000); development of 3,158 hectares of farmland under the integral management concept, benefiting more than 1,000 poor families in the humid tropics and the forest margin (1997-2000); development of 5,165 hectares of cropland under the agro-forestry system (1996-2000); development of a forest inventory of 12,463 hectares of native woodland with the participation of the indigenous tenant farmer and Afro-Ecuadorian populations which enabled the assessment of the non-wood resources of the forest for sustainable exploitation (1993-2000); management of 612 hectares of virgin woodland by pruning and thinning out thus enabling the local population to exploit its resources in a sustainable manner (1993-2000); construction of slow-forming terraces, soil improvement with plant material, cultivation, water catchment conservation and production of humus in various parts of the country (1995-2000); monitoring of water quality in areas surrounding Yasuni National Park (1998-2001); monitoring of mammalian species to determine the degree of impact of deforestation in areas of settlement adjoining Yasuni National Park (1998-1999); delimitation of 32 kms and placement of signs showing indicative forest species within Yasuni National Park and Mache Chindul Reserve, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment (1999-2001); and the provision of support for land tenure conflict resolution in Yasuni National Park and Mache Chindul Reserve whereby 25 communities with more than 180,000 hectares benefited (1996-2001).
Aohanqi Chifeng City of Inner Mongolia
Located in the semi-arid area at the southern edge of the sandy region of Keerqin in Northern China, Aohanqi was seriously threatened by desertification due to the irrational use of natural resources.
Since the 1970s, large-scale environment-friendly construction has been undertaken. In the 1980s, Aohanqi Chifeng City adopted an ecosystem approach to land and resource management with an emphasis on ecosystem restoration, particularly reforestation of the hilly areas of the southern part of the County, agro-forestry in the central part and grassland protection in the north. The County has established effective mechanisms and related policies, which benefit farmers who support this approach.
After 30 years of hard work and commitment, the forest cover has reached 43.5% with 8,000 hectares of grass planted. About 381,300 hectares of small river catchments have been managed in an integrated way and 65% of soil erosion is under control. Fourteen nature reserves have been created covering 12% of the County. Movable sand dunes have been reduced to 6,000 hectares from 38,000 hectares 30 years ago. Soil erosion has decreased to 2,500 tons/km²/year from more than 5,000/km²/year, thus reducing the number of windy days by 22 days and increasing the ground water table by one metre.
Today, Aohanqi Chifeng City ranks first among the areas in China in terms of afforestation and grass planting. Food production has increased eight-fold since the 1970s, and the 1.6 billion GDP has increased 10-fold since that time. In addition, annual per capita income is 16 times more than what it was in the 1970s.
Aohanqi Chifeng City has become a model in desertification treatment in the semi-arid parts of northern China, and it was the first to be nominated as a National Ecological Demonstration Area by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of China.
Amazon Conservation Team - (ACT)
The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) is a creative and effective organization devoted to protecting native cultures and ecosystems in the American tropics.
ACT was founded in 1995 by a group of conservationists to address a pressing need for a new kind of environmental organization that would work in true partnership with indigenous peoples to preserve their ancient wisdom and cultures, as well as the lands that sustain them. These conservationists, from Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Suriname and the United States with centuries of field experience among them, have developed new and effective conservation strategies and programmes by combining western science and technology with tribal wisdom.
ACT's unique approach has added a much-needed complement to the work being done by larger, traditional environmental organizations. A cornerstone of the ACT approach is the Shaman's Apprentice Programme, whereby young members of indigenous tribes train with traditional shamans and other elders to become both the healers and environmental guardians of the next generation.
The most recent culmination of the ACT’s efforts was the second annual meeting of the most ancient and powerful shamans of the northwest Amazon (and their apprentices). At this unprecedented gathering, 42 shamans from seven tribes put aside their tribal differences and worked cooperatively to seize control of their environmental and cultural destinies, which they believe to be inextricably intertwined. ACT is working with these indigenous people and the Colombian Government to create a new category of protected area: Indigenous Reserves and Sacred Sites. The first 10,000-hectare site has already been established. In the northwest of the Amazon, ACT has partnered with the Tirio Indians to map their traditional homeland, an area of more than 20 million acres, and is helping them petition the Government for title to these lands. ACT is actively involved with these and other tribes to sustainably manage their forests for Brazil nuts and other non-timber products giving important economic value to ecosystem protection.
ACT is a powerful example of what can be accomplished by a small, dedicated team of people who share the same philosophy and vision. It is a model that should be replicated around the world.
H. R. H. Princess Basma bint Ali
H. R. H. Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan, founder and chairperson of a number of grassroots NGOs in the field of environment and sustainable development, is a positive role model not only for women, but for an entire generation of young people in the Middle East.
She has helped raise the public's sense of responsibility towards the protection of the environment and the need to achieve sustainable development. She is also chair of the Jordan Royal Ecological Diving Society, the National Environment Wildlife Society and the Red Crescent Society. Through her efforts, the organizations, which she has founded and chairs, have attracted a huge following and have helped enhance civil society participation in sustainable development activities.
In November 2001, she worked with the Jordanian Government to hold a regional conference for NGOs on the role of Civil Society in the implementation of Agenda 21 for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Her contribution to Jordan's preparations for WSSD, and the extensive media coverage her work attracts, has helped make the environment and sustainable development household topics in her region.
Also of note are Her Royal Highness’ efforts in academic research. She has worked with and supported Jordan's renowned botanist Dr. Daoud El-Esawi, in saving one of Jordan's endemic crocuses from destruction by relocating it to the Jordan University Botanical Garden and the Jordan Intercontinental Hotel Gardens. She was honored as a Hero for the Planet by TIME Magazine in 1998, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Merit from the Jordanian Armed Forces (1998), the King Hussein Gold Medal for Excellence and the Medal of Administrative Competence from the Jordanian Armed Forces (1995). She was chosen by the United States Information Agency to represent Jordan at their International Visitor Programme on Marine Conservation and Women in Military Affairs (1995). She is Honorary President of the Fertile Crescent Society of the Middle East; Honorary President of the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation, California, USA; Founder and President of the Pilot Phase Assessment Committee of Jordan for the Global Environmental Facility; member of the Society for the Preservation of Jordanian Heritage; and founder and board of directors member of Halfway House for Juvenile Delinquents, Boston, USA. She holds a certificate in Military Science from the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, UK.