When funds are limited and challenges are great, environmental nonprofits must find innovative solutions to solve global issues. One of 1% for the Planet’s newest partners, Organic Perspectives, is working diligently to promote environmental sustainability in Uganda. Organic Perspectives protects the environment, promotes food security, and helps to enhance smallholder farmers’ incomes through sustainable and economically-viable agriculture. Most recently, the organization is promoting responsible eco-tourism in the region as a means to fund these important efforts.
Over the last few decades, deforestation has produced widespread land degradation in most of Uganda’s rural areas. As an effect, smallholder farmers in the countryside face a series of social and environmental challenges including nutrient depleted soils and a sharp decline in fuel wood—the only source of household energy for cooking and heating.
Since 2007, Organic Perspectiveshas used a ‘three-pronged’ approach integrating community forestry, sustainable household energy, and organic gardening to help farmers in the heavily deforested areas of the Kamuli and Buyende districts. The approach is intended toreverse deforestation through agroforestry and cleaner alternative fuels, and to implement more resilient organic agricultural practices.
Collaboration & Success:
- In collaboration with our key partner ‘Trees for the Future’ (USA), Organic Perspectives has provided over 200,000 free saplings of multipurpose, fast-growing leguminous trees
- Over 700 households have planted trees from our community nurseries
- Agroforestry training is being provided to more than 30 schools
- Over 100 households have acquired a fixed dome biogas digester
- 200 more efficient, cleaner burning woodstoves have been disseminated with the help of Envirofit International
- The two current target districts are categorized by Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as being among the 10 most deforested (charcoal producing) regions out of 112 districts in Uganda.
- Rural farmers in Uganda depend on subsistence agriculture. With the degradation of soils, agricultural production is continuing to decline—constraining incomes and causing frequent food shortages.
How can Eco-tourism help:
In response to growing challenges, Organic Perspectives recently launched ‘EcoTours & Travel Uganda’ specifically for the purpose of involving travelers in expanding our work. Uganda’s tourism industry is directly dependent on our planet’s natural resources—and, as such, travelers are key stakeholders in environmental sustainability.
- EcoTours & Travel Uganda is developing a ‘Travel CO2 Offsets’ initiative designed to create personal, real-life connections between travelers and environmental causes in the local destinations they are visiting.
- EcoTours & Travel Uganda will enable Organic Perspectives to scale its much-needed efforts faster. Programs like the “Sustainability Travelers’ Trip” will take eco-minded travelers to Uganda’s little-discovered natural places for the purpose of promoting ecotourism in these areas and reflecting on the challenges to local ecosystems. Proceeds will be used in our reforestation efforts.
Call to Action
You can learn about Organic Perspectives here and donate through GlobalGiving or using additional donation options on the website. Donations will be used primarily for creating new Community Reforestation Centers, as these will become hubs for informing farmers about Organic Perspectives overall work.
In the long-run, Organic Perspectives hopes to use the passion of Uganda’s travel industry to promote environmental sustainability. Through this innovative approach, they will be able to restore forests, create a more sustainable food system, and transition local households to healthier, more environmentally sensitive sources of fuel.
Why drive from the Adirondacks to northern Maine, when you can take a canoe! That’s right, because of the hard work of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, you can now take a continuous paddling trail from Old Forge, through Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire to Fort Kent, ME. This 740 mile trail represents a world class model of recreation management for public access to waterways, trail stewardship, economic development, and rural youth outdoor education.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s Northern Forest Explorers Program connects rural youth aged 10-14 to the natural wonders of their own backyards by taking these young people on five-day canoe-camping trips along the trail. The program completes roughly 20 trips a year, with 9-12 youth participating in each trip. These trips immerse kids in natural settings, planting the seeds of desire for future outdoor recreation opportunities and increased environmental awareness. NFCT makes this possible for as many children as possible by subsidizing the cost of these adventures.
- In 2011, named “Best Canoe Trail” by Outside Magazine
- In 2012, named “Best East Coast Adventure” by Outside Magazine
- Between 2011 and 2012 the program grew by 66%
- Through generous donations, NFCT supports 20 trips each year
- Partnerships with 70 communities along the 740-mile trail, enabling both education for the kids and economic development for the communities.
- Subsidizing the cost of participation for over 150 participants in 2013
- Forming partnerships with additional outdoor education/recreation organizations
NFCT is looking for support to keep the kid’s trip program in action.
Sponsorship is easy: At $600 you can sponsor a single child from Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont on a trip of a lifetime on their backyard waterways. Or sponsor a trip of 10 young people for $6,000.
The success of this program is gauged by the increasing demand from local communities for this program to touch the lives of their young people. As a result of this experience, the NFCT hopes to provide a growing awareness of the power of landscape and its ability to support healthy communities. Providing a trip such as this will help to create the environmental stewards of the future.
Across the world as development continues, small farms are at risk of extinction. Often they become unaffordable and this growth threatens some of our last remaining open places. We have one of these examples right here in our back yard, the Bragg Farm.
Luckily, the diligent work of land trusts are helping to protect these places and reenergize sustainable local agriculture. The Vermont Land Trust’s (VLT) conservation efforts change the lives of families, invigorate farms, launch new businesses, maintain scenic vistas, encourage outdoor recreation, and foster a renewed sense of community.
This spring, VLT is asking for you to help save Bragg Farm! The Bragg Farm has been an important part of the Mad River Valley’s agricultural landscape for more than 200 years. Perched high above the Mad River, the farm’s iconic barn, hay fields and incomparable views of the Green Mountains showcase the beauty and agricultural productivity of the Valley’s working landscape.
In 2012, the Vermont Land Trust worked with Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership to purchase the 48-acre property. VLT then searched for a new farmer through through our Farmland Access Program, which helps experienced farmers gain access to productive, affordable farmland.
Marisa Mauro was selected to purchase the farm from VLT. In 2008, Marisa started Ploughgate Creamery, which produced award-winning cheese until a fire destroyed the place she was leasing. If VLT is successful in the fundraising effort, Marisa will restart Ploughgate Creamery’s operations and establish a grass-based dairy farm that produces artisanal butter, fresh cheeses, buttermilk and suckling hogs.
Contributions will help VLT to raise the last $85,000 to protect this special Mad River Valley farm, forever!
And if you’re local to the farm, Have glass a wine and help conserve the Bragg Farm! VLT and Cork Wine Bar invite the public to an evening fundraiser on Wednesday, April 10, starting at 6 pm. $1 of every glass of wine poured will go towards the remaining $85,000 needed for the property’s protection. http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/bragg
Protecting the Bragg Hill Farm will:
Permanently conserve scenic and productive farmland
Ensure the long-term affordability of the farm to Vermont’s farmers
Preserve the historic barn, a treasured community landmark
Revitalize the Bragg Farm with a new agricultural operation
Partners collaborating on the project
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), local conservation commissions and local land trusts are vital to raising the funds needed to protect the more than 50 properties VLT conserves each year. VHCB, the Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership, and the Town of Fayston are key partners in the Bragg Farm project.
Successes and Challenges
VLT purchased the farm using bridge financing for its appraised value of $760,000 and will sell the farm to Mauro at its appraised agricultural value of $175,000. VTL is raising money for the conservation easement, appraised at $585,000, as well as funds to preserve the historic barn. The total fundraising goal is $792,000.
With funds already raised and additional grant support from the VHCB, only $85,000 is left to go.
Call to Action
Make a tax-deducible gift until May 1, 2013 by sending a check to Vermont Land Trust with “Bragg Farm” in the memo line. To learn more about Bragg Farm and the Farmland Access Program, or to donate on line, go to http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/bragg
“As a farmer and Vermonter, I am so proud to be part of the Mad River Valley community. With this opportunity, I can’t wait to get to work at the Bragg Farm with my family, friends and neighbors and contribute to our working landscape.” – Marisa Mauro
Vermont Land Trust
Since 1977, VLT has permanently conserved more than 1,650 parcels of land covering more than 500,000 acres, or about eight percent of the private, undeveloped land in the state. The conserved land includes more than 700 working farms, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forestland, and numerous parcels of community land. As a member-supported, nonprofit 501(c)(3) land conservation we provide technical and legal assistance to individuals, communities, and local land trusts to help them achieve their conservation objectives. We also have an ongoing stewardship relationship with landowners to ensure that conservation goals are upheld in perpetuity. Learn more about VLT here.
Did you know the largest 6% of US farms now produce 75% of the country’s agricultural products? Large-scale industrial agriculture is driving family farmers from their property, is reducing the connection between consumers and their food and are potentially unsustainable and could have severe consequences for the environment. There are also concerns that the food being produced is less nutritious.
Farm Aid Mission
Since 1985 Farm Aid has been at the forefront of protecting the nations family farms; family farms are essential components of the economy, providing good jobs, growing healthy food, and acting as stewards of the environment. Along with hosting the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline, they provide the most comprehensive national database of farmer resource referrals available.
Farm Aid also provides the Farmer Resource Network, an online space where new and established farmers can find the information and tools they need to thrive.
1% for the Planet Partners
Farm Aid works with a wide variety of partners including a number of 1% for the Planet partner. Some of these include:
- Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985.
“Shoppers! Buy with a conscience and save the family farm.”
– Neil Young
- Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001
- Farm Aid has raised more than $40 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system
- For over 27 years, Farm Aid has answered 1-800-FARM-AID to provide immediate and effective support services to farm families in crisis
- Fielded 800 farm contacts via the hotline in 2012 alone
- Provided drought assistance funds to 45 farm and ranch families in 2012
- Provided emergency support to 7 farm families in 2012
- Over the last 30 years, America has lost an average of 350 small and mid-sized farms each week
- According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, between 1982 and 2007, the US lost over 40 percent of its small and mid-sized farms - or 460,000 farms
- 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the US are under the control of one company
- The effects of climate change make running small and medium-sized farms even more challenging
Call to Action
1. Anyone can help to support Farm Aid’s cause by first and foremost, supporting your local farmers.
2. You can also check out, Farm Aid’s Action Center, where you can use a number of tools to make your voice heard for family farmers. Issues discussed include the US Farm Bill, mandatory labeling of GMO’s, fair markets for all farmers, and farm to school programs.
3. There are also a multitude of opportunities for volunteering at Farm Aid’s annual concert.
A Brighter Future for Farm Aid and America
Farm Aid’s longevity and commitment to the American family farm make them a unique and inviting resource for independent farmers. As new resources and new organizations spring forward to service the next generation of America’s family farmers, Farm Aid is committed to the task of mapping out and promoting these educational opportunities and tools. If Farm Aid is successful, it will meet these objectives:
- Farm Aid’s Farmer Resource Network is known, utilized and effective in getting farmers the resources they need.
- Family farmers are no longer driven off the land by corporate greed and outdated governmental programs.
- Fair farm policies are enacted to defend and bolster family farm agriculture.
- Strong markets exist to support more family farmers.
- Consumers prefer food from family farms, and reconnect with their local farmers.
- Everyone can afford good food from family farmers to feed their families.
- There is no longer a need for Farm Aid! Hopefully everyone who wants to grow can successfully make a living farming
Contact Kari Williams, Farm Aid’s Development Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617.354.2922 with any further questions.
By now you’ve probably heard about our big 10th Anniversary event coming up this summer. We’ve joined forces with the Mad Marathon here in our hometown of Waitsfield, VT to create the 1st ever 1% for the Planet Mad Marathon. Dedicated to sustainability and environmentalism in New England, this event will help us to provide awareness and funding for the nonprofits and partnerships that protect the places we play. Not only should all of our partners plan on attending, but we also want to help raise money for your important causes. How can we do this you ask?
Form a Team:
• Create a team for your organization and encourage people to sponsor your runners! Your organization’s tile will show up on our leaderboard and potentially attract additional donations.
• Ask participants on your team to spread the word about the race and your organization. People love supporting these types of fundraising activities.
• Ask individual supporters of your organization to participate in “The Most Beautiful Marathon in the World,” so they can raise funds by running on your behalf. Runners have the choice of running the full marathon, half, or creating a relay team. They will be sure to have a blast, while doing a good deed at the same time.
• Have you already received donations from 1% member businesses? Encourage these partners to form a team in support of your organization.
• 1% for the Planet will be supporting this event by providing numerous activities throughout the weekend and by publicizing it through our various marketing channels. We can’t wait!
Last year, one nonprofit who fundraised using this race earned $27,000! We’re looking for nonprofit partners who think they can blow this record away. With a little effort and our support, we’re sure you can.
• Please let us know if you are planning on participating. We’ll send you directions and help spread the word! Email us at email@example.com or call us at 802-496-5408
• Let us know if you are joining on our Facebook event page and invite others
• Stay tuned for additional ways to participate over that weekend
We’re looking forward to celebrating all that you do. Start your training!
Imagine a more just and vibrant future that integrates vision, systems thinking, reflective conversation, and creative expression. This could mean working with coffee growers in Central America, providing farm apprenticeships in rural Vermont, or promoting green chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry.
Working on sustainability issues on a global level requires collaboration with a variety of partners. The Sustainability Leaders Network collaborates with a range of organizations including: Cobb Hill Ecovillage, Cedar Mountain Farm CSA, Sustainable Food Lab, Biomimicry 3.8, and Climate Interactive. Their key stakeholders are the members in their network and, by extension, members’ organizations and companies.
Photo Credit: Clemens Kalischer, 2009
Some of these include approved 1% for the Planet non-profit partners:
- American Rivers - Protects and restores U.S. rivers, and the variety of life they sustain, for the benefit of people, fish and wildlife.
- Center for Whole Communities - Leading a new movement for change – building healthy, whole communities by reweaving the connections among people, land and community.
- Ocean Foundation – Supports, strengthens, and promotes organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world.
Successes to Date
Creating a more sustainable world is challenging, but the SLN is making progress.
- The Fellows network consists of 80 professionals around the world, plus dozens of young leaders.
- 90% report that the network has been essential to their professional growth.
- 80% collaborate with other Fellows in their sustainability efforts.
- Fellows work with and directly influence over 170,000 people and indirectly reach over 2 million through publications, presentations, and videos related to their efforts.
Success for SLN is a well-trained and connected network of diverse professionals and young people who increase their impact and effectiveness – individually and collectively – in bringing about the transition to sustainability.
For example, Fellow Tse-Sung Wu is leading GreenBioPharma at Genentech. Drawing on his SLN training, he has helped lead a successful effort to reduce costs and benefit the environment in the research and development of medicines.
Here are just a few testimonials from SLN’s network of sustainability champions, participants:
“These practices have been phenomenal for me. This is probably the most caring, sensitive, deep thinking group I have experienced. The content regarding systems thinking, visioning, the area of coaching, and deep listening are my touch stones.”
“I still go back to the binder to look through and use the program material, both for my own learning and for training others. Mostly visioning, coaching, systems thinking and reflective conversation.”
“I see the fellowship as a continuing process, rather than something completed and over. I feel very appreciative of the ongoing learning, resources, and support in my professional life.”
Contact Edie Farwell, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-291-2896, with any additional questions.