World Overshoot Day is today, 2nd August 2017. This day represents the (variable) point each year when, globally, we will have used the total amount of resources that our planet can renew and regenerate sustainably. Any consumption or production after this point will be utilising more natural resources than our planet has the capacity to renew. We use more environmental and ecological resources than nature can regenerate through overfishing and deforestation, therefore emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than our forests and carbon sinks can absorb. World Overshoot Day is a day to acknowledge that humanity’s global environmental footprint is expanding and that we are globally consuming resources beyond our ecological capacity.
This is important for the work Ecorys does as the impacts of ecological overshoot, particularly climate change, affect the global poor hardest and first. Through our projects, we are working to support the protection of the Earth’s resources, highlighted through our wide-ranging experience in climate mitigation, supporting ecosystems, reforestation and biodiversity. Specifically, examples of Ecorys’ work in this area include:
- CSEF 2 (Civil Society Environmental Fund) 2 is a project supporting Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Environmental Management across all ten provinces in Zambia, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. CSEF 2 is managed by our Zambian office (PMTC Zambia) and supports CSOs such as Caritas Solwezi, who are focused on supporting the livelihoods for the rural poor by providing training on land management, increase soil erosion and how to prevent animal diseases, as well as the purchases of beehives for the purpose of honey production for improved livelihoods.
- CSEF 2 is currently supporting Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), a Zambian CSO that is focused on engaging small-scale farmers in modern agricultural practices to restore soil nutrition. CSEF’s organizational support grant, has allowed the Centre to replenish stocks at the training centre and contribute to the operational costs of the training programmes. This also allowed KATC to purchase equipment and procure seed drills, which allow for precision planting of small grains with minimal soil disruption and increased efficiency.
- CSEF 2 is supporting the Livingstone Green Initiative (LGI), a Zambian CSO that assists community-based organisations in implementing sustainable environmental management practices that benefit the community socially and economically. This allows communities to management their environment, as well as to build the capacity of communities to implement environmental management activities.
- CSEF 2 is supporting the Council of Churches in Zambia, a CSO that is focused on empowering local communities to adapt to challenges surrounding natural disasters and land degradation. CSEF’s support has resulted in successfully providing training to community members in Chizensi and Kasesi, in land rehabilitation, conservation farming and sustainable land use, which has improved not only livelihoods, but also improved soil erosion.
- CSEF 1 has provided support to the Zambian Institute of Environmental Management (ZIEM) who assist in environmental justice for communities that face environmental challenge. CSEF’s support has helped initiate a project ensuring environmental management and the long-term environmental stability of local mining townships of Chambishi and Kalulushi Districts. CSEF has enabled ZIEM to undertake environmental impact assessments, and has significantly raised awareness amongst communities to understand key issues related to natural resource management.
In support of this, let us all make an effort by making small changes to support our ecosystem. Cycle into work instead of driving. Turn your plugs off at the sockets to save standby energy. Cook a soup at the end of the week to stop household wastage. These small changes make a world of difference.