2020 Jan 14

Financing Ecological Developments in Agriculture and Forestry

More than ever we need vision, courage, wisdom and leadership in the creation of sustainable value through sustainable development initiatives.

Dr. Tadeu Caldas


Financing Ecological Developments in Agriculture and Forestry

Available Sources of Funding and Sustainable Project Criteria

Concrete Case Studies From Around the World

The world is suffering from a myriad of problems: the unabated increase in CO2 emissions from rural, urban and industrial areas, with consequent extreme and fatal weather events and climate change; deforestation and drastic reductions in wild habitats and biodiversity leading to massive extinction of species many of them crucial for ecological balance; the contamination of food and the environment with toxic pesticides, and water bodies with soluble fertilisers; excessive and unsustainable use of water resources in agriculture; plastic contamination of soils, water bodies and oceans; and on the social sphere, persistent hunger, inequality and socioeconomic hardship in a world of plenty. All these factors are responsible for the current mobilisation and instability of society and protests in all continents.

 

Since decades these issues have been identified as a result of a one-sided economic paradigm that generated plenty of profit for entrepreneurs and shareholders and on the other hand utter unsustainable value, tearing the balance and fabric of global natural ecosystems and communities worldwide.

 

Many visionary individuals, entrepreneurs, politicians and corporate leaders have, in the last two decades, come to realise that the only way to operate sustainably in the world is by incorporating not just economic goals but also social and environmental wellbeing into their initiatives, programs and business strategies.

 

That applies to small-holder farmers as much as to the heads of corporations generating hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue as well as financiers responsible for massive sovereign funds.

 

Out of the 100 largest world economies 71 are nowadays corporations, and many of them have become examples of responsible citizenship incorporating corporate sustainability into all of their areas of operation and generating more impact than most of the world’s charities, multilateral development agencies and governments put together.

 

Responsible political leaders in charge of mega-cities have also realised that they hold the power to contribute to positive change globally. The C40 forum of cities has been collectively reducing their CO2 emissions and climate footprint to the rate of millions of tons of CO2 and now brings together 90 of the world’s largest cities representing 700 million citizens. They are not waiting for central governments to act.

 

But also individuals, and consumers have woken up to their ‘buying power for the good’. Conscious consumers have transferred billions of dollars in value, through their purchasing power, to sustainable initiatives worldwide. These have been identified by a diversity of ecolabels sprouting out of the need to certify sustainable projects and products from agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Projects and products that respect the environment, as well as all people working along the value chain with fair wages and returns for their labour.

 

And last but not least, the world of finance has follow suit creating financial instruments that focus on ethical, environmental and governance projects, enabling initiatives that decades before would not dream of getting finances and investments. We shall explore these sources of project support.

 

I will explore in the panel (and the follow-up discussions), the necessary conditions for sustainable change and concrete examples of successful ecological agriculture worldwide where I have contributed.

 

In a second panel on energy, traffic and the social dimension I will share examples of sustainable municipal initiatives and specially Germany’s Smart Intermodal Mobility that has put people and planet at the forefront.

 

Myanmar is ripe for a leap forward in sustainability leaving behind the old paradigms that led to so many problems.

 

More than ever we need vision, courage, wisdom and leadership in the creation of sustainable value through sustainable development initiatives.

 

It will be a pleasure to contribute to this visionary initiative started by Master Hsin Tao and Prof. Michael von Brück.

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