Video of Professor Virginia Li’s (Li Zhen) Pilot Program in China

Yunnan FarmlandFeatured in the US National Library of Medicine, Bloomberg.com, and UCLA’s Center for Health Equity, Professor Virginia C. Li’s (Li Zhen) pilot program in China seems to be working.

In an effort to convince the highest producing tobacco country in the world that there are more advantageous ways to promote a healthy ecology and economy, Professor Li set up three test sites with 458 volunteer farmers in Yunnan Provence, Yuxi, China, to grow crops other than tobacco.

Why Yuxi?  The Yuxi Cigarette Company is one of the . . . (read more here and watch the video).

 

* Market-building as State-building in China’s Tobacco Industry. Page 132. Proquest. Google Books

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Yunnan Farmland

WAF to WAFA

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Photo: Wikipedia-Air Pollution

Many people and many ideas were introduced at the wonderful 2015 WAF Awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. But the main focus of the whole event was to continue the momentum of positive change in solving the major environmental issues around the world.  The three finalists in the ceremony finished with an equal win, a three-way tie, for their efforts in changing the lives of people in the world who were battling issues of contaminated drinking water, having no sanitary facilities, and changing parched lands into rich vegetation-filled waterways and pools.  ENPHO from Nepal developed low-cost bio-sand water filters that would last from 15-20 years that they delivered to rural areas.  SOIL created low-cost composting toilets, safely providing an effective way to turn human waste into usable compost.  Turenscape created beautiful wetland parks from areas that were previously considered barren, soil-contaminated areas.

Positive change . . . keep the momentum going.  The distinguished Prem Rawat, ambassador of peace, spoke about . . . (read more).

Landesa – Fighting Poverty Acre by Acre

 

Half of the world’s population — 2.8 billion — lives on less than $2 a day. And 70 percent of those live in rural areas where agriculture is the only means to survive. For
those that own land, life is good. Land ownership can provide housing, warmth, comfort, food, good health, stable conditions to bring up a family, access to credit and a place of status within a community. For those that don’t own land, it is a day-to-daylandesa struggle just to stay alive. If people are fortunate enough to find work in agriculture, they are working for someone else to gain the profits of their labor, leaving them with a lot of time and effort for someone else’s benefit. The land situation is worse for women. Women hold less status than men do in many of these places. They are not allowed to own land, even if it is passed down through inheritance within the family.

This is where president and CEO Tim Hanstad of Landesa enters into the picture. Hanstad, following in the footsteps of Landesa’s founder Roy Prosterman, tackles this problem at the government level. He establishes a working relationship with various world governments, trying to change the laws that inhibit women and men from obtaining land or keeping the land they have. Field surveys are taken in rural districts of China, Africa and India to find out exactly what the situation is with the poor who are living there, and if they have or have ever had access to owning their own land. Then, time is spent researching the current laws in those areas to see where changes could be made to improve the lives of those who are so desperately in need. In doing so, it is possible to help whole communities of people rather than working with each individual at a time.

The idea is simple. In just one tenth of an acre of land, a family can have a home and enough space left over to grow fruits and vegetables for the family to eat year-round. Any excess could be sold at market. This small parcel would be cheap enough for governments to secure enough micro-acreage to give to many of the poorest people in their nation. So far, Landesa has helped 100 million families secure land and escape poverty. Their main focus is for women to secure or keep land and in the inheritance rights of girls.

According to the Schwab Foundation, since, Hanstad joined Landesa in the 1980s, the company “has grown 100-fold, opened eight new offices in Asia and Africa and has generated tens of millions of dollars of earned income.” Hanstad has been recognized as “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Schwab Foundation and in 2012 by the Skoll Foundation.