Technology Fostering Water Sanitation

By Marcelo Kawanami

Technology has already proven its importance in the daily life of millions of people and it is becoming an essential component to leverage social development programs. In June, I had the opportunity to go to Cisco Live event and talk with Keri Kugler, Senior Manager of Monitor and Evaluation at Water for People.

Water for People is a nonprofit international organization with the goal to provide access to clean water and adequate sanitation to all people. Currently, the organization is in nine countries around the world: Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and India.waterforpeople_cisco

Through its Corporate Social Responsibility, Cisco, one of the largest Americanmultinational technology companies in the world, has partnered with Water for People to support the organization in the development of a mobile application named FLOW. FLOW, which stands for Field Level Operations Watch, is a mobile application that collects, manages, and analyzes data on the condition of water from remote locations. Cisco supported Water for People not only with funding but also by offering expertise in areas such as program monitoring and technology implementation.

The private-NGO relationship between Cisco and Water for People is a benchmark that should be followed by other companies, especially in the technology space. Many NGOs lack specific knowledge such as technology, or even strategy to foster their initiatives. Thus, many of them rely on collaborations from the private sector to achieve their goals – a reality that dramatically changed over the last 10 years, when the relationship between NGOs and the private sector used to be combative rather than collaborative.

For more information on Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility: http://csr.cisco.com/

For more information on Water for People: http://www.waterforpeople.org/

Water Fact Sheet

By Marcelo Kawanami

Lately, major cities such as Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Los Angeles in the US have suffered from severe drought. As the problem increases worldwide, people are more concerned towards the water topic. Thus, we developed a simple infographic fact sheet with data that showcases how important water conservation is.

 

Summer Catch Up!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! Hope you are all enjoying the summer. I’m currently in South America and here it is very cold. I wanted to post some updates on Gamiing Nature Centre. On June 20th we had our annual Summer Lakeshore Festival. The weather really helped and we prepared workshops regarding birds of prey, developed interactive exhibits, and much more. You can check some of the photos from the Festival at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gamiing

birds of prey

We also had School Field Trips at Gamiing for our outdoor education program. Bowmanville and Lady Eaton School visited us in June for a day of outdoor activities combined with environmental education. If you would like to know more about our School Field Trips, please visit our website: http://www.gamiing.org/School_Field_Trips.php

Ducks Unlimited Canada

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! Well, this has been a super busy month and I’m sorry for the absence here in the blog. Just to start with, I would like to talk about the tree planting and wetland restoration initiative from the Green Party members at Gamiing Nature Centre. The 1st Bobcaygeon Scout also supported the work and the group removed invasive species and planted a variety of trees and shrub species.

Today I came across a video from Ducks Unlimited, which is one of the global leading organizations on wetlands and waterfowl conservation. Ducks Unlimited Canada recently posted a video talking about the wetlands in Alberta and the impact that it has on biodiversity, flood protection and water quality.

It is a very short video, but that it is worth watching to know more about the organization and the work that they do in North America. If you want to know more, I invite you all to visit their webpage: http://www.ducks.ca/

Don’t be Sorry! Make a Change!

By Mieke Schipper and Marcelo Kawanami

Activist and spoken word artist Prince Ea has released his newest video, “Dear Future Generations: Sorry,” to urge young people to take immediate action to stop climate change. His previous videos have become viral sensations and his latest is no different. It was released on April 20 to coincide with Earth Day and garnered 28 million views on Facebook in the first two days. If you haven’t seen the video yet, please check it below.

Like the video says, let’s not accept this future because an error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. This is a powerful quote, so don’t be sorry.

Earth Day Every day!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Yesterday, Gamiing hosted its annual Earth Day event where participants from all ages had the chance to learn about the importance of nature through interactive and fun games!
Earth Day official day is actually April 22. And do you know the origin of this date? On April 22, 1970, millions of people took to the streets for ’60s-style demonstrations and marches, calling attention to the perilous pollution of America’s land, air and water. Ten thousand flocked to the Washington Monument for a folk music concert featuring Pete Seeger and U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie.

From this date, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 and it became a global event with over 1 billion participants from 192 countries. Earth Day events will be held throughout the week. You can check all events at the Earth Day Network site: http://www.earthday.org/greencities/events/

The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015

By Marcelo Kawanami

On March 20 2015, United Nation released its 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable World. The report brings a throughout analysis on the importance of the water as a vital resource for life. It also describes the challenges for accessible and clean water from three dimensions: poverty and social equity, economic development, and ecosystems.
I selected some key findings from the report that I believe were quite interesting (and concerning):

Picture1– Around the world, 748 million people lack access to an improved drinking water source, while billions more lack drinking water that is really safe. In 2012, 2.5 billion people did not have access to an improved sanitation facility.

– Groundwater supplies are diminishing, with an estimate 20% of the world’s aquifers being over-exploited (Gleeson et al., 2012), leading to serious consequences such as land subsidence and saltwater intrusion in coastal areas (USGS, 2013).

– Achieving more efficient water use is crucial considering that production and consumption of agricultural products alone account for over 70% of water withdrawals in many developing countries.

If you like to download the full report, please United Nation World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) homepage: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/wwdr/2015-water-for-a-sustainable-world/

I am Water

By Marcelo Kawanami

Last week, charity: water, a non-profit organization focused on the fund of water projects in developing nations, posted a powerful short video showcasing the importance of water and the impact that this essential natural resource has in the life of our planet.

One of my favorite statements of the video: “It takes a great wall to hold me back, but I can be held by a human hand”.

Environment and Building Technologies Webinar

By Marcelo Kawanami

Due to my professional background, I’m always tracking top research and consulting firms to check their latest reports. Just few of them have aregular practice to publish reports within the environmental, nonprofit, and social sectors.F&S Analyst Briefing

Frost & Sullivan isa global research firm with a specific division dedicated to environmental topics and related markets. The company will host a free webinar titled “Future Trends and Economic Implication of Enhanced Oil Recovery in North America” on March 24th 2015 at 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST. This briefing will analyze and investigate the changing environment in enhanced oil recovery across North America and its impact on the environment.

To register, please click in the following link: http://ww2.frost.com/event/calendar/future-trends-and-economic-implication-enhanced-oil-recovery-north-america/?eID=664

Winterlude 2015!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! Winterlude at Gamiing Nature Centre is right around the corner! It will be hosted on February 16th, 2015 from 11am to 4pm at Gamiing’s facilities. So bundle up and head down to Winterlude 2015 for a fun afternoon full of outdoor activities!

Winterlude 2015