Published by Camilla on 25 Jan 2012 at 08:58 am
Members of WiserEarth from Bangladesh to the Blue Mountains are helping to initiate local gatherings where they can share learnings on social change and environmental initiatives and start supporting each others’ projects.
Here are the on the ground reports from their meetings:
WiserLocal Blue Mountains
Two of our group have started WiserEarth groups, Ethical Landscaping and Gardening (Maryanne) and Growing Children Growing Community (Simon), and so we were able to learn more about what motivated the formation of these groups by their creators. Rob also shared his latest project in India. Rafaella asked a key question – how do I heat my house? which led to the topic of heating and power generation. This is very topical for the Blue Mountains as we have started a Community Renewable Energy Project. In general we raised more questions and topics than we were able to resolve !
A couple of points that came up were the question of how to broadcast your idea or action to the wider community, this included how to use the WiserEarth site, and also how to get more people to engage in letter writing to politicians about taking action on Climate Change. There was also a view that WiserEarth needs a community help section.
We resolved to meet again in the New Year (later in January) and focus on technical issues in using WiserEarth as there were many ideas on “how do I do x….” we thought we could all share solutions to.
A major topic during the WiserLocal Dhaka gathering at the Jahangirnagar University was the Indian Tipaimukh Power Project. This is a controversially discussed river dam close to the border between India and Bangladesh. Designed to generate power using the water of the river Barak the dam is threatening the lives of millions of people in Bangladesh. In order to ensure the reservoir’s proper water level the plan is to retain water during the dry season (when there is a lack of water) and release it during the wet season (when there is too much). As a tragic result the dam would drastically amplify the effects of the natural alternation of drought and flood in Bangladesh. The group agreed to raise awareness and unite people against this project. Actions they have taken since include handing out information brochures to other students, creating an official press release on behalf of their university department and organizing a rally.
The participants were also introduced to a local organization called CHANGE (Commited to Humanitarian Alternatives for Nature and Green Environment). The basic idea of the organzation is to be a “loudspeaker” for environmental issues, e.g. by creating awareness programs for various environmental occasions.
The meeting was enriched by a presentation given by Tahara Afrin Liza, dealing with ‘women’s contribution towards environmental development’. According to Liza women in Bangladesh need to be more educated about their impact on the environment: By using conventional heaters and burning wood for cooking they are using valuable natural resources. “We have to teach the theme of sustainability so that they are conscious about the resources they use in the house”, says Adib Ratul. If this happened on a wider basis, these women could eventually teach their children and thus provide them with more environmental knowledge.
To find out more about gatherings in Bangladesh, contact Adib.
To find out more about gatherings in Australia, contact Celeste.
Learn more about WiserLocals.
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