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Newsletter - 07/2009
Dear Friends! 09/02/2009
After the summer break, the World Future Council newsletter is packed with news: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Prof. Dr. Wangari Maathai recently joined the WFC as a new Honorary Councillor. From September 23, ‘A Renewable World’ will be available in book stores – the new WFC book exploring proven and emerging solutions for building a global green energy economy. Our work for renewable energies in Africa is being carried forward with a Parliamentary Hearing in Mozambique and a workshop for politicians, business and civil society representatives in Ethiopia. And in the beginning of October, the World Future Council will hold its third Annual General Meeting in Hamburg – this time preceded by the first Future Policy Award ceremony.

Enjoy reading!

With best regards,

Hubertus Drinkuth
Management Board

Content
Notes from the Council >
Councillor Activities >
Upcoming Events >
Recent Events >
Donor Information >

Introducing...

WFC Councillor
Tony Colman

Read about Tony Colman's ongoing research on energy access for Africa here.

Notes from the Council
Bianca Jagger, WFC Chair: Fighting for the rights of future generations

In May of this year, a subsidiary of the British mining company Vedanta received the green light to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills of Orissa, India. The decision is now under appeal; the hills are home to the Kondh, an already vulnerable indigenous group who have lived there for generations. They rely on local mountain forests and streams to graze livestock and gather food, medicines and vital drinking water. The lush forests of Niyamgiri Mountain are a pristine ecosystem that The Wildlife Institute of India identifies as being of "great conservation significance."

So important is the local environment to the Kondh that they consider the mountain to be a living God and claim that their spiritual, cultural and economic wellbeing are embedded deep within it. They say that if the mine goes ahead, it will undermine their collective identity and way of life. In other words, it will strip them of their basic human rights, enshrined in national and international law. These are fundamental rights, which we would all fight for. The Kondh tribe's battle to save their livelihood illustrates the struggle for survival that indigenous peoples are facing in many parts of the world.

Read more here.
     
   
To learn about all current councillor activities, click here.
 
Top upcoming WFC Events
© Nathalie Bertrams
September 17th-20th, 2009:
African parliamentary action on renewable energies

At a parliamentary hearing in Maputo, Mozambique, Southern African legislators will discuss issues of climate change and energy access. The hearing, organised by the World Future Council together with e-Parliament, starts off with a field trip to the village of Djabula that has been electrified with Photovoltaic Systems. The second day features sessions on mini-grid systems, financing renewable energies, and gender and energy. To empower participants to implement renewable energy solutions, the hearing concludes with a presentation of policy tools for parliamentary action and an action roundtable to develop policy pledges. You can read more on the e-Parliament website.
September 23rd, 2009:
A Renewable World – Energy, Ecology, Equality

Recommended by Bill McKibben and Achim Steiner, among others, the new WFC book shows how to make our disposable world renewable. With a quadruple crisis facing us – climate, energy, finance and poverty – only a world based on continuous renewal can sustain life and livelihoods. This is why “A Renewable World” explores proven and emerging solutions for building a global green energy economy. The authors, Herbert Girardet and Miguel Mendonca, propose ways to accelerate the renewable energy revolution, revive the world’s ecosystems and soils, instill a fresh approach to cities and local economies, and invigorate international cooperation – just in time for the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December this year.
Order your copy here
On October 13th, "A Renewable World" will be launched at the European Parliament in Brussels – for more information please contact Dirk Hendricks.
October 1st-4th, 2009:
World Future Award and Annual General Meeting

From October 1st to 4th, the third Annual General Meeting of the World Future Council will take place in Hamburg. The Council will decide the new work programme – and individual expert commissions will have time to discuss their topics. One highlight will be the first Future Policy Award ceremony on October 1st: Invited guests in the historic City Hall of Hamburg will witness the merits of pursuing a policy in the area of food safety. You will find more about the Award on our website soon.
     
   
October 10th, 2009:
Turning Challenges into Chances

The World Future Council invites African politicians, representatives of business and civil society to its strategy workshop Renewable Energy Policies for Sustainable Development in Africa. WFC Councillor Dr. Tewolde Gebre Berhan Egziabher will chair the workshop, taking place on October 10th in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. >> More
 
To read about all upcoming WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at www.worldfuturecouncil.org
Top WFC Events in July and August
Promoting Feed-in Tariffs in the USA
Randy Hayes, Director of the WFC's US Liaison Office, organised a roundtable discussion on feed-in tariffs in San Francisco on July 14. The strategy meeting brought together key organisations like the Sierra Cluba and Pacific Environment to discuss how feed-in tariffs can be advanced in California. Participants volunteered to develop better communication and education strategies for supporting a strong state-wide renewable energy policy and mechanism.
Congressman Jay Inslee
"Get FIT: Incentives for Lean, Clean Renewable Energy" was the title of the WFC's first Capitol Hill Lunch Briefing. A world-class panel of experts conducted an in-depth review of how Feed-In Tariff (FIT) systems work in Europe and how the US could benefit from adopting a similar approach in order to speed up its development of renewable energy. The panelists were Congressman Jay Inslee, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, Karlynn Cory, National Renewable Energy Labs, Michael Peck, Blue Green Alliance, and WFC USA Director Randy Hayes. Read more here.
Cooperation for sustainable energy access in Africa
In order to improve access to sustainable energy in Africa the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and the WFC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly fight energy poverty, especially in rural areas in Africa. 570 million people, i.e. more than 74 per cent of the population, do not have access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Together, the WFC and ARE are identifying sustainable political, technological and financial solutions for rural electrification in Africa and take concrete action to implement them. WFC founder Jakob von Uexküll says: “We are going to hold strategy workshops with the African Union in order to strengthen this important institution on their renewable energy policies.” In all their activities, ARE and WFC will stress the importance of decentralised renewable energy production and the importance of incentives for local companies to provide sustainable energy to customers. Read more here.
© Fortis Wind Energy
Prof. Wangari Maathai
WFC welcomes Wangari Maathai as a new Honorary Councillor
Prof. Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has joined the WFC as a new Honorary Councillor. Dr. Maathai has been very active for the last 30 years in fighting for sustainable and just ecological, economic, social and cultural developments in her native country Kenya and throughout Africa. In 1977 the biologist founded the reforestation project ‘The Green Belt Movement’ in order to fight for the preservation of forests in eastern Africa. In 1984 she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Price) for this project. In addition she was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (2004) and was awarded the Légion d‘honneur, the highest honour in France, by former President Jacques Chirac in 2006.
WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull said: “We are very happy that Prof. Maathai has shown this appreciation for our work. Her knowledge and contacts will be especially helpful when developing our activities in Africa.” Read more here.
And introducing our latest member...Heteropoda uexkuelli:
Heteropoda uexkuelli is a Balinese spider found by German biologist Dr. Peter Jäger, who has named the arthropod after WFC founder Jakob von Uexküll. In his latest research of 25 spiders Jäger named eight of them after prominent personalities.
© Peter Jäger, Senckenberg
So next to Jakob von Uexkull (Heteropoda uexkuelli), German singer Udo Lindenberg (Heteropoda udolindenberg) and super star David Bowie (Heteropoda davidbowie) are also crawling around on eight legs in the rainforest.
Jäger’s reasoning to name spiders after influential people ranging from scientists to musicians is to highlight the importance of different types of species in context with the deterioration of their natural habitats through humans. Jäger honoured the spider with Jakob von Uexkull’s name due to the WFC’s work to fight climate chaos and the Climate Summit taking place in Bali in 2007.
To read about all recent WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at www.worldfuturecouncil.org
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