Concerns on the pressures affecting ecosystem and rural communities’ resilience are increasing across the European continent. The excessive use of wood biomass combined with low energy efficiency are some of the factors responsible for this trend. Export of illegally harvested raw timber, the unsustainable use of natural resources and limited recycling options exacerbate an already tenuous situation.
The Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States, and IUCN have established a partnership which will take advantage of IUCN’s extensive network of NGO Member and partner organizations in European countries.
The aim of this partnership is to identify suitable organizations in the region to develop concrete project proposals for the Alcoa grant scheme. The projects funded by this scheme will focus on actions in the fields of forest conservation and management, energy efficiency and recycling.
More specifically, some examples of activities will aim at: biodiversity-focused and site-specific restoration of various types of forest landscapes and ecosystems; improving rural livelihoods by strengthening sustainable use of natural resources; strengthening the implementation of sustainable forest and land management; raising awareness for practical solutions to recycling; increasing efficiency of recycling processes; stimulating local use of renewable energies and exploring opportunities for local communities to participate in renewable energy markets; and raising awareness of best practices for biodiversity and sustainability both within the partner organization and the wider conservation community.
NGOs will be encouraged to develop proposals with high potential for sustainable change at local or national level. These proposals will be developed in no fewer than 12 countries in the region over the course of the three-year project.
The results and achievements of the projects will be shared within the global IUCN and Alcoa networks and the local and international public to share best practices and raise awareness of nature conservation and sustainable use, energy efficiency and recycling. Long-term partnerships between NGOs and the private sector will also be promoted to increase mutual understanding and dialogue among these actors on sustainable use of natural resources.
For more information, contact: Chantal van Ham, European Programme Officer.
>> Check here an example of what partners in this project do to raise environmental awareness.
About the Alcoa Foundation
The Alcoa Foundation invests where Alcoa has a presence to further sustainability and to partner with communities to address local needs, particularly as they adapt in a changing world economy. The Alcoa Foundation makes investment decisions in consultation with community stakeholders based on the local conditions and priorities they identify. Investments are targeted to mobilize action on environmental sustainability, build tomorrow’s leaders, improve community health and safety, and strengthen local assets. Learn more here.
Did you know?
- Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
- The livelihoods of 1.6 billion people depend on forests.
- The estimated global annual market losses from illegal logging of forests are more than $10 billions – more than 8 times the total of Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) for sustainable forest management.
- Renewable sources of energy are naturally replenishing and therefore, if sustainably harvested, are virtually inexhaustible.
- In modern gas-fired power stations 5-10% of the electricity is lost in transmission between the power station and users.
- Deployment of energy efficiency measures can be expected to reduce the world’s projected energy needs in 2050 by one third.
- Recycling paper requires 70% energy less than producing it from raw materials.
Sources: IUCN.org, panda.org, ENPI-FLEG.org, recycling-guide.org.uk.