Earth Day is every day!

News | Published at: April 22 2022

CECI believes deeply that working to protect the environment and restore damaged ecosystems can help end poverty and inequality, while effectively combating climate change. This year, Earth Day is called International Mother Earth Day. This is the first edition of the United Nations Decade for the Restoration of Ecosystems, which are the basis for the balance of all life on Earth. 

It is important (...) that we insist on the transition to a more sustainable economy, which benefits both humanity and the planet. Ensuring harmony with nature and the Earth is no longer just desirable, but necessary (UN). 

For too long, our way of life and our collective dynamics have been focused on economic growth. Instead of focusing on sustainability and taking into account the harmful and permanent effects on the earth and its ecosystems, this growth has accentuated inequalities and social exclusion.

Social and economic inequalities, environmental degradation and climate change are major obstacles to human development for all (CECI).

Since its creation, CECI has been involved in the search for solutions to restore a certain balance and social justice. This aspiration cannot be achieved without considering the climate emergency and the irrefutable link between its devastating effects and its impact on people from marginalized and disadvantaged communities, particularly those of women and girls.

An environmental sustainability strategy at CECI

Sustainable development is the backbone of CECI's interventions. All of our projects integrate concrete measures in the three dimensions of sustainable development (social equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability), with human development as a backdrop. In addition, CECI wants to highlight the vital contribution of the inclusion and participation of women and youth in resilience and climate action in its projects. 

CECI's environmental sustainability strategy aims to raise awareness of environmental and climate issues among its partner organizations, its team, and the Canadian public, with an emphasis on the differential impacts on women and men.

How is this environmental consideration applied in our projects?

CECI, particularly through its voluntary cooperation program (PCV), seeks to help its partners become stakeholders in the ecological transition by developing sustainable economic activities that benefit both the socio-economic well-being of populations and the health of our planet, our "mother earth. Moreover, its approach takes into account the realities and contexts that are sometimes very different from one end of the globe to the other. 

For example, in Guatemala, one of our volunteers conducted a study on the use of chemical projects in agriculture and its direct impact on the water table and pollution of the emblematic Lake Atitlan. This research was a first in the region, which depends essentially on the balance of the ecosystem of this lake. This discovery paved the way for a series of actions by local ministries and actors, such as research on possible alternatives to the use of these products and the organization of workshops and awareness campaigns among farmers to eradicate this practice.

Most areas of Nepal still lack a waste collection system and even in areas where there is waste collection, there is no proper management. In such a situation, training in vermiculture is really important, as it allows the transformation of waste into vermicompost (a form of compost). This can be used as a soil fertilizer or to improve yields. It allows the creation of high quality products taking into account agricultural and ecological aspects, which is why a series of trainings on this subject have been organized within the framework of the PCV.

In Senegal, the Super Mbalit is a social economy project that aims to sensitize and train the population, particularly women and young women, to preserve the environment through waste management. This project seeks to find alternative solutions that are carried by the populations themselves. It is oriented towards a segment of the underprivileged population where there is less awareness of the issue. In concrete terms, the sorted waste is exchanged in specialized stores for basic foodstuffs. By the same token, the project aims to create jobs thanks to the valorization of this waste and to raise awareness among the population to consider this field as a green job opportunity. It is therefore a way to simultaneously contribute to the fight against climate change and poverty.

Finally, in Burkina Faso, the PCV stands out for its project putting forward agroecology, an approach that is still unknown in the region. This approach attempts to apply ecological and social principles to the design and management of food and agricultural systems. It aims to optimize the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment, as well as the social aspects, so that food systems are sustainable and equitable. Agroecology places the rights of women, youth and indigenous peoples at its core. 

It's everyone's business!

Guided by its sustainable development policy, CECI aims for carbon neutrality and continuous improvement of its environmental performance. This requires the involvement of all its stakeholders, because Earth Day is everyone's business... and it happens every day!

To learn more about the Volunteer Cooperation Program
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The Volunteer Cooperation Program is implemented by CECI, through a partnership with the Government of Canada.