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A Climate Justice Charter for South Africa

On 16 October 2020, a climate justice charter was handed over to the South African Parliament by a group called the Climate Justice Charter Movement. This charter was formulated through discussions at many levels of organizations, including grassroots movements and is intended to be a compass for transformation in all levels and structures of our society, as well as addressing the burning issue of climate change which, while affecting everything and everyone, disproportionately impacts disadvantaged communities. The South African Academy was pleased to sign and support this charter as a beacon for future sociological and economic change.

A Climate Justice Charter for South Africa2021-01-25T19:53:40+00:00

JACKETS FOR BABIES 2020

To assist those who were experiencing great economic hardship in the lock down period, was the making of Mother Theresa jackets for babies. These were distributed by various charities in the cold South African winter that exacerbated the suffering.

 

One of the grateful young recipients

 

An offshoot of this project was to teach individuals to crochet and knit so that they could firstly supply their own families and then also sell into the community. The intention was also to work on the “pay-it-forward” concept and they could then teach others in the community a useful skill.

This was in conjunction with teaching individuals how to make small vegetable gardens that would help feed their family. This has been an ongoing project and also worked on the “pay-it-forward” principle.

JACKETS FOR BABIES 20202021-01-25T19:54:50+00:00

Community Projects during Covid-19 Lockdown in 2020

On March 27, 2020 South Africa went into level 5 lockdown in an attempt to flatten the Covid-19 curve. The lockdown was initially scheduled for three weeks, but continued albeit at decreasing levels for much of the year. It is still in effect at level 1. Due to the laws in place, we were unable to hold large gatherings or seminars. Our community service, however, continued in the form of working together with other organizations to assist in easing the economic distress so many in the rural areas were subject to under the stringent lockdown and resulting fear and depression arising from loss of income and self-worth.

One of the major drives was to make masks for distribution to front line workers and others in the community who were unable to afford them. This continues as the mask laws are still in place and no one may enter a store or be part

of any gathering without a mask.

Some of the masks made for distribution by the Academy

Community workers receiving donated masks at a local pharmacy

 

Community workers tasked with feeding those unable to feed their families – wearing some of the donated masks

 

 

Community Projects during Covid-19 Lockdown in 20202021-01-25T19:36:25+00:00

UN Youth Day 2019

UN Youth Day 2019

    As a United Nations Youth Delegate for the Academy for Future Science, I had the opportunity to observe and participate in the energy of the United Nations. In celebration of International Youth Day, the UN held events with the theme of “Transforming Education”. The main conference was entitled “Engaging Youth to Advance Sustainable Cities and Communities”. Among its gifted speakers and inspiring activists were Kehkashan Basu, Jadayah Spencer, Mark Chambers, Soraya Fouladi, and many others. There were many inspiring insights and many great examples of grassroots activism, with the goals of ensuring a sustainable and healthy environment, healing inequality, and shifting our consciousness (that is to say, to help us awaken to the realities of our responsibilities towards the environment and to each other). The tone was, overall, energized and enthusiastic, or as one speaker put it “electric”. Among this enthusiasm, there was also some dissatisfaction with the feeling that all these inspiring words might be lost in the wind. One fellow representative said that all these words are beautiful, and they feel respect for the others involved, but that they needed more concrete action first and foremost. This sentiment was also echoed by the speakers: we can’t wait for our leaders to solve all our problems and we can’t just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk by finding ways to effect change on every level in our lives, and by being resourceful in how we might be able to contribute to the sustainability goals set forth in previous UN conferences. The positive enthusiasm and the deep sense of purpose was certainly the predominant energy in the room, and this carried over beyond the official end of the event. Many Youth Delegates and representatives were eager to network, connect, and share their passionate work with others. I, personally, was very much inspired by all of this, though this feeling was tempered by the dire facts we face as a global humanity. I truly hope to see these sparks of inspiration put into real action, and I find myself energized to try new methods of reaching out to help shift the consciousness and material reality towards a more positive and sustainable future.

Michael Dodin,  AFFS Delegate

 

UN Youth Day 20192019-08-29T22:55:45+00:00

2019 Global Engagement Summit

Brief Summation of the 2019 UN Global Engagement Summit

By: Arayael Eloha Brandner

The 2019 Global Engagement Summit at The United Nations was a remarkable touchstone going into the new year. The SDGs that were brought forth in 2012, by the world body, were touched upon and made a prominent reason as to why we were revisiting the sustainable development goals and empowering attendees to continue in their work towards making our world a better place.

The Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Gueterres, from Portugal, addressed a congregation of summit attendees in the UN general assembly hall informing us of the top priorities that they are focusing on. The Sustainable Development Goals will remain a center point for the UN; however, there has been an acknowledgment of the importance in regards to the indigenous culture preservation and encouraging us to listen to our indigenous communities in regards to climate change. Climate action needs to be made a top priority for each nation because we are in crisis and the leaders of the world are recognizing this irreversible reality we have found ourselves in the 21st century.

Attendees from all over the world were gathered at the summit from Africa to the Middle East, to Australia, to the Americas, ranging in ages from middle school to senior citizens.  Breakout sessions were held on empowering young women #LeaveNoGirlBehind, climate action, conflict resolution in Yemen, nuclear proliferation, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals locally. One of the impactful takeaways came from the session on empowering women and that this is the time to place a global focus on educating and advocating for gender equality. It is the recognition of the feminine and how important the presence women hold is throughout the various cultures and religions. The other main point I found insightful was the one on climate action. Timothy Weiskel, Research Director of the Cambridge Climate Research Associates, boldly stated on the panel that climate change is happening, there is no going back! We are in desperate need for solutions – “Our planet will be here, but will we?” We know that sea levels are rising and the need for sustainable agriculture to sustain food sources is needed around the world.

As a member of the Academy for Future Science, I acknowledge the responsibilities that each of us are charged with in fulfilling, through love and service to humanity, the higher Plan of Creation, here on Earth. My passion, my calling, is to advocate, educate, and empower the youth of the world, inspiring them to plant seeds of hope and vision for a positive and sustainable future, because this summit charged us to bring forth peace on Earth and to implement the sustainable development goals throughout our communities.

2019 Global Engagement Summit2019-08-29T22:56:49+00:00

COP20 Peru

Participation in the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations (COP20), Perú

 

Ph.D. Bárbara Jacob

The COP is the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and CMP Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). The COP was held between 1 and December 12, 2014 in Lima, Peru. The UNFCCC was attended by 195 signatory countries.

Ph.D. Bárbara Jacob, postdoctoral fellow Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO) at the University of Concepción participated in the COP20 for the dissemination of scientific knowledge about the adverse effects that climate change is having on marine biodiversity. The outreach work that was done is a continuation of awareness taking regarding to the ocean acidification in the meetings of the UNFCCC United Nations Climate Change 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Here, the IMO with a number of scientific institutions participated as an international alliance, emphasizing the concern about the impacts of multiple stressors such as the ocean warming, acidification and de-oxygenation of the marine ecosystems, which would be happening in the coming decades.

During the 1- 6 days of December, participants of UCRP/Chile side booth were dialoguing with political delegates, NGOs, ministerial advisers and others private institutions from different countries, about the potential dangers to the oceans and food safety in coming decades. The topics were focused on providing knowledge about how the climate change is changing the pH of the surface layer of the oceans (ocean acidification) and how affects the ocean biology, marine chemistry and physics.

cop20b

With the support of various written and audiovisual material was showed what will happen to the ocean in this century unless we reduce urgently and substantially emissions of greenhouse gases. For instance, it is expected that several areas of the ocean (“Hot spots”) experience more than one of these environmental stressors simultaneously, since these are caused by the same underlying process: increasing atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

Some direct effects such as the damage to the physiology and behavior of organisms, changes in energy balance and formation of shells, which is occurring with the coral reefs. It was also emphasized that the combined effects of stressors increase the risk of food safety and industries that depend on healthy and productive marine ecosystems. Finally, it called for international politicians to understand the tremendous role of the oceans for sustenance of life on Earth, and the consequences of a high CO2 world to the ocean and society.

Presentation of the latest IPCC report

COP20 Peru2021-01-27T18:12:51+00:00
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