Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
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17 June 2009
The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2009 were assigned to two African shemes. The winners are the Solar Energy Foundation, working in the Ethiopian highlands, and Ugandan company Kampala Jellitone Suppliers.
Ethiopia: the Solar Energy Foundation wins the Ashden Award for electrification of rural areas, through setting up the biggest solar energy programme in Ethiopia. Over 2,000 small solar systems were installed in two villages that are off the electricity grid and a further 8,500 units are due to be installed elsewhere in the country by the end of the year. SEF provides not just technology, but also maintenance and a financial structure that means each household can have its own solar-home-system.
Uganda: Kampala Jellitone Suppliers wins The Ashden International Award for Avoided Deforestation, for producing non-char biomass briquettes made from agricultural waste. 130 tonnes of briquettes sold every month reduce deforestation and save about 6.1 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of briquettes used. The judges commended KJS ?for transforming unwanted agricultural waste into a sustainable energy source.? The company is currently selling the briquettes to 31 schools, universities and hospitals for cooking, and to five factories for producing heat.
Five other international Ashden Awards were also assigned at the Ceremony on 11 June.
20 April 2009
The IES is very pleased to announce that the Dutch government will kindly support the training, production and marketing of non-woody biomass-briquettes in North Kivu, DR Congo.
Through the ?Daey Ouwens Fund for Small Scale Renewable Energy?, the Netherlands? Ministry of Foreign Affairs will facilitate the implementation of this biomass briquette project, carried out by the Africa Conservation Fund.
Biomass briquettes are made from the likes of leaves, grass, coffee husks, sawdust, and scrap paper. They are pressed into briquettes using simple wood presses that can be made anywhere with a minimal amount of tools.
As biomass briquettes are a low-tech alternative to the production of charcoal, this project not only helps to reduce poverty and create local employment in this war-torn region, but also helps to slow down deforestation in the Virunga National Park. The 18 month ?Virunga non-woody biomass briquette project?, to which the IES has contributed through analyses and advisory services, has started in May 2009.
15 January 2009
The Institute for Environmental Security, through its Chairman Wouter Veening, looks with satisfaction at a successful first phase of the Central Kalimantan Peatland Project (CKPP).
Peatlands, their functions and values for the local people as well as the impact of their degradation on climate change have been put high on the local, national and international agendas. New approaches, tools and methods have been developed and tested and are now available for wider application for the conservation, restoration and wise use of peatlands.
As an active member of the CKPP International Advisory Board, Wouter Veening has provided guidance over the last three years and looks forward to be involved in the follow-up phase starting in Spring 2009.
Intensified efforts to promote forest conservation
18 November 2008
The Ugandan government has announced intensified efforts to promote forest conservation with the latest move being a plan to deploy soldiers in forests to stop illegal forest exploitation. The Minister of Water and Environment, Maria Mutagamba says that her ministry has finalized talks with the security agencies to provide security operatives.
Deforestation has worsened in Uganda by the absence of forest rangers who can protect forests from encroachment and over-exploitation for timber and charcoal. Therefore soldiers will now be deployed across the country to curtail such illegal activities.
Rangers forced to flee into the forest
28 October 2008
Rebels loyal to dissident General Laurent Nkunda seized the Headquarters of Virunga National Park and its Gorilla Sector last Sunday after intense fighting with the Congolese army since the early hours. 53 Rangers were forced to flee into the forests and abandon the park station, in fear of their lives.
Fighting between rebels and the army in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has been intermittent in this lush volcanic area, keeping wildlife rangers out of the forest for the last eight months. When the conflict intensified late August, renewed instability and chaos was brought to the area, including the Virunga National Park, that is home to 200 of the last remaining 700 mountain gorillas in the world.
"The seizure of our Park Headquarters at Rumangabo by rebels is unprecedented, even in all the years of conflict in the region," said Virunga Park Director Emmanuel de Merode. As the rebels are heading towards the regional capital Goma, tens of thousands of civilians abandoned their homes ahead of the rebel advance. As a result of the tension, several NGOs and conservation groups have evacuated Goma.