Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!
10 March 2021
Post No. 186
The Week’s Contents
• Build Forward Better Programme – Key Highlights
• Climate Action no. 2: REDUCE Pollution and COVID-19 Induced Climate Issues
• Halving Poverty for Children in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger
… And much more!
• Build Forward Better Programme – Key Highlights
As lockdowns are gradually eased and economies and societies are reopening, it is perhaps the time to start the work of rebuilding projects, services, activities and any other areas of operations that may have been affected by the coronavirus and its associated health and economic impacts.
However, in our approach to rebuilding, we should not only build back better, we should as well have a long term perspective. Therefore, building forward better should be the policy or programme we should pursue. This policy or programme will be about engineering a post-COVID-19 recovery that is climate-smart, greener and cleaner for both our work in the UK and Africa. In other words, we need to build forward better together with the communities in the UK and in Africa. In this respect, Build Forward Better Programme will be about taking a low-carbon development and greener economic path as we transition to a post-coronavirus development world.
Under the Main Development section of this post, we have provided more information about this programme.
• Climate Action no. 2: REDUCE Pollution and COVID-19 Induced Climate Issues (From Wednesday 10/03/2021)
Before dealing with the different climate actions that can help to reduce pollution, let us first illustrate the problem that COVID-19 may have brought in the area pollution and waste. We are going to do it through the use of plastics.
• • Plastic Pollution and Waste as a result of COVID-19
To fight and control the coronavirus pandemic, companies and households have been producing products (goods and services). Amongst these products, there are face coverings or masks, visors, gloves, hand sanitisers and other personal protective equipment. This is let alone the vaccines to tackle different COVID-19 variants.
Some of these products are made with plastics; some of them are disposable ones. These products are produced in million quantities across the globe. This poses the problem of recycling and pollution, especially for plastics. Not all countries around the world, especially in Africa, have enough capacity in terms of recycling facilities. This raises as well the issue of dealing with climate change as all this waste is sent back to the nature and often in water (like streams, rivers, lakes, seas and oceans). This further questions the health of water.
The production, distribution and consumption of COVID-19 products are happening despite the fact the coronavirus has caused a temporary decline in greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, during the COVID-19 lockdowns there has been reduction of air pollution with the closure of non-essential economic activities and of roads in some cities. There have been less cars and traffic or travel, etc. This has helped to temporarily lower greenhouse gas emissions.
It is known that reducing pollution and COVID-19 induced issues that can lead to climate-damaging emissions (linked to the lack of recycling of COVID-19 products) can help to improve the quality of air we breathe, reduce waste, and therefore can have less adverse impact on the climate. To achieve this reduction, action needs to be taken like the following.
• • Climate Actions to Reduce Pollution induced by COVID-19 Waste
Coronavirus used items (like gloves, masks and hand sanitizers), if not collected and recycled, can cause pollution on land, in air and water. To deal with the COVID-19 waste, particularly but not exclusively single-use plastic waste, climate actions need to be taken. These actions could be of these kinds:
√ Resume recycling programmes that have been stopped because of COVID-19 outbreak
√ Reduce packaging waste from deliveries relating to lockdowns and related to online quarantine economy
√ Stop upsurge in polluting plastic activities
√ Prevent the environmental crisis caused by COVID-19 to become humanitarian one
√ Reduce the skyrocketing use of disposable plastic masks and gloves; instead use reusable and washable ones
√ Reduce COVID-19 waste from single-use personal protection equipment
√ Reopen shuttered recycling facilities and increase recycling curtailed by COVID-19
√ Reactivate or review laws or regulations on single-use plastic bags
√ Increase the share of renewables in the energy mix
Climate action is about translating words into concrete action to reduce pollution (particularly plastic pollution) as a long term sustainable development goal. By doing that one can shows the way forward. These actions will bring co-benefits to the COVID-19 economic recovery and climate.
For any queries or enquiries about this second Climate Action, please contact CENFACS.
• Halving Poverty for Children in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger
ONLY TWO WEEKS TO GO…
For HALVING POVERTY FOR CHILDREN IN BURKINA FASO, MALI AND NIGER before stepping into Spring 2021
Our fundraising campaign about Halving Poverty in Africa’s Central Sahel will be closed in two weeks. We are again appealing to those who can to donate or pledge or make a gift aid declaration for this deserving cause.
We know this is an extremely difficult time for everybody including donors/funders. However, in places like Africa’s Central Sahel where poverty was already acute, it is even harder to survive as a child without any help at this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
Your support can make helpful difference to those children in need in Central Sahel of Africa at this challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic.
To support and or enquire about this Africa’s Central Sahel fundraising campaign, please contact CENFACS.
To find out further details about this campaign, please go to: http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/
• Climate Action Share: Reducing My Demands upon Nature
Climate actions undertaken can be shared. To share them, we are working on what everybody can try to do in order to reduce their demands on the nature. We are going to refer to Dr. Aaron Bernstein’s answers to a conversation on COVID-19. Dr. Aaron Bernstein (1) argued the following:
“Less demand for animal meat and more sustainable animal husbandry could decrease emerging infectious disease risk and lower greenhouse gas emissions”
From what Dr. A. Bernstein said, CENFACS is asking to those who can to share with us their feelings about their demands on the nature/environment. If anyone of you could share with CENFACS the action they are taking to reduce their demands upon nature, this could be great.
To share your Climate Action about the reduction of your demands upon nature/environment, please contact CENFACS by using any of these means of communication:
text, phone, e-mail and complete the contact form on this website.
• Energy Substitution Effect
As part of work on energy for the poor and climate action, CENFACS is working on energy substitution effect of fossil fuels (e.g. coal, oil and natural gas) for cleaner and renewable energies (such as wind, wave and solar power) from a change in their relative prices for low income households.
If anyone within the community is doing similar research work, it could be good to discuss together with CENFACS.
To discuss the energy substitution effect, please contact CENFACS.
• The Interaction between Pollution, Poverty and Coronavirus
Since we are taking climate action to tackle pollution that COVID-19 products can lead (in terms of waste), we are as well looking at the link between this kind of pollution and poverty, especially in places where there is a lack of recycling capacity or facilities.
Indeed; millions of gloves, face coverings and hand sanitisers have been used every day in every section of every society and every economy in the world. One does not need to be an environmental conservationist to figure out where these gloves, face coverings and hand sanitisers will end up, especially for single-use ones.
It is known that all these items have been used for human life-saving purpose and in the context of health and economic emergencies. However, in places where recycling infrastructures and structures are not advanced (like in many parts of Africa), there is a good probability that these used items would be abandoned in the nature. This could increase the level of pollution (on land, in air and water). If one talks about air pollution for instance, the lack of recycling of these abandoned items can affect the quality of air that people breathe in those places.
So, there could be interaction between pollution, poverty and COVID-19. In particular, when the non-recycled items used in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic get abandoned in the nature and become a source of pollution (land or air or water pollution). For example, air pollution can harm lives (in terms of respiratory infection particularly in children) and interact with poverty.
Those who would like to further discuss the above briefly described interaction; they are welcome to contact CENFACS.
• Build Forward Better Programme – Key Highlights
The key highlights relating to Build Forward Better Programme in this post include the following three items: the meaning of this programme, the reason behind the setting up of this programme, the section of this programme that applies to CENFACS’ area of operation in Africa.
• • What is Build-Forward-Better Programme?
Build Forward Better Programme (BFBP) is a set of projects and activities designed with the aim to ensure that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic sits on sound and sustainable foundations that build back better the poverty reduction gains hard-won so far and help beneficiaries to move forward better and greener. The programme is scheduled for two years depending on the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, with a possibility of roll out.
Through this programme, beneficiaries will make steady progress in their journey and work of reconstruction from the COVID-19 impacts while preparing to stay resilient to future similar shocks and crisis.
BFBP takes stock of CENFACS’ version of Build Back Better Programme.
• • What is Build Back Better Programme?
There are many versions of Build Back Better Programme around the world. The CENFACS’ version of Build Back Better Programme considers the three elements of Build Back Better model which are: recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. This version is from the disaster relief phases as defined at the United Nations General Assembly (2). The latter argues that Build Back Better is
“the use of the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases after a disaster to increase the resilience of nations and communities through integrating disaster risk reduction measures into the restoration of physical infrastructure and social systems, and into the revitalisation of livelihoods, economies and the environment”.
Since the coronavirus pandemic is a shock and disaster, we can apply this definition to the communities here in the UK and in Africa in order to build back better. We can build back better with the community in the UK and those in Africa. An example of the application of the build-back-better programme is the one we could do with CENFACS’ Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs).
Build Back Better with the communities and ASOs will include the following:
√ Getting ASOs’ work back on track and their feet as economies rebound and lockdowns get eased
√ Triggering post-coronavirus funding, fundraising development and activities
√ Alignment with long-term emission reduction goals and targets (for example, with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions)
√ Improving access to post-coronavirus services and support
√ Building on creation and innovation to counteract future shocks and crisis
√ Continue to stay climate resilient and vigilant
√ Develop and/or improve entry to value chains in ASOs specific industry
All the above key dimensions of Build Back Better Programme will be based on well-being, inclusiveness and safety against the coronavirus pandemic.
However, when we reset the phases of the COVID-19 Campaign last month, we said that we could start by Building Forward Together. As we were still in a sinusoidal movement of the epidemiological curves of the coronavirus, it would be uncertain to know when these curves would flatten for a longer period. Because of that and the fact the coronavirus was already established in people’s mind as a reality (that is why we spoke about the post-coronavirus economy), we could now think of building forward.
• • Why to Build Forward Better
We are campaigning to build forward together for the following reasons:
# Some of the services and activities will be built back to their original state or normal condition
# Others will not be restored to their original or near conditions
# Others more may even entirely disappear without any chance of being restored
# Others more will be transformed to cope with the new realities and post-coronavirus economy.
Because of these reasons, we have reset the COVID-19 Campaign and are now working to move or build forward together. However, building forward better together will depend on the final result of the impact analysis of COVID-19 on CENFACS’ system of production of poverty reduction and sustainable development products.
• • Build Forward Better with Africa-based Sister Organisations
Build-Forward-Better Programme, which will be run at the level of CENFACS and with Africa-based Sister Organisations, will enable to recover forward better and greener by aligning poverty reduction work with long-term emission reduction goals. The programme will help both CENFACS and ASOs to try new ways of working, adapt and sustain emerging new working practices, develop postponed plans and activities and get the end-users of this programme out of their way to COVID-19 induced poverty and hardships.
In the context of this post, we are going to share with our followers, supporters and readers what Build Forward Better with ASOs will include; leaving Build Forward Better Programme within CENFACS for another occasion.
• • • Build Forward Better with Africa-based Sister Organisations
Build Forward Better with Africa-based Sister Organisations (BFBP with ASOs) is about working together with them so that they can navigate their ways to improve in those areas where COVID-19 has brought a new window of opportunities and lessons to be learnt.
Those areas include the following: digitalisation (digital literacy and numeracy), remote work and access online services and goods. These areas are part of CENFACS’ Digital and Social Media Campaign, particularly the level 4 of this campaign which is about Distance Working Technologies.
Build Forward Better with Africa-based Sister Organisations implies the following:
√ Centre staging people in the process of recovery from the coronavirus
√ Reaping off the benefits provided by digital transformation such as remote work
√ Ring-fencing ASOs’ structures and infrastructures to become more resilient to future shocks and crisis
√ De-risking their poverty reduction instruments
√ Investing in internet-based economic and nature-based solutions
√ Strengthening resilience of ASOs and their users
√ Bringing together green and blue economies within ASOs
√ Using climate-smart approaches to tackle recovery problems
It is hoped that all the above will help build forward better together greener and cleaner.
For further details about Build Forward Better Programme (including the different projects and activities making this programme, outcomes, indicators, benefits, budget, monitoring and evaluation), please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
(1) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/c-change/subtopics/coronavirus-and-climate-change/ (accessed March 2021)
(2) United Nations General Assembly, 2016. Report of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Expert Working Group on Indicators and Terminology Relating to Disaster Risk Reduction. Seventy-First Session, Item 19(c). A/71/644
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We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2021 and beyond.
With many thanks.