The urgency is real: the climate is warming, people and crops are suffering and species are being lost.
Promoting Regenerative Strategies for Climate Justice
Scientific consensus warns of catastrophic changes if we continue to transgress planetary boundaries. Meanwhile inequality continues to rise within and between nations, and the climate justice debates are heating up in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21.
Gaia Education implements on the ground solutions taking us from the debate to practical action!
Together with our partners in the Global South we have been supporting communities in strengthening their agro-ecological productivity and food sovereignty by conducting educational programmes that offer practical skills while addressing the deeper structural changes needed to tackle the root causes of poverty and climate change.
Draughts, heavy rains, severe floods - for those who live ‘from-land-to-mouth’ their lives stands on the frontline of climate change each year.
750 Tribal women of Koraput whose monsoon season has become erratic in Orissa India
42 Dallit communities of Khulna and Bagerhat districts whose crops have been washed away due to 60 days incessant rain in Bangladesh in 2015
2,500 Women’s farmer’s association re-awakening lifeless soils to production in the Podor region of Senegal
Our partners in the South live with increasingly unpredictable environmental patterns. This creates an imperative for constant learning as a pathway for adaptive capacity and resilience. Since place-based learning is an organic, internal and cultural process, Gaia Education sees its role as facilitator of the emergence of a locally adapted learning response. In our Project-Based learning activities we strengthen the existent capacities of our learners, instead of ‘filling’ the knowledge gap of our ‘beneficiaries’.
Together with our partners we are constantly improving and disseminating climate resilient agricultural methods which combine innovation with traditional ways of growing food. Mulching, composting, vermi-composting vermiculture, herbal pesticides, raised bed and vertical cultivation have so far significantly improved the productivity of their soils and the nutrition of their meals.
In the absence of strong global agreements, climate action depends on local responses. This is our field!
Issues such as economic development, climate, finance, biodiversity, security and migration have become highly interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and cannot be adequately addressed with a focus on single issue solutions. This convergence of multiple crises requires a deep rethinking of our economic, political and social systems.
Gaia Education believes that to offer issue-by-issue responses will at- best fix symptoms rather than tackle the root causes of the disparities between North and South. Nothing less than a whole system re-design will be sufficient to substantially reduce emissions quickly enough to stay within the global carbon budget and avoid run-away climate change.
The hard truth is that the global climate crisis is due almost entirely to overconsumption in the Global North. Time has come for the Global North to re-design its presence on the planet. The transformative innovation that drives behavior and systems change is already taking place as successful community-led initiatives, ranging in scale from ecovillages, transition towns, eco-neighbourhoods, urban villages to eco-cities and bioregional initiatives.
In the Global North Gaia Education promotes an education that demonstrates how climate-resilient lifestyles are not only possible but can be enriching. Our programmes explore how the extractive linear consumer economy can be transformed into regionally adapted circular economies that eliminate the concept of waste and use energy and materials with great efficiency. Education for global citizenship shows how we can create a work that works for all people and the planet by distributing wealth more fairly within and between generations. In synthesis, Gaia Education offers capacity-building programmes that make quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking.
192 Face-to-face Ecovillage Design Education programmes
7000 sustainability designers
95% of students rate programmes as excellent or good
3 E-learning courses offered in English, Portuguese and Spanish
There are reasons for hope. Humanity has co-created the situation we are in, we can also co-create more viable alternatives. In fact, only if we face this task collectively, uniting in our common humanity, we will have a chance to create a new societal accord where life activities unfold within planetary boundaries leaving no one behind.
Gaia Education is one voice amongst thousands calling and acting for climate justice. We join in greater solidarity with frontline movements who are showing with great resolve that while there may be paralysis above there is great transformation below.