RSS

Tag Archives: Congo

Chocolate Forever 11 Remarkable sustainability initiatives.

PhiliipKaufmanCongo

To adequately cocer the breadth and variety of vosions on sustainability in the Netherlands, it is necessary to expand the scope of this study to some remarkable, smaller-scale initiatives. These initiatives are remarkable because they move beyond securing supply and help to push the sustainability debate further. They take place in different segments of the chain and are not primarly driven by risks or regulation; instead they are the result of search for alternatives and smart ways of achieving sustainability in the cocoa chain. This section will also discuss how local circumstances can either stimulate or hinder these initiatives. It will not cover all of important sustainability cocoa initiatives in the Netherlands, but it will provide a good overview of key projects. A disinction will be made between the different initiatives of SMEs, conventional players, and other actors actively involved in the production of organic cocoa.

In this section just one important show a determined commitment and drive to manufacture the best product, and bear the responsibility of achieving sustainability in the cocoa chain.

The restoring economy of Original Beans.

336319_279949108686041_184293801584906_1334446_2872572_o

Original Beans was founded on the idea of building a restoring economy on the basis of consumption. Because we define sustainability as leaving a situation as you have found it, it is not sufficient to produce as responsibly as possible because there is Always damage inficted. Therefore, we must restore the damage we do in the entire chain. (R.Nickels, OB 2010)

Original Beans is a small chocolate company, founded in 2008 on the idea that ‘what we consume we must replenish’. Although this seems like a simple idea, implementing it is a big challenge. Original Beans begins by using a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) to identify the footprint of the entire chain from production until the package is discarded in the rubbish bin. This macroanalysis is used to analyse the environmental damage in terms of energy, water, and waste.

By employing the LCA method, Original Beans learned that the main environmental damage in the cocoa chain take place in three different phases: production, processing, and packaging. Cocoa production in origin countries goes hand-in-hand with land conversion: the resulting deforestation is a major contributor to CO2 emissions.Other pollutants are the pesticides and artificial fertilizer used during the production phase. As a carbon intensive process, also cocoa processing entails environmental costs. The packaging material used for wrapping chocolate is made from fossil fuels and is not biodegradable; the glue and inkt contain the toxic substances toluene and cadmium respectively. Currently, Original Beans is now using fully biodegradable foil for its chocolate bars (2012).

The LCA does provide insight in environmental issues but it does not directly address economic concerns. For viable economic options fundamental choises have be made on where you get cocoa from. Original Beans’ policy is to exclusively source from forest systems, while respecting the diversity of trees and making sure that cocoa production in the forest does not adversely affect the carrying capacity of the forest. This is achieved primarly by replanting trees without using pesticides or artificial fertilizers.  For every bar of chocolate sold, local community farmers plant a tree that will support the forest – not just the rare cacao trees, but various species of trees that are neccesary for maintaining a healty biodiversity. Eventually the farmer is paid a fair price both for producing cocoa and for his work in these environmental services. New cocoa trees generate immediate revenu for the farmers, and the some of the other trees (e.g., teak) are an investment that will yield income in the future.

In the production phase, Original Beans works directly with cocoa farmers and is actively involved in organising them. Currently, Original Beans is exploring the possibility of sourcing Ecuadorian cocoa, produced by indigenous people living in the rain forest, which requires establishing a knowledge infrastructure. In this example, Original Beans works together with the Progreso fund and program, a leading network for hands-on business development assistance to smallholder farmers. In Congo, Original Beans buys EKO certfied cocoa from a local cocoa trader that works together with the Dutch Louis Bolk Institute (Agro Eco). Around 10.000 farmers are involved in this business. In Congo, Original Beans is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), a federally owned organisation in Germany and the Dutch Foundation DOEN. The goal is to stimulate larger companies to source high quality cocoa from Congo.

In tackling the technical issues involved in processing and packaging, Original Beans works together with different partners, both Dutch and international. These partners are mainly companies that supply packaging or are involved in the processing of cocoa used by Original Beans. Thse are traditional companies that need to be additionally stimulated to change their customary business practices. As a client, Original Beans provides this incentive. According to Philipp Kaufmann, Their suppliers of packaging and cocoa products have become convinced about the potential of improving their business through more environmentally friendly practices, and are exploring the use of alternative sources of energy, for example, using energy from windmills or water turbines by a processor.

Original-Beans

We should look at the result farmers get per effort instead of result per hectare.

next time: problems with knowledge application

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Olie-exploratie in Virunga afgewend?

ORIGINAL BEANS | THE PLANET | REPLANT IT

http://www.originalbeans.com/

The people behind Original Beans are coming together across countries drawn by a shared passion for sustainable farming, delicious food, and the conservation of our world’s threatened rainforest. Business Week has called Original Beans a company that is ‘making the world better through chocolate.’

From the ground-up Original Beans has developed this first-ever single-origin cacao from war-torn Eastern Congo. We establish nurseries, create quality training programmes, and replant forest to help farmers rebuild their livelihoods and communities and protect Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest nature reserve and home of the last Mountain Gorillas.

ALLERT VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK!!!

Congo wil geld om olie in ondergrond te laten zitten.

Als in het Virungapark in Congo naar olie wordt geboord, dan zijn deze zeldzame gorilla’s in gevaar. Om olie in de grond te laten, denkt Congo aan een compensatie zoals in Ecuador. Maar die vergelijking gaat helemaal niet op.

Het ongerepte Virungapark, aan de grens met Rwanda, behoort tot het natuurpatrimonium van Congo en is door de Unesco erkend als werelderfgoed. Virunga is ook de habita van een belangrijke groep zilverruggorilla’s. In de hele wereld zijn er nog 820 van die gorilla’s over. Ongeveer de helft leeft in de bergen van Virunga.

“Een Congolese wet uit 1969 verbiedt dat in Virunga aan mijn- en bosbouw en aan olie-ontginning wordt gedaan”, zegt de Congolese milieuactivist Joseph Bobia.

  

In Congo leidt Bobia het Réseau des Resources Naturelles. De milieuorganisatie, die zich ondermeer inzet tegen de illegale houtkap en exploitatie, is in België een partner van 11.11.11. Bobia maakt zich zorgen dat het risico dat in het Virungapark naar olie zal worden gezocht, nog niet is afgewend. Begin maart 2012 startte het Britse bedrijf Soco met verkenningsvluchten boven het park. Ondanks de Congolese wetgeving had de Congolese overheid daarvoor blijkbaar al in september 2011 toestemming voor gegeven. ‘Binnen de Congolese regering heerst onduidelijkheid. Zo was minister van Milieu José Endundo eerst erg gekant tegen de exploratie van olie, maar schaart hij zich nu achter de minister van Olie, Célestin Mbuyu. De milieuminister zou nu een decreet willen uitvaardigen, dat het Franse Total het Britse en het Italiaanse Eni toelaat om in Virunga naar olie te zoeken.’

Gorilla with stick in mouth

De Congolese regering verkeert in lopende zaken. Het is onduidelijk of beide ministers hun finctie behouden, en welk gevolg dat heeft voor Virunga. Parkdirecteur in Virunga is de Belg Emmanuel de Merode. Maar er is nog een verband met ons land. Het Britse oliebedrijf Soco behoort tot een consortium waarvan BNP-Parisbas de belangrijkste investeerder is. De Belgische staat is voor zo’n 11 procent aandeelhouder van deze bank. Voor minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Didier Reynders kan er geen sprake zijn van olie-exploratie of -exploitatie in het beschermde Virungapark. Bij zijn recent bezoek aan Congo is hij daarover duidelijk geweest tegenover president Joseph Kabila. Die heeft Reynders toen gegarandeerd dat Congp enkel proefboringen wil toestaan om een idee te krijgen van de omvang van de olievoorraad in Virunga.

Virunga National Park Map

Wat wil Kabila dan wel? De Congolese autoriteiten verwijzen naar Ecuador. Dat land liet een oliebel in de ondergrond van een natuurpark zitten, maar vroeg de internationale gemeenschap dat financieel te compenseren. Voor Yasuni is all 122 miljoen dollar toegezegd, Yasuni is een interessant precedent in de discussie over hoe met natuurlijke rijkdommen in het zuiden kan worden omgegaan, zegt Bogdan Vanden Berghe van 11.11.11., een organisatie die sterk heeft gepleit voor het natuurbehoud in Yasuni. ‘Maar je kan Virunga niet zomaar met Ecuador vergelijken. Yasuni is een biosfeerreservaat. Over wat daar mag gebeuren, is de wet niet altijd even duidelijk. Maar Virunga is werelderfgoed. Het verbod op exploratie is zonneklaar.’

Overigens behoort financiële compensatie voor natuurbehoud in de juiste handen tercht te komen. Vnaden Berghe herinnert aan de corruptie in Congo. ‘Oost-Congo os letterlijk en figuurlijk explosief’, besluit Joseph Bobia. ‘Er zitten rebellen, er is een actieve vulkaan, in het Kivumeer zit methaangas en in de ondergrond waarschijnlijk olie. Deze vier factoren kunnen een ecologische ravage aanrichten, en dat leidt ook tot menselijk lijden.’

Virunga National Park (Virunga NP)
At just over 3,000 square miles (8,000 km2), Virunga NP is not the largest Park in DR Congo but in comparison to UK National Parks, it is massive.

Virunga is a long, elongated Park.

It stretches from close to Goma in the south, and bordering Rwanda in the east, up to the Ruhenzori mountains in the north, on the border with Uganda. In the centre, is Lake Edward.

Virunga became a World Heritage Site in 1979. Due to major insecurity during the Great Lakes conflict, it was listed as a ‘World Heritage Site – in Danger’ in 1994.

Virunga has southern, central and northern sectors, with a main ranger station in each. Mutsora in the north, Rwindi in the central sector and Rumangabo in the south, also serving as the National Park Headquarters.

Virunga is not only the oldest National Park in Africa, it’s also the second oldest National Park in the world, only behind America’s Yellowstone NP.

Despite this, the forests and amazing animals of the park, most notably the mountain gorilla, are in a desperate fight for their survival.

Virunga NP is truly the crown jewel of Africa’s Parks. The 8,000 km2  Park contains over 50% of sub-Saharan Africa’s biodiversity and is home to about 200 of the earth’s last 740 critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Along with the mountain gorilla, Virunga is also home to the golden monkey, Rwenzori duiker, Rwenzori otter shrew, elephant, hippo, the large Rwenzori Tauraco and rare chameleon.

Visit Virunga   http://gorillacd.org/

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: