Millennials’ biggest concern is climate change & destruction of nature

Climate change was chosen as the top concern by nearly half of participants in the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Survey 2017. The survey included over 24,000 young people who responded in 14 languages. The majority of participants also agreed that humans are responsible for climate change. 

 

 

Millenials worldwide also showed concern for a wide range of social ills:

1. Climate change / destruction of nature (48.8%)
2. Large scale conflict / wars (38.9%)
3. Inequality (income, discrimination) (30.8%)
4. Poverty (29.2%)
5. Religious conflicts (23.9%)
6. Government accountability and transparency / corruption (22.7%)
7. Food and water security (18.2%)
8. Lack of education (15.9%)
9. Safety / security / wellbeing (14.1%)
10. Lack of economic opportunity and employment (12.1%)

 

“This survey reaffirms the image of young people I have from my meetings with youth around the world: they are optimistic, empathetic and view themselves as global citizens. I hope we can answer their call for a more equal, transparent and open world.”
– H.R.H Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

 

The Global Shapers Forum is a network of young people under the age of 30 which sprang out of the World Economic Forum.  This collective of dynamic, inspiring young people is driving global change through a diverse range of grassroots projects in cities across the world.

 

 

Re-post ~ The 10 biggest global concerns, according to millennials | Treehugger

Read full report ~ Global Shapers Survey 2017

Australia’s female farmers are the ‘invisible women’ driving innovation in sustainable agriculture

48% of real farm income in Australia is produced by women, yet their work often goes unrecognised. However, this may be changing, as a recent article in The Guardian highlights the up-and-coming female farmers who are emerging as thought-leaders and innovators in sustainable agribusiness.

 

Anika Molesworth was named Young Farmer of the Year in 2015

 

When looking for examples of empowered female farmers, you need look no further than Anika Molesworth. She completed her undergraduate degree in agribusiness by correspondence after watching a ten year drought ravage her family’s farm in western NSW. She is now studying for a PhD in agriculture climate science and is experimenting with new technology on the farm.

“The younger generation are so much more aware of what is happening around the world. We do go travelling. We are studying with colleagues from all over the world and we are bringing those ideas to the farming landscape.”

 

Many women (50% of women on farms) support farming families through their work off-farm. As well as increasing farm income, this is one way that Molesworth hopes to have a greater impact on farming practices, by combining her farm work with being a consultant and educator in sustainable farming.

There are also those seeking to change how female farmers are viewed and understood at a societal level; Invisible Farmer, a new project funded by the Australian Research Council, aims to remedy the gender inequality which has been endemic in farming for centuries, and continues to be so, partly due to the fact that sons traditionally inherit the farm. The project aims to ‘create new histories of rural Australia [and] reveal the hidden stories of women on the land’. Katrina Sasse, a 29-year-old farmer from Morawa in Western Australia brings the encouraging news that around 10% of daughters are going back to work on family farms, and the number is growing.

 

“There are a lot of stories where women feel discontented because they feel ignored or they have been pushed away and they don’t have any influence in the decision-making on the future of the family farm.”

 

Sasse’s research looks at ways to get daughters more involved in family farms by examining what their strengths are, what they can bring to the business and how they can be included in the succession plan.

 

Read More ~ Women: the silent partners of agriculture by M. Alston of Charles Sturt University

Re-post ~ ‘Invisible farmers’: the young women injecting new ideas into agriculture by Fiona Smith in The Guardian

Outback pub brings hope and healing

A former vegetable farmer from Victoria has renovated a derelict outback pub with the aim of turning it into a community hub for local Aboriginal people. Andrew Stacey particularly wants to provide meaning and purpose for local youth by creating a place for all ages to meet, display their artwork and, he hopes, a whole lot more.

 

The 140-year-old Queens Head Hotel in Wilcannia has recently been re-opened as a community hub for the local Aboriginal community.

 

Mr Stacey decided to buy the Queens Head Hotel in Wilcannia and turn it into a community arts facility after chatting to locals to understand what their needs were and how they could best be met. He believes that an arts facility is a good ‘front’ for many other things that the town needs, such as advocacy, assistance and mentoring and education. He also hopes that the facility will act as a kind of ‘shopfront’ for visitors to the town.

Aboriginal locals are enthusiastic about the project, which was launched recently with a community art exhibition including the names of every local Aboriginal family.

 

“It’s going to be something that won’t fail … because to me it’s like a gathering place. Somewhere for people to go and sit, and meet up, and talk about issues in the town.”

 

Said Colleen Wilson, who attended the launch.

Stacey, who is also an artist, is happy to have been able to solidify his connection with the town, which he has felt very strongly since his first visit in 2016, describing it as ‘vivid and alive and warm and welcoming’.

“This was a great public house of drinking, and it’s a matter of great pride to see it converted to a public house of healing.”

Re-post ~ Derelict outback pub becomes ‘public house of healing’ for Indigenous locals in far west NSW on ABC News

A Trillion Trees

Plant For The Planet, a global tree-planting movement sparked by a nine-year-old’s school project, has joined forces with the UN’s Billion Trees Campaign. They aim to encourage the planting of at least one billion native trees each year worldwide. In the first five years of the campaign 12,585,293,312 were planted and they are still going strong.

Stop talking, start planting: Giselle Bundchen shows her support for the tree-planting projecte

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen with campaign founder Felix Finkbeiner, showing her support for the tree-planting initiative.

Felix Finkbeiner set the challenge to plant a million trees in his home country of Germany when he was nine years old, inspired by founder of the Greenbelt Movement Wangari Maathai, who he learnt about during a school project. Felix planted his first tree outside the gates of his school in 2007 and by the time he was 13 his message had spread and he was speaking at international conferences. That year, in 2011, the one millionth tree was planted in Germany.

The charismatic Finkbeiner, who is now studying at university in London, has inspired a generation of young activists to believe in their ability to influence change.

 

“I knew he was this legendary kid,” says Aji Piper, a 15-year-old tree “ambassador” in Seattle who met Finkbeiner in 2015. Piper, an activist and plaintiff in a children’s’ lawsuit against the United States government over climate change, regards Finkbeiner as a role model.

“We saw he was doing speeches. He was so young. Very impressive. That’s the skill level I want to get to.”

 

The campaign also prompted the first global tree count, carried out by NASA, which showed that there are around three trillion trees on the planet, over seven times more than was previously estimated. However, with deforestation occurring at a rate of 10 billion trees per year, the coalition realised that they needed to up their goal from a billion to a trillion trees planted… and they took on the challenge, adding their weight to other tree-planting initiatives around the world.

 

Reviving The Redwoods: The Life’s Work of David Milarch

Re-post ~ Teenager Is on Track To Plant A Trillion Trees by Laura Parker in National Geographic

Find out more and get involved ~ Plant For The Planet; Bonn Challenge

Sacred mountains celebrate decade back under Aboriginal management

Sacred mountain handback

What began as a bold experiment ~ handing over control of two national parks in New South Wales to traditional Aboriginal owners a decade ago ~ is today being hailed as a landmark act of reconciliation.

In 2006 the NSW Government formally handed back Gulaga and Biamanga National Parks on the far south coast to the Yuin people, because of the significant cultural sites they contain and the living links to local Indigenous groups.

Gulaga, which was previously formally known as Mount Dromedary, is an imposing 823-metre mountain rising near the coastal town of Narooma. Biamanga National Park includes Mumbulla Mountain, further south in the Bega valley.

To the Yuin people, Gulaga is known as the Mother Mountain, and has always been a woman’s place. It includes sacred sites where Aboriginal women would retreat for storytelling, ceremony and childbirth.

Meanwhile Mumbulla was a traditional men’s mountain, and contains initiation sites where boys would become men of the Yuin tribe.

The Board of Management Chair for Gulaga, Iris White, said the park was a “beautiful” and “spiritual” place.

The energy the Yuin people have harnessed from Gulaga mountain took a very practical form when they successfully lobbied the NSW Government for traditional ownership back in 2006. Biamanga Board chair Paul Stewart said it was the culmination of decades of struggle for legal recognition of Indigenous links to their land.

“I’m just so happy to put something back,” Mr Stewart said. “Something 10 years ago that we used to drive past and say to our kids, ‘that’s ours’ … now we have got the chance to manage it.”

Traditional ownership of the national parks areas means they are managed in very different ways to other parks. For instance, a recently released Plan of Management allows Indigenous owners to close the parks to public access for cultural purposes such as initiation rites. It also allows for the possibility of traditional fire management and hunting on site.

National Parks area manager Preston Cope said those land uses required a rethink for their agency. “There are a lot of native bush tucker foods around this park,” Mr Cope said. “In a normal park, it would be illegal to collect plant material, but in this park if you’re an Aboriginal owner and you get permission from the board, then you can come and do that. “Guns cannot be used ~ they have to use traditional methods for hunting.”

Under the joint management arrangement, decisions about the running of the parks are made by the two boards, and implemented by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. “One of [the board’s] aspirations is for developing tourism on the park,” Mr Cope said. “If we were managing the park without Aboriginal owners involved, it would be a much more straight-forward business. We have to have everybody in agreeance with how the cultural heritage will be interpreted, and to do that, requires a fair bit of work that we wouldn’t normally do.”

However, all parties agree that traditional ownership of the two sacred mountains has led to a cultural revival, especially for young people who are now learning their culture.

Re-post ~ Sacred mountains celebrate decade back under Aboriginal management | ABC News

Read more ~ National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW Management Plans

Children surveyed about their wellbeing …

Featured image - Survey Australian children wellbeing

An average of one child in every classroom goes to school or bed hungry nearly every day, while one in five say this happens sometimes, a study of Australian children shows.

The Australian Child Wellbeing Project  (ACWP) found that a large minority of young people self-identify as being in groups that are marginalised and at risk of poor outcomes both through childhood, and as they develop towards adulthood. The study shows how contexts matter, and how outcomes in one area of young people’s lives are often linked to outcomes in other areas.

The survey of more than 5,400 children in schools across Australia also showed one in 10 children missed school at least once a week and one in six said they had been bullied.

The ACWP findings are described as unique, filling a knowledge gap about child wellbeing in Australia, with potential to influence government policy and cross-sector collaboration on issues of child and youth wellbeing

The lead researcher, Flinders University’s Associate Professor Gerry Redmond, said the Australian Child Wellbeing Project findings showed that for many children “life is pretty tough”.

“One young person in five reported going to school or bed hungry at least sometimes, and were also more likely to miss school frequently,” Professor Redmond said.”What we really want to bring out with this is how hunger is linked with a whole load of other issues that impact seriously on a young person’s wellbeing,” he told 666 ABC Canberra.

“Hunger itself is a big wellbeing issue but it’s also linked to other issues that policy markers are also very concerned about ~ such as engagement at school, missing school all together and bullying. Young people who go hungry are more likely to experience these other issues and problems.”

Professor Redmond said the two-year study began in 2012 and was the largest of its kind in Australia, in which young people were the informants. He said the survey focused on the “middle years” between early childhood and adolescence, when children were aged between 8 to 14. Professor Redmond said the study did not focus on a particular area, or demographic, but did find that if young people were marginalised, or were economically disadvantaged, they were “missing out on opportunities that should be available to all young people”

“Support [also] makes a big difference,” he said. “If you feel like you’re supported by your teachers, if you feel like you’ve got a large network around you, then regardless of your economic circumstances, you tend to assess your life as better than if you don’t have these things. Where they have support networks they can draw on… they tend to perform better in school and be more motivated in school.”

Re-post ~ One in five children go to school or bed hungry sometimes: study | ABC News 

Other links:

Farmer attitudes to climate change across generations

Climate change farmers

Farmers could be considered the sentinels of climate change; they are more attuned than most to long-term changes in weather patterns.

However many of them are yet to be convinced that man-made climate change is real, arguing that floods and droughts are cyclical and extreme temperatures are nothing new.

It is a view some younger producers are now challenging and they are reshaping their farming practices to suit the changing climate.

Josh Gilbert takes climate change very seriously, chairing a group of young activists trying to raise awareness of the challenges farmers face as temperatures become more extreme.

“When I first started seeing things on the farm, whether it was drought, or just the seasons not matching what they should’ve been, it’s really hard to deny it’s actually happening,” he said.

Recently the Gilberts have been adjusting the genetics of their cattle to make them even more drought-tolerant as their way of adapting to climate change.

Josh recently crowd-funded his way to Paris where he attended the United Nation’s Climate Change conference, COP21, to learn more about renewable energy and to send a strong message to world leaders.

In another example of the generational change taking place, Melissa Brown took over her father’s vineyard in South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region 20 years ago.

Ms Brown did not like her dad’s heavy use of water and chemicals, and she noticed that warmer temperatures meant grapes were ripening earlier and vintages were getting shorter.

To adapt, she converted the entire vineyard to organic production methods.

That decision did not sit well with her father, Paul Buttery, who does not believe in climate change and thinks weather patterns are cyclical. “I’m very sceptical,” he said.

Ms Brown said there had been some awkward conversations, however eventually Mr Buttery decided to take a back seat in the running of the vineyard.

Re-Post ~ Farmer attitudes to climate change across generations | ABC Rural
See more ~ Farmers on frontline of climate change | SBS News

Starfish completes workshop series for UNE student organisations

Gowing engagement student workshop

Starfish has successfully completed the research, design and delivery of a series of workshops to strengthen UNE student organisations. The overall purpose of the series was to enable office-bearers to create more dynamic, resilient, and enjoyable clubs, groups and societies ~ which in turn aimed to further enrich the student experience and amenity at UNE. The workshop series was commissioned by UNESA.

The workshops covered the below areas and were attended by some 52 students from around 45 organisations.

  1. Governance Essentials
  2. Efficient, effective & enjoyable: the well-run club
  3. Financial & money matters
  4. Growing Engagement

It became clear during the course of preparing the workshops that there is a distinct lack of publicly available and relevant resources for student organisations. Despite considerable desktop research there were no libraries of common manuals, templates, guides or check-lists for student organisations found. This is despite the fact that there are hundreds of universities globally and thousands of student organisations.

As a result, Starfish has now created and collated a range of relevant materials, including:

  • Reference materials including manuals, videos and research
  • Lists of relevant organisations
  • Workshop Presentations, including the recordings of each workshop
  • Student organisation health-checks
  • References for template policies, procedures, tools and systems

Electronic copies of the workshop presentations and above materials are available on request via Adam Blakester (see Starfish Associates for contact details).