ALLCOT participates in the Local Stakeholder Consultation process in Ziguinchor, Senegal


Written by Mercedes García, Climate Change and Sustainability Manager


The degradation of mangroves during the last years is alarmingly increasing. Uncontrolled deforestation is one of the main causes, but the increase of the temperature of the planet is altering the salinity of certain areas, which significantly impact on the stability of an ecosystem as fragile as mangroves are. 

Mangroves live in tropical and subtropical latitudes. To the south of Gambia, mangroves occupy Casamance estuary, where they form a long band over the northern margin of the 6 km wide river, between Ziguinchor and Tobor, in Senegal. Due to the anthropogenic pressure, linked to illegal harvest and agriculture, there are many mangroves areas in a state of maximum degradation on which we must act. 

ALLCOT, together with the Senegalese NGO OCEANIUM, is working on the developing of reforestation and conservation project for a part of this mangrove, starting in Senegal and expanding in the coming months to the Gambia and Guinea Bissau. The goal of the project, called SWAMP (Senegal and West Africa Mangrove Project) is to empower the local communities through reforestation and mangrove conservation. For this, the project will be registered in the international standard SDVista with the objective of obtain carbon credits that could be reinvested in these communities and different socio-economics activities. For that, the participation of Senegalese government and local authorities has been necessary, through various meetings held during last year.

On October 15, ALLCOT had the privilege of being one of the speakers in these meetings, held in Zinguinchor. During a complete working day, the ALLCOT team had the opportunity to share with the participants how the project is structured, the short and long term objectives, and especially the detail of the socio-economics activities to be implemented, all of them aligned with the Sustainable Developing Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda. 

There was also the opportunity to discuss and share a lunch with all the mayors who have already joined the initiative and many others who are still evaluating the possibility of adhering. Ideas about initiatives of developing and their alignments with the needs of the populations were exchanged. It was a very fruitful workday, which will be a turning point in the design of the SWAMP project. 

ALLCOT has extensive wide experience in the design and structuring of the project in the field of mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Our role in the project is to improve the quality of life of the populations that live in the mangroves through the incomes from the carbon credits. To obtain the maximum benefit the project is designed to cover two main areas. In the most degraded areas, propagule plantations of Rhizophora Mangle and Avicennia sp are scheduled. In the areas, best-conserved, protection and training activities will be carried. These activities include the creation of monitoring brigades, to awareness and training in the field. In parallel, the technical team is working in different activities linked to the food security and gender equity for the communities who live in the mangrove areas. 

Due to the significant social component of the project, the standard chosen has been SDVista. Standard developed by VERRA for all those projects which mitigate the greenhouse gas emission but have a profound impact on local populations. 

One of the objectives of the standard is not only to evaluate the contribution of the projects with the SDGs, but also their quantification, monitoring, and of course the verification by an accredited entity. It is, therefore, a robust standard that aims to demonstrate in an effective and verifiable way that the projects are contributing to meet the needs of certain populations. 

During last years, in ALLCOT we have worked in each one of our projects in the alignment of all the activities with the SDSs, all channeled through the fight against climate change. 

SWAMP project is undoubtedly a clear example of the strategy of the company for the future. Empower the local communities through the fight against the current climate crisis by developing initiatives in the scope of all the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.

The benefits of recycling in the fight against the climate crisis


Written by Encarnación Hernández, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant


We are currently facing a critical global situation in terms of consumption of plastics and their subsequent recycling. It is expected that by next year, plastic production will increase to 350 million tons. If this rhythm and the current “use and discard” consumption model are maintained, this level could increase to 619 million tons in 2030.

The process of decomposing plastic material produces the emission of two greenhouse gases with a high global warming potential (methane and ethylene) and a very harmful effect on human health. For this reason, in recent years various initiatives have been developed in the field of plastic waste reduction and recycling. Their main objective is to reduce dependence on existing conventional resources. However, there are other solutions in the market contributing to the manufacture of different products from recycled plastics. This is a great innovation in the recycling market.

ALLCOT Group, a company specialized in environmental solutions in the fight against climate change, is working on an innovative project based on the construction of sustainable housing from recycled plastic.

The main objective is the recycling of plastic waste to give it a second life, improving the performance of both recycling and waste recovery. The population is involved in the collection of plastic, mainly bottles, from which blocks and bricks are manufactured and used for the construction of houses or other types of buildings. These materials are flexible and flame retardant light and they display high insulation capacity. These characteristics make them ideal to face extreme weather events that often affect vulnerable countries to the effects of the current climate crisis, such as heatwaves or deterioration caused by water on such conventional buildings.

The ongoing project will be replicated in developing countries. It has focused on vulnerability groups, including women working in the informal waste recycling sector, and therefore contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals signed in the 2030 Agenda. In addition to reducing the amount of waste destined for its final disposition and increase its recovery, the project will yield another series of economic, social and environmental benefits. These include an increase in the country’s resilience to climate change, poverty alleviation, and improvement of the well-being and health of populations by offering a new sustainable livelihood. Finally, it also contributes to greater access to drinking water and improved biodiversity protection in the area.

This project contributes to the mitigation of GHG emissions and thus tackles the current climate crisis. With the use of different internationally accepted methodologies and previous studies, the actual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can be calculated.  In fact, the secondary production of construction materials entails lower amounts of CO2 emissions compared to conventional production (from 40% to 80% depending on the type of material).

Given that fuel and electricity consumption the freest are the stages of the building process that release most CO2, the plastic brick recycling project is expected to have a high impact on greenhouse gas emissions reduction. 

Concentrating on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminum, and food), the project “Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change” illustrates how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce emissions by 9.3 billion tonnes. That is equivalent to eliminating current emissions from all forms of transport globally.

ALLCOT is currently developing a methodology to estimate CO2 emission reductions since there is none approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that directly applies to the project in question.

Once approved by the United Nations, project implementation can begin. 

We need additional efforts to decarbonize our economy while creating creative and innovative sustainable growth opportunities.

ROUND TABLE ON THE CARBON MARKET

 

 

The Ministry of Ecological Transition and Solidarity and the General Delegation of Québec in Paris will hold a seminar called:

QUÉBEC – FRANCE: ROUND TABLE ON THE CARBON MARKET

It will take place on September 30 in Paris, France. It will feature the persistence and participation of Elisabeth Borne, Minister of the Ecological Transition and Solidarity of the French Republic and Benoit Charrette, Minister of Environment and Struggle against Quebec Climate Change.

This event will be a great opportunity to discuss carbon pricing and the fair and equitable transition to a less carbon economy.

Some of the objectives of the seminar are:

  • Present key tools and trends in carbon pricing.
  • Illustrate how carbon prices can contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and support a fair and equitable transition.
  • Highlight the importance of international collaboration for success in the fight against climate change, through carbon pricing.

Delegates of ALLCOT will be present to know in depth the details of this interesting and very nutritious session, giving the company a local and international vision of the Carbon market, which will allow us, to develop new tools and improvements in our services.

You can find more information about the seminar, including its programming by clicking on this link (In French language)

UNEP report calls for more integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure to achieve the 2030 Agenda

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report that calls for more integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The publication aims to motivate development planners to invest in governments’ technical and institutional capacity to apply integrated approaches.

The report titled, ‘Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Infrastructure,’ underscores the linkages between infrastructure and sustainable development, observing that infrastructure affects the environment-focused SDGs and underpins the socioeconomic SDGs.

According to the report, approximately 70% of greenhouse gases are linked to the construction and operation of infrastructure, and buildings alone are estimated to account for more than 30% of global resource consumption and energy end use. As a result, the achievement of environmental SDGs such as climate action (Goal 13), life below water and life on land (Goals 14 and 15, respectively) is inextricably linked to present and future infrastructure assets.

The report recommends three key actions to promote integrated approaches to infrastructure at a system scale:

-Increasing the visibility of the central role of infrastructure in the 2030 Agenda, and making integrated approaches to infrastructure a distinct item on the global policy agenda, also mobilizing the research community to demonstrate the benefits of upstream, macro-level, integrated infrastructure planning and providing data and information to support decision making;

-Identifying and addressing gaps in tools for integrated approaches, consolidating existing tools and providing guidance on the use of tools to support integrated approaches to infrastructure in different contexts; and

-Providing development planners and government officials with specialized knowledge and technical capacity to adapt and apply available tools and approaches to sustainable infrastructure in support of the 2030 Agenda.

You can download the report here

 

Combating tax evasion will help finance sustainable development in Latin America

Increasing public revenues is key to supporting the mobilization of resources with which to finance the 2030 Agenda, as indicated in the last Fiscal Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean 2019, carried out by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report analyzes the evolution of fiscal policies and their challenges and stresses that, now more than ever, it is necessary to address the high level of tax non-compliance and illicit financial flows in the region.

According to the research, the regional cost of tax evasion and avoidance reached 6.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, which is equivalent to 335,000 million dollars.

Tax policy has become more relevant as a tool to drive progress towards compliance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, since it not only has an impact on the level of available resources, but on multiple dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals as inequality, poverty, and the well-being of women, the elderly, young people and other vulnerable populations.

Five instruments are proposed to expand fiscal space and enhance the 2030 Agenda:

-Reduce tax evasion and illicit financial flows

-Improve the adoption of taxes to the digital economy

-Creating environmental taxes to advance towards the decarbonization of the economy and the productive reconversion

-Revaluate tax expenditures

-Force personal income tax and property taxes

In addition, ECLAC recommends five areas of public spending and investment:

-Politics of labor and social inclusion

-Measures that promote the use of innovative technologies in energy, mobility, communication and bioeconomy

-Programs for progress towards budgetary systems that encourage priority public investment through pro-investment accounting frameworks

-The establishment of public-private agreements for infrastructure and renewable energy

-The redesign of tax incentives for industrial policies

You can download the report here

UN DESA’s World Youth Report explores the role of youth in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has published a report that explores the role of youth in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development called ‘World Youth Report: Youth and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.

“We have come here to let [world leaders] know that change is coming whether they like it or not,” was probably the most quoted sentence coming from the recent COP 24 climate conference. It was not uttered by the UN Secretary-General nor by any of the Heads of State and Government, but by a 15-year-old from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, who had sparked a powerful global movement of school strikes for climate action.

Her words are representative of the attitudes of today’s young generation. A recent study, conducted in 15 countries worldwide, found that globally, young people are more optimistic about the future than older generations. Despite facing much higher unemployment rates, more instability and lower wages than their predecessors, today’s youth are entering adulthood confident that they can build a better future for themselves and for those that follow.

Case studies from all corners of the world, gathered by the World Youth Report, seem to justify young people’s optimism. From a youth movement driving climate action across the Arab region to an organization expanding digital literacy among young people in rural Philippines.

Sadly, today’s young generation continues to be left behind when it comes to education and employment. According to the World Youth Report, one in four people of secondary-school age are not enrolled in a school and less than half of all young people are participating in the labour market. And even among those that do have a job, one in six live in extreme poverty.

These numbers are more than mere statistics – they stand for squandered potential of millions of people whose capabilities and enthusiasm could have greatly accelerated our progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ensuring access to inclusive, quality education is essential for young people’s chances of finding decent work. Quality primary and secondary education are not enough. They should be complemented by affordable technical, vocational and tertiary education that provides youth with relevant skills for employment and entrepreneurship.

You can download the report here