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2016 Looks Big!

2016 Looks Big!

 

Calls for the WAF Award will go out in April,

including the new Air category.

We will be working hard with our partners in Beijing to hold the Award Event 2016 in November at the Beijing Forum.

And later in November we will participate at Vietwater in Hanoi.

Get ready for exciting times!

Video of Professor Virginia Li’s (Li Zhen) Pilot Program in China

Featured in the US National Library of Medicine, Bloomberg.com, and UCLA’s Center for Health Equity, Professor Virginia C. Li’s (Li Zhen) pilot program in China seems to be working.

In an effort to convince the highest producing tobacco country in the world that there are more advantageous ways to promote a healthy ecology and economy, Professor Li set up three test sites with 458 volunteer farmers in Yunnan Provence, Yuxi, China, to grow crops other than tobacco.

Why Yuxi?  The Yuxi Cigarette Company is one of the biggest, most successful, companies in China.  Since its rise in the 1980s, the company model has set standards and has won numerous awards including the “‘Golden Horse Award’ the highest honour for a national-level enterprise in China*”. That is an impressive accomplishment for a rural tobacco-growing district—one of the poorest provinces in the country.

Professor Li’s program is working. The volunteer farmers have been able to increase their income, reduce the amount of the many pesticides that are needed for tobacco growing, and many more trees were saved by not having to dry tobacco over wood-fired ovens.

You can see more good news about the pilot program and the great achievements being made in this video.

 

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* Market-building as State-building in China’s Tobacco Industry. Page 132. Proquest. Google Books

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Yunnan Farmland

WAF to WAFA

Many people and many ideas were introduced at the wonderful 2015 WAF Awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. But the main focus of the whole event was to continue the momentum of positive change in solving the major environmental issues around the world.  The three finalists in the ceremony finished with an equal win, a three-way tie, for their efforts in changing the lives of people in the world who were battling issues of contaminated drinking water, having no sanitary facilities, and changing parched lands into rich vegetation-filled waterways and pools.  ENPHO from Nepal developed low-cost biosand water filters that would last from 15-20 years that they delivered to rural areas.  SOIL created low-cost composting toilets, safely providing an effective way to turn human waste into usable compost.  Turenscape created beautiful wetland parks from areas that were previously considered barren, soil-contaminated areas.

Positive change . . . keep the momentum going.  The distinguished Prem Rawat, ambassador of peace, spoke about how everyone is waiting for an angel to drop from the sky to fix everything.  People are just waiting and waiting and nothing changes.  There is such need in the world—so many environmental issues to address.

WAF recognizes this, too.  The organization’s awareness is expanding.  Bringing attention to and celebrating the people involved in making better lives for people in the areas of food and water is no longer enough.  For example, in this past week of February 22, 2016, the global headlines are shocking:

The Guardian reported that the UK has, at least, 40,000 deaths a year from outdoor air pollution.

The Washington Post reported a study done by Greenpeace found that China and the US’s air pollution has decreased slightly while India’s has risen dangerously high.  Delhi’s government has created an emergency driving plan—alternating odd-even driving days this winter in order to lower the concentration of Co2 emissions.

Duke University reports that air pollution increases the risk of obesity, which causes additional health problems.

Climate Central reports air pollution is linked to 5.5 million premature deaths in 2013.

WORLD POLLUTION MAP
Air Polution

By KVDP (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

An animated map can be found on the Washington Post’s site showing how the air pollution problems have changed in the past few years.

Positive change . . . keep the momentum going.  And, WAF did this at the 2015 awards show, announcing their expanding initiatives to include clean air into their vision.  What was once WAF is now WAFA—Water, Air, Food Awards.

Let the excitement begin!

Soon the call for applications for the 2016 WAF Awards will open to those incredible people who have simple ideas for changing social need into sustainable sufficiency to improve people’s lives in the areas of water, air, and food.

So, stand by and watch our celebration grow.

Until next time,

Diane Walters

 

Featured Image: Photo Credit: Wikipedia – Air Pollution

Hello from the New Kid on the Blog!

What I’ve learned in the short time I have been associated with the people here at WAFA is that they have a clear vision for a bright future.  They bring with them care, compassion, altruism, and heart.  Everyone here has a big, big heart. They share a need to see change in the world, to learn about people who can make that change, and to celebrate them.

Everyone involved in WAFA is a volunteer—there are no paid positions.  It’s a small international group of people brought together by a common ideal. An enormous amount of time and effort and money has been spent by all in brainstorming, organizing, building a stunning Web site, collaborating with many people from around the world to set up the awards show, the entertainment, the presentations, all for the cause of the common good, and to make better lives for those people who are struggling day-to-day for the simple things in life that we take for granted: healthy food, breathable air, and clean water.

As a writer at WAFA, I hope to bring to you the exciting news for the 2016 awards show; information about past winners in continued celebration of their insight, effort, and ability to colour outside the lines of convention in solving big problems with few available resources; news of progress in water, air, and food concerns; the hopes and dreams of the WAFA team, and the issues they care about: why this mission is so important to them. With any luck you will catch our enthusiasm and joy, see the positive changes happening, and you’ll want to run with us to make it happen, and celebrate those good people trying to make this a better world.

All I can say is that I am humbled and so very honoured that I was accepted to be a part of this wonderful organization. I hope as a writer that I can offer enough variety, exciting news, deep insight, and thought-provoking material to keep everyone interested.  I hope to rise to the heights of the good intentions of the WAFA team and to yours as well.

Till next time,

Diane Walters

WAFA Welcomes its Latest Patron – Professor Virginia Li

On February 3, WAFA welcomes its latest patron: the distinguished Professor Virginia Li (Li Zhen): research professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; visiting professor, Kunming Medical University; honorary professor, Guangdong Medical University. She joins WAFA patrons, HRH Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan, and Ambassador of Peace Mr. Prem Rawat. Professor Li has accepted the nomination with characteristic humility and joy.

For over 40 years, Professor Li’s courageous leadership has overcome numerous challenges. Particularly impressive is her work on behalf of underprivileged children and small farmers in China. Among her many initiatives are the Tobacco Crop Substitution Project and the School Sanitation Program, in Yunnan province, China. WAFA will work with Professor Li (Li Zhen) to share these simple, innovative and powerful advances in water and food security around the world.

At WAFA patronage is granted to personalities who are in conscious possession of innate human values, such as dignity, humility and generosity.

 

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Collaborative Chorus Performance

WAFA  had an opportunity to participate in  a beautiful performance within auspecious ceremony, celebrating The Beijing Forum 2015, The Harmony of Civilizations Prosperity For All. The ceremony included Students, coming from 4 universities and performing for scholars from around the world, together with UN officials, dignitaries and distingished guests.

Below video showcases the performance:

Waterscapes Innovation International Design Forum

On 10 November 2015, WAFA President Ms. Tina Lindgreen was invited to attend the Waterscapes Innovation International Design Forum in Beijing. The forum featured extensive sharing about waterscape innovation and sustainable urbanization among recognized academic and professional experts from China and other countries, including members of the Danish Ramboll Group.

In the photo from left 1st: Mr. Zheng Sun, Director of China, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, 2nd: Mr. Dieter Grau, Partner, Atelier Dreiseitl, 3rd: Mr. Morten Holm, Director, Archiland International, 4th: Professor Li Dihua, College of Architecture and Landscape, Peking University, 5th: Mr. Peter Thomsen, Chief Consultant, Ramboll, 6th: Mr. Aizhong Ding, Professor of Environment Eng., Executive Director of China Center for River Restoration, Director of Institute of Aquatic Ecology & Environment, College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, 9th: Ms. Tina Lindgreen, Founder & President of WAFA

In the photo from left 1st: Mr. Zheng Sun, Director of China, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, 2nd: Mr. Dieter Grau, Partner, Atelier Dreiseitl, 3rd: Mr. Morten Holm, Director, Archiland International, 4th: Professor Li Dihua, College of Architecture and Landscape, Peking University, 5th: Mr. Peter Thomsen, Chief Consultant, Ramboll, 6th: Mr. Aizhong Ding, Professor of Environment Eng., Executive Director of China Center for River Restoration, Director of Institute of Aquatic Ecology & Environment, College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, 9th: Ms. Tina Lindgreen, Founder & President of WAFA

Visit to IUCN-China

On 9 November 2015, WAFA President Ms. Tina Lindgreen visited IUCN-China (International Union for Conservation of Nature, China Country Office). Dr. Zhu Chunquan, 嘉盛 IUCN-China Country Representative of, introduced IUCN-China and its projects. They also discussed cooperation, including a possible WAFA Impact Forum 2016 in China.

 

WAFA President Ms. Tina Lindgreen and Dr. Zhu Chunquan, IUCN-China Country Representative