An innovative and inclusive society

Build productive synergies between communities and the environment

Poor communities are more vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation because they live in conditions characterised by the most damaged land and the most polluted neighbourhoods. Many people live in areas with poor air quality, polluted soil and water and ineffective waste removal and management services. Their quality of life and livelihoods are further negatively affected by the impact of climate change on rising food prices, crop failures and water shortages.

We must support these communities by tackling the systemic failures that make them vulnerable and support programmes that enable them to participate in the waste economy while reducing the worst impacts of climate change. And, as we drive public innovation that disrupts trajectories of exclusion, we must ensure that our human development outcomes are in synergy with the environment.

Public innovation must not be at the expense of the environment, but in synergy with it.

Human development in synergy with the environment can build resilience to the impact of climate change. For instance, community-based programmes that seek to build local food value chains are an emerging approach to creating sustainable systems. This means having a community-centred value chain starting from the manufacturing of equipment for farming to who owns smallholdings, and how farmed products are processed, distributed and then sold to local markets. This community-centred pipeline will create more inclusive food systems that have the potential to disrupt monopolies in various parts of the agriculture value chain.

Our goal is to enable people to engage with issues of environmental degradation and climate change through the lens of how these factors impact their own communities.

What we are working on…

  • Preserving and expanding local languages of ecology in communities and enabling participation in global climate change debates.
  • Establishing an expanded network of local food production and markets.
  • Setting up waste management and recycling in specific communities.

The Lesedi Solar Power Park, November 2022. Photo courtesy of Michael Khan.

Escaping the inequality trap requires a twist in our thinking.

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