BKMC teams up with Global Citizen to Promote Climate-Resilient Agriculture

Climate change is already transforming humanity’s relationship with nature, and nowhere is this shift more apparent than in the field of agriculture. Farmers worldwide are contending with rising temperatures, proliferating pests, and increasing droughts and floods that require new approaches to crops that have been grown for generations.

It’s a dynamic that leaves farmers exposed to financial ruin and diminishing yields, a prospect that threatens global food security at a time when the global population and its demand for calories continues to grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted farmers, often cutting them off from laborers, markets, and government assistance. Building back better” from the pandemic requires bold climate action that prioritizes smallholder farmers who are struggling to overcome structural and environmental forces outside of their control. That’s why the BKMC is entering a two-year partnership with Global Citizen — to advocate for climate-resilient agriculture by championing smallholder farmers especially in Africa and calling on world leaders to strengthen global food security and increase development aid to agricultural adaptation.

“2021 is the year we recover back better and call for increased political commitments,” said Ban Ki-moon, founder of the organization and 8th secretary-general of the United Nations.

“Partnering with Global Citizen on adaptation, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will join the collective effort to address climate change, focusing on building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world.”

 

The partnership will involve behind-the-scenes advocacy and public awareness efforts that work hand-in-hand. By identifying governments that have shown broad sympathy for the cause of climate adaptation, the partnership will seek to increase development aid for agricultural adaptation in low-income countries.

 In support of these outreach efforts, Global Citizen and the BKMC will also seek to improve understanding of the challenges facing smallholder farmers, the complex dynamics of climate change, and how demand-driven research, such as those championed by CGIAR, accelerates climate adaptation on the ground.

In particular, the Program will bring forward the stories of smallholder farmers and how they’re confronting the climate crisis, incorporating agricultural adaptation tools and techniques, and building a better future.

While countries have shifted toward a form of industrial agriculture in recent decades that features massive plots of land and heavy use of chemicals, there are still roughly 570 million smallholder farms worldwide that manage land less than two acres in size. These farms support communities through food production, jobs, and the maintenance of traditional practices. But climate change primarily threatens smallholder farmers who do not always have the resources to adapt to emerging disruptions. Farmers often have to sell or leave their land when faced with rising temperatures, droughts, and other environmental changes. The absorption of small farms into industrial farms, meanwhile, often further contributes to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Today you can start by taking our joint short quiz powered by Global Citizen to understand why the situation facing farmers is so urgent. 

The partnership will highlight the lived experiences of female farmers on the front lines of food production; break down how adequately funded research can transform agriculture; explore how young people are reshaping agriculture and unlocking new opportunities; explain how agricultural adaptation practices can actually mitigate climate change, and look at how farming communities can improve rural development more broadly.

Through written content, video, and social media, the partners will put a light on the people who are crucial to the future survival of humanity: farmers.

Whether or not countries can navigate the disruptions of the worsening climate crisis depends in part on how well smallholder farmers can adapt. Farmers require stable weather c

onditions and steady supplies of water, both of which are becoming increasingly precarious as temperatures rise. Looked at another way, focusing on the plight of farmers can foster society-wide climate resilience. If the people who tilled the land were prioritized in global decision-making processes, then fossil fuels would be phased out more rapidly and inequality eradicated sooner. After all, fewer greenhouse emissions mean less climate change and more favorable conditions for growing food.

ENLIGHT Kickoff Week: University Network Launches with Energy and Ambition!

From March 1-5, 2021, the BKMC took part in ENLIGHT European University Network‘s official virtual kickoff, an alliance of nine European universities, striving for students to become lifelong learners and agents-of-change ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. The week was packed with exciting lectures, high-level roundtables, student-led sessions, and more! 

BKMC CEO and External Advisory Board member of ENLIGHT, Monika Froehler, joined two separate public sessions to share the message of the BKMC and to highlight the importance of instilling global citizenship knowledge, skills, and behaviors in students as well as fostering lifelong learning.

On March 2, CEO Froehler joined a high-level round-table​ discussion between ENLIGHT Rectors and the ENLIGHT External Advisors​. The discussion was themed, ‘Shaping communities – How can universities contribute to local and regional challenges?’ and featured three smaller roundtables o‘Learning and Teaching,’ ‘Research,’ ‘International Cooperation’ respectively

Taking part in the third roundtable on ‘International Cooperation, CEO Froehler underlined the incredible potential for sustainable impact through the ENLIGHT network:

“If only 1/3 of ENLIGHT students become gamechangers, this would make Europe a leading champion in multilateralism.”  – Monika Froehler

During the second roundtable on ‘Research, External Advisory Board member and BKMC Board Member, Irina Bokova (former Director-General of UNESCO), underlined academia’s role in contributing to the sustainable development agenda: 

“What is very important is for universities to introduce the concept of interdisciplinarity, lifelong learning & global citizenship education to prepare students for future challenges.”  – Irina Bokova

To conclude the discussion, the roundtable participants were asked to reflect on what attracts talented students to universities and the value proposition of ENLIGHT. The participants, including university Rectors and Presidents in addition to the esteemed External Advisorsremarked that the consortium will help to increase the talent pool at member universities as students will have the unique chance to benefit from the best educational opportunities available at all 9 universities. Each university has its strengths and together, the Enlight university members form a virtuous circle which helps individual universities develop along with the wider regions in which they are located.  

 

On March 4, CEO Froehler joined Flagship Lecture #3 on Global Engagement and Equity’ and presented a keynote themed, ‘Engaging Global Citizens for the Achievement of the SDGs.

During her talk, Monika outlined the key tenants of global citizenship and how the BKMC is working to engage and empower youth and women as actors for the SDGs. She also spoke about the role of ENLIGHT in educating engaged global citizens:

“We hope to fundamentally transform European Higher Education with ENLIGHT by empowering learners as engaged global citizens with state of the art knowledge, skills & innovation potential.” – Monika Froehler

Andrej Findor, Associate Professor and acting Director of European Studies and International Relations at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, focused his keynote on the comparative evaluation of equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID) indicators at nine European universities.  

The pandemic has intensified the exclusion of different types of people.For example, some students at Comenius are going through difficult socio-economical situations as their parents or even themselves are now unemployed.” – Andrej Findor

Nata DuvvurySenior Lecturer and Director, Centre for Global Women’s Studies and Co-Leader of Gender and Public Policy Cluster in the Whitaker Institute at National University of Ireland, Galway, focused her keynote on ‘Approaches to Equality: Mainstreaming or Intersectionality?’ Noting the mainstreaming equality isn’t enough, Duvvury described two clear ways forward to promote intersectionality within universities: 

1. Acknowledging and valuing diverse feminist, anti-racist, decolonial, and disability scholarship in the university.  

2. Taking actions to decrease class, gender, and racial inequality within the institutions. 

The BKMC is excited to be an Associated Partner of the ENLIGHT European University network and to have CEO Monika Froehler represented on the External Advisory Board! 

Stay tuned for news on exciting collaborations between the BKMC and ENLIGHT in the year ahead! 

 

To watch what ENLIGHT is all about: 

 

To watch the recordings of the launch:  

Climate Adaptation with Global Citizen

 

The COVID19 pandemic and its far-reaching impacts on the economy, climate, health, hunger, and education have halted and reversed the progress made for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Inequality among people, nations, and continents is getting worse. To call for global action, our partner organization Global Citizen has launched a new campaign that will feature their unique pop and policy approach.

The BKMC is very excited to be partnering with Global Citizen for the Recover Better Together Campaign. Building upon our Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s twin legacies of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, we are dedicated to being a part of this collective effort and amplifying the voices for the needs of smallholder farmers as well as building the capacity of youth and women to take action on climate adaptation – who are on the front lines of climate change as well as the COVID crisis.

2021 is the year we recover back better and call for increased political commitments. Partnering with Global Citizen on adaptation, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will join the collective effort to address climate change, focusing on building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world.” – Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Co-chair, Ban Ki-moon

As an environment partner to the Protect the Planet pillar of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan, we have come together with Global Citizen for a two-year collaboration that will strive for a climate-change-resilient world – free of hunger by Elevating Agriculture Adaptation.

Anchored in the findings of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), the partnership will help to increase political commitment and public support to build the resilience of 300 million small-scale farming households around the world. Global Citizen and the BKMC will work collaboratively to address agricultural adaptation and strive to secure new governmental commitments for climate-smart agriculture. Learn more about the program here.

Watch the launch of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan above.

Getting to Know our Global Citizen Scholars


On July 10, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted an introductory session with the BKMC Global Citizen Scholars 2020. CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman joined the scholars via Zoom to discuss their individual SDG Micro-Projects, how the scholarship is going so far, and what to expect from the upcoming months.

The 6 scholars who come from various countries in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe), had already participated in an online one-week training program with the University of Bordeaux. The intensive ​online training focused on “COVID-19 in #Africa: multidisciplinary insights”.

During the session, CEO Froehler introduced the Centre and detailed the Centre’s current projects. Following CEO Froehler’s presentation, each scholar made short presentations of their proposed SDG Micro-Projects. Many team members  of the BKMC were able to listen to the scholars’ project summaries and ask questions. At the end of the session, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman shared the timeline and details for the rest of the scholarship period.

The scholars will now focus primarily on implementing their own #SDG projects, but will also benefit from one-on-one mentoring with a professor from the University of Bordeaux and Expert Workshops hosted by the BKMC.

You can learn more about our scholars and their projects below. The projects focus on wastewater management, sustainable agriculture, increasing food security, reducing violence in urban slums, and supporting girls with menstrual hygiene education and resources.

 

Akasua Pepra

Akosua is a trained engineer, policy analyst, climate change and sustainability advisor and a youth change leader who is currently leading the Business Incubator Program of Recycle Up Ghana. Her SDG Micro-Project is focused on improving climate-resilient agriculture practices among widows and orphans in local communities of Ghana widows. She is in the process of adapting her project to the current circumstances around COVID-19.


Tafadzwa Schikonye

Tafadzwa is a young change-maker from Zimbabwe. Her SDG Micro-Project tackles wastewater management systems in Africa through a Zimbabwean case-study. Her main objective it to lobby for the establishment and adoption of sustainable urban wastewater systems and practices in Zimbabwe.


Ruvimbo Samanga

Ruvimbo (Ru) is the National Point of Contact for Zimbabwe in the Space Generation Advisory Council and the Women in Aerospace Africa Chapter. She is also a policy analyst at Space In Africa. Her project focuses on creating data solutions for small-scale farming in Zimbabwe by developing satellite-based solutions able to cater to the specific needs and resources of communities and lands in Zimbabwe.


Oduor Kevin

Oduor Kevin is from Kenya and is a public health expert, currently serving as the Chief Programs Officer for Stowelink Inc., a youth-led organization working to tackle the burden of non-communicable diseases. His project centers around reducing food waste through the drying of excess crops for later consumption.


Barbara Nakijoba

Barbara Nakijoba is from Uganda and is a monitoring and evaluation officer who is working with Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL). Her project works to reduce violence in urban slums of Kampala by supporting at vulnerable youth with opportunities for vocational training and entrepreneurship.


Hikmat Baba Dua

Hikmat is a young leader from Ghana committed to girls’ empowerment and founder of the organization ‘League of Young Female Leaders.’ Her SDG Micro-Project project aims to promote menstrual hygiene education and improving access to menstrual products through sensitization, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable means in rural communities in Ghana.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attends Brookings’ Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum

“We must educate the next generation in global citizenship. We must increase their understanding of climate change because they are our future leaders.”
On January 24, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended and spoke at the Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum hosted by Foreign Policy at Brookings Institute. During this occasion, Co-chair Ban addressed the climate threats and its implications, climate justice, and climate leadership. In his international leadership roles, Co-chair Ban has been a prominent advocate of bringing climate change to the top of the global agenda, promoting sustainable development and highlighting how environmental degradation has disproportionately affected people in developing countries, especially women. Stressing the importance of multilateralism, Co-chair Ban said,

“A ‘me vs. you’ mentality has no place in climate action. It is about ‘all of us vs. climate change’.”

He also said,
“If we do not solve the problem of climate change we will all be losers. I urge President Trump to return to the Paris Agreement.”

“We need disruption. We need to get urgent on climate. We need a new sense of global citizenship”

He also called world leaders and young generation to harness the mindset of global citizenship to cope of global challenges. Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said,
“The climate crisis must be the top priority for all leaders in 2020. It is not hyperbole to say that the fate of humanity as a whole rests on decisions taken this year.”
The event was opened with Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Bruce Jones’ introductory remarks. Following remarks by Co-chair Ban and Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Brookings Senior Fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies Jung H. Pak joined them on stage for a conversation on climate change, human rights, adaptation measures, and global leadership in the face of a climate emergency.

Climate threats and climate justice: Action and adaptation for sustainable development – Part 1

Climate threats and climate justice: Action and adaptation for sustainable development – Part 2

© Ralph Alswang / Alswang Photography

Co-chair Heinz Fischer Meets with BKMC Board Members and Henry Kissinger in New York

During the first week of December, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer met with BKMC board members,  Ambassador Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in New York, and former Secretary of US Department of State and former US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in New York, USA. Co-chair Fischer visited Global Citizen office and met with Co-founder Michael Sheldrick, a BKMC Board member, and delivered a book called “The Republic of Austria 1918-2018: Milestone and Turning Points.” With a mission of building a movement of 100 million action-taking Global Citizens, Global Citizen is helping to achieve their vision to end extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizen has also launched the Global Citizen Prize to shine a light on world leaders, artists, business leaders and youth activists who keep the world’s poor at the forefront of their life’s work. Fischer also met with his former Professor Henry Kissinger who served as Secretary of State of the US and Ambassador Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in New York. During the meeting, they talked about current political affairs. Co-chair Fischer also visited a BKMC Board member Danielle Bodini, President of the Alexander Bodini Foundation. Bodini is one of the major donors of the Ban Ki-moon Centre with his contributions to the Centre’s work on global citizenship and the Sustainable Development Goals through his Foundation. The US Foundation of the Ban Ki-moon Centre was also established and has been operating in support of the Bodini Foundation.

Ban Ki-moon calls for bolder global efforts to adopt renewable energy

“For developing countries, in particular, the green energy transformation can play the role of a bridge to modernization, economic growth, and greater social inclusiveness.” – Ban Ki-moon
On October 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called for greater international efforts to expand the adoption of renewable energy so as to achieve the shared goal of policy transition toward sustainable development.

“We cannot overstate the importance of this broad, global objective. We – the international community – will need to adopt resolute measures to transform our fossil fuel-based energy systems,” said co-chair Ban in a video message to the opening of the Global Green Growth Week (GGGW), an annual conference hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul.

“This transition towards renewable energy sources is not only about challenges. It presents new opportunities to modernize our energy systems, accelerate and diversify their economies, create green jobs, increase productivity and competitiveness and reduce poverty,” he said.

Green growth calls for seeking economic growth through environment-friendly technologies and industries. Under that initiative, South Korea set up GGGI on its soil to help develop strategies to promote the environment-friendly cause.

The green growth week, running through Friday, is an annual gathering of the 33 GGGI member countries and related participants from around the globe with an aim to promote green growth and sustainability and discuss key issues such as air pollution.

Co-chair Ban, current chairman of the GGGI Council, underscored the importance of taking concrete actions, especially at government levels, to advance the transformation to renewable energy.

Co-chair Ban said,

“Governments need to take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. They also need to abandon fossil fuel subsidies and instead provide incentives for businesses to invest in clean energy infrastructure and technologies.”

“This energy transformation could greatly impact the labor markets, investment landscapes and even the way we do business.”

He voiced hope that this week’s conference will serve as a chance to explore various dimensions associated with the topics in a way that would better support countries to create the right policy for green growth transition.

GGGI is a treaty-based organization established in Seoul in 2012, focusing on supporting and promoting ways for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries.

The Global Green Growth Week 2019 (GGGW2019) has officially kicked off today in Seoul, Republic of Korea. GGGW2019, the 3rd instance of the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) flagship conference, is being held in conjunction with the Korea Renewable Energy Conference (KIREC) and in partnership with the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM), REN21, LG Chemical, the Incheon Global Campus, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea.  Under the banner of Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential, GGGW2019 runs October 21-24 and welcomes decision–makers and with high-level speakers from around the world to contribute in a number of feature events. 

 

Source Yonhap News Agency, GGGI  © Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens / Co-chair Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

WEP Asia fellows actively discuss on the topics of leadership and global issues at tailor-made training sessions

Since the program kicked off on September 30th, the global citizen fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) have actively participated in a number of tailor-made training sessions.
  • Pitching & Presenting – Skills and Capacity Training by Kate WALKER (Lecturer, University of Vienna; Independent Consultant)
  • “Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” by Reinhard STEURER (Associate Professor, Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences)
  • Leveraging Differences: Building Cross-Cultural Management and Leadership Capacity for Game Changers & Cosmopolitan Leadership for a Complex World by Andreas Sami PRAUHART (Leadership and Development Catalyst and Policy Advisor)
“Climate change is not about some species going extinct. It is about whether we will survive in the next 200 years,” Steurer said.
During the lecture, the fellows shared their own views on climate change, what needs to be done and beyond.
“One part of the negotiation is justice,” said Prauhart who taught the importance of building communication skills to reach mutually beneficial solutions.
Critical questions were raised such as:
  • “What would you do with an apple when two different parties want it?”
  • “How can we overcome the adaptive challenges that we face in our workplaces?”
During their visit to the United Nations Vienna, the WEP Asia fellows also listened to Director Martin Nesirky of the United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS) who shared the role of UNIS in giving service to different UN organizations, amplifying their work, and seeking partnerships with the private sector.
Christoph Bierwirth, Head of UNHCR Liaison Office to the OSCE and Vienna-based UN Agencies, and Marie-Claire Sowinetz from the UNHCR Austria also gave lectures on the work of the UNHCR, including its advocacy to raise awareness on refugee issues and to integrate refugees into society.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

BKMC attended the Global Goal Live event hosted by its partner Global Citizens

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens attended the Global Goals Live convened by Global Citizens in New York on September 26. Pharrell Williams, Janelle Monae, Global Citizen Festival Curator Chris Martin, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, HER, Cisco Chariman and CEO Chuck Robbins spoke onstage at Global Goal Live. At the event, a singer-songwriter, H.E.R. said,

“264 million kids are not in school. They don’t have access to education. Making people aware is necessary. Kids are the future. Education is an opportunity.”

According to International advocacy organization Global Citizen, Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream is a year-long campaign to get the world back on track to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, a roadmap to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change, and reduce inequality by 2030, agreed to by all 193 member states of the United Nations in 2015. As part of the ambitious campaign, there will be a 10-hour broadcast on Sept. 26, 2020, spanning five continents, with simultaneous events planned for Central Park in New York and Lagos, Nigeria, as well as not-yet-announced cities in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Source Global Citizen © Getty Image North America, BKMC

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Speaks at Global Citizen Festival in Berlin Calling for Climate Action

On Tuesday May 21st 2019, Ban Ki-moon Centre partner Global Citizen hosted GC Live Berlin, bringing together policy makers from around the world seeking to end extreme poverty and to support African Youth. Former UN Secretary-General and Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon made particular impact through his participation and speech at the event resulting in large coverage across social media and media outlets. At the event, Nigeria and Zambia made important commitments to water, sanitation, and nutrition. Co-chair Ban, World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, and German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller all made powerful statements on the world’s most pressing issues associated with ending extreme poverty and addressing climate change. Along with CEO Georgieva and Bill Gates, Co-chair Ban chairs the Global Commission on Adaptation focused on climate adaptation. During his speech at GC live Berline, Co-chair Ban emphasized:
“Now is the moment to make our lives, our homes, and our communities climate friendly and climate ready.”
BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also attended the event in support of African Youth which underlined the idea of one generation, one future. In addition to the commitments made by African countries, the government of Germany announced support for 60 million smallholder farmers globally to adapt to climate change. The event followed weeks of campaigning by Global Citizens around the world. Global Citizens from Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, and 143 other countries took action in the lead-up to the event which earned them tickets to the concert. The event celebrated Africa Day, which takes place on May 25 and commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963. Global Citizen Live Berlin was presented in partnership with Engagement Global, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Live Nation. Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-citizen-live-berlin-global-citizens-artists-and-world-leaders-from-nigeria-zambia-germany-rwanda-and-ghana-took-unprecedented-action-on-ending-extreme-poverty-by-2030-300854704.html Photo: Global Citizen #GCLiveBerlin #EineGenerationEineZukunft #SDGs #GlobalCitizens